Thursday’s TPS Report: Signature Snake Print Dress

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

Austin Reed Signature Snake Print Dress 2Hat tip to commenter MJ, who yesterday mentioned the huge sale going on at UK retailer Austin Reed.  As she noted: “Sale PSA for ladies who wear more traditional, formal stuff to work. Austin Reed (UK) is having a great sale. They have really lovely suits, blouses and shirts. Remember to subtract 4 to get your proper size — UK 10 = US 6, for example… They ship to the US without customs and are great about returns.”  There are a ton of deep discounts — this well-reviewed navy and orange snake print dress is still available in a ton of sizes, and is marked from $182 to $54.50 (70% off).  There are also a ton of suiting options on deep discounts.  Lots of lucky sizes, so definitely sort by your UK size first. Austin Reed Signature Snake Print Dress

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  1. Ugh! A frumpy dress with a way too low neckline. I am a 34DD, and this would leave way to little to the imagination to wear at work. Not fashinable enough to wear outside work!

    • Agree. The length (41″) and gathers at the waist add to the frumpiness.

      • I agree with Tesya. I do NOT need anything that makes my tuchus look bigger or frumpyier. FOOEY. And Tazdevil has the same problem with her boobies and men looking down her dress as I do. FOOEY on men that stare at our boobie’s. Sam is from the UK, and he says that he like’s my tuchus, but the onley person I know from the UK with a nice tuchus is Pippa Middleton. Most women do not have her tuchus, includeing me. I would be married by now, Dad says, if I had her tuchus! Tripel FOOEY b/c men still like me, but they do NOT want to marry me. I wonder how much difference a tuchus would make here.

        I have to prepare for another EBT. That mean’s sitting on my tuchus for HOURS, so that is why I told dad that mine does NOT look like Pippa’s tuchus. He says no, my Fitbit should give me the same tuchus. I disagree. FOOEY!

      • 41″ is too short for me! All relative!

    • Hmmmm, actually, this dress is perfect for me. The pleating/gathers could hide a gluten baby. Burnt orange hijab, navy pants and strong eyebrows would make this dress baller.

      • See, in that context (where the dress is basically a tunic), it sounds awesome (plus, hijab solves the low-neckline problem!).

        • All of my work dresses, except for sheath dresses, have low and work-inappropriate necklines. I don’t know why designers pair flowy dresses with low necklines – I guess to cut out the frump factor?

      • I love it too. I’m tall so the length is fine, v-necks are my jam, and I like the colors. And I, too, have a gluten baby.

        • Wildkitten :

          PSA – this dress is great for my gluten baby issues.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I can see that the clothes on this site are beautifully made, but I’m just not feeling it. I wore this exact blouse (well, this exact style and color silk blouse, purchased at Nordstrom) as a baby lawyer back in 1988:

      Not really interested in going back, even though it’s still gorgeous.

      • I had one just like that in 1989, except with navy tipping at the neck (which made me feel very chic). I think it was Liz Claiborne, which was very popular in the 80s.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Mine was ruined when my two-year-old put his muddy hands all over it when I came home from work early one day! Such a working mom moment!!

      • Ooh. I had one in burgundy around that time. Loved it then.

    • It’s too long for me but I like this dress otherwise. It would be great for a non-court day.

      • This one would be on it’s way too me if it was available in my size:

  2. Early threadjack, but I have to run off to an all-day meeting.
    We’ve discussed here the difficulties women have in re-entering the workforce after taking some time away. There is now an OnRamp Fellowship and it can easily be found by googling that name. It’s a 1 year $125k fellowship at BigLaw firms in major US cities. The deadline to apply is March 7.

  3. OK, so I happened to glance too long in the mirror this morning at my (over a year) post-pregnancy tuckus, and, well, I did not like what I saw. It’s not a weight issue; I’m actually running about a pound lower than my pre-pregnancy weight and nothing feels bigger than it should be. It’s just lumpy and sad looking. I’m not really a workout person, though I try to do some leg lifts and squats and hand-weights when I get a chance. I know I’m in my mid-30’s now, and things can’t stay smooth forever, but, well, does anyone have any suggestions, exercises and the like, to help tighten things up before the pool opens? Bonus points if its things that can be done in short bursts at the office, rather than committing to some sort of workout plan that would require special clothes and stuff.

    • I like blogilates’ youtube videos. Because they’re Pilates based, you don’t need a ton of room so they’re easy to do at home. If the whole workout is too hard, don’t worry – you can gradually build up to finishing the whole thing.

      • From the site, here are relevant videos:

    • kjoirishlastname :

      For a rear end, the best outcome you will get is with squats. Anything that is going to engage your hams and glutes–squats, step-ups (especially weighted), wall-ball/thrusters (added bonus of great upper-body workout too). Running & biking will help some.

      • Squats and lunges are great and there are plenty of variations. For glutes, one-legged deadlifts really target the area, even if you don’t use a dumbbell.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Agree. Squats and lunges are your friend. Bonus is that they can be done in your office.

    • Stairs.

    • Ballet Beautiful DVD . It’s broken into sections, so you could do one or two a day.

      • +1000
        It’s simple but hard, if that makes sense. I saw a big difference in a very short amount of time, and I like that the video is sort of zen – light colors, calming music, etc.

    • I have seen that with some weight loss as you age, you will get loss in some areas you would rather not lose. Now, when I am at my good weight, my butt has lost some of its shape and sags more. With weight gain, it fills out more, so to speak. Same unfortunate problem with my breasts.

      But still agree that squats are the best for the butt, and improved muscle tone will help… Some.

    • I think the main thing to regain glute strength is to shifty our alignment. Rather than carry your weight in front (which is accentuated in pregnancy and weakens the glutes), you need to push your weight on the back of your heels. Look up glutes on the website Katy Says dot com (no spaces). Squats, pilates, etc are all helpful, but they won’t entirely undo the glute weakness that comes from misalignment. Most Americans carry themselves this way, by the way, so it’s not just you. Realigning yourself can make a huge difference!

      • +1 to this. This is exactly what the physical therapist said is my problem now that I’ve developed major issues with osteoarthritis in my left knee. And my a** is getting flabby because I’ve been unable to do hot yoga because of my knee. The yoga has made a HUGE difference in my rear end!

    • I am firmly (no pun intended) in the “there is no such thing as spot reduction” camp, but sister, if you want buns of steel, take up fencing.

    • Check out Tone it Up.

  4. kjoirishlastname :

    I saw this dress yesterday and loved it. I think the print is unique, but I think it’s a bit long for me. I’m with Taz, though–it could be very tricky if you have a lot above the waist…

    I was just bemoaning this morning that my favorite favorite wrap dress is now too big. It is this gorgeous red/pink/black/gold print that is basically just splashes of color. Not quite animal-print…it’s hard to describe.

    So, now I need to be looking at dresses. I put on my 2 pairs of tights this morning (thanks to a tip yesterday from mountain girl (?)), and a corduroy skirt. However, the skirt sits funny, and so I feel like I have a swim-ring around my waist, and nothing is smooth-feeling, though it looks ok. Oh well.

  5. Baked oatmeal recipe? :

    Threadjack–does anyone have a baked oatmeal recipe that doesn’t use sugar or sugar substitute (i.e., no stevia, honey, agave, syrup)?

    I’m looking for something sweetened only slightly, maybe with applesauce or banana. I’ve been enjoying baked oatmeal made with yogurt and pumpkin puree for breakfast, but it does have brown sugar.

    I know I could experiment but baking without recipes is very outside-of-my-comfort-zone….

    • You can just not add sugar to your normal recipe. There are very few baked items that will turn out differently without sugar, and oatmeal is not one of them.

      • Guinness Girl :

        Yes, just leave the sugar out, or add in a spoonful or two of applesauce. You won’t mess it up – oatmeal is very forgiving! I make it with no sugar, but add in either sliced bananas or dried apricots (I just cut them with kitchen shears) for sweetness, and usually a handful of chopped pecans. Yum.

    • This has banana in it
      I think you could leave out the brown sugar with no ill effect, especially if you use very ripe bananas.

      • Seconded. Cooked/melted bananas are super sweet. I’ve also found that adding cinnamon and nutmeg enhances the slightly sweet taste.

      • I like bananas underripe so for years I have been mashing up my more ripe bananas and mixing them with instant oatmeal so they don’t go to waste

    • Ripe bananas + unsweetened cocoa powder.

    • There’s a healthy baking blog – chocolatecoveredkatie – that has a few baked oatmeal recipes. I haven’t tried them, but I do like her single serving mug cake recipes.

    • I really like this recipe. It uses maple syrup for sugar, but I think you could easily take it out.

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      I love the one at Nourished Kitchen. It is sweetened with maple syrup, but the recipe notes it is optional and you can add as little or as much as you want. The recipe uses dried fruits, so you would get some sweetness there.

    • Ripe bananas and raisins both add sweetness to oatmeal. I use both in my overnight oats.

  6. All-day interview advice :

    I have a all-day final interview next week that will include being taken out to lunch. Does anyone have any tips or advice? Should I expect the conversation to be focused on the position or more casual for the lunch portion? I think I’ll be taken out by 2 or 3 mid-level people. Also, I can definitely assume they’re paying, right? Thank you in advance!!

    • Don’t order anything super messy. Yes, they’re paying. Typically I’ve found that conversations will be more natural/casual, but it might vary depending on who you’re with. If there’s a lull in the conversation, ask a question that will allow either you or them to recount a “war story” – it’s a nice way of keeping things casual while still showing interest in a position.

    • Yes, they’re paying, and do not even attempt to do a reach-for-your-wallet thing. It will make you appear naive rather than polite.

      The conversation will be more “casual” because of the environment, but do not be mistaken: this is part of your interview. Even if the topics of conversation aren’t work-related, you’re being judged for “fit” and also how well you present. So your questions and answers should be as considered as the ones you offered during the in-office interview. In my experience, work and the work environment are still the dominant topics, but you should be prepared to discuss safe-socializing topics like movies, local sports teams, where you grew up, maybe recent or upcoming travel. Take the cues from the people you’re with, though. If they are really trying to get to know you as a person, by all means, go with that, and don’t steer things back to work.

      Also, you will be tired by the time you get to lunch… the adrenaline will start to wane. Perk up however you need to (deep breaths water on the face in the restroom, quick Coke, whatever), and stay on your game. You can crash after lunch! Good luck!!

    • Are you also mid-level? This is often a “fit” interview. Basically just do they like you and are you reasonably pleasant to have a meal with. If you’re the same level as the interviewers, they’ll expect you to ask most of the questions. This is the time to ask about things like what does a typical day look like, how is their work evaluated, what is the career path for this position, etc.

      (By the way, pet peeve of mine — why is it that whenever you ask someone “what does a typical day look like for you” they always always answer “well, there really isn’t such a thing as a typical day.” B.S. For 99.9% of office workers I promise your day is not so exciting that there’s no such thing as a typical day. You typically arrive at the office at about the same time most days. You might not do the same thing every day, but there are maybe a dozen things that you do total. So you might draft a document in the morning and spend your afternoon in meetings, etc. The person asking is trying to get a feel for lifestyle, pace, workload, expectations, and type of work done in this position. No one is impressed by you saying “oh, I never have a typical day!” End rant.)

      • I think the better question (and more fun to answer) is “What did you do yesterday?” rather than “What is your typical day?”

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes, I used to ask “What are you working on right now?” but “What did you do yesterday?” is even better!

      • Really? As a litigator, I don’t have a typical day other than to say that I generally get to the office at the same time — but even that is only becuase I have to get my son to school at a specific time and its not the same for others. Some days involve court, some involve depositions, some involve meetings, some involve travel, some involve drafting or reviewing documents, some involve client pitches, some involve the boards I sit on or legal organizations I am part of, some involve CLEs . . .you get the point. And each of these various things takes many, many forms. Maybe for more junior folks or for transactional folks its more standard, but my days are really not standard.

        • But how often do you have court or depositions or travel? It seems that everyone has a typical day. Yes, there are atypical days too, but those are atypical.

          • At least 3-4 days a week. And on the other days, I often run from meeting to meeting (or call), catch up on emails, and work on filings. Obviously, if a case settles or something, I have more time on my hands. I just dont think that with litigation, everyone has a typical day. I can (and do, if I am asked) explain what I just explained here, but it is just not typical.

        • Diana Barry :

          See, I think this just means that you have a few different typical days –
          – court day
          – deposition day
          – travel day
          – drafting/client meeting day


          So I get where you’re coming from, but it just means that your typical day takes 1 out of 4 or 5 forms.

          • Maybe, but if there are only 5 days in a (work) week and each day is different, how can they be typical?

            I guess the issue is really that if the questioner is trying to get an idea of what the job is like, then picking a word other than “typical” might be a better option.

            But the other issue, and the reason I think many folks say, well there is no “typical day,” is becuase you don’t really want to tell a potential young associate that your life is about to get crazy, which is what it will sound like if you tell them about all of the different things you do. In fairness, after many years of doing this, it is rarely crazy anymore, but it was when this was all new to me.

      • Yeah I always feel like it’s really hard to pin down what I do in a “typical day” for candidates – it so depends on time of year, etc. So maybe, if someone asks you that, try to focus on the range of things you do within a typical week rather than a day. It’s a good question to prepare for so you don’t have to say “I never have a typical day.”

        • Yes, exactly. I’m sure I could have phrased the question better, but when I was interviewing, this is the kind of thing I was getting at (and I think anyone might have realized that this was what I really wanted). So you could say “well, in a week, I might travel for a deposition, or I might spend several days crashing on a brief, or I might have several back and forth calls with opposing counsel on discovery issues. In general, I’m in the office about 9:00 to 7:00, but obviously that can vary depending on workload.” That gives the interviewee a pretty good sense of what life would be like in this job.

      • All-day interview advice :

        No, this is for a pretty entry-level job, not mid-level. Does that change anything?

      • I agree, such a cop out answer.

    • Yes – assume they are paying, but always make sure you carry cash with you! This is my general go-to advice for just about any a-typical day (out of office meeting with clients/opposing counsel, interview, etc.). You just never know when you’ll be asked to park in a cash-only parking lot, need to leave a tip, need to provide money for a client to get a cab (yes, really, argh), or any other number of random issues. Cash only places are going by the wayside to be sure, but it’s happened frequently enough that I always make sure I have a twenty, ten, a few fives/ones just so I can appear prepared.

  7. Recommendations for wedding gift? Orange, CA? :

    Anon for this because the specifics could out me, but I have a young cousin (a year out of college) who just married her college sweetheart in a city hall ceremony. I’d love to send a card and a gift in the $50-$75 range.

    Some context: they live in Orange, CA, together, but I imagine they will move apartments at some point so I don’t want to get them house goods (also, I haven’t visited and they don’t have a registry, so I wouldn’t know what would be useful). They are both HUGE Disneyphiles and are now actually working at Disneyland (so will be changing jobs soon, and I imagine money is tight). But from what I’ve heard, they have all sorts of Disney collectibles already so I wouldn’t want to do that.

    I’m thinking maybe a gift certificate for a meal or experience together in the area. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    • Childless by Choice in OC :

      www DOT lasbrisaslagunabeach DOT com

      www DOT ramoshouse DOT com

      www DOT lolagaspar DOT com

    • What about a giftcard for a nice dinner out? I asked here about something similar for a couple who were living in SF (to get restaurant recs) and it worked out beautifully. They even sent us pictures of their beautiful night out and they were thrilled to be able to celebrate on us.

      • We did this recently for people who don’t need stuff. Particularly if money is tight, it’s a nice excuse for a celebration.

    • Senior Attorney :

      From your description, I think what this couple would appreciate most is cold, hard cash. Put a U.S. Grant in the card and they’ll be thrilled, I promise!

      • Seconded. I put the cash we got at our wedding to use to buy a new dishwasher. Whenever I use it, I think of the people who gave us the cash that let us buy it (since I couldn’t really put a dishwasher on the registry :P)

      • Third, sometimes it is best not to over think things.

    • If you don’t wan to give cash, here some restaurants in the area that I would suggest getting gift cards to:

      Gabi’s Mexican Kitchen (so good – I moved out of the area years ago but still make my fiance take me back here for my birthday)
      Citrus City Grille
      The White House in Anaheim

      They’ve also opened some luxury cinemas (with reserved seating, alcohol, etc.) in the area recently, so maybe a gift card to one of those would be nice as well.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I think cash, giftcard to nice dinner, etc. is fine.

      I also think that giving housewares isn’t immediately verboten if they may move sometime in the future. I would say that probably most married couples move at least once after they are married.

  8. Miss Behaved :

    I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and it’s only 10:15 in the morning.

    At about 7:15 this morning my train came to a stop. We’d lost power and the train had broken down. We sat on the tracks for about 15 minutes until another train pushed us to the next stop. Then we had to get off and wait on the cold platform until another very crowded train arrived.

    I actually was able to get on that train. And after we hit South Station, I got a seat. At the next stop, a crazy Jesus Freak lady got on and stood right in front of me. She was ranting and raving and singing and spitting. She called me a lying bitch. She accused me of stealing the silverware. She yelled at me for changing the channel while she was watching Monique, etc. This went on until Central Square – approximately 5 stops. The other passengers averted their eyes. You can’t make this sh!t up.

    At Harvard, the conductor announced that the train was going express to Alewife so I had to get off and wait for a local train to Davis. I had 3 trains, a crazy lady, an accusation of thievery, and I got spit on this morning. Plus, I’m pms’ing, I have a migraine, and I have a meeting scheduled for the entire afternoon.

    I love the mbta. I think I might have to ask for a refund today.

    • Miss Behaved :

      I’m in moderation for using the word b!tch…

      I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and it’s only 10:15 in the morning.

      At about 7:15 this morning my train came to a stop. We’d lost power and the train had broken down. We sat on the tracks for about 15 minutes until another train pushed us to the next stop. Then we had to get off and wait on the cold platform until another very crowded train arrived.

      I actually was able to get on that train. And after we hit South Station, I got a seat. At the next stop, a crazy Jesus Freak lady got on and stood right in front of me. She was ranting and raving and singing and spitting. She called me a lying b!tch. She accused me of stealing the silverware. She yelled at me for changing the channel while she was watching Monique, etc. This went on until Central Square – approximately 5 stops. The other passengers averted their eyes. You can’t make this sh!t up.

      At Harvard, the conductor announced that the train was going express to Alewife so I had to get off and wait for a local train to Davis. I had 3 trains, a crazy lady, an accusation of thievery, and I got spit on this morning. Plus, I’m pms’ing, I have a migraine, and I have a meeting scheduled for the entire afternoon.

      I love the mbta. I think I might have to ask for a refund today.

      • Oh man, that beats my collection of MBTA horror stories for sure. Yesterday there was a Jesus freak man absolutely shrieking at the top of his lungs at Park Street. It sounded like he was coming towards the doors to get on the train, but thankfully they actually closed before he could. I also had someone recently who was drinking vodka out of a paper bag and literally doing flips on the overhead hand bar…ugh.

        It makes me sad to think about how many of the characters on the T seem to be suffering from mental illness, but I’m not sure what strangers who are generally on their way to work can do. At least some of the regulars I see are in and out of the hospital, but I don’t know what can really help. Plus, I do think women generally have to be more cautious than men about offering assistance to strangers, particularly strangers who are yelling or stumbling around violently. As heartbreaking as it is to see people who are clearly struggling, I’m not always going to ignore any signals I get (read The Gift of Fear) for the sake of being helpful.

        • other duties as may be assigned :

          +1 to The Gift of Fear. Really a book that every woman (if not everyone) should read.

        • While it’s true that there’s not much you can do as a stranger on public transit, you could perhaps all consider not using language like “crazy” and “freak” and “ugh” and exercising a little compassion for other human beings struggling with mental illness and other hardships. Ableist language and disgusted attitudes don’t help anyone.

          • And please leave me out of this, too.

            The conduct that alarmed you does not appear to be related to her faith.

          • Nicely said.

          • +1. Yes, it’s difficult to sit next so someone who obviously and visibly has some mental or emotional challenges…but think about what it would be like to actually BE that person (or that person’s mother, sister, friend from childhood, etc.).

          • I tried to stay away from words like “crazy” in my description, but I guess I could have been a little more considerable with the “ugh.” That being said, it’s a lot easier to hide feelings like disgust, fear, or being fed up when you’re not the one there. I think everyone on this site would be lying if they said they hadn’t felt the same way when encountering someone who is yelling, drinking and stumbling around in front of you, literally cursing and spitting at you, or doing any of the things described here.

            In addition, I have no problem with the phrase Jesus freak. Not all of us respect people who corner you somewhere like a subway and shove religion down your threat in aggressive, high-volume language. That conduct does, in fact, appear to be related to faith.

          • Everyone that takes public transportation and/or lives in a major metropolitan area has encountered this. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s normal not to know what to do or how to react (unless you’re a social worker or other professional trained at working with vulnerable populations and adults with mental illness or addictions!). But that’s how you react in the moment, internally. Spending the rest of the day complaining about how gross, horrifying, awful it is to have to encounter that situation and how it’s ruined your day is pretty privileged and thoughtless, and perpetuates societal attitudes about how gross, horrifying, and awful homeless people or people with mental illness are. And that certainly doesn’t help with the problem as a whole.

          • I don’t agree. Most religious people actually don’t try to “share” loudly and inappropriately with strangers. And most people who scream and yell at strangers (whether about religion or something else) probably have some type of mental illness.

          • Marilla- how exactly did you conclude that she’s ‘spending the rest of the day ‘ complaining about it??? She complained exactly once, venting when she got tothe office about the horrific commute. Which included things like standing outside waiting for a new train, etc. We’ve established in the past that venting is allowed here, saying things you wouldn’t say to people at work to get it off your chest. I think you are being awfully hard on her for one rant about a 3 hour commute that included 2 or 3 words you aren’t happy with. Can you look at the big picture of her post and be a little sympathetic?

          • Some of the people who have “approached” me about religion over the years have almost certainly been mentally ill – I’m sympathetic to that and I know I spoke too fast above. That being said, I’ve been approached by dozens of people pushing religion over the years who have been aggressive, pushy, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer, and intrusive. They’ve been alone or with others, male or female, young or old, well-dressed and not, well-spoken and not, English-speaking and not, in the U.S. and not. Is there a chance that they’re all mentally ill? Sure, but I don’t think it’s that likely. Mental illness notwithstanding, I don’t respect anyone who doesn’t respect other people’s boundaries in public spaces under the guise of spreading religion. That’s all I meant by the above and I should’ve spoken more sensitively about it.

          • +1,000,000 Thank you for saying this.

          • zora – I’m totally sympathetic. I can vent about public transit in Toronto better than just about anybody. I’ve waited for six trains before I could get on, stopped in the middle of the tunnel for 15 minutes, made it one station in 30 minutes before giving up and walking an hour to work, etc. I totally get it. It sucks and it doesn’t make your day any easier. And as I said above, I understand and sympathize with how uncomfortable it is to be trapped on the subway right next to someone who appears to be screaming at you (or just screaming in your general area). And the two situations together – yep, not a fun start to your morning. But it’s not just 2 or 3 words that I’m reacting to. I’m reacting to 2 or 3 words that are symptomatic of a general attitude that make life a lot harder for a lot of people who already have it pretty hard. That’s the “big picture” I’m looking at. And I quite frankly wanted to say something before 10 other people chimed in with “ugh, crazy people are the WORST.”

            You’re right that it was a rhetorical leap for me to jump to “spending all day complaining” and I apologize for that.

          • But it IS really gross and ugh to be spit on while riding public transit. Sure, there are problems with the mental health system and I’m sure they have their own personal struggle, but it doesn’t mean that it is just a-ok for people to have to deal with that on public transit while they are just trying to get to work. It is ok to not show compassion for every single person that accosts you on public transit. It isn’t like she said anything to the woman on the train! Also agree with the “Jesus freak” term. They’re out there, and stand on buses, trains, and corners hawking their “faith.” Maybe it isn’t the mainstream interpretation of that faith, but there it is.

            I completely refuse to use public transit for this reason. I don’t feel safe, I don’t like dealing with people with severe mental illness (on my commute, anyway – fine if I’m specifically volunteering my time, which I do frequently), and it really would only shave 10 minutes off my commute. Not worth it.

          • Tired Owl :

            Marilla, you achieved a hat-trick of victim-blaming, sanctimony, and PC-policing. Miss Behaved is complaining about legitimately bad behavior that is, in some places (spitting on people) illegal. Having a mental illness does not absolve you of the responsibility to obey laws or general rules of civility. I can understand why that woman behaved that way (mental illness), but it doesn’t exculpate her from her horrid behavior. It is very much a “Thing” on this site to slam OPs for complaining about these types of things. It helps no one, and frankly, the implicit “I have a bigger better conscience” than you message is offputting. This is why so many posters leave this site.

          • Whoa there, Owl. I never said “hey, can it Miss B – that lady DESERVES to spit on you, scream at you, and do whatever she wants! She has a mental illness so she has human rights and you don’t!” I just said it’s worth having a little compassion, after the fact, once you’re safe and out of that situation. And that it’s unhelpful to use negative and derogatory language. I think you’re projecting from other arguments or battles you may have had.

      • wha!!!?? that is inSANE! definitely the worst possible before 10am. :o(
        i commisserate and send imaginary internet chocolate to make it feel better. Definitely try to treat yourself to something today, a cookie or a caffe mocha. And ask for a refund.

      • So this woman got on the train at Downtown Crossing, stood in front of your seat yelling at you until the Central stop, and you didn’t get up and move away from her?

        That, to me, is the nuttiest part of this whole story. Damn girl – take care of yourself first! Is it annoying to have to get up and move because another passenger is behaving strangely/inappropriately? Absolutely. But it is better than the alternative.

        • Preach.

        • Seriously. In addition to having a smidge of compassion for a person obviously suffering from mental illness, you could have used some common sense and a spine, too. Walk away. I don’t care how crowded a train is, you can always squeeze your way down a few spots.

          Seems like a lot of made up drama to me.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I have been in a similar situation and I disagree. I felt the safest thing to do was sit there and pretend to ignore it. I thought if I got up and moved I’d be followed. Mine was in a near empty train though, not busy commuter time.

            Crazy story though – the person yelling at me was yelling about how my judgment day was coming and if I was on fire would I want her to put me out or let me burn. Got to my stop, got off, and 2 blocks down the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. Maybe she was psychic. Yes, I told the tip line.

          • Tired Owl :

            So many of you are hypocrites. You like to complain about judgy people and there you go, judging the OP for not reacting the way you think she should have reacted in a stressful, potentially dangerous situation. And heaven forfend she doesn’t talk about the perpetrator of the nastiness (um, spitting + verbal abuse???) in PC-approved terms. The insistence on the PC-stuff is yet another example of the hypocrisy– we nice-police anyone to death for complaining about legitimate grievances, but in the nice-policing, we slam them hard. That most of you can’t even see this this hypocrisy is telling and depressing.

      • ….andddd this is why I took a new job that allows me to get to work without the help of the MBTA. Your commute sounds like a beast – commuter rail AND the red line all the way to Davis?! You pretty much had me beat (end of a commuter rail line to North Station, but I could walk to my office). Not to mention paying $300+ a month for this privilege.\

        I took the commuter rail in Paris recently and I was BLOWN AWAY. yes, I’m sure their trains break down/get late every once and awhile, but man. So much cleaner, nicer, on-time…

        same amount of crazy on the subway, though. Some things you just can’t change.

    • miss b: i’m sorry everyone is so cranky today. I feel ya.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Thanks. Somehow I knew I was going to get attacked again for the “crazy”. I just didn’t realize that “Jesus freak” would also be a problem.

        I posted and went to a meeting. I have another meeting from 1 to 4. For what it’s worth, before she zero’ed in on me she was proselytizing and speaking about Christ. Then she started attacking me verbally.

        I did not get up and move because she was large and blocking my way. Also, when I made eye contact with her, she spit on me. Since I go to the end of the line (or almost all the way), I knew she’d end up getting off before me. I did hope, however, that another passenger might come to my rescue, but no luck…

        Having been verbally taken to task twice this week on this site, I think maybe I’m done!

        • Twice internet strangers have had an issue with what you had to say? How do you go on?

          Yes the commute sucked. No you shouldn’t hope for someone to come to your rescue, when you won’t even do anything about it. Yes you could be a lot more open to people’s comments on your attitude towards mental illness.

        • :o( I would be sad if you went away. But this does seem to have turned into a ‘no-venting’ zone recently. Not sure wuzzup with that.

          • Anon from 11:28 :

            Nothing wrong with venting. But I’m not sure why we aren’t allowed to reply to a vent with a suggestion of how the OP could have improved a situation that, ultimately, left her feeling really frustrated and unsettled?

          • Because maybe sometimes when you’re venting you don’t need a suggestion on “how to improve a situation” that ended three hours ago? Sometimes you just need to express the feeling of being frustrated and unsettled without some gaggle of Internet Police© telling you that your feelings are illegitimate? Just maybe”

        • I’m with you too. Having taken the T for years I experienced so many moments of fear for my safety and my belongings, which unfortunately proved to not be unfounded (I was robbed, quite recently actually). It is hard not to get worn down and frustrated by it all.

          Once our train was stopped for 45 minutes or so while an ambulance had to be called for an intoxicated passenger who had hurt himself. Ultimately, there should be better social services, universal health care, and coordinated veterans’ affairs that could have helped that man; but at the time, when I was late for an appointment? Yes, it was frustrating, and I might have vented about it in the same way you did here.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            It would be nice if the government would take care of all these things.

            I think in most cities, people with mental illnesses don’t have a lot of places to go. And if they do, they have to take public transportation to get there, just like we do.

        • Gotten a little “mean girls take the corporate world” around here lately, hasn’t it? We don’t all have to be totally perfectly compassionate, politically correct, and be Mother Teresa all the time. Venting is perfectly ok.

          Heck, I think “political correct-ness” is one of the things that gets in the way of addressing the homeless/mental health problem.

          • Anon for this :

            This one million times. Thanks for saying it!

          • Wouldn’t Mother Teresa be considered a “Jesus Freak”?

            That’s the term I take issue with. Would you have called her an “Allah Freak” or a “Buddha Freak”? I don’t think so. You would have been much more sympathetic to the tone of those comments and found a way to reword it to avoid being politically incorrect.

          • No…I don’t think she would be. She didn’t stand screaming on street corners or run around public transportation pushing her “faith.” And, yes, if someone was standing in the middle of the street screaming out faith in Muhammad and being pushy and obnoxious about it, I might come up with a similar term. If you take things to the extreme, be ready for society to label you for it. Heck, even Urban Dictionary has an entry under “Jesus Freak.” We’re not making this up.

        • another attorney :

          But why do you post things like this if you cant take the good with the bad? Sure some people will think, like you did, man, that was a rough morning. But others will see it completely differently.

          Its not that this is a “no venting” zone, but people respond to things differently. Human nature and all. If you are not prepared for the possibility that others do not agree with you, then vent somewhere else.

          • Orangerie :

            Seriously. I don’t understand why every post has to be met with a chorus of yes-(wo)men.

        • Anon for this :

          FWiW, I think you’re in the right. The holier than thou attitude from commenters like Marilla and Godzilla make me ill and make me want to stop reading and commenting. I’ve lived in various large cities and have taken public transport to work. I hate feeling unsafe and I hate that other passengers just look away during an incident. I didn’t read your comment as a treatise on how gross homeless and mentally ill people can be. Instead I read it as you having a terrible morning commute capped off with a scary encounter with a mentally unstable person. You’re entitled to feel how you felt and to vent here. I’m sorry you had a rough start to the day and I hope your ride home is uneventful.

          As for your comment earlier in the week about the ski cabin – I agree with you there as well. It sucks to be an afterthought. I feel for you. Do something nice for yourself.

          To the judgy commenters – scroll on by if you don’t like a comment. Try being empathetic instead of being a judgmental holier than thou sanctimonious commenter.

          • Orangerie :

            “You’re entitled to feel how you felt and to vent here.”

            So… does that only apply to some, but not all, commenters?

            Look, I don’t have a particularly strong opinion on this whole debate either way. But just to play devil’s advocate: if someone feels strongly about the use of “crazy,” are they allowed to feel how they feel and to vent about it?

          • Anon for this :

            I am tired of the sanctimony from a lot of the commenters here. If you don’t like someone’s thoughts about her morning commute, just don’t read it. Why would you take someone to task for what miss behaved wrote? I’ve had my fair share of interactions with mentally ill, crazy, violent, dirty homeless people on public transportation in the Bay Area, New York and Boston. I have a right not to be accosted, assaulted, robbed, spit on, etc. Marilla and Godzilla offered only judgment about words used in a comment on a blog. I think like miss behaved that this might be the end of the line for me here. I don’t think we all need to agree or be yes women.

          • exactly, there’s a difference between being a yes-woman and being judgmental and critical about someone’s post without any empathy expressed. Here’s an example: “Oh no, that sounds like a horrible morning, I hope you can get through the rest of your day. But, by the way, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use the word crazy in a derogatory sense, and I personally try to be sympathetic to people in public who are clearly struggling with mental health issues, so I think we should be careful about the words we choose.”

          • Tired Owl :

            +1 to Zora.

            It’s telling that these posters show less compassion to Miss Behaved for merely griping here, than they do to someone who legitimately behaved in a threatening and possibly illegal manner. It’s very clear who matters to these posters. It’s also clear that their moral superiority matters more than a fellow poster’s safety.

          • Orangerie :

            Like I said, I don’t have a particularly strong opinion either way. I totally agree the incident on the train sounded highly unpleasant and stressful.

            However, if people are going to be all “you can vent here! feel how you feel!” … that should apply universally. Including people who feel offended by the use of casual ableism and want to express their opinion.

          • Wow, no will ever see this– but Miss B, you have taken a beating that you don’t deserve. I realyl don’t understand why people bother post mean things. Seriously, just skip the thread if you don’t agree with the poster. I would probably be shaken up for the whole day after an incident like this and crying at work. Then to vent in a “safe” place and get attacked again? Again, I just don’t understand the motivation of all the meanies around here.

        • I’m sorry that my posts made you feel attacked. That wasn’t my intention, and I certainly didn’t want to make your day worse or make you feel bad about posting on the site in general. I apologize for that. I do take these issues very seriously, so perhaps I could have been more sympathetic in my original post (as zora suggests).

          FWIW, I’ve had very scary encounters with mentally unstable homeless people before too. One incident in particular had me shaken for days. But I don’t blame the person involved and I was careful not to use negative language about him – not out of any sense that I’m holier than thou (I’m totally not) but because I have learned about these issues a little bit and I try to continually remind myself of what that person is going through instead of focusing on my fear or temporary inconvenience. I’m not saying you need to stop and do some social work ninja moves to fix all their life problems — or even interact with them — but I do wish we as a society had more compassion and understanding, and remembered how easy it is for everyday, privileged, educated, professional people to fall off that precipice of “normality” and into illness, substance abuse, and homelessness.

          • You had a scary experience, but you don’t blame the person involved or use negative language about him? That is the strangest, weirdly politically correct thing I’ve ever heard. I totally agree our mental health system needs help, but if we now can’t hold a person accountable for their actions I don’t know what to think. Sounds like cultural relativism to me.

    • Kontraktor :

      I just get up and leave a subway car if I feel uncomfortable on a train for any reason. I would rather take the inconvenience of waiting or being slightly delayed than feeling unsafe, or worse yet, actually becoming injured. I have stepped off a train once because a suspicious looking person carrying the type of bag you see in the terrorist PSA announcements got in the car (ie, stained beat up box with literally wires sticking out… not kidding). I also recently got off a BART train in SF because somebody abandoned a HUGE similar looking box in the middle of a BART car (also not kidding, again it was misshapen, stained, weird huge box with sharpie pen writing scrawled on it, “This side up”). I got off the train, had to wait 20 min for the next and reported to BART police. I know it may seem paranoid, but as I said, I’d rather feel safe and quell my own peace of mind.

      • BART definitely deserves an UGH :

        I agree with K – when something sketchy happens to me on a train, I get off and wait for the next one, or make a switch to the next car down. I recently got stuck on a very tightly packed train next to a drunk guy who was getting very uncomfortably close to me – and there was literally nowhere for me to go on the train. So I just got off. It wasn’t very fun and it delayed me a bit, but I was a lot happier without him next to me.

        Miss Behaved – I actually was thinking about your ski weekend story this morning and wondered if you’d decided what to do. I didn’t comment last time but I totally empathize with the horrors of sorting out sleeping arrangements at a shared house like that. I hope you figured out a solution and that your two-year-old-nephew is sleeping on the floor with his parents!

      • I was once having lunch at a sandwhich shop with my husband and three children, including a new baby, when a man walked in who made me feel very uncomfortable. I told my husband we are leaving now and very quickly packed up our food and left.

        My husband thought I was being paranoid and slightly irrational (though he didn’t protest and helped me gather up everything). I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was about the man (and I am a criminal defense lawyer–I don’t scare easy and I work with these “type” of people everyday.)

        Anyway, shortly after we left, he robbed the store, basically holding everyone hostage at gunpoint. No one was hurt and he was caught, but I am glad I trusted my instincts and got us out of there before it happened.

        • Wannabe Runner :

          Wow! What an incredible story. Good for you!!

        • tidewater :

          Excellent use of the Gift of Fear! I’m glad no one was hurt and you were able to get your family out of there.

    • I totally agree with Marilla on everything.

      Miss Behaved, I don’t know much about you and maybe I’m projecting here but you seem a bit stressed out. This thread, coupled with the thread a few days about your family, it seems like you have more than enough on your mind. Please take a few minutes every so often to regroup and recenter yourself.

      Hugs and rawrs.

      • I think this comment is patronizing, rude, and uncalled for. You do not know her family dynamics well enough to judge the cabin story harshly. This post re: the commute was reasonable and involved many points about which you could have reacted compassionately. Rawr less.

      • Yeah, this is such a condescending post. She’s stressed because that encounter upset her? You must be really the most zen person ever if someone can spit on you and it not bother you. Give me a break. Recenter yourself, Godzilla. You are patronizing.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Godzilla, I don’t take this post as patronizing. It looks like you’re trying to be nice.

        Just lots of drama on this board today…

  9. Baconpancakes :

    Has anyone bought any Banana Republic suits? Thoughts? There’s a 40% off sale right now, and the 95% lightweight wool, 5% spandex suits seem too good to be true, when similarly priced suits from other retailers are poly/viscose blends.

    • I love my BR suit that I bought last year. Like, love it. It’s a really unique shade of blue/navy, and the seaming is interesting but still totally professional and classic. The fabric is nice, and it’s fully lined. In sum, I love it.

    • I have the Martin fit suit pants and they have a strange rise that does not do nice things for the rear view. But ymmv. The wool suit jacket has worn well and I like the wide waistband on the pencil skirt.

      • viclawstudent :

        I have three BR suits; one of them I love (I think it might be the one preg anon has, because I would also describe it as a “really unique shade of blue/navy”) – it’s a skirt suit – one of them feels cheap to me (black wool skirt suit – something about the texture of the fabric seems weird to me) and the other one is a navy pant suit, Martin fit pants, and I also have problems with the fit not being the world’s most flattering (but I could get them tailored and am just too cheap/lazy). If the suits are 40% off, they’re a really good deal, IMO, despite the issues I have with some of them.

    • Clementine :

      Double check that the sale applies to suiting! Sometimes they’re in that ‘excluded’ category.

      Sincerely- someone who found this out at the register December 2012 and is still a little ticked about it.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Hmm, it doesn’t apply to BR picks, so the suit skirt is 40% off, but not the blazer. Do they ever have deals that apply across the board?

        • I’ve definitely gotten 40% off all suiting before both here and in the States so I would assume it does happen, although probably rarely

        • yeah this is how they got me. I went there to buy a suit when i needed one and they were having a sale, but i ended up having to pay full price. I just have the jacket and skirt, their pants dont work on me, but I still use it regularly when I need a suit, it’s held up well. Nothing exciting, but good for basics.

    • I like the banana suits but I feel like they are cut wider than Jcrew suits. Maybe I just bought the wrong size when I got mine but I think they are boxier and Jcrew seems like a slimmer more fitted cut. Otherwise though I like mine a lot. It’s been very durable.

    • All of my suits are from BR. I like that the pants are lined and that they are mostly wool. They are generally conservative and bland, so I figure it’s less noticeable that I always have the same ones on. Plus, BR is one of the few places that sell small petite clothes. One of these days I might try to do what my husband does with his suits and see if a tailor can move the slits on the jacket from two on the sides to one in the center.

      • Ditto. I also usually pick up my suit pieces when it’s either 40% off full price, or separately at sale season (but you can’t rely on that b/c of sizing issues).

      • Wannabe Runner :

        I also love BR suits.

  10. hellskitchen :

    Anyone have a facial hair remover cream to recommend that is gentle yet effective? I have been using Sally Hansen but it messed up my skin the last couple of times I used it. Any suggestions? How’s the new Olay system?

    • If you have sensitive skin (me too), it can be hard to find this. I finally gave up and bought the “spring” facial hair remover on Amazon. Cheap, fast , a little ouchy though as you get used to it.

      • hellskitchen :

        Does this actually work? I prefer threading so I’d love it if this tool works. There is an REM Spring tool for $20 and a few others for less than $2 – which one are you referring to?

    • I had burning skin after using the Olay system the first time. I definitely didn’t put on enough of the protective layer first. But if you put on too much, the hair remover doesn’t work. It requires more expertise than I can muster, I guess.

    • I actually didn’t have great luck with the Olay system. When I used enough of the pre-treatment balm, it doesn’t remove the hair enough, and I have a mustache again the next day. When I used less of the balm, I got burned.

      I gave up on hair removal creams, and I could never get the hang of the spring thing. I have it, but I just couldn’t get it to work right for me. I bought Bliss wax strips for the face, and I don’t think I will ever go back. I LOVE them. They’re similar to the Veet ones from any drugstore, but for some reason, the Bliss ones work better for me.

      • Second those. I have ’em and use them whenever the ‘stache gets too prominent.

      • hellskitchen :

        I have had allergic reactions to upper lip waxing but that was in a salon, never tried these at-home strips. Will see if Bliss works for me.

        • I’ve had bad reactions to salon wax as well, but nothing bad with these. I found a pack of 4 (8 strips) wax strips at my Marshalls and started by giving those a try. They were only 3.99. You might check that out before buying a large quantity.

          I didn’t like the oil they come with, so I don’t use it; it makes me break out. I say give it a try with a small area and see how it works. The wax isn’t smeared on the skin, so I think that helps with cutting back on the irritation and reaction. It sticks mainly to the hair. I hope that makes sense! :)

  11. Alex -- responding to Clerk's post from last weekend :

    Regular reader who is a few days behind on posts, but should Clerk still be seeking opinions on her trip/savings/debt payoff questions from last weekend, here is mine.

    Go on the trip. As you correctly pointed out, this will likely be the last real vacation you will have in a long time. Consider, though, if it is really necessary to spend $3-4k on this trip. That is, is there a way (or multiple ways) to substantially decrease that expense?

    For instance, I just came back from a week-long trip to Hawaii, and most of my costs fell into one of three categories: flights, lodging, and food. To maximize the experience but to minimize the associated costs, I received my ticket for free for opening up a new miles card and stayed in a semi-private room at a hostel (~$300). I knew I would be hanging out at the beach for most of the time, and I didn’t want to shell out big bucks for a place to sleep. Food-wise, I ate free breakfast at the hostel, had my one big meal of the day at lunch by yelping local restaurants that served big portion sizes (since lunch prices are cheaper than dinner) (~ $50), and ate leftovers for dinner/went grocery shopping on nights I wanted to eat more (~ $20). All in all, after a few souvenirs (~ $30), a week in Hawaii set me back around $400.

    Note, given your current CC debt, I’m not sure if playing the miles game is a wise choice, but is there a way to shave off a few hundred dollars from the trip’s cost? Assuming the “as advertised” price for the trip is $3k, and you can find a way to reduce that by $500, you are looking at paying $2.5k for the trip.

    Taking it one step further, could you save this amount without having to rely on your clerkship bonus? I am guessing you have 5-6 months before you leave your clerkship, and from looking at OPM salary tables, 2nd year federal clerks make approx. $60k annually, or $5k monthly, before taxes. Could you find a way to set aside $400 or so a month before your clerkship ends?

    In my experience, as long as you know why you want to go on your trip (for me, it was to hang out, relax, and read at the beach), there is usually a way to accomplish that without paying the “as advertised” price.

    • thanks for the suggestions, and for following up on my original thread, I really appreciate it!

      I think you’re right that I should budget more like $1.5-2.5k for this trip and no where in the vicinity of $4k. Part of my desire to spend more is that I don’t know if my bf will be able to afford a $2k trip unless I chip in. Originally I was also hoping to do 2 trips- a week in the UK with a law school buddy (which including airfare, food, activities, even assuming we can stay with his friends, would be at least $1500), and a more relaxing/beach type vacation with my bf. Maybe I could do the UK trip and then look into a more inexpensive Caribbean-type vacation with my bf- which would also be ideal because he would prefer not to take more than 3-4 days off of work.

      • Having not looked at your original thread, but looking here to see that you want to save money, but still have a beachy vacation–have you thought about some of the state/national parks? Not sure where you’re located, but there are some amazing beaches & state parks in Florida. DH and I went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Florida 2x prior to marriage. The beach was great–white sugar sand, sunny, warm. The park facilities were “park-y” but not gross. We had a pop-up camper at the time, but if I recall correctly, there are several cabins at that particular park. Bahia Honda state park also has cabins. (and by cabins, they mean house with kitchen, bath & air conditioning–so relatively normal creature comforts)

        You’ll end up spending way less on your lodging, and probably will be dealing with far fewer crowds.

        If you’re married to a caribbean type vacation, look at homeaway and VRBO. Both offer lots of opportunities for cheap lodging, and since they’re individual owners, you can often bargain/negotiate a rate. When we visited Arizona in 2012, we negotiated a rate for a 2-bedroom condo for less than $100/night. It was in the perfect location, near a grocery store, had a great kitchen, and enough room that we could each chill without being on top of one another.

  12. other duties as may be assigned :

    One of the fun parts of my job is all the other things that I bring to the table.

    Today: arranging flowers for a co-worker who is leaving for another job.

  13. Equity's Darling :

    Ladies- I am trying to trip plan. I’m going to Lisbon for 8 days, followed by 8 days in Amsterdam in a couple of months. I’m trying to decide whether I split my time in Lisbon with a few days in Porto? I’m pretty convinced that I should do 4 days in Amsterdam and 4 days in Brussels (with lots of side trips- Bruges, Antwerp, Hague, etc?), but I might be too squished for time?

    Any suggestions for things not to miss?

    • I did Lisbon last March! It was AWESOME – totally laid back city with some great food. Depending on how you like to travel, 8 days in Lisbon might be a lot. We did about a week, but we’re very laid back tourists – we do maybe 1-2 sights per day in a single neighborhood, then just hang out, relax, and walk around for the rest of the time. If you are the kind that like to see lots of sights every day, you can probably be done in about 3-4 days. We also thought about going up to Porto, but decided against it. A shorter day trip that might be nice is to go out to Sintra and then ride back along the coast if you don’t want to do 2 full cities.

      I’m all about food when I travel, so I highly recommend seafood in Lisbon. My favorite was O Ramiro (Bourdain goes here on one of his shows, but it’s not touristy at all). There was also a really good tiny family restaurant in Alfama by the Cathedral Se called “A Tasca de Se.”

      For sights, walk around Alfama. My favorite single “site” was the Monastery Sao Vincente. We went early in the morning and were the only people there. It is beautiful and also houses the pantheon of the last Portuguese royal family.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Thanks- I tend to do a lot of sights each day- Sintra is already on the list, I definitely want to see it, but I’ll add in the Monastery:)

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          You should have some pasteis de belem (in Belem), which are the best ever. Then go to Sintra and Cascais (which is lovely).

          • Equity's Darling :

            Oh, the pasteis are definitely on the list too- local sweets are some of my favourite things to eat while travelling! I can’t wait!

          • I second Cascais – it is an easy train ride from Lisbon and such a pretty coastal town.

    • You definitely don’t need 8 days in Lisbon.. it’s a tiny city and you can see it all in 3 days or less. I’d recommend splitting your time and hitting the beach.

      • Equity's Darling :

        So you suggest visiting the south instead of Porto? Will the beach be warm enough in early May? I looked at the average temps, and I thought the water might be too cold…

        • Orangerie :

          Unfortunately I don’t have recommendations for specific beach towns because I was only in Portugal for 2.5 days on a side trip from Spain. Sorry! I can, however, confidently say that a few days was plenty for Lisbon.

    • Oporto is absolutely lovely–I would take some of your Lisbon time and shift it to Oporto. Also, if you can rent a car, it’s a really lovely drive. And if you want some country time, drive from Oporto to Braganca–really lovely. Seafood ALL THE TIME.

      Also, I think that Taylor Fladgate is the best port tour of the bunch…they have white port, which was really unusual, and their caves are pretty. Have fun!

    • I LOVED PORTO. GO TO PORTO. GO RIGHT NOW. I stayed at the Yeatman, which was fantastic. They’re across the street from the Taylor Fladgate port lodge, which is also awesomesauce.

      In Sintra, don’t miss the Pena Park. It is like an enchanted Narnia forest full of delightful surprises.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Go to Evora, a 1.5 hour drive (or bus ride, I gather) from Lisbon. It was my favorite town in Portugal (we went in Aug/Sept last year). Stay at Albergaria do Calvário and take them up on the offer to do the Ebora Megalithica tour. Mario (the archaeologist/tourguide) will engage you in discussions about Portuguese vs. US politics, Portuguese society, and agriculture in the region, as well as the (literally) awesome history of the megaliths. Walk around Evora, which had the best food (we thought) of Portugal. You can stay for just one night and fit all this in. Enjoy! I envy you–6 months later and I am still dreaming of Portugal…

      PS–If you decide to rent a car, we found Portugal’s highways to be quite easy to navigate.

  14. canyouwink :

    Sorry for the threadjack – I know this has been discussed many times in many different ways but I could use some more personal advice so here goes:

    My fiance and I are at an impasse about a registry. For some background we are both in our mid-late 30s, we live in NYC, and we’ve lived together for a couple years. We are both really into cooking and entertaining and have been on our own for awhile so we have a well stocked kitchen already. We are trying to save up to buy our own apartment in the next couple years but for now we are renters.

    He doesn’t want to register at all except to ask for money to help us with a down payment, and I think it is rude to ask outright for money. His family has more money than mine, and he doesn’t see any issue with asking. I think that people who want to or can give money already know we’d like it, but for our friends and family who can’t give a lot I’d rather have a salad bowl we chose or a painting they made, or to just not get a gift but also not offend them than a small check.

    I finally got him to concede that we could have a small registry but he wants to keep it under 10 items and we are inviting almost 200 people, and he wants to have a link to a paypal or something like that on it!

    I really just want our wedding to be a fun party and I don’t want to offend anyone and I don’t want to seem like we are money grubbers. I think this is partly a cultural issue for us and he just doesn’t understand my point of view, and we’re having a real hard time compromising on this. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!

    • I think that the compromise is to have a small registry. IMO, there should be no request for cash or cash equivalents and certainly no paypal link.
      If he wants to ask his immediate family for money on the side, that’s his thing.

      • yeah, this. He of course can just tell his family outright, ‘please just send checks for our downpayment fund’ if that’s the kind of relationship his family has with money. But putting that on the invitation or registry for all of your family and all of the friends to see is just not done. And I am not one to be all about conventions, but this is one of those exceptions.

        The honeymoon registry idea below is also a good compromise. But I don’t know why he can’t see that even if his family is going to just give cash, you can’t ask all of the wedding guests for that, they’re not all his family.

    • I’m with you… there is no way to grub for money without looking like a money-grubber.

      The only compromise I can see here is to say “no gifts, please.” Sounds like you don’t need items from a registry, and you *cannot* ask for cash, because that is awful, so the remaining option is to decline gifts. Your fiance apparently wants to make a profit, so he might still be disappointed, but you will also have given up something (the registry), so that counts as a compromise.

    • Diana Barry :

      Can you explain to him that it is a cultural issue with your side of the family? Like “these relatives will be offended if we don’t have a registry, and they will be further offended if we put a link to a honeymoon fund/paypal on the registry”? And also, does he not respect your view that it is rude to ask for money on the registry? (I agree with you FWIW.)

      He ought to be able to get that this is A THING for you and your family and just to go along with it. Otherwise I would think there are other things going on than just this issue.

      • Mid-career field change :

        It may be more than an issue for you. Does he want to be That Guy who had a paypal link on his registry? That stuff gets out (like someone in his office looks it up and it becomes the story that they’re talking about 5 years from now). And even if it his idea, you’ll get tagged with it as well. You will be people who are talked about and held up as bad examples.

        Has your fiance ever read Miss Manners or Emily Post? I’m not sure how aware guys are of these things, but this is pretty black and white. He might be unpleasantly surprised.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree with this. In the culture I grew up in this would be a heinous faux pas that would horrify the entire family. And yes, if somebody in my workplace did it people would definitely Talk About It Not In A Good Way.

        If he is 100% positive it is normal and expected by his family, then he can ask them for money directly, but leave it out of any written communications that will be seen by your family and the general public.

    • I don’t really have any advice on how to compromise with your fiance on this because I think you are right. In the US, at least, it is still socially frowned upon to ask for money. I think its ok to tell parents, etc. that if anyone asks what you would most like for a wedding gift, they can mention you are saving up for an apartment. Otherwise, I think a small-ish registry is the only way to go (though I think 10 items is way small).

      Maybe you could register somewhere you regularly spend money, with a good return policy, and include a gift card on your registry? Like Amazon or something. That way, while you won’t directly get cash toward a down payment, you could maybe “offset” each gift with your own contribution to your down payment fund. And you could always return gifts for store credit if that would make your fiance more comfortable.

      Alternatively, if your fiance comes from a culture where it is OK to ask for money as a wedding gift, perhaps there is a way to mention some sort of fund to his side of the family only? I recently attended a wedding where the bride was from Australia and the groom was from the US. Apparently in Australia, having a “wishing well” for cash wedding gifts is more common than in the US. Perhaps as a compromise, you could have a larger traditional registry (say 50 items), and then have a wishing well with the phrase “in [fiance’s home country/culture/whatever], [way of asking for cash gifts] is common. If you would like to contribute toward our fund to build a down payment on our first home, [link to way to asking for cash gifts] is below.”

      Just my thoughts….

    • I see no reason not to put together a small one. It’ll give the small percentage of your guests who prefer a registry the option of doing so.

      On the other hand, my friend who does not cook registered for 4 slow cookers because a wedding website told her to give 3-4 items of options for each guest and she needed to get to her number of items when in reality, her friends and family were simply going to cut a check/give cash.

      I personally would find a paypal link odd, even though I prefer giving checks.

      • I’m pretty confident it will be more than a small percentage who would shop off the registry.

    • This may sound ridiculous, but I have heard that Bed Bath & Beyond gives cash refunds for any registry items you return. Not sure if it’s true but might be worth checking out?

      • That was not true in my experience, and I think it’s fairly offensive to register for items that your guests then take the time to buy and wrap with no intention of ever keeping the items.

      • Yeah, even if this was possible, its incredibly tacky. I’d be really annoyed if I bought a gift off a registry and found out that the person returned it because they wanted the cash (obviously I understand gifts get returned because of duplicates or quality issues). And don’t assume no one will ever find out – people who visit your home may very well realize what you’re up to. If you want to politely signal to people that you want cash, I agree that a very small registry is the way to go.

        OP – You may get a lot of cash even with a registry. We had a decent-sized registry that was only about 75% purchased and I’d say half our guests still gave us cash.

      • Depends on your BB&B. Mine gave us a cash refund a few months ago. (NYC, downtown)

    • Have a small registry, and leave it at that. You don’t need to ask for money – people will get the hint. If anyone specifically asks why you have a small registry or specifically asks what you want, say you are saving for an apartment. I wouldn’t compromise on this – it’s super rude to ask for money outright.

      • Agree with Roses-if there is a small registry or all registry items are gone-people will generally write a check or give cash. Be prepared for some “odd” gifts from creative people who see the lack of a registry as a chance to improvise-my s/i/l received a garbage can with her invitation embossed on the front!

    • So I didn’t have a wedding, but I’ve always wondered: Can you just return your registry gifts and get cash refunds?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Asking for money makes me uncomfortable too. My fiancé sounds like yours and thinks it would be fine but is deferring to me on the issue. I’d do a small registry as a compromise, but would include more than 10 items. I personally like to give gifts instead of cash typically and it’s so much easier when there is at least some items to choose from. Those 10 items would likely be taken care of pretty quickly.

      I’d probably register for around the number of gifts as invitations you sent out, maybe subtracting the ones for his family that will likely give money. You won’t need 200 gifts on the registry since people who come together will likely give one gift or money. Also remember that some people may like to turn to your registry when buying you a shower gift, if you have one.

      Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

    • My friends did honeyfund, and one of the options was “Help us save for our dream/first home!” or something like that, in $20 increments — in addition to other actual honeymoon gifts. I don’t think anybody thought it was weird, but then again we are all asian and expect to give cash.

    • Small registry so people on your side or who are more inclined to give gifts have something to go by. People who will give money will give money. My friend’s fiance (now husband) tried to do this to. The result? Getting lots of gifts they didn’t want that were not returnable (and most were “special” in the taste department).

      Once my friend set up a registry, suddenly she was getting things she could actually use. She did return some things at Bed Bath once she realized she didn’t need them (and got cash), but for the most part, everyone she predicted would give cash did so and everyone who gave a gift did so.

    • Baconpancakes :

      As someone who can’t give a whole lot at weddings after travel and hotel costs, it’s less embarrassing to give a really nice teapot than to give a $40 check, even though it’s the same amount out of my bank account. <– Reason I dislike anyone ever asking for cash or donations.

      Maybe point out to your fiance that asking for cash makes some guests feel uncomfortable, but that if his family is well off and likely to give the cash that will make a difference in your bank account anyway, he can just tell them directly, and avoid getting $40 checks.

    • Why not ask for charitable donations? We were in a similar boat, and said “no gifts, your presence is enough, but if you feel compelled to give here are 4 charities we like.” People loved it and gave tons of money. And the few people who gave non-charitable gifts gave really thoughtful gifts — like wine from their area of the country, or a GC for a nice dinner out.

    • My fiance had the same issue with the registry. I explained to him that people are going to give us non-cash gifts no matter what, so we might as well provide them some guidance (which relieves guests of the stress of “what should I get them!”) and get something we like. Plus, most wedding gifts are given at the bridal shower, if you are having one. I have never known anyone to give cash at a bridal shower. You will get cash regardless. I always think a super-small registry says “money grabbing” in a passive-aggressive way, so just make a normal registry. People will still give you cash.

    • I’m not sure where you’re from, but for every wedding I’ve been to, everyone gets a gift for the shower and gives money for the wedding. The registry is so that the bride has stuff to open at the shower, in which case you could maybe try to convince the person throwing it to give it a theme, like holiday decorations or asking them to bring a favorite recipe or something.

      I know asking for cash is considered a breach of etiquette, but weren’t registries also considered similarly offensive in the past? I’ve never been offended by someone saying something about how they’re blessed to have most of the material things they could ever want on their wedding website. If you’re going to ask for a toaster, you may as well own up to asking for what you actually want. Of course, ymmv depending on where you are and what your family is like. My family/friends are not offended by it.

    • marketingchic :

      My experience has been that wedding guests want to buy stuff. If you don’t register for stuff, they’ll buy stuff you don’t want, don’t need, and can’t return.

      • People will give you gifts. Some may give cash, but most will want to give you actual gifts. (For the poster above who said everyone just gives cash at weddings – not in my experience. Older relatives will want to bring wrapped boxes.)

        Do you want a whole bunch of random gifts, or do you want to receive stuff you will actually use and like? If the latter, register. If the former is ok with you, don’t register.

        If he wants to tell his family to just give cash, that’s probably ok if it’s ok with them. But I wouldn’t do it. Many people will give you cash/checks anyway.

    • The registry is to make it easier for people to pick things that you’ll like, because they don’t know your taste. Everyone knows they can give you cash. Ergo, no need for PayPal link. Maybe try explaining it to him that way?

    • I have lived with my fiance for a year so we mainly just upgraded what we already had plus added a couple of things that we don’t already have but will use. We could also mostly use cash but I would never outright ask for it. The wedding invitations just went out and I think almost half of the registry has already been purchased for us from shower gifts (we registered for about 80-90 items). I don’t plan on adding anything else and am hoping people will just default to cash. Of course you are opening yourself up to getting a bunch of crap you don’t want or need and possibly can’t return. If I were you I would put my foot down on having a Paypal link. One of my friends asked for cash and gift cards and the overwhelming perception I got from others was that it was unbelievably tacky of them to do.

    • almost april :

      A potential semi-compromise solution: don’t have a registry, don’t have a link for paypal, and don’t say no gifts. If you don’t have an easily accessible registry or statement regarding gifts, people who don’t already know what to get you will be forced to (1) ask, (2) pick something on their own, (3) give cash, (4) give nothing.

      My guess is very few people will go with option 2, pick something on their own (if you know most people in your family will pick option 2, then maybe this isn’t the solution for you). Most people will either give cash or nothing (which are your stated preferences) or they’ll ask. And if they ask, it’s perfectly acceptable for your family to say something like “They don’t really need anything, so they didn’t register. Gifts are not necessary. If you do really want to give them something, I know they are saving for a down payment on a home, and a contribution for that would be appreciated. But really, a gift is not necessary.”

    • canyouwink :

      I want to thank everyone who commented for giving some really good and helpful advice. I actually showed him all the comments here, and we finally agreed to just not have a registry at all and no outright asking for money either. We’re not having any showers or engagement parties, and we’re having a city hall wedding with a BBQ in the park to celebrate. Hopefully this will keep it fun and low-key. I’m sending out save the dates today! Thanks again!

  15. I think honeymoon registry is the least money-grabby way to do this — then use what you might otherwise have spent on honeymoon for down payment? Agree with PPs that you can’t ask for money directly and REALLY CAN’T include a paypal link anywhere.

    For Canyouwink, in case this comment lands somewhere goofy….

  16. Interview question :

    I have two interviews coming up at companies that are direct competitors with each other. I’m very strongly leaning towards one company, which happens to be the one where I’m interviewing first. I know they’ll ask if I have other interviews or offers (which I know from a prior experience with them), and while I don’t have an offer anywhere, I do have this interview at their competitor coming up. I’m 99% sure I would accept an offer from the first company over the other company. Is there any way I could tell them “I do have an interview at competitor X, but if I were to get an offer here, I would skip it?” I’m not sure if that would read as desperate or not, but it just reflects the reality that I strongly prefer one company over the other. If I could save myself the hassle of taking more time off work and attending a long (4+ hour) interview at the second company, I would really like to. Any thoughts?

    • I know exactly how you feel, but go to both interviews despite the hassle. Even if company 1 promises you an offer, it could get revoked or otherwise not work out for any number of reasons.

    • You can’t really push them to give you an offer any faster than they want to. I would say something like “I do have an interview with competitor, but I much prefer your company for X reasons” (and have real reasons). You don’t want to make it sound like you’re just sucking up.

      On the other hand, if you have prior knowledge about EXACTLY what the preferred company’s offer will be and you know you don’t need to negotiate, you can say something like “I will join if you give me an offer.” They won’t mind hearing it, but you lose all leverage to make any future negotiations.

      • Diana Barry :

        I wouldn’t mention the competitor either – you could say that you have interviews at MULTIPLE other places. I used that line in a few interviews and it was always accepted without question.

        • Interview question :

          At least one person at the company actually already knows that I’m interviewing at this competitor – it came up in a phone interview where the guy asked “do you have other interviews? Where?” I just didn’t mention it because he won’t be present at the in-person interview and I can’t know for sure what he may have said to the interviewers.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            You could be honest but vague, “I’m exploring my options.”

    • Maybe I just don’t know the norms, but I feel like asking a question about where else do you have interviews can be met with a “Nunya Business”

      Frankly, it is none of their business who else is interviewing you.

      Unless you see it as a move that would make them want to nab you up from the compeititor–and you would have to be pretty certain that you’re their top choice.

      I don’t know, I would surely go through both of the interviews. What if company Y offers you a better deal than company X?

      • Interview question :

        The top of the second company’s pay range is less than what I’m making now and the commute is over an hour longer and would require a far more expensive transit pass. I’m almost certain the first company’s pay range is higher and the commute is also a dream. Otherwise, the companies are similar. If the first company didn’t offer me the job, I would still definitely consider the second company, but it would come with some financial and time sacrifices.

      • I agree that it’s not really their business. I usually answer this question more as “is this the kind of job you are looking for” rather than “who is our competition,” although maybe that’s not how they mean to ask it. I just feel like when I was asked in my most recent round of interviewing, it was best to say something like, “other smaller law firms and government offices” and then turn it back to why that particular opportunity was right for me, rather than name names.

        But I see that the OP has already told them, so I wouldn’t backtrack now. I would assume that whatever you told them on the phone is now common knowledge for your interviewers, so I wouldn’t try to hide the name.

  17. hair question :

    Ladies with fine straight hair – have you found a cut/style that works for you?

    My hair is so blah and limp, I can’t stand it. Right not it is just below shoulder length, parted in the middle, no layers (layers just lay in my hair and make it look even thinner). My hair doesn’t hold curl, wave, etc…. it is truly straight. I have had it a bit shorter, and a bit longer. I have tried an angled bob, but it required a LOT of maintenance and styling. Ideally, I would like a wash and go type style or at least wash and blow dry.

    • Mouse and a strategic blow-dry has matter far more than length / cut in whether I have good hair or not.

    • Quasi-Minimalist :

      Try a blast of dry shampoo on your roots with your freshly washed (and dry) hair. My new favorite is Orlando Pita dry shampoo. I buy it at Costco. I also switched from regular shampoo to Wen products and I’ve seen great results from the Wen.

    • A stacked bob.

      • oh didn’t see that you tried this. It takes me 5minutes to blowdry the front and top with a round brush for a little oomph.

        I think the only wash and go for fine thin hair is having long hair and putting it up. Unfortunately our hair type needs some styling to look decent, but the plus side is even with longer hair we can do a full blow dry in about 10 minutes.

    • marketingchic :

      Collar-bone length with long layers. Product and blow drying are also important. Try the Small Things blog – she has this hair type and while I don’t do as much as she does, I’ve picked up a lot from her.

    • Diana Barry :

      Pixie? I have a friend with a super-cute pixie cut and her hair is stick straight. She looks great! I don’t think she uses much product either.

      Otherwise, I agree that putting it up might be your best bet if it is longer.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I have very fine, thin hair and have tried many hairstyles. I keep wanting it long, but have finally realized that just makes it look more limp and thin. By far the best is a bob, with a slight angle (so its longer in front) and the ends are layered, not blunt cut like a traditional bob.

      Its not wash and go, but it doesnt take me long to do it. About 5 min to blow dry — upside down and then with a big round brush, but not perfectly straight. Then I take a straighting iron (which heats up while I put my make-up on) and run it through in about 3-4 minutes.

      I usually get two days out of this, though sometimes the second day I need to pull it up.

      • Team bob here too. Mine is chin-length and I get cuts every 5-6 weeks. It’s pretty easy to wash and blow-dry. Highlights help with volume.

    • Carrie Preston :

      I have your hair. I’ve found having bangs helps a lot – looks more “styled” even when my hair is really flat. I keep it long & wear it up about 50% of the time. Agree with the advice to use products – lately I’ve found that adding dry shampoo at the end of a blow dry helps volumize on top of the stuff I put in my hair when it’s wet.

    • Senior Associate :

      I have your hair as well. I can either do a long (well, shoulder-length) layers or an angled bob, but the maintenance on the bob is more work. For me, the key is 1) sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner – gives me more volume and less grease; 2) mousse (the magic product for volume); and 3) side-swept bangs, which help give the whole look more oomph. I also finish with a very light hairspray.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Volumizing product and using velcro curlers or big round brush to give it more body.

    • I have similar hair and have a not super short pixie. I have to get it cut every 6-8 weeks but it’s really low maintenance on a daily basis: just hand style with wax.

  18. I supervise a woman who has plateaued professionally. As our practices become more technical and less paper-based, she’s getting lost. I have a meeting with my bosses to see how we should proceed with her lack of understanding but this is my first time supervising professional staff so any hugs/rawrs/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • I supervised someone like this. She did one thing (at a high level but that one thing) and didn’t show flexibility in expanding. There were ways that she could have learned more to deal with the technology but she just didn’t. It made her less and less relevant, despite my best efforts at getting her to branch out. As a result, she was downsized recently. I felt bad about it, but she had ample opportunity to grow in her job.

      As for what you should do, I’m wondering if you could assign her a mentor who isn’t you. Getting that kind of help from your supervisor is daunting, especially if she has to ask a lot of questions. Maybe have someone go through with her how to work with the technology to do what she needs to do, then be available for questions. But it’s possible that she can’t or won’t. Another possibility would be to get a subscription to something like for her so she can watch tutorials on the things she has questions about. But that might be a stretch for her, too.

    • Senior Associate :

      This is tough. But perhaps an encouraging story will help? My MIL is an RN and had a really tough time with the switch to electronic records. It took her forever to figure it out. But she worked really hard, enlisted help from her colleagues and supervisors, and finally now is proficient at it. And she’s in her 60s! People can make this transition and if you are patient and work with her, she will probably be grateful forever. (Of course, this all is based on the assumption that she wants to make a shift, is working hard, etc.) Good luck!

    • Meg Murry :

      If she is supposed to be doing the same tasks over and over again, could you make her a user manual of screenshots that she could refer to? Or hook her up with another person who could help her make one? For people who aren’t technical (or even those of us who are) its really reassuring to know that you are clicking on the correct boxes or that the popup window you are getting is normal. If its an electronic version of what used to be a paper form, highlighting side by side where the info from the old form goes in the electronic form is also helpful, especially if its in a different order.

      If she is genuinely trying or open to trying that is totally different than someone who says “I’m not going to learn this computer system and you can’t make me!” and should definitely be handled differently.

      And I also agree that assigning her a “tech mentor” who isn’t her boss would be a good idea – especially if there is a younger person who she could equally teach a few things to. That way she doesn’t have to come to you every time she has a tech question, especially if you are in meetings or otherwise unavailable for parts of her day.

    • Miz Swizz :

      She makes a big deal about wanting to learn but when it comes down to it, she doesn’t understand how the system works. If she’s doing a simple task, she’s fine. Past that, she blames the system.

      For instance, she did the system equivalent of putting a formula in cell A1 of Excel and assuming because it was there that it would feed down to the other cells in the spreadsheet. When someone reported the issue, she sent me an email that she set everything up exactly the way the other office approved it and had no idea why it didn’t work.

      I think the crux of the issue is that she has no deductive reasoning skills and I don’t know how to move past that when you HAVE to have those skills in a relational database.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        I think the crux is that she doesn’t really have training in this software. For those of us that are younger, we pick up new systems right away. Older folks sometimes need specialized training in order to be taught the concepts behind the software and how to use it.

        Someone in my office found some webinars online for our software, and our older staff LOVE them.

  19. Turkey travel? :

    Looking to spend about a week in Europe in September. I’d like a mix of cultural stuff/beaches, so I was thinking Turkey… does anyone have any experience going to Turkey for no more than a week, and incorporating both culture (Istanbul, any Roman ruins would be appreciated, good scenery and food) and a couple days on the beach?

    • Yes, totally doable. You can do the main sites in Istanbul in 2-3 days. The ancient ruins in Ephesus are amazing. I’ve heard the beaches in Bodrum are beautiful but I’ve never been. Factoring in time for traveling, I think two destinations would be good. Domestic flights in Turkey are very cheap.

      I’m really jealous, enjoy your trip!

      • Turkey travel? :

        thanks! do you have a sense of how expensive Turkey is relative to western Europe? Looks like I can get a roundtrip flight to Istanbul for $800. Would it be reasonable to budget $75/night per person (2 people, so $150/room per night) for a decent hotel in Istanbul and/or the beach? And what are restaurant/museum prices like?

        Thanks again!

    • I haven’t been personally, but a good friend went to Istanbul for a week last year and loved it. I can’t recall exactly what she paid for accommodations, but your budget of $150/room seems reasonable. I do remember that one of the highlights for her was a Turkish cooking class, and I found the link in one of our gchats: She is really into food and raved about how great of an experience it was.

      What an exciting trip! Have fun planning!

    • Italy? Lots of culture and beaches.

  20. Can anyone recommend a good “nanny cam” type app? I am dying to know what my dog does all day when she’s home alone! Because it’s just for curiosity’s sake, not looking to spend a lot on the app–would just like something where I can set up my ipad to record and then check in either with my iphone or web access.

    • I sleep.

      • Thanks, that’s *super* helpful. I was trying to keep my post general, but she’s actually been sick lately and I want to make sure she’s not still vomiting.

        • That response is probably the same person who thinks it’s super helpful and funny to pretend to be Alan on Ellen’s posts.

          Otherwise, I don’t have any recommendations for apps, but depending on how large your house/apartment is, you might need more than one viewing point for it to be effective.

      • …and probably on the couch and/or bed (especially if you’ve told me not to).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This actually cracked me up. I think it was meant to be funny, not snarky.

    • No recommendations, but I love that you are doing this….

    • Keep a skype or google hangouts video connected all day?

      • Wildkitten :

        We did this when I first got my puppy. We learned that we’d really rather just not know.

    • Baconpancakes :

      You could teach your dog to text.

      Seriously, though, I have no idea. There’s always the old fashioned camera-in-teddy-bear, which may be a better choice if you want to watch the dog for 10+ hours a day.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Oddly, I just read an article about this

      They recommend several different products

    • Quasi-Minimalist :

      I use our Withings baby monitor and app for dog-cam. We also have a college student come by between his classes (we live near a community college) to check on our dog and give her a quick walk. Hope your dog feels better soon.

  21. Guys, so excited! Way more pay, way better benefits, way better for my career, everything amazing. Only problem is I beat out my supervisor for it. I’m not sure if he knows yet, but I’d like to talk to him about it– he’s a really great guy and I’ve learned so much working for him… and I also consider him a friend (the kind you’d go to happy hour with after work). How can I deal with this delicately and gracefully?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Congratulations! Sorry I don’t have any advice on how to tell your supervisor but I wanted to congratulate you.

      • Thanks! Post-law school has been really hard on me and I finally feel like I’ve been given a golden ticket. :)

    • Silvercurls :

      My gut reactions:
      1) Congratulations to you!
      2) Let your supervisor hear both news items–he didn’t get the job; you did–through official channels. This will give him a chance to compose himself. He won’t have that same chance if you are the messenger. My hunch is that it stings to learn that your supervisor has been chosen for the job you wanted.
      3) After the official announcement is public you can send him an email telling him how much you enjoyed working for him, how much you learned from him and how you have acted and will continue to enact these lessons. I recommend 2-3 sentences + a signoff. I also recommend starting off with a gentle announcement to cover the horrible, but not unheard-of possibility that your future employer somehow OMITTED getting back to the candidates NOT chosen for this job (e.g., “I want to be sure that you knew that I will be leaving my current position in order to work as [new title] at [new organization.] I also want you to know how much I have enjoyed working for you/ learning from you / insert your own words here.”)
      You want to be warm but not gushing.
      4) Check the archives at askamanager (dot) com for more advice. Blogger Alison Green’s style of communication is direct and compassionate without being gooey, dysfunctional, or dishonest.

      The closest I’ve come to your experience is reaching out twice to coworkers soon after they were fired. That was a different kind of awkward, but in both situations I found the other person really receptive to and appreciative of my simultaneously acknowledging their current disappointment and confirming that I still respected them as people and wished them better experiences in future. That seems the message you want to communicate here.

    • hellskitchen :

      Don’t be the one to tell him; let him find out officially. He will likely come over to congratulate you – be gracious but don’t feel like you need to convey that you are feeling bad for him. Once some time has passed, invite him for a drink and say you’d like to discuss how you both should work in future – what needs to change, what needs to remain the same etc. Also it might be tempting to say something like “I know I have so much to learn in this role, it’s a stretch for me” etc to downplay that you beat him out. Don’t. It will only make it worse if he hears that you don’t think you were the best person for this role.

  22. ^^^ mean to say I got a new job.. somehow the actual words for that got left out!

    • So the both of you applied for the same job in a different company? He doesn’t know you interviewed at that place for the same position?

      • We are consultants and they made the position in house… he had to re-apply for his job (it would have been a bit of a promotion for him too) & I applied for it tou. I had to tell him because he’s my supervisor, he’s on my team, he would have seen me interviewing and the group is tight knit… plus I had to leave my desk for significant periods to talk to important people at the company who would normally not have an interest in me.

        • Also, I will still be working with him going forward for about the next 6 months… our professional relationship will just change… I was under him & now I’ll be above him.

        • Can’t tell if this is rolled up in your question, but it IS NOT your job to tell him that you got the job and he didn’t. Until you know he knows, I would tread delicately and not bring it up. I might even wait until he brings it up and/or it’s publicly announced.

          • Meg Murry :

            I would ask whoever hired you to please be sure to TELL the guy he didn’t get the job, not just wait until he learns by the announcement that you got it. Because I’ve worked at a LOT of companies where the way you found out you didn’t get an internal job was by hearing the announcement for who DID get the job – sometimes in the middle of a meeting or other public setting.

            Sorry for the ELLEN caps, but this makes me totally RAWR and it happens way way too often. And congrats!

          • Meg Murry– I think that’s what’s at the core of my concern. I know if I was in his spot I’d hate to find out that way too. But ya I think you guys are right, I’ll wait a little bit and see if I can ask the person who hired me to let him know what’s up.

  23. Orangerie :

    Quick question for D.C. ladies – how bad will traffic be trying to get from the Reagan airport to the GWU area around 5:30 pm? I know it’s under 5 miles point to point, but have no frame of reference for what that means during rush hour.

    I’m trying to decide between a flight that lands at 1:15pm vs. 4:55 pm. No real difference in price, but I’ll be in NYC prior to D.C. and would like to maximize my time there/not have to rush out in the morning.


    • Take the metro – they’re both on the blue line

      • Orangerie :

        Thanks for the tip! Do you think that would that be manageable with a check-in size suitcase? I’d rather pay for a cab or Uber than wrangle large luggage on a crowded train.

        • Yes if it is on wheels. The metro is wheelie-bag accessible. I have done it with a large bag many times.

          • Also, that time of day, should be much more crowded in the opposite direction.

        • DCA is the only DC-area airport that is directly connected to the Metro. Getting there is as easy as walking to a different terminal. The train won’t be crowded when you get on (headed toward the city).

        • Agreed that you will be fine on metro.

    • hellskitchen :

      If you are coming from NYC, consider taking the Amtrak instead of a flight. I think they have trains every 30-60 minutes so you have more options time wise. Plus it should be easy to take the metro or cab it from Union Station to GWU.

      • Orangerie :

        Yeah, I looked into that and all of the trains that leave NY and arrive in DC around my target times were more expensive than a flight. Go figure!

    • DC Association :

      I work in Old Town Alexandria (1 mile south of DCA) and I live in DC. I drive every day so I have experience with this on a daily basis.

      You can get from DCA to GWU in 20 minutes or less by car. You are going the opposite direction of everyone else.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Use the metro. DC traffic can be really terrible. You can get the green/yellow line at Reagan and then transfer to the blue/orange line to get to the GWU area.

      • hair question :

        No. Take the blue line from the airport to GWU (direction of Largo). There are no transfers. You can’t even catch the green line at the airport.

      • Metro is just easier. Hard to find street parking in GW and annoying to return rental cars (have done it at DCA). The view from the metro is very pretty as you go into Arlington Cemetary and if you are driving, there may be too many pretty things to look at to follow the (I think confusing, and that’s after many years of driving / living / metro-ing) road signs. And metro is much cheaper than car rental for just a few miles of driving.

        • Orangerie :

          Oh, to clarify, I was originally interested in taking a cab or using Uber. Renting a car wasn’t even in the equation – too much hassle.

  24. Dear Kat,

    I am honored, after being a reader nearly since inception, to get a shout-out post! Will read later bc I have had a CRAZY day!

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