Managing Severe Allergies at Work

Allergies at Work | CorporetteHow — and when — should you tell employers about your requirements for an allergy-friendly office? Reader J wonders:

After reading your latest article, Frequent Doctors’ Appointments, I found the courage to write you. I do suffer from severe allergies (foods and aerosols). I have graduated from university (physics), some work experience (energy business) and added up some economics studies, because I was unsure about being able to handle a “normal” office job. By now, I believe more in myself and am searching for a job (consulting/energy), but I will have to tell my future employer about my limits: 1) The rooms in which I work must be free of plants (important!). 2) I might have problems working “on schedule” in August and September. (In our climate here I have been struggling with asthma attacks, circulation problems, and developing new allergies for the last 5 years.) 3) The office should be mostly fragrance-free. These are the “basic conditions” about which I plan to inform any prospective employer in the second interview. How do I best do it without kicking myself out of the game immediately?

Hmmmn. First, J, I’m sorry to hear that you have such severe allergies! I’m not sure that arriving with a list of demands is the best way to go about this, but I’m curious to hear what readers say. The whole letter reminds me a bit of the recent news story about the female academic who had an offer rejected because she was too “demanding” in her requests while negotiating. That’s one way to do it — give your employer a list of things you’d like granted after you have the offer in hand and are negotiating. But a few notes about your situation:

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Tuesday’s TPS Report: Manta Ray Dress

Thomas Sires Manta Ray Dress | Corporette Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I’ve been ogling this fun cotton canvas dress from indie brand Thomas Sires for a while now, and I thought I’d post it today. I love the black/white print, which kind of looks zebra-like from one angle and chevron-like from another angle. The darts in front look flattering, but what I really like — which definitely makes it a bit controversial for work — is the exposed notches in the back, which expose a bit more of your back and shoulders than normal dresses do. I’ve been pondering — is it unprofessional? Am I being a prude in hesitating? I’d love to hear what you guys think. Ultimately I think that it will be fine in the office, particularly when paired with a blazer or cardigan for most big meetings. The dress was $375 but is now marked to $250 at Of a Kind. Thomas Sires Manta Ray Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Coffee Break: Margot Pump

Nine West Margot Pump | CorporetteEveryone knows that I love a good purple pump — but I’m not a huge fan of Nine West, normally. Still, this shade of purple is SO right (and the shoe SO highly rated — and available in a zillion different colorways!) that even I would give it a shot. They’re $79 at Zappos (and as low as $39 in some colors at 6pm). Nine West Margot Pump

Psst: Prefer wearing flats? Nine West has a purple suede option for you too, albeit in a darker shade. Also: Ferragamo + purple + flats = gorgeous splurge.

Which Fall TV Are You Excited About?

Fall TV for Smart Women | CorporetteWhat fall TV is everyone excited about? What shows do you think are smart, or make good TV for smart women?   Which old friends are you happy to see return, and which new shows are you psyched about? (Any other shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime worth binge watching?) 

For my $.02 — we’ve finally gotten around to binge watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black, but beyond that it’s felt a bit quiet on the TV front.  So far I have my TiVo set for

  • Galavant — My brother convinced me to add this to the list after showing me this trailer.
  • Shark Tank — as I mentioned on CorporetteMoms, I only got into this show during my maternity leave, but I’m totally obsessed with it… I feel like there are a lot of great business lessons to learn, as well as lessons about great presentations as well as negotiations.
  • Selfie — I don’t even truly understand the premise, but John Cho and Karen Gillan? Sign me up.
  • How to Get Away With Murder — looks ridiculous, but hey, sometimes ridiculous is good
  • Forever — I only added it after seeing approximately 10 billion commercials for it during the Shark Tank marathon.  (My almost-4-month-old is apparently teething and having sleep regression issues already, so I’ve been watching a ton of TV while trying to nurse him and rock him to sleep.)

We’re still watching Masters of Sex, but I’ve been underwhelmed by the second season.  I realllly want to see Outlander… but not enough to sign up for Starz.  I have no idea when The Americans comes back on, but I’m totally obsessed with the show.  (And, annoyingly, everyone I know has had a Keri Russell sighting in my neighborhood except me — grumble!)

In terms of old favorites, I guess I’m excited for Modern Family, Hannibal (how are they going to get out of that season finale?), The Mindy Project (ooh, I always forget about this show but love it), Castle, and Game of Thrones (although, like The Americans, I have no idea when that’s coming back on).  (Ditto for Mad Men, although for some reason I am preparing myself to be disappointed in the final season.)  For binge watching, I highly recommend Veep, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Silicon Valley.

Ladies, let’s hear from you — what are you looking forward to? Any new shows I should definitely add to my TiVo wish list? Any old favorites I’m not watching?  (Another Q: how much tv do you watch? Do you take advantage of the ability to watch wherever and watch at the gym, the office on your lunch hour, or other places that are not your couch?)

Splurge Monday: Everly Peplum Jacket

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

Zoe Everly JacketHappy Monday! I’m digging this black and white tweed peplum jacket from Rachel Zoe — it has so many traditional feminine elements (peplum! tweed!) yet somehow feels fresh and… kind of badass.  Very cool.  It’s $450 at Piperlime.  (And here’s a fun question, readers: what do you think of the brown leopard clutch styled with the all-black outfit? I normally don’t like to style black and brown together, but maybe that’s me… the leopard perhaps works better because of the black spots? Hmmn.) Rachel Zoe Everly Peplum Jacket

P.S.: here’s a less expensive version (also here and here), and a plus-size version.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Weekend Open Thread

AllSaints Myrthe TopSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

I recently took a long look through AllSaints offerings, and I’m kind of obsessed with half the store. They’re edgy but refined somehow, like this lovely silk and sheer polyester tunic top. For weekends, I think it would look great with some of the moto-leggings or coated leggings that we’re seeing this season, or perhaps worn with regular leggings and flat over-the-knee boots. Love. It’s available in sizes 0-10 for $215. (Also nice: this awesome satin dress for $360.) Myrthe Top

Psst: here’s a more affordable version, and a plus-sized one.