Coffee Break: Anagram Reversible Leather Belt

I was hoping to do a Hunt a while ago about belts and the problem I bumped into is that they’re kind of boring! I thought about just doing an entire post of crazy expensive belts but, well, that’s not terribly helpful either. This Loewe belt, though, is too gorgeous to not mention in a Coffee Break – love the anagram jewelry at the center as well as the fact that it’s somewhere between a skinny/wide width. Plus, HEY, it’s got a navy and a black side, so it’s like two belts in one — totally worth the $490, right? Anagram reversible leather waist belt

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  1. Maybe I'm a statement belt hater :

    I really don’t like how this belt is styled. Not sure what decade they’re going for, but it doesn’t look current at all. I think maybe I just hate statement belts altogether.

    • I mean, Whitley on A Different World ROCKED this look, and I love her for it, but this would not work well on me, today.

    • I think it’s very current but also dated, if that makes sense. As in on good on a 20 year old model, not so good on someone who was old enough to wear this the first time.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, I love it- but I have also seen it on like, That 70s Show. But I would totally wear it if it would look good on me (which, it wouldn’t).

    • It kind of reminds me of the belt buckles sold at the Celtic jewelry booth at arts festivals in the late 1990s.

  2. Anonymous :

    So this is a curiosity question – For those who are in fields where there are choices of pursuing higher and lower paying paths and you pursued the lower paying one — can you explain why you did so? (So example – in law or business – someone who went non profit or local gov’t instead of law firm or IB/consulting). Especially interested in folks who did this right out of school — rather than making their money first and transitioning over once they had a huge net worth. Do you still view it as a good decision or any regrets? Did you have any other sources of support – spouse, trust fund etc.?

    • I never *wanted* the higher paying path, so there was a lot of deliberate planning and decision making that would allow me to pursue public service and now higher ed, which were always my goals. I intentionally limited my law school choices to the ones where I could get a full ride and live cheaply–which I did–and have almost no student loans. I went to a law school that is very small and regional, and as a result low ranked and looked down upon by many folks, but it worked a-ok for me and got me where I wanted to be, which just happened to be the lower paid avenue. I am making my money, it’s just not ever going to amount to a huge net worth. I’m cool with that.

      No trust fund, no rich/high earning DH here, just a different lifestyle than my higher paying colleagues. My work life balance is in check, I take vacations occasionally and eat out, and we save a relative “ton” for retirement.

      • I should clarify: I do have a DH who has an income, but it’s not like he’s the major breadwinner. Our combined gross HHI is equal to what a GS 15 makes in DC at step 1. We left DC because we couldn’t afford to stay and now live in a more M/LCOL area, so we do fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a lawyer and I’ve never made big law money. Part of that was the economy but also I haven’t really tried for it. I make plenty enough money- I don’t have a huge net worth or other support, but I can take care of myself, pay off my loans, save for retirement, and not work late nights or weekends and I do work I find meaningful. No regrets!

      • Same. I graduated in 2011 and worked in not-big-law right out of school. Partly, I didn’t get an offer at a big firm, but, also, I was not especially enthusiastic about working for one. I still make less than a first year at a big firm, 7 years in, though I do absolutely fine. I don’t stress about being able to pay my bills and I save a lot. (These days I live with my SO and we split a lot of expenses, but that’s a recent development.)

        I can’t even really imagine what my life would look like if I had gone in to big law. Back at graduation, if someone had offered me a big law job I probably would have taken it because it provided the clearest career path and what seemed like the shortest and easiest route to financial security. Whether or not it provided a life I would have enjoyed wasn’t even something I was thinking about. I just wanted to _be employed_. But that avenue wasn’t available to me and I’m really not sorry. I like my life.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      I’m a lawyer who chose to go for a small boutique firm instead of a Big Law firm and haven’t regretted it for a minute (well, occasionally when I look at my student loan balances, but generally not). I went to a firm where I knew I liked the people and culture, and where I knew there was a possibility I could stay for the long term, which I’ve done (I’m a partner now). And the alignment the firm takes in cases is in line with my own values, which was important to me – law will always get you in ethically ambiguous situations, but I knew that I wanted a job where I generally felt like I was on the right side of the issues.

      I also was fairly sure I wasn’t cut out for a Big Law culture–I had some mental health challenges, and it seemed like a place like that would chew me up and spit me out.

      No spousal or family support, but on the other hand, I make a decent living too (probably about on par with what you’d make working for the federal government).

      • Yes, I am far to unstyleish (in the 20 year old sense) to wear this — and at $490, it is to expensive for me to just put this in my closet for the cleaneing lady to take home with her. FOOEY!

        As for the OP, you are like me. A fellow boutique lawyer! YAY!

    • I didn’t do it right out of school but pretty quickly thereafter. I did about a year doing criminal defense, 1 1/2 years at a very large (for my LCOL area) law firm, and then went in house. I did it because I despised working at that law firm. Like I tried applying for waitressing positions because I wanted to be working anyplace other than that law firm. My in-house position ended up being a good fit for my lifestyle – good pay, lots of flexibility, nice coworkers, which is why I stayed. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have income from my spouse, which is about equal to what I make. We are upper middle class for where we live, so it isn’t like we are scraping by or anything.

    • I’m a lawyer who didn’t want the big money path while I was in law school. I ended up at a firm that does law that could be said to be in the public interest. As I have advanced here in my career, I started making more money at this firm. Now, I’m at a big law firm. figure I’ll be working a lot everywhere, my priority is interesting, complex work (not necessarily public interest) and so I may as well take the money if they’re offering it and pad my retirement savings for a few years. So basically I am taking the path of more money at this stage because I like what it buys me and the lifestyle I can afford.

    • Anonymous :

      I went to law school because of a deep interest in public service work. I took a job as a public defender when I graduated. I ended up LOVING the work and have stayed going on 10 years now. I cannot imagine another job. It fulfills me in so many ways and I really feel like I make a difference in the lives of my clients and in helping to shape the law (I do appellate criminal defense.) I grew up with teachers as parents and make more than either of them did, so I feel like I am doing fine financially. My state also has a great retirement system, so I feel fortunate about that as well. I also have three children and this job is flexible enough most of the time to allow me to be really present with them in the way I wanted to.

    • Anonymous :

      Not a laywer but I was never interested in a higher paying career. It was important to me to do something that had meaning and made an impact in my community. I’m not rich but I appreciate that my job makes a difference. I’m also not interested in a fancy lifestyle. I make enough to support myself decently and that’s fine with me.

    • Law. Gov’t practice. Started out of law school, never “made money first” and don’t have a trust fund.

      I suppose part of it was a certain lack of choice. I didn’t go to the best school, I graduated in 2009 when even people with offers were having them rescinded, and I don’t come from a family of lawyers and therefore had no idea about all the things you were supposed to do in law school like basically get a post-grad job lined up right after your 1L year. So, my choices coming out were some kind of gov’t position or some kind of small/mid firm litigation or network my a** off on a long shot hope of ending up at big firm somehow after maybe a clerkship or two that I had a long shot of getting. The difference in pay in my city was not enormous btwn the more realistic options and, depending on the smaller firm, was sometimes better in gov’t.

      Part of it was also that I wanted to do work I felt was important and I didn’t want to go do insurance defense or PI, which would have been what I was doing in most of the places I could be hired. So I ended up in a state agency doing work I find meaningful and it turns out that the compensation is actually not bad. So I now make just over 6 figures, which in a HCOL city isn’t enough to make me feel rich but is enough to make me comfortable, I have a 40hr/wk schedule, good benefits, and a good work life balance. All reasons why I stay. Some friends who went to big law firm make a lot more money; most have left; some friends who work a lot more in “mid law” make almost the same for nearly twice the work. Overall, I feel good about it, but it wasn’t necessarily the most consciously chosen path. If I had to do it all over and could have my pick of options I would have opted to do a high paying gig just long enough to have it on my resume and pay off my loans and then end up where I am. In the interest of full disclosure I have a spouse who makes a bit more than I do and will probably continue to do so, possibly to a greater degree. That has enabled us to buy a place. But I’d say he relies on my benefits and job flexibility as much as I rely on his extra bit of income.

    • I went into local government (think city attorney’s office) after two years at a firm. I make way less in wages than I would at a firm, but the upsides make it well worth it. I get a pension, good health benefits, very reasonable hours, and a supportive boss and nice co-workers. On the downside, I know I’m not fulfilling my intellectual potential in this job. I do sometimes wish I had a more challenging job, but I also have kids and very much value the time I have to devote to them. If I didn’t have kids, I think I’d be doing something else with my law degree.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I took a big law job out of school. A lot of my law school friends were of the do-gooding variety, so I was an anomaly . I stuck out big law for two years, paid off my loans (shared a studio apartment w my bf, basically never spent any money) and was outta there. After a bunch of other stuff, I am now happily settled in a job where I do do-gooding work, if a bit indirectly (in house at a not for profit). I make less than I made when I left big law mumbletymumble years ago. BUT I leave punctually at 5 pm to pick up my kid from the on-site daycare, so I really have no complaints.

      So yeah, my story is the boring one: lifestyle.

    • anon for this :

      Because I’m an idiot who didn’t understand the value of money and was/is interested in not consuming therefore misunderstood that I do need tons of money to live with breathing space. Now very early forties trying to figure out how to fix this. I do mostly enjoy life and do a lot of good works on the other hand.

      • Anonymous :

        I left Big Law and didn’t regret it until the last year. I’m in a HCOL area and those friends who stayed are now partners. This summer, DH and I went to parties at 3 of my former comrades’ homes. All were incredible and, naturally, I checked Zillow afterwards. None were less than $2M and one (dual-partner couple) was $4M+. As we live in the same apartment we bought on my Big Law salary, seeing other people with dream homes surprised me how much it upset me and made me regret — really for the first time — my decision to go in-house. (We aren’t homeless or hurting, but will never be in a beautiful home like theirs!)

        • Anonymous :

          Was in biglaw for 8-9 yrs, got pushed out so I had to leave. The whole time I was in biglaw I didn’t care about $ and totally took it for granted. Now on a gov’t salary around the level of what a first yr associate makes — I’m like — wow it is HARD to save when you make a “regular” income (not suggesting that a first yr associate salary is regular as compared to overall US income but it is “regular” as compared to an 8th yr associate or junior partner). I’m looking to move on in part for the money — not thrilled with the work so there isn’t any reason to stay, don’t care about the work life balance, so why not get back into a place where I work really hard for really really good $$$.

    • Teacher > Finance :

      This isn’t exactly what you’re asking, but I’ll bite. I started in teaching thinking it would be long term (TFA, but stayed beyond my commitment – it was never 2-and-done for me). I was young and glass half full, and could change the world. After a few years I think I realized that the impact I alone could have was not enough to outweigh the very low pay I was getting. I explored teaching in a non-urban/well-funded district, but even that wasn’t a fit. I came to realize that my desire for a meaningful income outweighed the desire to do service-oriented work.

      I’m in finance now, and do nothing related to my teaching past. It’s high stress/high pay, and it’s where I should be. I think that, first, I was too encouraged to major in whatever I wanted as opposed to being forced to think critically about what I wanted out of life (a stable, good income with the prospect of long-term growth). I earned a liberal arts degree with a narrow major. It has had some practical application, though not enough to justify the $40+k/year private school I went to. Grateful for the opportunity, mom and dad, but I shake my head at the fact I was allowed to go down the path I did. I came from a middle-upper class family, too. What I realized is that I just wanted to have the same lifestyle I had as an adult that I had as a kid, and teaching was not going to offer me that.

      FWIW I could go on a tirade about how TFA enabled/disabled me from thinking clearly as a 22 year old college senior, among countless other topics against the organization, but that’s a discussion for another day.

      • Anonymous :

        This is my view — I’m rather work hard/be stressed for big $ than coast for small $; even if the small $ job is considered meaningful. And I don’t even understand the people that work long hours/high stress for small $ — frankly I don’t consider ANYTHING that meaningful.

        • Maybe I’m just burned out on biglaw, but I really, really wish I felt this way about money vs. enjoyable work.

    • I picked ‘low’ paying, my field ranges from 50-100k in public service and non profits. I took this path because I care a lot about being good and doing good. I have no trust fund but I do have a husband, he also picked a job doing good and makes a similar amount. I really just need my ethics and lifestyle to align or I get really stressed.

  3. Anonymous :

    So this is a curiosity question – not judgment – so pls take it that way. For those who are in fields where there are choices of pursuing higher and lower paying paths and you pursued the lower paying one — can you explain why you did so? (So in law or business – someone who went non profit or local gov’t instead of law firm or IB/consulting). Especially interested in folks who did this right out of school — rather than making their money first and transitioning over once they had a huge net worth. Do you still view it as a good decision or any regrets? Did you have any other sources of support – spouse, trust fund etc.?

  4. Talk to me about post-work relaxation techniques, Hive. I come home after a stressful day, and then have about 1.5 hours with my toddler (playing, dinner, bath, etc.)

    By the time she goes to bed by 7:30, I’m strung out from both work AND wrangling a toddler. How do you unwind at the end of your day?

    • Triangle Pose :


    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, netflix and wine. Totally basic. But I enjoy it.

      • Ha, I hear you! I am trying to cut out the wine from my routine for weight loss/skin care reasons, so I’m trying to figure out a better relaxation routine, whether it’s a cup of tea (BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME) or some other new routine.

        • Anonymous :

          While pregnant, I drank Ginger Beer or La Croix out of a large wine glass instead. Ginger Beer isn’t great calorie-wise, but La Croix is. It’s not the same, but the wine glass helps a bit.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Also, sparkling pink lemonade from a wine glass. While reading. With a candle lit.

            My “calm down” routine is: Come in, sit on the couch and play with the dog for a bit, change into either barre clothes or lounge clothes depending on if I have class, take him out, read and play with the dog for awhile or go to barre, eat dinner while I read, and then sit on the couch or in the bath with a drink of choice (non-alcoholic, I don’t keep alcohol at home) and sometimes a candle lit and read an engaging book until about 9-9:30. Nebulize, bed.

      • Um, yeah, except make mine Netflix + wine + homemade cookies. The only thing that seems to shut off my brain is whipping up a quick batch of cookies (it’s impossible to simultaneously think about deadlines and remember how many teaspoons of something you added)…and then eating said cookies. We Shall Not Discuss the status of my pencil skirts…or my order of a-line dresses last night.

    • I always read for a few minutes on my Kindle in bed before falling asleep. Sometimes I can only make it through a few pages before passing out and other times I can crank out a few chapters – it just depends on how sleepy and stressed I am. I love my Kindle because I can read it in the dark while DH sleeps.

      Before I actually get in bed, a glass of wine (except not anymore, now that I’m pregnant) or watching a show with DH helps. My nightly skincare routine, which is only a few steps, also helps to signal to my brain that it’s bedtime and time to calm down.

    • Real housewives and math games on my iPhone (at the same time) and the occasional gin and tonic and ignoring the kids’ messy rooms.

    • Senior Attorney :

      TV and wine.

    • This sounds so dorky but I do a free Fitness Blender video before bed and find it relaxing (I do strength training not much cardio). I do it around 9:15 pm or so, and then go to bed usually by 10:30 pm. I feel amazing when I’m done and I sleep SO much better too! And no kids running around interrupting me, which I find so relaxing.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Night wine (ie, in bed). Just a few ounces sipped while watching some dumb tv snuggled up with my husband really closes the book on the day’s stress for me somehow.

    • Anonymous :

      I work out, bathe, and then watch Netflix and drink this fizzy herbal tea I make by putting a tea bag into carbonated water overnight.

      • Um, this fizzy herbal tea blend sounds amazing. I gather that you drink it cold?

        • Anonymous :

          Yes! I’ve been trying to cut way back on my wine habit, and this is suitably flavorful and fun enough to be a viable substitute.

    • Anonymous :

      TV and a bath. Also, not cooking. I hate cooking.

    • Anonymous :

      I like to run because it helps exhaust me and when I am physically exhausted it is easier to turn my brain off. I also like wine and trashy TV. Some nights when I really need to unwind I drink a bottle of wine in the bathtub with lavender Epson salt, candles and music. I am trying not to drink so much wine and will use diet coke or tea instead but it is totally not the same.

    • Sit on the back patio _without_ my phone and read a printed paper book, when the weather is nice. Preferably not something set in modern day real world. (Sci fi, fantasy, historical fiction, etc., just not something dealing with the real world I actually live in.)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’ve been journaling and it’s really great. I actually have two journals (nerd alert!). One is a standard journal that I’m basically using to get my $$s worth out of therapy, do some processing on my own. But the other is just “three gratitudes.” I have to write down three things that I am grateful for/happy about from they day. They can’t be generic like “my family.” They have to be specific like “playing restaurant at the park with Kiddo.” The act of writing sort of slows my brain down, and having to think of genuinely good things can really help with my mood.

  5. Just a PSA that Origins is doing their Friends & Family sale on their site today if you like their products. It’s $20 off a $45+ order + free shipping with code FRIENDS. If you spend $65, you also get a free full size eye cream (I love their Gin-zing Eye Cream and recommend it here frequently, so this was a nice bonus). I ended up with 5 products for $70 total.

  6. Where do you find interesting blazers? My job is a formality level where skirt + jardigan is too casual and full suit is too formal, meaning most of the time I wear dress +blazer, but it’s so hard to find interesting ones to add personality to an outfit!

    • J. Crew, Theory, Rebecca Taylor and occasionally Zara (but have to watch the quality and fit). I love Veronica Beard blazers but they are expensive.

    • Sometimes Zara. Sometimes sorting through designer sales racks at places like Nordstrom Rack. Boden has some nice winter ones in tweed and velvet.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I just bought this for my Halloween costume (:

      Guess who I am going to be!

    • In-House in Houston :

      Believe it or not, eBay!! If you know what brands fit you well, then you can get great steals on eBay!! I get emails daily with new posts for brands like Tahari, Ann Taylor, Inc. (might be only at Macys), Talbots, etc. I can get a great blazer for $20! This goes for shoes, pants, dresses, you name it. As long as you know X size in X brand will fit you, then this risk is minimal. Some items you can’t return, but I’ve found that I pay so little for them that if I don’t like the item, I donate it. Check it out!!

      • Me too. I bought some Eileen Fisher linen jackets this summer from eBay – they are fitted and not loosely goosed boxy – and they’ve been workhorses for me all summer (and it’s still summer till Sept 22)

      • Same, but I’ve been using Thred Up for this.

    • Anonymous :

      I stalk Rebecca Taylor at Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, etc.

  7. Maudie Atkinson :

    For the first time in at least a decade, I bought a pair of jeans that are not a dark, indigo wash. I am struggling, though, with how to style them. Many of the looks that work with my darker denim will also work with lighter denim (oxford, tucked or untucked; t-shirt, tucked or untucked; crew-neck cashmere in a few weeks), but the lighter wash makes these jeans feel slightly more casual and like there are some things I do with my darker denim (silk blouses and shells; school boy blazer) that just won’t work with the lighter wash. Is my intuition right? On the other end of the spectrum, are there things that might feel too casual for the dark wash, raw denim jeans I have practically lived in for the last few years but would work with the lighter wash?
    I’m not so much asking for work, though I can wear jeans on Friday in my otherwise business to business-casual law firm; I’m mostly curious about after-hours events, which consist mostly of basic, 30-something DINK activities. I live in Atlanta, for context, so not exactly high fashion but also not my 9,000-person small, Southern hometown.

    • Anonymous :

      IDK, I think nothing DOESN’T go with darker wash, but many things don’t go with lighter wash. Like, I can’t imagine what shoes go with them except heeled sandals (mine are slim bootcuts). So a bootie wouldn’t really go – maybe if it was a light color? Maybe instead of a blazer, how about a more moto style jacket? And sub nice tees for the blouses and shells?

  8. Anonymous :

    I’m looking to get some advice on a delicate. situation. My mother is getting close to 70, lives by herself and is both extremely vain and very sensitive. The issue is that, unfortunately, she has developed really horrible breath. In the past I’ve tried to bring it up delicately and it became another example of how mean and insensitive I am (our relationship is … difficult). My brother and sil agree with the issue but won’t say anything to her. I’m concerned there is a medical issue. Do I keep trying to tactfully bring it up and resign myself to being a bad guy? How have you handled sensitive issues with aging parents?

    • Must you address it? She probably isn’t unaware. And if the last time you were called mean and insensitive, I don’t see how changing your phrasing gets you another outcome. The next time her health comes up, ask her generally if she’s going to her annual physical and leave it at that.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I think you should say something and be direct. “Mom, I’ve noticed the smell of your breath has changed. Please bring it up with your doctor at your next visit.” Who knows, you could be saving her life. If she gets mad, oh well.

      My father, now 87, insists he can wear the same clothing 3 days in a row, without showering, and he doesn’t smell. He’s wrong. We have a difficult relationship also, but I’m not about to have him going around smelling like a barn animal.

      • Anonymous :

        I second treating it as clinically as possible. Maybe google what bad breath could be a symptom of (I don’t know but isn’t there a connection with heart disease or something?), so you are extra clear that this is coming from a place of medical concern and not just an affront to her vanity?

        • Flats Only :

          Bad teeth/gums can = bad breath. The bad stuff going on with the teeth can spread out through the body, causing heart disease etc. We lost a dear friend this way at only 58. He was afraid of the dentist, literally got out of the chair before his root canal appointment started, and eventually had a massive heart attack. So sad.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think this is the kind of thing you mention once, which you have done, and then mind your own business because it’s clear you don’t have the ability to influence her in this area.

      And may I just take a moment and chuckle about how adorable it is when you all say “close to 70” in the same tones you’d say “97” or “110?”

      • No one is likening close to 70 to 97 or 110 but you. You might want to think about why you’re so defensive about someone stating the fact that their “mother is getting close to 70.” Apparently you think this reflects badly on your own age. But people do, in fact, have parents approaching 70, and age can be relevant to health issues, so it’s a totally appropriate thing to include.

      • Anonymous :

        This made me laugh a little. To be honest, I describe her has “close to 70” because, apart from this issue, she is in great health and looks very young (many have thought that she’s my older sister) so I have a hard time thinking of her as “older”. I have to remind myself that I have to slow down for her on our hikes since she is slowing down and getting older. I hope this doesn’t set off a firestorm and doesn’t offend anyone!

        • Senior Attorney :

          No worries. I just think it’s funny how we have different perspectives on things including age. I remember some years ago, a colleague of mine was hosting a 70th birthday for her quite-a-bit-older husband and I privately thought “good grief she’s married to a geezer!” And now I’m planning a 70th birthday party for my most-definitely-not-a-geezer and it’s just… funny!

      • 70 is when this problems start to arise for many... :

        Senior Attorney, I love and admire you, but close to 70 is exactly when my own mother started to run off the rails. She was diagnosed with ALZ at 71. Super healthy, practiced yoga daily, health club 5x a week, etc. Could live to 100 based on her physical health.

    • I would bring it up again with her – she may have gum problems (not cleaning interdental spaces enough and have food particles trapped and rotting in-between teeth) or it can be something minor (with age, saliva production drops and mouth is dry). I liked the phrasing of BeenThatGuy. Show concern and that you want her to be happy and healthy. Can you call her doctor before her annual check-up?

  9. Working remotely? :

    I posted here a little while ago about feeling lonely and isolated in the small town I live and work in. It’s still hard to make friends here and I recently learned that the few people I had been spending time with outside of work are all moving away by the end of this year. I’m in academia and in my research group some people work remotely–they all live in small to large cities, one is two hours drive away, and the other 2 require flying to get to in a reasonble amount of time. I am considering asking my boss to let me work remotely from the small city that is 2 hours away from here. The team members already working there do so from one of those shared office/co-working spaces. I have really tried to make friends here and it’s not working–there are few avenues to do so partly because it’s a rural community. I even tried finding a running group through social media but the only one that exists seems to be inactive. I’m at the point where I am thinking of trying to find another job sooner than I had wanted to just because of this one issue–the loneliness and social isolation. With winter coming up I know it will be worse. FWIW I have been at this job for about 8 months now and this by far is the biggest challenge and it’s making me want to quit. I should add that I’m a visible minority so part of this is just feeling like I don’t fit in at all and I suppose I really don’t. One challenge of working remotely might be how to prepare for some of the field experiments we do while living far away–the colleagues who work from the city two hours away all have friends or family in this town so if they have to come over for a night or two to prepare equipment for some travel they have a place to stay. For meetings where everyone in the group is required to attend, those who work in places that require a flight have their plane tickets covered. The rest of the time, we run meetings via Skype. While I don’t love the city that’s two hours away, I generally feel better while there. Even though I am alone, I can go to the movies or get dinner at a restaurant. There’s none of that here, the only movie theatre in town has only one show at a time. The city also has meet-up groups but living so far away right now I can’t explore them. Should I speak up to my boss about this? I would really appreciate some suggestions on how to go about it. Thank you.

    • Working remotely? :

      I should also add that I’m in my mid thirties and single. I really want to meet someone and settle down at some point. This small town is mainly college kids and families, so this is another reason I am considering this, for my future happiness. I don’t plan on bringing this up with my boss but it’s something I’ve been thinking about.

    • Excepting the location issue, do you otherwise enjoy the work? My question is whether it’s ultimately worth it to try to make this job work or if you just feel obligated to try. Do you like the work enough to live in Near City? Because it doesn’t sound like to me that this job is worth the hassle.

      The only thing I know about academia I’ve read on this board, so I know academia jobs are hard to come by, but at the same time, I think “I really couldn’t handle life in a rural small town” has to be a common reason for leaving certain schools.

      • OP here–Yes I do enjoy the work. And yes it is true that jobs in academia are hard to come by. Getting this one was a challenging process, but it’s also in a specific area I’ve wanted to get into for a while. Of course there are some things that have happened that I wasn’t happy about, but for those work-related issues I saw them as challenges that could be handled, and being a couple months in I also took into account that I am also working in a new area.

        • MakeYourselfHappy :

          Are you a postdoc?

          • OP here: Yes I am a postdoc.

          • MakeYourselfHappy :

            I did a 2.5 year postdoc in a place where I was extremely unhappy and lonely. I can only tell you that it got a lot better because the experience taught me to prioritize my own life. As I’ve come along I’ve also realized that a lot of heavy hitters have made career decisions based on personal factors. Post-move isolation is a real thing, and it’s particularly hard on postdocs who know they are moving for the short term.

            Are the other remote workers postdocs? If not this will probably be a harder sell. How long do you expect the postdoc to continue?

          • @MakeYourselfHappy, thanks for responding. I expect the job to continue until the end of next year. There is one other postdoc who will be remote from next year but the location she will be in is also where her research project will be.

    • MakeYourselfHappy :

      Speak to your boss about working remotely. Sometimes academics (myself included) think that their job is a religious calling, that it is more important than anything else in life. This is not true. A friend gave me a script to use in a similar situation. “My work is important to me, but other things are important to me too”.

      What kind of remote arrangement do others have? Would it be possible (or helpful) for you to drive in for the day once a week? Once a month? Could you swing a hotel room at that frequency?

      • Chances are this is a known issue for faculty retention. Somewhere up in the provost heirarchy – someone is charged with both being aware of the challenge and having a few clues about how people deal with connecting and rolling in and developing a sense of belonging.

        My daughter is a post-doc, and she enjoys singing – so she checks out places nearby to join the choir/chorus – she is loosely affiliated with a faith community (would not attend services regularly unless she is singing) and sometimes joins an independent group.

        Chances are there are a lot of fun, educated people like you – what brings them together? Hiking trails? Geocaching? Events? What does the local paper mention – is the regional Chamber of Commerce doing anything?

        And yes – having a change of pace with your work surroundings helps…I’ve been in the same office through 3 promotions. When I’m in a rut, I book the conference room for a “focus” day or afternoon and bring my project there.

    • Anonymous :

      I guess I don’t see the downside in asking – have a plan for how you will address any difficulties (ask your friends if they know anyone who’d rent you a room when you visit), whatever it takes to continue to do the job well. It sounds as though you’re asking permission to bail on this town- permission granted! It sounds like you made a thorough effort. Academic work is challenging enough. If you can make your life more pleasant, go for it! Of course also ask your commuting friends for advice on talking to your boss so you have a well thought out plan for how this won’t negatively impact your work- and see if you can even find a work- related upside to living in the small city too for bonus points- good luck!

    • Professor :

      In my experience in academia (lab/field scientist), extended remote work is extremely unusual, with exceptions for people doing field work or living part time with a significant other who lives elsewhere. However, my experience is biased toward people who need to be in the lab at least some of the time, so they could only work remotely when doing data analysis/writing. Since you say this is common in your group, I’ll assume that it is actually possible to get all of your work done remotely. The real question then is whether you’d be missing out on opportunities for face time with your supervisor, networking with other faculty/students, chances to teach or develop other skills. I find that many opportunities present themselves to people who are physically present over those who aren’t around, and if I had a student who I didn’t see most days, I’d be far less likely to chose them for some new project or other opportunity. If you want an academic job, I’d be inclined to advise you to spend the next year really focusing on getting yourself in a good position for that, while keeping an eye open for postdocs/other jobs elsewhere. This is an inherently short term position, so you should do everything you can to get the next job, even if it sort of sucks right now. However, that’s no way to live your life indefinitely, so if you’re looking at being a postdoc for years on end (field dependent), then you should put more emphasis on living conditions that make you happy.

      • OP here: Thanks for this response. The position is until the end of 2018. So in the meantime I am thinking of ways that I can position myself better for the next job while also keeping an eye out for other jobs or postdocs elsewhere. I also realize that opportunities tend to be presented to people who can be seen i.e. out of sight out of mind, which is why I am weighing this so carefully.

        • I realize this might be a cost prohibitive, but any chance you could split your time between the two locations. For example drive to rural college on Tuesday morning, spend Tuesday through Thursday working on site, and drive back to the city on T Thursday night. So you’d work remotely Monday and Friday but be on site Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.

  10. For the first time in a while, I am not at all excited about the new iPhone. I find the facial recognition thing to be kind of disturbing. Am I alone?

    • Nope. I’m with you.

    • Marshmallow :

      I totally want it. Not because of the facial recognition but because of that SCREEN. And the cameras.

    • I’m having a hard time justifying the price. I have ATT and am eligible for an upgrade, which will “allow” me to buy the 8 for $699. Turns out that’s the same price if even if I wasn’t upgrade eligible. I currently have the 6 and am thinking about just getting the 7 instead of the 8. The only thing I really want is clearer pictures on my camera, and I think the 7 would achieve that. ATT told me the 7 will drop to about $500 or $550. So, 8 for $700 or 7 for $500ish… I can’t decide. Mostly I’m just annoyed that “upgrade eligible” is apparently meaningless.

      • I have the 7 right now and I honestly think I would downgrade just to get a headphone jack back again. Heaven forbid I actually want to charge my device while also listening to music ….

        • +1

          This is why I have refused to upgrade so far.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Although they’re dumb and have to be charged, I do like Bluetooth headphones for this. The Anker Soundbud Slims are pretty good. Need to buy another pair after the DARLING puppy chewed them up in a fit of pique at being left alone for twenty minutes while I ran to the store.

          • Yea. I just really don’t like the look of a cable around my neck. Maybe I need to get over it though.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            How about the wireless ones?

          • What do you do on a plane though when you want to listen to music and can’t Bluetooth?

      • fake coffee snob :

        The SE is actually a pretty attractive model and price, still, after this announcement. I have a 7 but I’d downgrade for the form factor and the headphone jack for free.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Nope, totally creepy. Expensive and creepy.

    • Anonymous :

      I assume you wo’nt have to use the facial recognition features. iPhones have had “unlock with fingerprint” technology for a long time (I have a…6? that has it) and I still unlock with a password.

  11. Capri pants - the horror :

    I am 5-4. Regular pants always need hemming. I took a pair of Julie pants and thought they might be cute hemmed up to a cropped length. I OVERSHOT THE RUNWAY. Too short! If I sit, the legs pull up and get caught up on the meat of my calves and stay stuck there when I stand up. Not good! I might remember as Bermuda shorts for next year but may wind up with Daisy Dukes.

  12. It's the little things :

    I swapped my medium sized (but overstuffed and junk-filled) shoulder tote out for a sleek crossbody purse with no room for random stuff. My left shoulder is soooo happy!

  13. Baconpancakes :

    Any favorite boyfriend sweaters? I’m hoping for a looser fit but still fine knit sweater with a wide crewneck or a v-neck in camel and ivory. Not cashmere – something lower intensity in care.

    • I think you wait for the stores to start stocking their merino wool and then you buy store brand Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.

    • I was pleasantly surprised by the Banana Republic washable merino sweaters this fall – nice weight, nice drape, and with the ever present 40% off coupons, right price/

      • Anonymous :

        This is what I would go with. I have some of their v neck merino sweaters from last fall and they are still in heavy rotation.

    • Greensleeves :

      I just picked up a really nice Halogen merino v neck at Nordstrom. Soft and lightweight but hangs very nicely open and looks great buttoned. I’m not sure if they had the colors you want, but it’s worth a look. It was on sale last week, not sure if it still is.

    • Sloan Sabbith :


    • Surprisingly, I’ve been impressed by this H&M one (link to follow, or search for loose-knit sweater).

  14. Concert attire? :

    I’m headed to see Paul McCartney (!!!) perform tonight and just realized I have no clue what appropriate/ comfortable clothing would be for this. I’m thinking flat heel, comfy black ankle boots and black skinny jeans on the bottom but unsure about tops. Anyone have ideas? Is just a plain white t shirt ok?

  15. Walking mall store ad :

    I just realized my outfit today is a walking advertisement for mall store workwear. From head to toe:

    Blazer: J.Crew
    Top: Calvin Klein
    Belt: Ann Taylor
    Pants: Theory
    Shoes: Cole Haan

    Avani garde I am not.

  16. Anyone have any experience with being a “trailing” spouse? Silly term, but I’m curious to hear from people who have dealt with this. Did your partner do anything that made you feel particularly supported or eased your transition?

    My partner and I just relocated to City B. We were long distance while I finished up graduate school, so someone was bound to move. I landed a great job and he agreed to follow. Randomly, a lot of my former friends (including many in my program and several best friends from earlier in life) have relocated to City B and so I have a really good community here, but for my partner, I’m the only person he knows here. He has been very supportive and loving throughout all of this, but of course I want the same kind of things for him that I have here. Any advice?

    • I would never trail my husband, if I had one. I am the alpha-female, and would insist that my husband follow ME, b/c I am a partner at a law firm and my ex was a schlub. At this point, I can NOT afford to give up the paycheck, as I have alot of expenses to cover, partcularly after I move to the WEST SIDE, where things are so much more expensive. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • My husband moved to follow my career- financially it made sense for us, but everyone commented on it then and still do. He only knows me and it has taken some time for him to develop hobbies and friendships of his own. He was lonely and there were (many) times I regretted having him follow me. We have spoken about it over the years and he is so incredibly supportive and reminds me that he knew what he was signing up for within months of us getting together. I have worked hard at getting him to actually take the next step in following up his interests so he could start meeting people – joining the local sporting team in his preferred sport, joining the local professional association for his profession, etc.

  17. Anonymous :

    I just heard from a sales guy that a client didn’t like me on a previous job and he’d like them to work with someone else. He suggested a man in our office that doesn’t do this job. I said no, we don’t have to like each other to be professional. I’m happy with my response but I’m feeling crappy about the situation tonight. In hindsight I didn’t like the client either, they made unreasonable demands that in the early stages of the project I agreed to and delivered on but then didn’t handle it well when

    • Anonymous :

      I’m shocked they let you decide. I work with a lot of vendors and have occasionally “fired” people from being assigned to my team. If somebody told me they were still going to staff that person, I would use another vendor

      • Yeah, to be honest I would have let this go and tried to learn from it. If I expressed a desire not to work with a particular person and a vendor insisted that I had to, I would probably use another vendor. I know rejection in all forms is difficult and this would definitely bother me as well, but I think it one of those things where you have to accept that not everyone will like you, learn what you can (maybe how to handle unreasonable demands more tactfully) and then let it roll off your back.

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