Poll: Let’s talk Sarah Palin.

Ok.  We’ve seen a zillion things about this in the media and kind of wanted to weigh in with you guys about it, even though we try to keep this blog apolitical.  We’ve read about how Biden’s primary strategy in the debates was to “go easy on Palin” and not look like a jerk.  We’ve read people dissing her clothes, her hair, and her shoes.  We’ve heard “real” feminists talk about how the “pro-woman rhetoric surrounding Sarah Palin’s nomination is a grotesque bastardization of everything feminism has stood for,” and the few “feminist” supporters she does have have probably ruined their careers.  (Wow, and we’ve just found this great link to Jon Stewart’s thoughts on the debate.)

As a young woman working today, what do you think of all this?  We keep thinking of Dan Quayle — people called him an idiot and made fun of his hairspray, too, but we didn’t get the same sense of indignation — no one seemed to be saying, how dare he try to run for office.  So in lieu of asking about what color tights go best with a red skirt (which was going to be our poll today), we thought we’d try to get some general feelings about Palin and her run for the White House.  Multiple choices are allowed…  We know we haven’t covered everything, though, so please weigh in in comments.


Office Staples — Tech Edition

Please note: this article was updated in 2011.

Welcome to Week Three in our series on Office Staples! We’ve talked about toiletries and clothes to keep in your office — this week, we’re delving into tech-y goodness.


1. Refrigerator — Yes, we’re putting this in with the gadgets.  A tiny fridge is great for the office because you can keep water and soda cool, but you can also keep various low-calorie, healthy items cold — cheese sticks, lemon juice (good for adding flavor to water or as a salad dressing), low-calorie cheese for sandwiches, et cetera.  We recommend one that looks classic, can fit on a shelf, and can run off just one plug, such as this Coldmate MR-128 Mini Cooler/Warmer Deluxe Mini Refrigerator, available at Amazon for $130.

2. USB Flash Drive.  These little guys are great for moving documents back and forth between your office and your home computer — they’re natural carriers for, say, the latest Word and PDF versions of your resume.  Available widely for anywhere from $10 to $40, we like brightly colored ones like this Kingston DTI 4 GB USB Flash Drive, available at Amazon.com for $12.  We also recommend using the “Briefcase” function on most PCs to help keep your documents in sync.  (Have the “real” copies reside on your USB flash drive, and the “sync” copies in the briefcase — if you set it up on both your work and home computer you’ll always have a copy of your document handy.)

3. Extra chargers for your phone and any personal gadgets (iPod, Palm Pilot, etc).

4.  Speakers for your iPod. There’s a wide range in speakers you can use for your iPod (they can double as computer speakers, if your company doesn’t provide those.)  The latest recommendations we saw were for these Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0 PC Speaker System- Black, available at Amazon for $99.  N.B.: We do not recommend putting iTunes on your comptuer — trust us, you’ll have enough to distract you without being tempted to organize and sort all your music.  If you’re working late, are without your iPod, and need tunes, we recommend Pandora.com — you name a song you like and it streams similar music for free.

5.  Phone headset.  If you log lots of time on the phone — on conference calls or in meetings — a good headset might be worth an investment.

6. USB-heated gloves. If you have poor circulation and are always freezing, you may want to prepare for those long stretches in front of the computer by purchasing these USB-heated gloves.  They plug into your computer and warm your hands as you type and click your way through the day.  Available at Perpetual Kid for $24.99.


7.  Leechblock. We’ve written before of our affection for Leechblock to help keep you focused — note that you’ll need to be using Firefox.  (We prefer Firefox anyway as a browser.)  Once you’re using Firefox you can use other fun add-ons, such as the ones for RememberTheMilk as well as RetailMeNot.


Most businesses supply you with all the software you need.  Still, we’ve had great success with a few programs and had to recommend them.

8. PDF Factory. This program is hugely helpful if you sit far from the printer, if you want more control over picking up your printouts, or if you email a lot of PDF’d documents.  (For the lawyers out there, it’s very helpful if you frequently review documents in .tif format, as well as if you print cases from Lexis or Westlaw.)  Basically, when you click “print” you can choose to print to PDF Factory.  The program opens a new window on your comptuer, and begins to compile a PDF.  When you’ve finished printing, you can save the PDF to your hard drive, e-mail it to a coworker, and/or print it to your local printer.

9. Microsoft OneNote 2007. This is similar to PDF Factory, but allows you to create “notebooks” that will be word searchable, printable, e-mailable, and so forth.  We primarily find OneNote helpful in working on a project — planning a vacation or a wedding, decorating an apartment — but it’s also helpful in keeping track of restaurant reviews, recipes, articles full of gift ideas, and more.  (We also find it useful on an organizational and environmental standpoint, because we now have a single place to put all those articles we used to just print out and leave in various places in our apartments.)  Available at Amazon.com for $70.49.  (OneNote is frequently included in Microsoft Office bundles — you may find it cheaper to buy such a bundle and upgrade Word, Excel, and other programs.)

10. Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This is pricier than the others, but this software is extremely helpful for those of you who practice the lost art of dictation.  Dictating is a great skill to pick up  for a variety of reasons — it’s much easier to summarize notes from all-day meetings via dictation, or to make sense of documents as you review them without constantly toggling between screens to be sure you’ve gotten the numbers and quotations exactly correct.  (We’ve been using this one for about a month — seriously, it’s a great dictating program.)  Available at Amazon for $127.49.

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

– We loved Emma Watson’s coat, as did the ladies of GFY.  Gorgeous! [Go Fug Yourself]

– Two great deals at Banana Republic.  First, 40% off all pants through 10/5 (in-store only).  Second, from 10/16-10/26, if you bring in a sweater or jacket to donate, they’ll give you 30% off your entire purchase.  [Racked]

– Is being called “nice” a trap or an opportunity?  [The Glass Hammer]

– Independent women are supposedly destroying the very fabric of society in Britain.  It’s being called the Bridget Jones Effect — you know, because she was so independent and self-sufficient.  [Daily Mail and The Guardian, via Jezebel]

– US Bankers Magazine recently profiled the top 25 women bankers. You go, ladies! [The Next Women]

– Who is the queen bee of Wall Street:  Erin Burnett or Maria Bartiromo?  Dum dum dum.  [Vanity Fair via Clusterstock]

– Finally:  Readers wrote in to us, asking to identify the suit Sarah Palin wore on the debate last night.  So far, we’ve had no luck and haven’t seen anyone else get the scoop.  We’re guessing it’s black silk shantung… got a belt… three-quarters sleeves… anyone?  Anyone?

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Poll Results – We’re Still Not Convinced Boots Are Appropriate, But These Are Cute

are knee high boots for work appropriateEver since we read a Washington Post article suggesting Condaleezza Rice looked like a dominatrix when she wore knee-high boots to a meeting, we’ve been a bit apprehensive about wearing knee-high boots in a professional capacity.  So, of course, we polled you guys.  The poll is still open, but the answers thus far are in:

  • 37% of you said sure, why not.
  • 28% of you said no, never.
  • 33% of you said, only if worn with dark tights.

We think the numbers speak for themselves — women are pretty divided on this issue.   (Our $.02:  If you’re a young woman who wears boots to the office, observe your office carefully before you wear them again to see if you’re the only one doing so.)  Some commenters noted this was an East Coast/West Coast issue — others noted that a boot with a low kitten heel (and not a stiletto) was appropriate for the office, as well as a boot with a flat heel.

Low kitten heels seem hard to find this season, but we must admit — the two above are super cute. Pictured: Georgina Goodman Women’s Ingrid Boot, $1247.95; Nine West Women’s Outdone Boot, $179.

Poll: Have you done anything differently with your money?

Monopoly Justice,originally uploaded
by mtsofan

Okay: it seems safe to say we’re in the midst of a financial crisis.  But how is it affecting you?  Less cabs?  More sleepless nights?  More days of “breakfast for dinner“?  Take our poll and then weigh in, in the comments… we’re curious!

Office Staples – Clothing Edition

Please note, this article was updated in 2011 — check it out here.

originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

Last week we covered what toiletry supplies you may want to keep in your office — this week, we thought we’d give our recommendations on clothing to keep in your office.  (In the coming weeks we’ll also tackle foodstuffs and gadgetry.)

1. A suit. The goal of the suit is to be able to look proper if you have to run to court at the last minute, or if you have an impromptu call to meet with the CEO.  Note that if you’re going to keep a skirt suit, you might want to make sure you’ve got pantyhose and possibly a razor blade, as well.  Make sure that you’ve got an appropriate top to wear under the suit, as well as appropriate undergarments (i.e., don’t wear a sheer white blouse with a black polka dot bra).  It’s also handy to have another outfit on hand in the event of a severe food mishap such as a yogurt spill.

2.  Extra panties (preferably ones that don’t show any visible pantylines). Yes, it’s kind of gross to say, but… if you have to pull an all-nighter… if you need to change into a skirt suit with pantyhose and had been wearing boyshorts… if you actually make it to the gym and need to change into a fresh pair… there are lots of different reasons to keep an extra thong or seamless pair tucked discreetly into a gym bag or in a ziplock baggy in your desk drawer.  (Why a ziplock baggy?  After a while your desk drawers will get gross.  We don’t know what happens in there — it isn’t as if ketchup packets implode — but they just get a bit gross.  Take our advice and protect your drawers from your drawers.)

[Read more…]

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