Coffee Break – Janis Tote

See by Chloe Janis toteOooh: Love. I like that this See by Chloe tote is sized big for a magazine or a few work papers, and that the shoulder straps look long enough to be comfortable. As a minor aside, I wish it had a lighter interior lining (so you could actually see the multiple pockets it supposedly has) or feet for the bottom, but ah well. Zappos has it on sale today: it was $495, now marked to $396. See by Chloe – 9S7078-N81 (Janis)



  1. Perfect Timing :

    This coffee break is perfect timing for my question. I am the one who had the marathon-like job interview last week (The day before my bday, which my husband had forgotten). Anyway, in the course of 12 hours, I traveled to 4 offices in the region and met with 31 people. They were hoping to have a decision today (there were only 2 of us left at this point in the process) but I just received an email indicating a decision has not been made yet and it will be next Monday or Tuesday. However, he also asked for references, and the weird part – he asked for my expenses from the interview.
    I didn’t expect to be reimbursed – I feel like it’s just the cost of interviewing – so should I just say “thanks but no thanks,” or should I tell him it was 287 miles? Has anyone else been reimbursed for travel to/from an interview? (Recently. I know things were different several years ago when the economy was better.)
    I’m not sure how to respond to him.

    • Absolutely. Paying travel expenses for interviewees is entirely customary in law (not sure about your industry). I’d say sure, and ask him for his email address and send him an email itemizing my travel expenses (including mileage, gas, tolls, parking, lunch, etc).

      • anonymous :

        Sorry, Lawgirl, but you don’t get mileage plus gas – you get mileage to take into account the cost of gas and wear & tear on your car. But tolls, parking, lunch are definitely add-ons to the mileage. And to Perfect Timing, there’s no reason not to get reimbursed.

    • Totally get your expenses reimbursed. I don’t think you’ll score any points by declining – the fact that they asked means it’s customary at their company/firm.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      100% agreed. Absolutely submit your expenses. Let him know the mileage (based on door to door in GoogleMaps), tolls, parking, and any meals. Your mileage will probably be reimbursed at the standard IRS rate of 51 cents a mile, which is meant to cover your gas and wear and tear on the car.

      This is actually one of the NGTGTCO behaviors I flagged for myself – why was I scrimping on expenses and not taking full advantage of expense reimbursement and the like? Basically, why was I trying to take up less financial “space?” There’s no badge of honor for saving the company a few dollars for something it expected to pay for.

    • Agreeing with everyone else. We never ask a potential employee to travel that far without reimbursement. If they had wanted you to fly in, they would have paid for your ticket, so definitely submit your expenses. P.S. the reference request is an excellent sign for you. Good luck! :)

    • Agree that it’s customary. I’d just tell him what your mileage was and if you had any tolls or other expenses. They probably have a standard reimbursement rate per mile.

      Also, congrats on the reference check. That’s usually a good sign.

    • My fingers are crossed for you!

      Definitely submit the expenses. SF beat me to pointing out the tip in NGDGTCO.

      But I’m more curious about what your husband ended up doing about your missed birthday…

    • Was this with a major corporation that has over 400,000 employees worldwide? I think I went through this same ordeal. If not the same company then verrry similar. I had a migraine by the end. Good luck with it and definitely submit your expenses.

      • Perfect Timing :

        Thanks for the responses – I did tell him the number of miles I drove. Not a major corporation, Anon. It was a Mid-size midwest law firm.

        Hel-lo: Husband didn’t really do anything special for the bday. He called around 1 p.m. and said that was the first chance he had gotten to do so. (As if him being “too busy” was less hurtful than him forgetting.) He apologized and said he had no idea I would mind and that if he had known, he never would have waited that long. I wasn’t completely over it, but in the big picture, it’s not worth holding a grudge because he’s a great husband other than that.

  2. That’s wayyyyyy too much purple bag for me…. LOL.

  3. maine susan :

    I’d just say “Thanks, it was 287 miles.” That’s a professional response, indicates that you keep records, are detail oriented etc. Do you think a guy would ever say “Thanks but no thanks.” Its $150 or so.

    Good luck. Hope you get the job.

  4. Anonymous :


    What are your thoughts on having student loans paid off entirely before buying a house? My husband and I are renting now and hope to buy a house in next 2 yrs or so. We have a few thousand left in student debt, which we are are aggressively paying down, and no other debt. We also have a good emergency fund and about 1/4 of a desired down payment saved. Is it crazy to try and pay down all of our student debt before we buy a house? Should we just pay the minimum on the loans and save aggressively for a house? I’m worried that if we wait too long to buy a house the market will recover and we will be priced out of the type of house we would like to buy. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    • IMO, you should save more to buy the house and worry about the student loans after. It doesn’t sound like you have all that much left. Student loans are considered “good debt.” If you can, minimize the amount due monthly on those loans, even if you do pay more each month. This way your “debt to income” ratio is reduced, and you qualify for a better mortgage. Your goal should be to get the best mortgage terms possible — the amount of your down payment, cash on hand, etc., will all count in your favor. Your student loans will not count significantly against you if your fixed monthly payment is low (even if it is on a 10 yr term or whatever).

    • I don’t think it’s crazy to pay off all of your student loans before buying a house, especially if it you can pay off the loans fairly quickly. If you continue paying off your loans, how soon will you be done?

    • Focus on the house. Interest rates and house prices are low right now. In the long run, a 10% rise in housing prices combined with a 1-2% rise in interest rates over the course of a few years will probably cost you more than whatever interest you’re paying on the few thousand worth of loans you still have left.

      • MelD has it exactly right – there should be more to the calculation for you than getting rid of all debt for the sake of not having any.

    • found a peanut :

      The most important question is whether the interest rates on your student loans are lower than the interest rate on your mortgage would be. If your student loans are at 9%, then pay those and take out a larger mortgage (assuming you qualify for a 6% mortgage). If your student loans are closer to 2%-4%, I would pay the minimum on your student loans and put as much money as you can toward the house.

      Regardless of whether student loans are “good” debt (which I don’t think is necessarily true), a mortgage is equally “good.” You should be putting your money toward the thing with the highest interest.

    • Don’t worry about paying off the loans before you buy a house. However, when you’re thinking about how much you want to spend on a home, keep in mind that you will also be paying those student loans. My financial advisor actually told me to slow down paying off my student loans. The interest rate is low that I can make more investing the same money.

      • I paid off all of my student loans before getting a house, but it was more because I didn’t want to have two types of debt — it was not a rationally based or financially based decision. None of my friends did this and I don’t think you need to either.

  5. Francie Nolan :

    Just found out my gram passed away and I have to finish the rest of the day. Any good tips?

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry. Hugs.

      Collapse at home, keep it together now.

      • I agree with keep it together and collapse at home. Once I lose it, I’m a mess and there’s no going back.

    • You absolutely can’t leave? Can you at least shut your office door? Or maybe put it out to a friend who can let people know, so you don’t get someone barging into your office yelling or something?

      I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother a few years ago in the midst of a really critical time at my job and it was tough. My thoughts are with you.

    • If you can escape for 15 minutes to take a walk around your building and collect your thoughts, do it. If you have a trusted friend you can bring with you (either to listen, or just to be with you if you need to be silent) that would probably help.

    • Your boss made you stay the rest of the day?

    • soulfusion :

      Go home. A couple of weeks ago I was in the office with a junior associate working on a critical project due the next morning when he got the news that his grandmother had passed. I told him to go home. He was reluctant because he knew I needed the help so he finished up the piece he was working on and left within an hour or so. I was there until 4 am and while I hated that part, there is no way I wanted to be the person to tell him to tough it out and stay and I was surprised he stayed the hour or two after the news that he did.
      Even if you have something critical/time sensitive, you won’t be able to concentrate. Work just isn’t that important.

  6. Francie Nolan :

    Thanks for the Kind words and corprette hugs I am going to grab a coffee and hide out in my office and get it done.

    I am named after my gram with an unusual name, I only know of one other person with that name and I met her at an airport, so my gram and I were especially close.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I’m sorry for your loss. The same thing happened to me a few years ago — my mom called me at work and told me that my grandma died, and I stayed at work the rest of the day. I took a walk and went to the bathroom and cried for a bit, and then left as soon as I could. Hang in there.

  7. Anon-ee-mouse! :

    Threadjack –

    This is the People’s Therapist column on Above the Law today.

    I’d love to hear thoughts from the Corporetters out there about it. As a an attorney in BigLaw that’s DINK, this seemed fairly over-dramatized and far-fetched to me.

    Also? Love how only men are The Providers.

    • I read it as an extrapolation of how guys can feel trapped inside their gender roles. And yes, I do think the stereotype is that men are The Provider. Its a cultural artifact. I don’t think this is reality, however.

      I didn’t read it as intending to be an accurate depiction, but as a representation of how it can feel to be trapped in a situation that didn’t reflect what you thought you were getting yourself into.

      It was kind of interesting take from the male side. See- women aren’t the only ones with angsty problems. :)

      • Right I took it as only men are the provider, not because women can’t be the provider, but he means “The Provider” and the struggles men might deal with with that pressure. Just like we get to talk about here gender roles we feel we get caught in.

    • Anonymous :

      I dont think its that far fetched, but what i think it describes is people who got into (a) law, and (b) biglaw, for the wrong reasons.

    • It was yesterday’s column some people talked about it in one of yesterday’s threads but I forget which one.

      As a side note, is there an official definition of biglaw? Is it the size of the firm or the prestige?

    • Diana Barry :

      It’s ridiculous. I don’t know anyone like that in real life. Sure, we get stressed out, but we don’t go home and yell at our spouses, and our spouses aren’t silly spendthrifts.

      I was really PO’d by the archaic gender roles portrayed in this piece – it made all women look like shrews.

    • “When you call home to the wife to say you’re stuck at work, she sounds patient, but annoyed.

      At some point, your dreams bifurcated. She still wants all the stuff you used to want together. But now she wants more of it. Another child. A bigger house. Private schools. A vacation with the family to the Bahamas. A Mercedes. Summer camp for the kids.”

      As a wife, I resent this. I’m the one who’s always telling my husband don’t worry, we don’t need to move, I don’t need a new car, we don’t need to send our son to the most expensive private school in town. Because it’s more important to me that he actually be physically present to relax, hang out with me and our kid, and not work himself into a heart attack at 45. And I agree that it is totally ridiculous to portray the men as The Provider, when there are many many women out there breadwinning for their families.

    • Eh, I buy that some of my colleagues feel like that some of the time. I’ve had one work buddy vent that he couldn’t go in house/gov’t because his wife would freak out if she had to get a job because he’d have a significant pay cut.

      It must suck to feel like that – even part of the time and even if the author was being overly dramatic.

      Not really on point but kind of funny — one guy I interviewed did say he was interested in big law because his wife didn’t want to work. Ummm. That may be true, but don’t say that!

  8. Valleygirl :

    What are the thoughts on applying to work at an organization where you had made it far in an interview process (final round) but were not offered the job? I found a position that reports to one I had been considered for at an NPO – and I’m feeling a little once burned, twice shy about it….

    • So, if you got the job, you would report to the person who got the original job you applied for?

      • Don’t hesitate — apply! You can always reject the position after you are made an offer. But you can’t work there if you don’t at least apply.

      • Valleygirl :


    • I’d say go for it. I think in this economy, there are a lot of strong candidates for positions and they may be happy to hire you for this position. We had someone who interviewed for two jobs he did not get and when management heard the job he had disappeared abruptly, they offered him a temporary position to tide him over.

    • Apply! It shows you’re really serious about wanting to work for the organizaiton, and maybe this position is a better fit than the first one you applied for.

    • Definitely apply. My current job is the second job I applied for in my company. (not the same dept. though)

  9. Bk foette :

    Threadjack: if anyone is looking for basic black pumps, I got these are Target for my interview tomorrow — all my other black pumps had some thrashing I did not want for an interview. Women’s Mossimo® Pearce Leather Pumps- -Black (
    They are really great, comfortable and cheap — the website says faux leather, but the tag in show says natural leather. I wore them yesterday to make sure I would not get any blisters/pain in case of walking and they are fantastic!

  10. This bag looks saggy

  11. Threadjack:

    Does anyone know where I can find nice silk camisoles at a reasonable price?

    I am willing to pay up to $75 each.

    • I’ve heard good things about those at and they’re only about $20.

  12. I am a bag girl for sure, and that’s a pretty shade of purple. But any bag I plunk down $400 dollars for needs to be precisely what I want.