Coffee Break: Fit Desk

Exercise Desk: Fit DeskFor reasons I don’t entirely remember, I wound up getting a bunch of health/diet books out of the library. (VB6 is amazing, for what it’s worth.) One of the more embarrassing ones (I guess?) that I borrowed was Maria Menounos’s Everygirl Diet book, in which I was intrigued to see her mention a Fit Desk (there’s even a picture of her riding it!). I’d been looking for something similar, and for some reason a zillion Google searches did not lead me to Fit Desk — so I thought I’d pass it along here, particularly since it’s much cheaper than a treadmill desk. I haven’t made the purchase yet — does anyone have this or some other tool you’ve used to get exercise into your day more reliably? Fit Desk

(L-5)

Comments

  1. Wildkitten :

    I had one and I hated it. It was a cheap piece of crap.

    • Really? I love mine! It was a bit of a chore to put together but it’s very sturdy and has really gotten me to exercise on days when it’s too icy or cold to go outside. I pedal while I’m watching tv and rack up the miles.

      • Gotta say, I love mine, too. And it’s sturdy enough that my (6′ 2″, 200 lb) husband uses it as well. I got it instead of a treadmill desk, both because it’s WAY cheaper and because I had foot surgery a while back and am not quite sure my feet could take a treadmill desk.

        I use it (with very low resistance) while I’m on conference calls as long as they’re ones I’m not running. It’s super quiet – I also have a trainer for my bike, which is very loud, and thought I wouldn’t be able to use this on calls, so that’s an unexpected bonus for me.

        I got mine via Amazon, fwiw.

    • Wildkitten :

      Glad to hear it works for others. I thought it was awkward and unpleasant and didn’t work with my height (under 6 feet) or weight (under 200 lbs). I think I’d rather have a legitimate stationary bike and put a laptop up next to it. I threw mine away – it was so bad I couldn’t even fake liking it enough to sell it to someone else.

  2. Anonymous :

    I’m going to Argentina in the fall for a few weeks. Any travel suggestions? Some time in Buenos Aires, then I’m open to travelling around the country. Hotels? Museums? Dinners? Must do/see activities? Any cool outdoors things like hiking?

    • Just went a few months ago! I highly recommend going to Iguazu Falls. You’ll be fine on just the Argentina side – the Brazil side is nice if you have time but not worth spending the visa fee for. Be warned that the rest of the town is kind of crappy but it’s worth it to see the magnificent falls. If you like outdoors stuff, definitely go to one or more places in Patagonia. El Calafate is best if you want to see the glaciers; the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen. Also spend a night in El Chalten too so you can do some of the longer hikes. Bariloche is better if you want more to do in the city itself. I didn’t get there, but people also say Mendoza (wine country) is amazing. I also made the trip over to Montevideo in Uruguay for a couple of nights – it’s a short ferry ride and it is a cute city with lots of nice beaches.

      Bear in mind that Argentina is really huge, and the flights between Patagonia, BA and Iguazu are all 2+ hours. Note that BA is really awesome, but you only need about 4 days max to see everything. It’s worth it to spend the time traveling within the country to see other places too.

      In BA, if La Menesunda is still at the MAMBA (one of the modern art museums), you MUST go. The Recoleta cemetery is also very cool. I’d recommend staying somewhere in Palermo if you can. You can get a really nice AirBnB for super cheap. For restaurants, I loved Las Pizzaras and Arumburu Bis (the regular Arumburu is supposed to be great too but it’s expensive). Victoria Brown’s is a really cool speakeasy-ish bar too.

    • Anonymous :

      This may not apply to you, but thought I’d mention for others in the same position as me – I wanted to go to Argentina in December and couldn’t swing more than 10 days vacation. With the size of hte country and the amount of travel between the cities, it didn’t seem possible. So, we went to Chile instead, which had many of the great highlights, but was much quicker to get around. We went to Santiago for city stuff, up in the Andes for mountain stuff, and to Valparaiso on the coast. All in ten days! We were, of course, insanely jealous of all the people we met on the plane/airport that were going for several weeks, but hey, you do what you can.

    • My husband is from Buenos Aires, so we go pretty often, and most recently with our son. If you need kid-friendly recs, let me know. Here’s some fun sightseeing stuff to do:

      – Walk along the river in Puerto Madero, board the Fragata Sarmiento (cute story about Sarmiento, a former president… apparently he was such a goody goody, he never missed a day of school. So in Argentina, if you want to tease someone about being a goody goody, you call them a Sarmiento.)
      – Recoleta cemetary, absolutely
      – Japanese gardens
      – Tour the Teatro Colon

      And some particular restaurants/foods to try:
      – Miranda in Palermo is a delicious, casual place with a parrilla. Get the provoleta appetizer, basically a wheel of provolone that they throw on the grill until it’s all melty. (Provoleta can be found at almost every Argentine restaurant, BTW, but I really like the one at Miranda).
      – Argentine pizza is like no other. It’s fat and fluffy, swimming in cheese, onions, and oregano. No tomato sauce, but also not at all like our white pizza here. It’s called fugazetta, and every Argentine has their favorite place. My husband likes Banchero. I like El Cuartito. Note that both places are pretty dumpy. Don’t be deterred!
      – Ice cream places are everywhere, and with interesting flavors that you likely haven’t had before. Give them a shot!
      – Cafe Tortoni is touristy but legendary. Go for coffee in the morning to beat the crowd. Don’t bother eating there, the food is crap.
      – Argentine croissants are called media lunas. They come in two varieties, made with butter, and made with lard. Try them both, and try them whenever you see them. You never know when you’ll get one that’s really transcendent.
      – Steak, obviously! But don’t be alarmed that they don’t ask you how you want it cooked. It’s going to come overdone to your American eyes, but it will be delicious. If you really, really want to fuss, you can tell them you want it “jugoso” or juicy, but it will probably still come overdone. Just eat it, it’s delicious (coming from a rare steak person).

      I’m torn about whether to advise you to go to Boca. It’s very touristy and interesting to look at, especially Caminito, but it’s got all the usual problems that go along with it… pick pockets, general sketchiness, tons of crap for sale. It’s kind of like visiting Sacre Coeur/Montmartre in Paris. If you go, go during the day and don’t be dumb about your purse. And I guess if you are a soccer fan, you should go and pay homage to the Bombonera, where the Boca Juniors play.

      Definitely stay in Palermo! Note that Palermo has lots of subsidiary neighborhoods, Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, etc. Much of this is marketing, the way that Bushwick in Brooklyn has now become “East Williamsburg.”

      Have fun!!

    • Anonymous :

      Go to Patagonia! In Buenos Aires, go to the Recoleta cemetery and stroll around – it’s super cool. Also, Argentina has many, many wonderful malbecs that should should drink and has a lot of meat restaurants, if that strikes your fancy. When you walk around, you will walk by restaurants with a fire pit of coals in the window and meat hanging over it. There are also a lot of good fancy restaurants that are not too expensive compared with american rates – you can get things like Peruvian fusion sushi, which you probably cannot get at home. Uruguay is also near BA, you can take a ferry to Colonia or Montevideo for a day trip.

      One of the weird things about Argentina is that there is a black market for exchanging money. If you dare, you can exchange crisp American bills at a cambio for ~1.5 X the official rate – larger bills ($100’s) will get you more money than smaller ($20’s). Just be careful that you are getting real money, there is a lot of counterfeiting – you can also get counterfeit bills in regular use and I’ve even heard of people getting them from ATMs, so just be alert. If you want American bills, you can get more at ATMs in Uruguay. You should also avoid regular cabs in BA and take radio taxis.

      • OP probably stopped reading, but had to chime in to say that the money exchange thing isn’t the case anymore after Macri came into office. The official rate is the actual rate now.

  3. Anonymous :

    Sorry for the tj. I posted this in the morning thread but it was also suggested that I post it here as well:

    I’m a recent graduate who has just moved and passed the bar in my state. I started my new job yesterday. I received two emails from someone, one of them welcoming me to the firm and another one with information about parking, the kitchenette on our floor etc. The name on the emails looks to be foreign and I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce it. The person who sent me the emails walked by my office and poked her head in to welcome me and she asked if I received her emails. I also bumped into her on my way back from the bathroom. Both times I asked her what he name was and both times she said that it was in her email signature.

    I still couldn’t figure out the pronunciation and Google was no help. Most of my colleagues were in a meeting so I popped over to her office and I asked for her name again because I said I wanted to make sure I had the correct pronunciation. She told me and I went back to what I was doing.

    I was called into the office of a partner office not long afterwards. I thought it was going to be a welcome/introduction type thing but instead he and another partner scolded me for asking her such an inappropriate question. The didn’t want to hear “explanations or excuses”. They said they were very taken aback by my behavior and mentioned sending to me to sensitivity training. They also questioned why I was hired and told me not to do something so embarrassing to myself and the firm in the future. Thinking there had been a misunderstanding I asked them to clarify what I did that was so embarrassing and they said that “Asking someone for the correct pronunciation of their name is rude.”

    I am flustered and upset at being scolded but I can’t understand how wanting to have someone’s name correct was rude. I haven’t seen her yet today but I’m unsure if I should apologize to her or just leave it alone. I saw one of the partners by the elevator and he said something about sensitivity training again.

    Am I wrong to be upset? This is my first job at a firm and I did my summers in midsize firms and not biglaw. Was it rude for me to ask her for the correct pronunciation of her name? It was not the impression I wanted to make on my first day.

    I didn’t do anything else to warrant it because I had literally only worked there for a few hours when this happened and she was the first co-worker that I spoke to beyond hello and introductions. I got another lecture this morning from one of the mid-level associates about stereotyping all Asian people as being Chinese. One of the assistants (who is white) heard me speaking on the phone to my grandmother in Mandarin when I was on my break outside. Afterwards she spoke to me in Mandarin. She told me she lived all over Asia when she was a child because her mom works for the government. Mid level associate (who is also white) told me I “shouldn’t assume people who look Asian like you are all Chinese. There are other countries there”. I have no idea where that even came from.

    I don’t feel like this is normal behavior and I’m at a loss. I have been keeping my head down and I know I just started here but I am already thinking I’m going to be job hunting soon.

    • I had a boss the exact same way, 3 weeks in I was fired for an equally as ludicrous reason (as was half the staff, on a side note who fires all the technical staff in one day, the company must have come to a grinding stop without people with the skills to actually do the work). Anywhoooooo I suggest you start job hunting now. I can say with near certainty that things will not get better and these are not rational people.

    • I do think it was not the best idea to ask her so many times in a short time. Asking a college or a paralegal would have been better. For now, keep your head down and redeem yourself through your work. I do feel like there is something missing from your story. Did you make any comments about the ethnicity of the name?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, this was my thought too. I’m not sure how you get to sensitivity training from just being weird and asking someone their name three times, but since you mentioned here that the name was “foreign” wonder if you said something to that effect to your colleague?

      • Anonymous :

        I didn’t say anything about the ethnicity of the name at all. The first two times when I spoke to her and asked her what her name was, because we had just met, her reply was “My name is in my email signature”. I would have loved to asked a colleague but I couldn’t find anyone. The partners are under the impression that I should have known better because I am also “ethnic” but their issue is that no one should ever, ever ask someone to clarify the pronunciation of their name because doing so is rude, racist and discriminatory.

        • People ask me the ethnicity of my name all the frickin time. ALL THE TIME. (My actual ethnicity doesn’t match my name, but I look like it might. Also I think people like to feel smart for guessing.) Just asking for pronunciation is totally fine and, as I said on the earlier thread, actually quite considerate.

        • It frankly seems weird to me that this woman did not pronounce her name for you. Who says in effect, “look at my email,” when you ask their name? It sounds like you are being set up or stereotyped yourself. Is there an HR department? Perhaps you should speak to them, as this entire scenario (with other comments being made to you by assistants and other associatees) seems off to me.

        • Brunchaholic :

          Just… No. The assumption that you *must* have done something to warrant this and that *must* have left something out of your story is really unwarranted. You left a very long and detailed description about the interaction. I find it really rude that the blame is immediately shifted to you when all signs are pointing to other people behaving very poorly.

    • Just whoa :

      Um, this sounds CRAZY. I would just avoid anything that is at all racially-ethnically related (as much as you can) and chalk this up to the first lady being PC police. The Chinese thing is just bizarre, and what the midlevel said was actually offensive too (way more offensive than asking someone how to pronounce their name!).

      I don’t think you need to jobsearch, but I would ride very low under the radar when it comes to talking about anything that an “eggshell” type person might even remotely find sensitive. (Which is lame, BTW. )

    • This was my late response on the other thread:

      Ok I will take the other side. You asked this woman THREE times over the course of a few hours how to pronounce her name. Even if you did not break any rules per se, I think a person with normal social cue reading would have gotten the message after maybe the second attempt. Do you have trouble interpreting social cues in other situations?

      • Anonymous :

        I only asked her name 3 times because the first two times she didn’t say her name, she just replied with “My name is in the signature in my email”. So when she came by my office I said “Good morning, my name is *insert name here*” she replied with “And my name is in the signature of my email”. She gave the exact same response in the hallway when I mentioned that I hadn’t gotten her name. So when I went to seek clarification on the pronunciation I had never heard her say her name before.

        • “And my name is in the signature of my email”. Who in the word says that????!!!!! This is all sorts of craziness. Keep your head down but keep your ears open on office gossip, I suspect there is a back story to this woman and she’s probably equally weird with others as well. It sounds like you didn’t summer at the firm, try to befriend another associate who did and find out some intel. I wonder if the firm has been sued for race discrimination or something like that, or this woman has personally been involved in a lawsuit. Something is very fishy.

        • Anonymous :

          The woman is a freak. Get the hell out. Seriously.

      • Anonymous :

        It looks like the woman was being cagey (or something) by not just saying her name (Hi, I’m Lydia). In fact, when meeting someone, I think you’d say that maybe second after hello.

        WTF with hiding your name. “It’s in my e-mail” is not something I’d ever say.

        • lost academic :

          I actually think this person must have a history and a problem with people not reading emails she sends. That is the best explanation I have for the ways in which she responded. I feel like for a new employee on day 1 it was over the top and slightly rude to act that way without providing a kinder explanation of why you’d respond in such a nonstandard way, and in hindsight, the OP could have explained why she was asking sooner – but again, hindsight, since I’m not sure anyone could have predicted that this would follow the path it did.

          I stand by my original suggestion that you, OP, should look for other employment, but do agree that keeping your head far, far down is a good idea until you get another offer.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah… something is up with this women. It is bizarre that she did not say her name the first two times you asked her for it. I also suspect that she has history… wouldn’t be surprised if she has had a conflict with someone in the past and there were repercussions/reprimands/?lawsuit. Because why were the partners then responding over the top? What the hell?!?

          And for you to be Chinese as well. Something bizarre is going on here.

    • This is all sorts of WTF- no advice but sympathies!

      (1) “Both times I asked her what he name was and both times she said that it was in her email signature.” — WTF? How is this not the definition of rude?

      (2) Asking for proper pronunciation is completely appropriate in any normal world. Or even preferred name. For example, my full first name is Catherine, but I’ve gone by Cat since high school, and anyone using “Catherine” sounds like they’re scolding me — so I sign all my emails Cat, ask people to call me Cat, etc — if someone doesn’t pick up on those hints, I just tell them. I really appreciate it when people ask me my preferred name, much less if I had a hard-to-pronounce name!

      (3) The Chinese thing is super bizarre — especially because it sounds like everyone involved (other than you) is white? I’m not sure what you mean about “on break outside” – at most firms it seems like you’d just close your office door for that type of a call, and in any event skip the personal calls as you’re making an impression – but that’s not the point.

      Sorry I can’t be of more practical advice, but at least solidarity?

    • Anonymous :

      Unfortunately, many Asian (especially Chinese) summer clerks I’ve worked with have had a lot of issues with social awkwardness and making inappropriate comments (to women in particular). I’m not saying this is right, but many lawyers I’ve worked with are now predisposed to expect insensitivity and inappropriateness from Chinese students and are much more likely to jump all over the student at the first sign of anything that might be cultural insensitivity, because we have had so many problems in the past (I’m in the Bay Area, fwiw, so a diverse area with a large Asian-American population). I wonder if there isn’t some of that at play here.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m east coast, so used to asking how to pronounce names.

        Mariska Hargitay — first name is NOT pronounced phonetically!

        Also: Meghan, Meaghan, MEGan, MEEgan. Oy. Maybe this is why Prince used a symbol for a while?

        • Anonymous :

          Mariska is actually pretty phonetic, the only thing that isn’t is that it’s more ISHKA than ISKA. But I’m sure she gets ISKA all the time. Meghan and Meaghan and Megan are all pronounced MEGan unless someone had weird parents, and then it’s on them to tell you that the pronunciation of their name is strange.

          Btw, I didn’t mean that asking how to pronounce names is abnormal in the Bay Area; it’s definitely not. My point was that, even in this area with a large Asian population, I’ve seen a lot of bias (wrong though it might be) in the direction of assuming Chinese people are being rude or insensitive where, in a similar situation, a white person or non-Chinese minority would get the benefit of the doubt that the comment was awkward but well-intentioned.

          But the more you share, the less I believe this. I don’t believe there is a reputable law firm in the United States with so many crazy employees. If it was one partner, yes, but I can’t believe partners and associate and assistants are all behaving so strangely.

          • Anonymous :

            I think the name lady is weird and the other person is crazy. My office is normal, except for a group of 5 or 6 who are batsh*t insane. They had a first year that they used to make stay to midnight every night and then made her cry routinely. Clients love them but they are nasty crazies and very Jeckyll and Hyde, depending on how they think you can benefit them. I avoid like the plague and try to have all interactions by e-mail (just to CYA).

    • +1 – something doesn’t seem to make sense here.

      • I suspect the whole story is made up. Overhead speaking in Mandarin to grandma on first day of work? Really?

    • The fact that someone came up to you and said that you “shouldn’t assume all Asian people are Chinese” indicates to me that you said something other than “how do you pronounce your name again?” when you asked for the pronunciation a third time. I doubt that that admonishment was as random as you’re making it out to be.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry for the confusion in my post. These were 2 separate incidents. The woman whose name I asked for is not Asian.

        I received the “not all Asian people are Chinese” lecture from a (white) mid level associate who heard me conversing in Mandarin with a (white) assistant while we were outside headed back from getting our coffee. She said she heard me speaking Chinese and thought it was rude that I assume all Asian people speak Chinese and are from China.

        • Anonymous :

          Still missing something. . this was a white assistant? It seems odd that everyone at this firm would be this off the wall. . .

          • Anonymous :

            Both the assistant and the mid level associate are white. The assistant heard me speaking Mandarin on the phone when I had gone out to get coffee on my break, and she told me she lived all over Asia as a child because her mother worked for the government. I am the only white person in this scenario (the woman who wouldn’t tell me her name until I asked a third time is also white)

          • Do you mean only non-white?

          • Anonymous :

            Yes *non-white. Gah I hate auto correct and my mobile.

          • Brunchaholic :

            This is ridiculous. OP- your explanation was not confusing. I got it 100%. Why is the assumption that she HAD to have misrepresented something or be mistaken.

            I’m also an Asian American working at a law firm, and while nothing this insane has ever happened to me, people say some pretty outrageous shit to me. Women of all people should know not to jump all over the victim’s throat. I’m so disgusted with the responses here!

        • But you weren’t speaking to an Asian person, right? This is very weird.

        • Are you sure the comment about assumptions wasn’t directed to the assistant?

          • Anonymous :

            She came to my office to make the comment when only I was present and not the assistant.

          • Is there a chance that the comment was meant as a poorly-worded, awkward attempt at an apology? Could the associate think that the assistant was assuming you were Chinese and was trying to comment on the assistant’s assumptions?

            That’s the only way this makes sense to me…

    • There are so many ridiculous red flags here, I don’t know where to start….

      It’s one thing to have a weird interaction with a peer or maybe someone a little more senior than you. But, for it to get SO escalated SO quickly, and you given apparently zero benefit of the doubt. I don’t know if I’d start figuring my exit out immediately or not, but I WOULD be very aware of what’s going on around me. Without a doubt, one more weird incident and I’d absolutely be on my way out the door.

      Separately, I also find it unsettling that this is how a partner would handle what he perceived to be a racial issue with an employee who has been on staff for mere hours. No conversation? No benefit of the doubt? Hate to know how less “sensitive” topics are handled. Does this place have high turnover??

      • Yeah, I completely agree with this. Even if you’ve misunderstood or missed something that makes the reprimands less baffling, it is beyond shocking that they would take this tone with you on your first *day.* On what planet would you not start out with something more “I’m sure this was a misunderstanding, but…” when giving a brand-new associate a talking to? And the second incident is beyond bizarre, someone took the initiative to speak to you in Mandarin and YOU got reprimanded? Something is very off here. I would absolutely start the job search immediately.

        I’m not sure I recommend this (there might be good reasons not to do this) but it might be worth considering sending some sort of short email apology in which you say something like “I didn’t realize that asking you for the correct pronunciation of your name could be perceived as offensive. I was eager to get everything right on my first day at work. Please forgive me for any offense I’ve caused.” Or something. The reason I suggest this is to memorialize your version of the event in writing. But I could see how this might not be a good idea, what do others think?

        • I wouldn’t engage with the crazy-name woman beyond what is absolutely necessary for your job at this point. She sounds like a total loose canon and there’s no predicting how she will respond. The only thing the OP can control at this point is minimizing contact with her (without compromising professionalism).

        • I wouldn’t. Clearly this individual has a low threshold for tolerance of otherwise entirely normal things. I have no idea why or how, but I could see her making an issue out of any sort of follow up.

          • Yeah, all true. Plus, if it’s over, you don’t want to re-open the incident in any way.

            But OP, I’d certainly try to keep most interactions over email/ in writing for now.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        My first thought was “how many times have they been sued for discrimination that this is the partners’ immediate reaction”? This does not sound like somewhere you want to work for long…

    • Legally Brunette :

      This is so ridiculous and absurd that it almost seems fake, but I don’t doubt the veracity of the OP. It’s just so….crazy.

      As someone with an ethnic, difficult name, I very much appreciate people who ask me how to pronounce my name. I absolutely cannot imagine telling someone to look at my email signature!! Talk about rude. Especially to someone starting on their first day. My only other thought is does this woman’s email signature include a phonetic spelling to her name? I doubt it but maybe worth checking.

      I’m sorry, OP. These people sound really off.

      • Anonymama :

        I think the problem may be that OP didn’t indicate that she didn’t know how to pronounce the name, but rather straight up asked what her name was 3 times, when you actually did know it, and could easily look up the email. You should have just said, yes thanks for the email, but I’m not sure how to pronounce your name… Mareeshka? (And take a stab at it). But also all of this sounds very strange, and either it’s a weird place or there was something to those interactions that you were missing.

        • Anonymama :

          Some people are super uncomfortable when they hear others talk in a language they don’t understand, as if they are sure you must be talking about him/saying Something insulting, so maybe white guy was just really awkwardly/racistly trying to say don’t speak Chinese in the office?

          • Anonymous :

            We only spoke Mandarin while we outside, walking back from getting our coffee at a nearby cafe.

    • newbinlaw :

      This is one of the weirdest stories I have ever heard on here… what an awful situation. I would definitely start looking for a new job — not only because you may not be too secure there, but also just… what a terrible work environment.

      Please let us know what happens.. I think everyone is very intrigued!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have a somewhat difficult name to pronounce. But regardless, if someone asked me my name I would tell it to them even if my name was Jane Smith. This woman sounds like a weirdo. And the partner sounds like a weirdo for actually giving her complaints about you are credence. I would stay aware of what is going on, and perhaps start a job search if you think you can lateral somewhere.

      Some people are just weirdos. At an old generally terrible job, I once emailed my assistant on a high holiday, not knowing it was a holiday and that she wasn’t in. And it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be done within a few days-no sense of urgency in the email (not that it really matters). But she decided to complain about it to HR and I got this long lecture about respecting other people’s religions. Ironically, I am the same religion as that assistant (just less observant), and when I said that, the HR person said I couldn’t be Jewish because I am Middle Eastern (!). I think HR one-upped my offensiveness there…. Just one of many ridiculous things hat happened there.

      • Anonymous :

        When I was a first year associate it was assumed that I was Jewish because I have a Jewish sounding name. I’m not though.

        I was given all high holidays off in shared calendar and when I came in the first high holiday since I started working there I was practically pushed out the door an assured I wouldn’t be penalized for taking a day off for a religious holiday. They also would order me a different meal when we had food ordered to the office because they assumed I was following Jewish dietary prescriptions.

        It took several emails and in person discussions for me to get across that while I have nothing against Jewish people, I am not Jewish. At first the partners thought I was just saying that because I was afraid of asking for days off or special meals because it would look bad on me.

        Once they realized I was being serious things got really uncomfortable because they thought I was implying that being Jewish was a bad thing because I denied that I was. I left shortly afterwards for a different firm when the discomfort got to be too much.

        • Anonymous :

          That is so crazy. For one thing, many (most?) Jews don’t need special meals or take high holidays off. What an insane story.

        • Anonymous :

          At my last job, a few months after I started, the person who managed the firm calendar called me to ask which of the high holidays I would be taking off so she could make sure we had court coverage. After I figured out what she was talking about, I informed her that, despite my last name, I’m not Jewish.

        • Anonymous :

          lol! I am surprised they didn’t look for your horns.

    • I feel like pronouncing a person’s name correctly is a sign of respect and I always try to listen to what a person wants to be called. Like not called someone who goes by Deborah Debbie or not pronouncing Alicia Aleesha when they pronounce it Aleceeya. So here’s the thing. You didn’t ask her how to pronounce her name until the third time. You asked her what her name was, when you clearly knew what her name was. If you weren’t satisfied with the answer, the respectful thing would have been to say “I would really like to pronounce your name correctly. It’s important to me. Please tell me how you pronounce it.” The first time. Not the third time. That said, your boss is way overreacting. But you didn’t handle this perfectly yourself.

    • Anonymous :

      The “while I was on my break outside” comment alone tells me this story is not real. Large law firms don’t give associates formal breaks.

      • Yeah, I was with you until I got there. What were you taking a break from? The first day of BigLaw is training and getting taken out for a nice lunch. This is bizarre all around.

  4. What product do you use to track changes to websites? I am thinking of a product that would send an alert whenever there’s a change to the website or something along that line.

    Thanks!

    • I used Versionista for this a few years ago. While I can’t recall whether it sent alerts, I do recall being generally satisfied with the product.

  5. Anonymous :

    Kat! You should do a review of the diet/health books that you read! I love diet/health books, so if anyone has suggestions, share

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I just finished It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell and liked it a lot. She’s a food blogger who lost over 100 pounds. It was a memoir that was heavily focused on her childhood.

  6. Yay Kat! This is alot like my setup in my home office. I have a treadmill / ellypeitcal, and a stationery BIKE that I and Myrna use to stay SVELETE, all while watcheing my NEW HTDV! I finaly got the cottage cheeze smell out of my head, tho Myrna’s Freind’s freind still reminds me of a fish tank that needs fresher water!

    When I was a littel girl, Grandma Trudy gave me a gold fish b/c I had lovley golden hair and told me to take care of it. It was in a bowl and I had to change the water every 3rd day or it got all cloudy b/c of the fish poop that was on the bottom of the bowl. So I got tired of changeing the water, and the fish died. Dad got VERY mad at me for NOT takeing care of the fish and said that he realy hoped I would take better care of my husband when I grew up. I agreed, and he got me another fish.

    But he also was smart b/c he got me a tank with a filter so that I did NOT have to clean the tank every other day. The fish got VERY big and then we gave it to a seafood restrunt that put it in their fishtank. I think the fish lived for many year’s in their fish tank b/f it finalley died.

    What I learned from this is to always take care of your pet’s, or they will NOT live long. FOOEY!

  7. I am a 3L in law school and have had a FitDesk since the end of 1L year. It’s absolutely fantastic. I use to to do reading and when I am watching TV. It’s stable enough that I can surf on my laptop. This does not make me sick like a treadmill desk does (where your eyes are moving up and down so it’s hard to read–you’re pretty much in the same place). It has a very thoughtful little drawer under the desk that I keep my pens and highlighter in.

    The resistance is not quite as much as a regular exercise bike, but it’s still enough that you are tired if you ride for a half hour or more. I probably use it 3+ hours a week.

    It’s not quite an upright bike but also not recumbent. It has back support and my lower back doesn’t hurt when I am riding. I am pretty tall and leggy and it works well for me–definitely adjusts high enough.

    I assembled it myself and it took about an hour.

    A few months ago, the meter which tracks speed and distance broke. I emailed the company and they sent a free replacement, only charging me a few dollars for postage. (So fast! So responsive.)

    For real, I could not love my FitDesk more. I am definitely taking it to my firm next year to put in my office. I am a total evangelist for this product. If you’re on the fence, go for it. I’ve burned thousands of calories on this, just doing things I’d normally do (like my reading).

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      It sounds great… Are you ever worried about breaking a sweat while using it at the office though? Or is the resistance low enough that’s not a concern?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I wonder if I could hack my regular exercise bike at home so that I could put my laptop on it. I could definitely code documents while biking instead of just sitting on my couch.

  8. Not that long ago in relative terms we were a mostly agrarian society. Now we have to use strange torturous-looking devices like this to try to make up for our natural state of tending the sheep or hoeing rows or whatever.

    I’m in the same boat but it always strikes me as weird.

    • Or we put a lot of effort and sometimes money into finding ways to move our bodies before or after work, since (office) work treats our bodies as irrelevant at best, and more often just a source of inconvenient delays and constraints. I think about this too. In a system that prizes efficiency, it’s amazingly inefficient.

    • Anonymama :

      Think of it like this: people would rather get exercise this way than, say, spending all their time hand washing clothes in the bathtub, or chopping firewood and hauling it all over for heating and hot water. But yes, I do kind of laugh at the cross-fitters paying money to carry bags of sand around, as I spent a lot of weekends carrying buckets of gravel and sand up a hill while doing landscaping stuff.

  9. I’m new to NYC and I’d like to get out of the city and into some nature in the warmer temps this weekend. Are there places to hike within a 90 minute or so drive?

    • Harriman State Park is wonderful and has hundreds of miles of hiking trails within an hour’s drive of the city. You can purchase and download interactive maps for your phone at the New York/NJ Trail Conference website. Their website also has tons of great suggestions for hikes that you can filter by many criteria (length, difficulty, access to public transportation, etc)

      • Sounds perfect, thank you!

        • Remember that you shouldn’t expect the conditions in Harriman to be exactly the same as the city. Often there will be no snow here, but several inches of snow/icy mud/whatever on the ground there, especially through the early spring. So you’ll want appropriate boots, clothing, and gear, even if it’s 60 degrees and dry in the city. (Just mentioning because I’ve had several friends head up there and have miserable trips after wearing jeans and sneakers).

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Harriman is gorgeous. You could do a trip to Storm King – huge outdoor sculpture garden, which I believe you have to pay to enter– not hiking, but there’s tons of walking and hills. Another suggestion is to hike Mt Beacon. Beacon itself is a cute little town with pubs and coffee shops and a killer art museum (DIA.)

    • You can take the 1 train up to Van Cortlandt Park.

  10. Bonus and Raises :

    Curious how everyone handles bonuses and raises with their spouses/SOs. My husband recently got a large raise at his current job, and he was just offered a new job that will also have a sizeable raise over his new salary, plus the opportunity for a bonus of up to 10 percent of base. We work somewhat similar hours in similar jobs. Because of the structure of my company, I get only small raises and have no opportunity for a bonus. We’re really trying to figure out what is fair here. Should he get a portion of the extra money to spend on himself? He got the raise and the new job because of his stellar performance, and future bonuses are entirely discretionary (so he only gets it if he does really well). At the same time, he really busted his backside for the raise. But his extra busting meant that I was picking up the slack at home. So it isn’t that he was working late at the office while I was lounging around the house. I was home solo with our kids. But then, while I don’t have the opportunity for a large raise or any bonus in my current job, I’m hoping to change jobs in another couple of years and expect my next job to pay 75-100% more than my current job (I’m in non-profit now and my position at a for-profit company would easily earn twice what I make now, possibly more). And my husband, who is also in non-profit, could transition down the line to a job that also makes about 2x what he currently earns. So it might sort of even out over the long run? Or maybe not. Just curious how other people handle it. We’re thinking maybe the person who’s getting paid the extra can take, say, the differential in the first month’s pay, or X% of a bonus for personal use and the rest goes to the family.

    • This is why our finances are 100% joint. Our money is family money, and we decide our priorities and allocation of resources together.

      • We are the same BUT, if I’m lusting after something and I get my bonus, he is perfectly ok with me making an extra purchase out of said bonus money (~$500). He doesn’t get bonuses, but he also is allowed a splurge here and there. I would bet it all nets neutral in the end.

        • Anonymous :

          Same here. I may spend $200-300, or roughly 10% on myself, but the rest just goes into our joint account.
          My spouse, like yours, does not get bonuses, despite working just as hard – I am happy to share my success.

    • Anonymous :

      In our household, the increase in comp would be to benefit the whole. With bonuses, we normally bank them in our joint account, though there’s something of an unspoken, unspecific practice that the person who actually earns the bonus can use a portion of it for something fun (so like $500 or less – past purchases have been watches, handbag for me, stereo equip for him, etc.).

    • All Bonuses go into the family pot in our house. They increase the overall income which in turn increases our fun money allowances a bit.

    • All of our money is in a common pool, salary, bonuses or whatever.

      In the past we’ve decided to take a small part and do something special for me with part of a bonus (Canyon Ranch!), but that was all part of our family budgeting. It would have been the same with any windfall.

    • I should be clear — everything is joint. We have only one bank account. But we do each get a little “me” money each month that we can use however we want. But we each pay for our gym memberships, clothes, haircuts, and anything we buy only for our own use (e.g., a book only one of us wants to read) out of that money. We also have “us” fun money for the whole family. So something like buying a watch or a purse, or taking a solo vacation, would be paid out of this money. The question is whether the “me” money should get a little extra for the person who is being paid the raise/bonus.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’d suggest that each of you get a little extra “me” money from the bonus. And if it feels good and right to the two of you, maybe let his “little extra” be a little bigger than his “little extra.”

      • I don’t know that there’s a “should” here, but I can say what we do. My husband is in a line of work with substantial bonuses, and I am an academic (read: bonuses not a thing, although occasionally I get an $80 royalty check). The bonus money goes to our joint account, and we might decide to make a joint splurge with part of it (weekend away, new piece of furniture, etc), but he does not get access to any more of it than I do. Basically, we think of it like any other income, and it is fully joint money. He also doesn’t get more spending money than me, despite earning 2x my salary most years.

    • We treat everything as joint. I feel that to do otherwise is such a slippery slope. My husband works the same hours as I do–maybe slightly more–but makes twice as much. His bonus was literally 10 times what mine was this year. My job is just as stressful, if not more so. I just happen to work in the public sector and he works in the private sector. yes, he deserves his bonus, and he worked hard for it, but if every year he got to spend part of it on himself, while I got a fraction of that amount of discretionary funds–it would honestly breed resentment.

    • Our finances are totally joint — we do not have specific “me” money. Fortunately, neither of us is prone to be a big spender, so we haven’t had to have any “discussions” about what either of us feels is irresponsible use of our joint funds.

      However, when I received my nice fat Biglaw bonuses, we did discuss as a couple what to do with them. The outcome was that I would have a one-time splurge on something for myself (under $1000 — one year it was a Burberry coat, another year Ferragamo heels) and the remainder was used to further “joint” things — my law school loans in the early years, then split between our vacation budget and saving for a down payment on our now-house.

    • Anonymous :

      In our house all bonuses and raises get directed straight to savings. Fun.

    • Anonymous :

      As someone with 100% joint finances, I find this concept of taking some amount of the money out for individual spending before putting it in the family pot really weird. But if you want to do it that way, you should each get the same amount. I would flip if my husband came home with a bonus and said “I’m taking part of this as “my” money and the rest will be shared.” I wouldn’t begrudge him at all if he got a bonus and decided to buy something he’d been wanting with part of it, but I also wouldn’t feel bad about using part of his bonus to buy myself something. You get money as a family, you spend money as a family. Thinking of the bonus as “his” is really weird IMO.

      • Yes, I agree. I read OP’s post and couldn’t figure out where the question was even coming from. Your married, your money is joint, doesn’t matter who got the bonus, both of you get to enjoy it. The end.

      • Anon for this :

        I’m always amazed at the myriad ways of handling finances. My first year at my job my boss came by and asked how I wanted my Christmas bonus. I thought he wanted to know if I was going to adjust my 401k contributions or something and I said no, regular treatment is fine. Then he clarified, combined with my paycheck or separate check. Apparently some employees requested a separate check so they didn’t have to even TELL their spouse about it. Oy.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ll give a slightly different answer since I’m married but our finances are separate. When one of us gets money like that unexpectedly, we like to put it in our travel fund most of the time but are generally ok with spending at least a portion of it on ourselves. The travel fund works best for us because then we both enjoy it together.

    • This feels like a good example of why trying to keep finances separate just leads to disagreements. One poster said her husband “gets to” spend a little money on himself. It feels weird to me, like the husband is a child. And the idea that a husband would give his wife a monetary gift from his bonus because she was supportive feels worse than childlike.

      In a real adult relationship you should have common financial goals. You know the discretionary money the household has available and you spend accordingly. I don’t mean that you have to save every penny and never splurge. You should be able to get a new handbag or whatever if you want one and your household can afford one and your husband should be able to buy his electronics or whatever without asking permission.

      I’m assuming that if you’re old enough to be earning salaries and cohabitation you can work together on a household budget as well.

      I can’t imagine the separation of money leads to anything but fighting and feelings of unfairness.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’ll give a counterpoint to this. When I was married our finances were about the only thing that worked well. We were 100% “our money” in that both paychecks were direct deposited to a joint account, from which most household expenses were paid. But we also each had separate checking and savings accounts for discretionary purchases like handbags or electronics, and money (identical amounts) was transferred into those accounts every payday. Far from leading to fighting and unfairness, it reduced conflict over money because we each knew exactly how much discretionary money we had to spend and we didn’t have to account for our share or worry about both of us wanting to splurge in the same pay period, or anything like that. That was the way we worked together on our household budget.

        • Anonymous :

          I think this is very different from what OP is proposing. She is talking about the husband taking a larger share of a bonus for himself because “he earned it.” To me, that is very different than spouses transferring an identical amount of money each month to separate fun spending accounts. What you did sounds way more equal and less possessive about “my money” versus “your money.”

          I’m also not sure I would agree with your conclusion that you’re an example of this kind of thing working. Your marriage ended, and even if the separation of money wasn’t a source of conflict, your approach to money may have been symptomatic of underlying trust issues. Maybe it’s just my personal bias, but almost everyone I know who has been reluctant to merge finances with their spouse has gotten divorced. And the separate finance system “worked well” for them while they were married. Reluctance to merge finances (absent some specific practical reason) tends to be very correlated with lack of trust in the spouse, which obviously doesn’t bode well.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            I wouldn’t say we are “reluctant” to merge finances, but it seems like a royal pain to do so. We were older when we got married, so we already had our own investment, retirement, checking, savings, etc. accounts and obviously each had our own credit cards, debit cards, student loans, auto loans, etc. I don’t see any advantage of redoing everything and having to redo direct deposits, try to merge investments, etc. We just named each other as beneficiaries on the accounts and left things as is.

          • Anonymous :

            But you effectively did merge finances if you named each other as beneficiaries on each other’s accounts. I’m talking about people who kept accounts separate because they didn’t want their spouse having access to their account or “their” money.

          • Anonymous :

            btw, Anon BigLaw we did exactly the same; we also had all sorts of separate accounts and credit cards when we got married (even though we were only 25) and just made them all joint accounts. I tell people our finances are 100% joint, because we think of it as joint money. It would never occur to me that just because our paychecks go in different accounts we have “separate finances.”

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Yeah, I feel the same way. It’s not like there is “my” money and “his” money. I don’t really think about it much because we don’t argue about money. But that is honestly easy to avoid, as two high income earners who are both fairly frugal. I could see this being a lot harder if we had a tight budget to stick to.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I know the OP wasn’t proposing what I described. I was responding to the poster above me who couldn’t understand having any separate money at all.

            And really, ironically, we did completely merge our finances. The separate accounts were very small in comparison with the household budget and were more a bookkeeping thing than anything else. Believe me, I WISH I’d been reluctant to completely merge finances! It would have saved me a bundle! LOL

      • I’m the opposite. I can’t imagine how being accountable for every penny doesn’t breed resentment. My DH and I have joint priorities but we have also retained our individual personalities and wants and having to negotiate every purchase out of a shared pot would feel infantilizing to me. However it obviously works for other couples so maybe you do you and don’t worry so much about what other couples do.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Exactly. That was what I was trying to say. Logistically it was just a lot easier for each person to have a separate account for discretionary purchases.

    • anonymous :

      In our household, bonuses are split 75% go into the shared pot, and 25% go to the person who earned it. The way we split money is highly dependent on circumstances (who’s earning more, who gets bonuses, equity, etc), so we change it whenever we change jobs or anything major rather than expecting it to all even out. We also don’t have kids, so there’s less “slack” to pick up when one person is focusing more on work. If I were in your position, I’d probably put it all into the shared. You enabled his success by handling the home and kids. It’s a family effort.

      And not combining finances means you don’t have the same financial priorities.

      • Away game :

        Disagree that separate finances mean different priorities. DH and I have never bothered to merge finances, despite almost 20 yrs together, three house purchases, and 3 kids. We have a great system (for us!) and are totally on the same page as far as spending and savings priorities. May not work for everyone, but we don’t have arguments about money.

        • anonymous :

          No, I’m agreeing with you- different finances don’t mean different priorities. We are mostly split with a very small portion of things- really just the house and a joint checking account for bills.

  11. Anonymous :

    For those of you who have deactivated or left Facebook, how do you deal with learning (or not) about life events like babies being born? These are real life friends who we email and text with and see every month or two. But it seems like the de facto communication for such announcements is Facebook. I’m not going to post some good-bye flounce post or expect that anyone send me a special communication when I’m not family and they have more important things to deal with. But Facebook makes me feel poorly and makes me think less of real friends and I don’t want it in my life anymore.

    • Anonymous :

      Preface this by saying I still have and use my FB account, but I think that for friends who I see/text regularly, I would probably find out about the birth via text. However, as a fairly recent new mother, the more peripheral friends were probably only told on FB. It’s easy, it’s painless, it gets the word out when you are so exhausted but excited. And it is fun to look back on that first photo and see the well wishes after the fact. Can you ask a mutual friend to fill you in?

    • Anonymous :

      I got rid of it a while ago. I decided that if I wasn’t close enough with someone to hear about their baby from them personally, that it probably doesn’t matter to me all that much if I miss the announcement. Probably harsh, but also true. Leaves more space in my life for my family and close friends.

      • +1 and it gives me a lot more to talk about when I do finally see the people that may not have been great about keeping in touch off FB. Sadly though, I have missed one or two parties because good friends forgot that I wouldn’t see the invite. They still remembered to tell me but it was just a couple of days before rather than a month earlier when they first posted it.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have a Facebook account and my husband quit using his years ago, for the same reasons you don’t want it in your life. We keep in touch with our old friends by e-mail and telephone and make an effort to see them when we are in town. People who actually care whether we hear about their new baby will send an e-mail or call. We don’t have a wide “network” of casual Facebook “friends,” but we are still in touch with the people who really matter. For us, the real communication problem arises with family. They are all on the Facebook and share their photos and news there and don’t bother to keep in touch by phone or e-mail any more, so we are out of the loop on a lot of the family happenings. We will sometimes send out a group text to the entire family with a photo or video and our latest news, and people will keep responding for a few days, but then it will die out.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re deactivating, I don’t think it’s weird to post a message before you do so that says “I’m deactivating my Facebook but I’d love to stay in touch; send me an email at __ or text at __ so I have your info.” I have seen people do this. You could post this as a public status so everyone will see it (but less personal) or you could reach out to people you care about staying in touch with but don’t already have an email/text relationship with (for me this would be probably <5% of my Facebook "friends").

    • Diana Barry :

      My DH has a FB acct but doesn’t use it – seems like a good balance between being an active user and deactivating.

      • Anonymous :

        My husband does too. But since he never checks it, he wouldn’t see announcements about life events. So I don’t think that solves the OP’s problem.

    • Wildkitten :

      If people want me to know about their babies they have to actually tell me through like an email or a text message.

      • lawsuited :

        Yes, if PEOPLE want YOU to know that they had a baby then they’ll text or email (or even call!) you, but if YOU want to know that PEOPLE had a baby then you have to stick with Facebook.

    • Meg Murry :

      I think you can say something to your actual, IRL friends and ask that they send you pictures or announcements via email or text, but you can’t be upset if they don’t choose to send a message just to you separately from when they post it to Facebook – especially when it comes to things like new babies.

      Is there another friend that gets your Facebook aversion that is within your friend circle? Could you say to that person “Hey, so Facebook makes me feel like crap so I’m avoiding it right now. Could you let me know if there are any major life announcements that go out via Facebook that I should know about?”

      Alternately, if you know someone is due to have a baby soon, you could bookmark just that person’s page and check only it every few days. That doesn’t work as well for other big announcements made via Facebook that aren’t expected though.

      FWIW, I’m coming full circle to where you are, because I’ve missed some pretty major announcements that went out via Facebook when my page was flooded with other people’s crap. For instance, my cousin and his fiancee decided to just elope and then put it up on Facebook. I totally missed it, and was confused when his fiancee changed her name on Facebook to his last name until I found the post that was a week old at that point.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, I appreciate your and others advice here. I have no expectations that I should receive any kind of special texts or emails because I’m not on FB. Definitely don’t want to impose on anyone. I think I will have to come full circle too and continue blocking people with abandon but log on sometimes.

  12. Wool underwear :

    Can anyone recommend any merino wool underwear? I bought some technical underwear from ExOfficio and the shape/cut is great, but I find that natural fibers breathe better and smell better. I’ve heard that merino wool underwear is becoming a thing and would appreciate any recommendations! My merino wool sweaters have held up much better than cotton and I’m curious if the same would be true for other items.

    • Have you considered natural silk? Might be easier to find!

    • I love my Icebreaker ones, very comfy and they don’t ride at all during exercise. Smartwool is a close second. They breathe well and don’t smell like the ExOfficio ones do.

    • I’ve had a few things, including undies, made by a Canadian company (really just two seamstresses) called Ureshii Design. I don’t have their underwear in wool, but they offer them in merino as well. Their stuff is very affordable and extremely well made; I’ve been happy with everything I’ve gotten from them.

    • Anonymous :

      Smartwool’s underwear is great. It looks exactly the same as the day I bought it, washes well, and looks pretty good for basic underwear. Expensive, but depending on how often you do laundry, it might be the only underwear you need. Google SmartWool Microweight Bikini.

  13. Anonymous :

    I just found out I have to have surgery to take out my gallbladder – it’s not urgent and my surgical consultation is not for 10 days. My mom offered to go with me to the consult, and I declined, but now I’m wondering if I should take her up on it. I’m not married; my bf will be out of town that day. Would it be helpful to have a second person there? I feel a little ridiculous dragging my mom in since I’m in my mid-30s but maybe it would be helpful.

    • Carrie.... :

      Absolutely.

      I strongly feel that for all important doctor’s appointments…. like discussing a new diagnosis or planning for a surgery… you should try to have someone there. These appointments are stressful, and you are kidding yourself if you say they aren’t. When you are stressed, you sometimes aren’t thinking as clearly, forget to ask all of the questions, misremember some of the responses and sometimes are too “polite” with the doctors and don’t push enough for what you need. Having another pair of eyes or ears to help with this, particularly if they know you well, is so so helpful.

      How lucky you are that you have a Mom that lives so close and loves you so much that she wants to be there for you. Hug her, thank her, and bring her.

      It will also make her feel very good, because it shows her you still need her, that she can still help even though you are all grown up and doing well, and… because she is going to worry about you more than anyone while you are in surgery, and being involved will be comforting to her.

      No brainer!

      Good luck to you. Get the minimally invasive procedure by the doc who has done hundreds of them.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 My MIL recently had surgery and I went to some of the pre-op and post-op visits with her. I think it was a good thing that someone was with her, because she’s a (really) smart lady but she forgot to ask some questions that I knew were important to her (because we had talked about them beforehand) while we were in the appointment, so I was able to ask them for her, and she forgot/misremembered some details which I was able to relay to FIL and other health practicitioners. Having an extra pair of ears won’t hurt.

    • Diana Barry :

      For the consult? She definitely doesn’t need to go, unless you are not sure whether you will have it removed or not and want help making that decision, or if you worry that you would be nervous and not ask all the right questions.

      Someone will need to go with you to the surgery to pick you up etc., but the surgeon will probably be scheduling a while out.

      I had my surgery “right away” after my attack, but it was 2+ months after.

    • Gallbladder :

      I think you should take her for the reasons that Carrie listed above. I recently had to have mine out and ended up taking my husband to my last GI appointment and the surgical consult because I wanted to have another pair of ears so I could remember everything correctly and in case I forgot any questions I had. I was very glad I did that, if only because I didn’t have to repeat everything the doctor said to him when I got home.

      By the way, I was so so so glad to have my gallbladder removed. I think it had been going south for many months and I just didn’t know what was wrong. The other thing is that many people told me I’d be fine in 5 days. That was true–I was ok and could sit at a desk for a normal 8-hour day, but it was more like 10 days before I was close to 100% and not getting tired easily. Good luck!

  14. Advice? It’s helpful for me to play music or podcasts (very quietly) to tune out my suitemate, but my boss has made comments about earbuds coming across rude and making me appear disengaged. The boss completely understands how bad the suitemate’s chatter/laughter/anger/personal calls/medical details can be, but is offended by the headphone solution. I’m in a desk that’s visible to most guests, so I understand his point. I think “invisible” cordless/Bluetooth earbuds could be a fix. Has anyone else encountered anything similar? Found a fix?

    • It seems a little nuts that he understands about a terrible suitemate yet is not addressing that, and instead is addressing your way of dealing with it. Could you ask him what he thinks a reasonable solution is? It seems pretty unfair to leave the suitmate’s behavior alone but complain about yours.

    • Perhaps you could try a white noise machine?

    • Wildkitten :

      Bluetooth earbuds aren’t any less obvious than other earbuds.

      Say the kitten who wears giant headphones on purpose.

    • I don’t need to drone people out, but need a little white noise to get through the day. I like noisili. Give it a try and see if the extra sound can distract you from your suite mates without requiring headphones.

  15. Is it silly to put off TTC because I sit in a cubicle and would like to have an office first? I’m currently a mid-level associate and office culture is that everyone who has children (or currently pregnant) is older and more senior. It almost seems silly that 28 is viewed as too young to start a family and the scary truth is that you never know how long it will take.

    • Yes, silly.

    • Anonymous :

      I read the first line and immediately said “Yes” and then read the rest. I do think it’s crazy to wait to TTC because you want a private office (like the OP from earlier today who has anxiety barfing in front of a man). I don’t think it’s crazy to wait to TTC until you are more established in your career though. Ultimately I think it comes down to which is your bigger priority, your career or having a biological kid. If’s it a bio kid, try now. If it’s your career, wait. Hopefully you will get both, many people do. But think about what you would want if you had to pick one and let that guide you.

      • Meg Murry :

        Yes, I think waiting until you have a private office isn’t the best reason, because your company could decide to move to a place with fewer offices or rip out all the offices and go to an open plan space or go bankrupt tomorrow.

        But I can see that waiting until you are farther in your career in general could be a good move – especially if higher positions comes with more flexibility to set your own schedule, pick which projects your are on, decide if you are going to travel or not, potentially come back part time with fewer repercussions, etc.

        Any chance you are anxious about TTC and have latched on to this as a “reason” because you actually have some other underlying reason about not being ready? Because it’s perfectly valid to not want to TTC yet just because you don’t feel ready – and vice versa, perfectly valid to TTC even if you are younger than the typical age of women in your office having kids.

    • You should start TTC whenever you want to. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get an office. Don’t let the lack of an office prevent you from starting.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. You have no idea how long TTC might take — hopefully happens quickly and easily but for many people it takes some time. If you’re ready now, go for it now. Consider yourself a trailblazer for younger women who want to start families well before advanced maternal age.

    • NOT crazy. I’m 27, I’ve been married for 7 years (I know, child bride, blah blah blah), we’ve been TTC for 5 years and no dice. I’m fortunate that we started so young despite being in law school and young and poor and whatever, because it turns out we’re highly unlikely to get pregnant on our own. There were no indicators of infertility until, well, being infertile. And now I’m a third year associate and still “young” professionally but it could still take years of IVF to actually conceive…so even though there will be talk about being so young (just like I will always hear about my early marriage), my family is so much more important to me than the gossip. Both my husband and I are big law and plan to keep working post-birth, whenever that happens.

      I’m not saying “it’ll take forever so start now,” but I am saying you can’t know until you try. Be ready to get pregnant from month 1, but if you’re going to regret not having bio kids, start now!

      • Sorry–not silly*. Also not crazy, but you were asking about whether it was silly. And I agree with you, obviously.

    • That is a silly reason to wait. Start now.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. I TTC at 28 because we want 3 and i know it can take a while. Took 6 months for #1 (had her at 29-turning-30) and took 6-7 months for us to conceive #2 (will have tuned 32 when she’s born). We got lucky; part of why t took us a while is that our schedules are insane and my cycles are unpredictable. If we go for #3 I’m going to assume it’ll take a year and be surprised if it doesn’t.

    • I think waiting “to have an office first” is silly if you would like privacy to pump because there are many other women out there who have had children without such a privilege. However, if you meant that you’d like to be more established in your career and better financial security, then no, not silly.

  16. anon job interview question :

    I have a job interview but I am worried about being asked why I left my last job.

    I had worked there for over three years. I was fired. The environment had become toxic and I was planning on sticking it out until I found a new job but I was let go before I could.

    My old boss was insane and he would fire people for reasons that made no sense. He fired an assistant for using too many staples. He fired a male employee for wearing a pink tie too many times. I got let go because my phone rang 3 times before I picked it up because I was rushing back from the photocopier.

    The whole crazy and toxic environment was fueled by my boss. I didn’t steal and I wasn’t insubordinate or always late or anything like that. I have no idea what to say if one of the interviewers asks me why I left my last job. I was there for over 3 years but I did not give them as a reference because people are getting fired for giving them now. What’s a polite, interview appropriate way that I can say “I got fired because my boss was crazy”? I don’t want to lie about me being fired vs. me leaving.

    • Anonymous :

      “It wasn’t really a good fit. My understanding is the official reason I was let go was because I let the phone ring 3 times before I picked it up. I liked X and Y from old job, but am really looking forward to finding A and B in the next place I work.”

      Use the facts you have and let the interviewer draw the conclusion. Don’t explain boss was crazy – that would be pretty evident from the statement above. Make an unemotional statement about it, and then find something to transition to that brings it back to the interview and potential job.

  17. Two Cents :

    I’ve never bought anything from Limited in the last decade, but this dress looks cute. Anyone seen it in person or anyone actually own it and can give feedback?

    http://www.thelimited.com/product/pleated-tulip-dress/3142400.html?dwvar_3142400_colorCode=214&cgid=dresses&prefn1=saleStatus&swatch=n&start=51&prefv1=regular&ppid=c51

  18. Post-interview :

    We’ve talked about attire for pre-interview lunches, but what about post-interview lunches? I had an interview several months ago with a well-regarded partner who had just moved to a new firm. The partner wants to build a team but was not in a position to do so at that time. I reached out to him recently and he suggested we meet for lunch. Do I have to wear a suit for this, or is a blazer and dress appropriate?

    Fwiw, my office is rather casual so it’s tough to wear suiting material without raising eyebrows. I’ve been interviewing a lot lately so folks are starting to notice that I’m wearing suit skirts rather often.

    • lawsuited :

      I think separates are fine for this, but they should still be suiting material (rather than ponte or twill or some other more casual fabric) so I’m not sure it helps? If wearing a pant suit rather than a skirt suit would assuage suspicion, then it’s obviously fine to wear a pant suit instead of a skirt suit.

  19. (not that) Ellen :

    Does anyone have any experience with VB6? I was an ovo-lacto veg for about 25 years and am still “flexitarian” in that I eat only fish and foul, and only for ~3-5 meals a week. So VB6 would be a pretty easy adjustment and sounds appealing if it’s going to improve my overall health. My question is, is there a reason he does the vegan part before 6pm? I prefer to eat my “heavier” calories by mid-afternoon and eat light in the evening; it just makes my easily-irritated digestive system happier. Wondering if the lifestyle would be as effective if it were “vegan after 1” instead of before 6? Is it a matter of which hours, or just how many?

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Bittman himself says to pick what time works for you: “Q: Is there a scientific reason you chose 6:00 p.m. as the time to begin eating animal products? A: The point of VB6 is to eat more plant food and fewer animal products. You can adjust the time to fit your lifestyle.” Source: http://markbittman.com/i-answer-frequently-asked-questions-about-vb6/

    • Wildkitten :

      I think the focus is vegan 2/3 of the time. You could do it all day on weekdays and no meals on weekends, for example.

    • As a software developer, I immediately thought you were talking about Visual Basic 6

  20. Bereavement Leave :

    Has anyone here ever had to request bereavement leave twice in very short succession?

    My paternal grandfather passed away a week ago today. I worked from home last Friday and took one day of PTO on Tuesday (thank you, President’s Day). I just heard that my maternal grandmother passed away hours ago, and while it shouldn’t bother me, I am feeling apprehensive about requesting time off again (likely next Monday, possibly Monday and Tuesday). Any commiseration or similar stories welcomed. Thanks.

    • Yep, it happens. That’s how life goes sometimes. I’m sorry for your losses, and I hope that your company is as understanding as they should be. If it makes you feel better, you can include a link to the online obituary for your grandmother (nearly all funeral homes have something on their website now). You shouldn’t feel obligated to prove anything (assuming all is going well at work), but that may ease your mind about potential doubts they might have.

      • Wildkitten :

        Same. It happens, sorry for your loss. I worked in an office that balked at this for me and it was just another huge red flag of the many they already had. Normal people won’t balk.

    • My grandmother passed away and a friend passed away. The services were within two weeks of each other and I took time off for both since the services were each a state away and during the work day. I think I took off 4 days total.

    • Take the time. I didn’t think I needed it as services were on the weekend, but it was nice to decompress with a bereavement day after a weekend of family mourning time.

  21. Anon for This :

    How much do people talk in the legal community? My firm just did a round of layoffs and I’m considering floating my resume to a couple of other firms and potentially even applying to job postings in the future. I’d like to stay at my current firm, but I also want to be proactive.

    When I told my boyfriend this plan he warned me to be careful as “people talk”. He is in a completely different industry, so I wanted to seek advice here since there are so many lawyers. I definitely would not want my current firm to know I was looking – do partners talk about this stuff across firms? If it matters, I am a transactional real estate associate in a coastal city with a large legal market. Thanks!

    • lawsuited :

      I guess it may vary from city to city (I think it’s fair to say that the entire “legal community” spanning many countries and continents would not be talking about your resume), but based on my experience in my large city, people do talk and you would be wise to proceed with caution as your boyfriend suggests. At this stage, I would tell peers that you trust at other firms that you might be looking to make a move so that they can network for you and tell you about opportunities that they hear about at their firm or others, but I wouldn’t send out your resume unless it’s in response to a specific opportunity.

    • Anonymous :

      They’re not supposed to blab, but sometimes it happens. Confidentiality is one of the benefits of working with a recruiter. A firm doesn’t get your resume unless they’re actually interested in considering you. So if they accept your resume, they understand they need to keep it confidential.

      Nothing is perfect though. I dropped a recruiter because it got back to my firm that I was looking. I told the recruiter I did not want to apply to Firm X. I didn’t tell him that the reason I didn’t want to apply there was because my boss’s FWB was on Firm X’s hiring committee, and the FWB had it out for me because I was the younger woman working closely with the man she was in love with who wouldn’t commit to her. My recruiter stupidly submitted my resume to Firm X. My boss confronts me about applying there. I deny it. He then screams at me for lying to him and that looking around is one thing but betraying his trust is another blah blah blah. So I fired my recruiter and told the recruiter’s boss what happened. Moral of the story: make damn sure your resume doesn’t make its way into the hands of someone your boss is sleeping with.

      • Anonymous :

        This is anon @ 5:32 but I had another word of caution – be very careful about attending networking events with people you interviewed with and people you work with. Twice now I’ve had an attorney approach me at a networking event and say, “IT WAS SO NICE TO MEET YOU AT THE INTERVIEW I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB.” Well she probably didn’t shout it but it felt like it.

        • Haha, on the other side, this summer I went to a BBQ with a friend at his boss’s house that the friend’s former boss (industry party) was at. I had interviewed with former boss that month. So he shakes my hand and introduces himself and as I’m holding his hand I go, “we’ve met!” And when he asks where I said, “you interviewed me!” And watched him sweat (I passed on the job)

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