Thursday’s Workwear Report: Elbow Sleeve Ponte Sheath Dress

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

This plus-size ponte sheath dress looks fabulous. I love the sleeves and pockets, it’s machine washable, and it comes in a million colors and patterns in regular (2–18), petite (0–16), tall (6–18), and plus sizes (16W–26W). I love the purple, but it’s also available in navy, black, gray, etc. It’s $89 full price, but Lands’ End often has a coupon or a sale going on. (Psst: See our full post on How to Build a Work Wardrobe at Lands’ End — you’d be surprised by how many affordable, mostly washable basics you can get there!) Pictured: Elbow Sleeve Ponte Sheath Dress

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  1. coffee bean :

    I’m the poster who asked for recs a few days ago for happiness/self care books, and The Happiness Project is arriving today. Can’t wait to dig into that this weekend!

    Would there be any interest, every once in a while, in a thread talking about the self care or “heal thyself” activities we’ve all done lately? Not trying to get too new agey or cheesy, just curious what other like minded ladies do that could perhaps work for others.

    I’ll start… I did a full body scrub in the shower this morning just because it makes my skin feel nice. I also decided to take advantage of this fall weather and leave my office for a midday walk every day this week. It’s been so nice to get fresh air! I did a beginner yoga class this week that I thought would be boring because I’m probably closer to intermediate level, but it was actually really nice just to slow down and focus on the basics. On Friday, I’m promising myself I’m cleaning up my office so it’s nice and fresh when I come to work Monday (clean calms me – lol).

    • I got the How to be an Adult book and am in the second chapter. It’s very good. The first chapter is about fully grieving and letting go of old wounds, and it is exactly what I needed to hear and do right now.

      As far as self care goes, this is random, but I’m finally getting all the pieces of clothes I’ve needed forever and never gotten. I wore boot socks with my boots yesterday. For the first time ever. And wow, it actually makes a difference. I’m not pulling up my short socks in frustration all day. I also make sure I use the bathroom before leaving work every day, rather than being cranky at my daughter for taking too long to get in the car at daycare pickup because I need to pee. And I have also started reading Compline to myself every night before bed (it’s a brief evening prayer service). I’m an Episcopalian and had gotten out of the habit of praying. I have noticed a real decrease in my anxiety levels since I started doing this.

      • coffee bean :

        I love the clothing one. It’s amazing how good you can feel when your wardrobe feels “right.” I’ve gotten into minimalism in recent years (minimalism-light, really) and have found it so much easier to get dressed now that my closet isn’t an epic disaster filled with clothes I don’t wear.

      • This is totally random, but there is a workers’ compensation industry publication called Compline, and I thought – wow, you really are an adult if you’re reading that in your spare time!

      • Compline is one of my favorite services!

      • anonypotamus :

        Fellow Episcopalian here! I grew up in Seattle, and St. Marks puts on a beautiful Compline service on Sunday evenings for those who live local. You can also stream it live online through KingFM radio. Even though I now live out of the area, I still tune in and it’s a great way to mentally prep for Mondays.

    • Good idea! I’m taking the afternoon to do a closet refresh and purge everything that’s been making me unhappy. I’m with you– clean calms me so I’m looking forward to a pared down closet with only things that I like wearing.

      Hope you enjoy the Happiness Project– I was one of the recommenders the other day.

    • Face masks are my ultimate seal healing technique.

      • coffee bean :

        I’m planning to do one this weekend. I’ve had one sitting around the bathroom forever but have been waiting for the “right occasion.” How does my brain even come up with this stuff, seriously?? Maybe I’ll go crazy and wear my bathrobe and sip some bubbles, too. #treatyoself

        • The right occasion is that 20 minutes before bedtime because you deserve it, friend!

          • Favourite face mask recs?!

          • Wildkitten :

            Origins Charcoal

          • I love the Tony Moly Sheet masks for a regular, every day kind of mask. More expensive, but REALLY nice Erno Laszlo hydragel masks. I also do Elemis Herbal Lavender repair mask. It’s really nice before bed, because the lavender is so soothing. It’s also really effective as an overnight spot treatment.

            …I love face masks, too. Even better when soaking in a very hot bath with a fun bath bomb.

          • I like the Sephora sheet masks.

          • Anonymous :

            I totally love the Egg Cream sheet mask.

    • Nylon girl :

      This is a great idea! Yay for you! I love that book & all her other books. I’m taking tomorrow off & getting a haircut after 3 very long weeks at work.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      A lovely idea :) It’s really grey and rainy here at the moment, and the SAD is kicking in, so I’m booked in for a relaxing facial tomorrow.

    • I need to break out my walking shoes during the day to catch more sun, for sure. Fall is settling in, as is my SAD (high five, Aquae Sulis!)…need to combat that sooner rather than later.

      Also, back to my fall-winter habit of taking a vitamin D and St Johns Wort supplement (doctor recommended; I’m not going all woo-woo).

    • I woke up 1/2 an hour earlier yesterday and did a 20 min yoga session. I HATE getting up early, but it felt so good.

    • I would love a thread like that! Like some other posters above, my SAD is starting to rear its ugly head and I need all the encouragement I can get to keep it at bay.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Good for you! I went out with two close girlfriends on a Tuesday evening this past week to a hip neighborhood I never go to. I have two small kids and so going out on a Tuesday is not a regular occurrence for me. We had so much fun and I laughed so hard that I cried. Having an evening to myself just to relax and hang out felt very much like self-care.

    • Love this idea! I’ve been getting back into a regular fiction-writing practice. I haven’t been knocking it out of the park, but I’ve been writing a few hundred words a day 3-4 days a week. That’s nothing compared to what I used to do in college or in my first few years after graduation (fun fact, I applied to MFA programs but didn’t receive a fully-funded offer, and just wasn’t willing to go into debt to have two years to write stories), but getting back into it even to the limited extent that I am right now feels like reconnecting with a treasured friend.

      I’m flirting with the idea of NaNoWriMo but I don’t know if I want to take it on. I’m always so hard on myself for not going all-in on commitments–in a way it feels so much freer to just be someone who writes a few thousand words a week, instead of a capital-w Writer. But then I also know the difference between people who always talk about how they’d be such great writers, and the people who actually are great writers, is largely persistence and discipline. So! I don’t know where this journey is leading me at the moment, but I’m just going to try the radical-for-me strategy of not f*cking worrying about it.

      • This is awesome. I’ve had the same experience lately with reading for pleasure. It feels exactly like reconnecting with a treasured friend. Well said!

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      After a crazy week at work (which is still ongoing…) I woke up early this morning and got a run in. I had to wake up at 5am because work + toddler but I felt so good after the workout! I feel energized, which will hopefully help as today goes on.

    • Did you know there’s a Happier podcast too?

    • New Tampanian :

      This is a lovely idea and not too “new agey”.

      I have been reaching out to women to add to my “tribe” and talk about their careers. It’s been great. And tonight I am going out with a law school friend who happens to be in town for training. Tomorrow I am fortunate enough to be going to a women’s event for most of the day and I’m just feeling so inspired lately.

      This weekend I will SLEEP.

      • I need to do the same and curious how you’re reaching out. Women you already have a common connection with or messages out of the blue?

        • Maybe try the Peanut app? like Tinder for mom friends.

        • New Tampanian :

          Most of this has been cold emails / InMail via linked in and then some mutual connections. It’s helpful that I work in a very male dominated indistry and I’m doing some things that help raise the profile of women within it. That said, I think I would try and do it regardless. People are often very kind when you’re authentic. They are all over the country/world, I don’t limit to geography. It’s been fun!

    • Edna Mazur :

      Well, my toddler did it for me, but he turned down the volume on my alarm yesterday and I ended up with a (MUCH needed) extra hour of sleep. Being 15 minutes late with undone hair is actually totally worth it.

    • I am eating a bagel. Carbs are my self-care.

      At least it isn’t french fries!

    • I would love this. I forget sometimes to take care of myself because I’m too focused on getting things done.

      I went to a yoga class last night and as we were in savasana, the instructor commended us for “putting your oxygen mask on first) by taking an hour for some self care. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that said in a yoga class but it really resonated last night.

    • Love this idea! I am trying to make a renewed commitment of self-care. Recently moved my facebook app several swipes away on my phone and put my kindle app in its place so I will read more instead of mindlessly scrolling social media. Found some water intake tracker decals for my water bottles on etsy to encourage me to lay off the diet coke. Starting taking a probiotic and a multivitamin daily. I put too much creamer in my coffee every morning because I DO WHAT I WANT.

    • I have committed to taking a yoga class 1 time per week. Just 1 time per week. For me yoga is such a good form of self-care for my stress and back issues, but I can’t seem to be consistent about going. So this small goal has helped significantly. And maybe, just maybe, it will encourage me to eventually go more than once a week.

    • I’ve been making a point to go for walks during the day when there’s nice weather, listening to fun music in the afternoons, leisurely cooking healthy meals, and monthly massages.

  2. Anonymous :

    Loft has several shirts titled, “covered shoulder.” At least they’ve realized that a selling point…

  3. Anonymous :

    Can anyone recommend an OB/GYN in DC? Preferably downtown, or at least close to downtown. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I like Rebecca Busch at Reiter Hill Johnson and Nevin. Her physical office is separate from the rest of the practice, which minimizes the somewhat impersonal feel of the bigger office. She’s very no-nonsense and gets in and out quickly, if you know what I mean :)

    • Dr Valentine or Dr Nelson at GW medical faculty associates

      • At GW do you need to see med students/residents? I know you don’t for internal medicine appointments – you just see the doctor. Wanted to know if it was different for OB given that it’s a teaching hospital?

  4. Baconpancakes :

    Where to get 6mm pearl studs? The pearls on my earrings have separated from their posts, but I don’t need Mikimoto. Just real pearls on hypoallergenic posts.

    And thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. The #metoo meme going on right now has had the unintended effect of making me more aware of the constant, small, irritating sexual harassments like the overly familiar hand on your shoulder, the thinly veiled mentions of continued virility, etc. (micro-harassments?) and more desperate to avoid them. But it’s reassuring to hear it’s not my curves that are the problem.

    • You can bring your pearls to a local jeweler to be re-glued. I had that happen.

      I have bought pearl studs at Costco.

    • Blue Nile has pearl studs

    • Pearl Paradise (on line).

    • I was not surprised at all by the number of my friends who posted me too. My primary personal experience was a sexual assault in college that did not make it all the way to actual rape (thankfully) but in my 30 year career there has been plenty of hand on the butt, “accidental” boob grazing, and even failed attempts at kissing – full on kissing, not a kiss on the cheek. This is not to mention reams of inappropriate comments. I imagine this has happened to most of us. I am not the most attractive woman who ever lived. I’m just a woman who apparently needs to be reminded of her place.

  5. stupid makeup question :

    Yesterday’s conversation about looking tired got me thinking I may be makeupping wrong. I have mild rosacea and most of my makeup routine is dedicated to concealing the redness of my cheeks and forehead. I wear lipstick but otherwise am not putting color on my face. I am pretty fair-skinned, and I often look tired. But… surely I am not supposed to be putting on blush?

    • lawsuited :

      Yeah, it seems hilarious but I conceal the irregular redness on my cheeks so I can add blush. I also use bronzer and highlighter so overall I’m adding quite a bit of colour and brightness to my face. If blush feels crazy to you, you could try bronzer instead (even if you’re fair).

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. That’s the paradox of makeup. You take out all your natural color and the add fake color back in.

    • Yep, that’s me too. First, that layer of green cream, then I cover it all up with porcelain, then add color back in. It’s so weird.

      Also, I find that depending on your coloring (I have a very “snow white” complexion of pale porcelain white skin and dark dark hair), defining your brows and lashes can go a long way to helping you avoid the washed out, all-one-color look. I look a thousand times more awake with just brow filler, a light swipe of mascara, and a same-as-my-lips lipstick.

      • I have the same coloring and also find that eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss or tinted balm the same color as my lips all help to avoid the washed-out look. I also use a very subtle bronzer (Bobbi Brown offers a wide range of colors) to add color and contour back into my cheeks. I do not wear blush.

        Re. the suggestion below to try a coral blush: if you use blush, it needs to coordinate with your skin tone. Cool skin tones need a cool pink blush. Coral only works with warm skin tones.

        • Agreed on the coral blush; it makes me look…ruddy? I do love the nars org a s m shimmery one, which is as close as I can cut to coral without going over, but an almost orchid cool pink blush from clinique has worked nicely on me lately.

        • Just be sure to get the right tone, and don’t assume if you’re pale that you’re cool-toned. I’m super pale but a peachy-coral blush looks great on me because i am very pale olive-toned.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I have super pale coloring, and Benefit’s Dandelion blush is incredibly natural and lovely on me.

    • If you want something a little more subtle than blush, I really like Bare Minerals’ Warmth. It just adds a tiny bit of color without making you look like a porcelain doll. Ask a make up artist how to use it though. It takes a bit of practice.

      • +100 that stuff is amazing! I look much more alive when I put it on! Definitely need a fluffy brush and a light hand to get it right. The first time I put it on I was looking like David Bowie in some wild music video!

    • Yep, you are. The difference being that the blush is a flattering shade in controlled places. I love adding the nearly universally flattering Nars Orgasm on a bare or lightly concealed face. It has a hint of pink with some bronzing effects on light skin and highlighting effects on dark skin due to a hint of gold in the powder. I have seen everyone from pale Irish skin to Gabrielle Union tone pull it off well. Sephora has a small one you can try for free using your points that has lasted me 3 mths.

      • Aquae Sulis :

        +1 to Nars Orgasm, it’s, by far, my favourite blush.

      • Thanks for this recommendation – I was worried my skin was too dark to try it! Adding it to my list…

      • Agreed, as above. It is so versatile. I have been considering the multiple stick version–just for cheeks–as we head into colder, drier temps. Anyone have any experience? I find that the powder doesn’t stick all day.

        • I have it and like it. Very easy to put on, and stays on better than the powder. I found though that I don’t love it as a lipstick. The consistency is somehow different than I want it to be for that. But it works well for a quick swipe on cheeks and brows!

    • Are you using anything for your mild rosacea? I have it too, and once my derm gave me a Rx cream, it’s significantly improved. And I didn’t think it was that bad in the first place.

  6. looking for index fund recommendations-I’ve got around 10k that needs to get invested. Both my husband and I already have retirement in target date Vanguard funds so looking to branch out and find something else that still has those low fees. Thanks!

    • Google bogleheads lazy portfolio. It will give you the index funds at Vanguard that make up most of the target date fund, but at a slightly lower expense since you would be handling the allocation rather than letting Vanguard do it. You’ll see things like Total Stock Market, Total International Stock, Total Bond Market.

    • I just use Vanguard’s S&P 500 index fund. But I think their Total Stock Market index fund is sort of the preferred one these days.

    • Anonymous :

      I have VBIAX Admiral share. 0.07% expense ratio. It’s domestic only, 60% stocks, 40% bonds, so this might be a good balance if your target date fund is more aggressive.

    • What for? I have Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund Admiral Shares – slightly higher expense ratio (.15%) but very good history. I use it to balance cash that we hold in our emergency fund, so I’m looking for something a little more aggressive (but not total stock market aggressive).

  7. Lumbar strain :

    I strained my back rock climbing and it’s been hurting for nearly a month now. I got an x-ray and it looks like there is no fracture or anything, which is good, but I really need to start seeing improvements. Three visits to a chiropractor did nothing, so I’m wondering if anyone has other recommendations – specific types of sports massage? Yoga? Stretches? I was prescribed muscle relaxers – do those actually help?

    • Try PT. Has worked wonders for me.

    • Have you seen a physical therapist? That’s usually a good starting place for “this injury is not getting better.”

      My SO works in a PT clinic and was just bitching the other day about how useless most PCPs are with diagnosing musculoskeletal injuries, and how he wishes the US medical system was set up so that people could go straight to PT without a referral. Chiros are also very hit-or-miss in quality, and a not-tiny percentage of patients at his current and former clinics are either 1) people who went to a chiro and didn’t see improvements, or 2) people that saw a chiro who messed them up further.

      • +1 I am fortunate that while my health insurance stinks in many ways, I can jump right to PT.

      • +2

        PT is the answer.

      • More and more states are becoming “direct access.” In Colorado, you can go to a PT without going to a doctor first. PTs have doctorates and are now trained to assess all kinds of things. My SO is also a PT. Love the field! They really save people from so much pain and long-term disability. PTs spend way more time with patients than doctors do.

    • I second (or third) the recommendation to start physical therapy as soon as you can. It will make a big difference. And yes, the muscle relaxants do help. But start by taking them at home in the evening. Sometimes they can be, you know, extremely relaxing.

    • Did the doctor tell you why the back hurts – i.e. it is strained muscle or something else? I would try PT (they will usually do also relaxing techniques to relieve the tension) and yoga. At least this worked best for me (but my problem was muscle spasms triggered by disc disease.

    • Yep, PT. My insurance requires me to go to a Dr first, but last time I basically told the doctor “it hurts when I do X, it has hurt for Y amount of time, can I please get a scrip’ for PT”. He spent a few minutes asking questions and examining the injury, and wrote the scrip. Many sports medicine places will do this and have fabulous therapists who can help. A month later I was back on the wall, and a month after that I was as strong as ever.

  8. I like this dress a lot. Any plus size commenters want to help me out with length (I’m 5’11”) and sizing (I’m an 18w in Talbots seasonless wool skirt, 16w in the jacket)

    • I haven’t ordered one of the ponte dresses from this year’s line. Last year I ordered 4 and all four just barely hit my knee…and I’m 5’4″. So on you, they may be way short. Lands End returns are relatively painless so you can always order one and try it out. Also, sometimes LE has a tall option – not sure if this dress is available in tall though.

      • It’s available in tall up to size 18 regular. Might be tight on my bootay and only 1” longer than the plus… hmm

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 5’9 and plus sized and the dress hits right at the knee on me. I think the plus dress is a little longer than the misses sizes.

      One note: I have this in purple and blue and the fit is pretty different in both – the blue fits more like a sheath, the purple fits more like a shift dress. I belt the purple and it works great, but I was surprised at how different they were!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 6’0 and a 16 in most things – I ordered the 16 Tall and it fits great. This is #thedress ! Love it with a blazer.

  9. Triangle Pose :

    Maybe bronzer and highlighter if you don’t like blush? Or, if you are covering redness, still put a coral blush on or something that isn’t bright to add dimension to your face.

  10. Kat, the link to the dress is not working, at least for me. I can navigate to it but I don’t want you to miss affiliate linking.

  11. anonopotamus :

    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who weighed in about my coworker with reduced availability yesterday. I talked to her, then based on that had a brief, numbers- and priorities-based conversation with our supervisor. Our boss was not aware of how much she’d reduced her availability and emphasized that our priority should be seeing clients, like I thought. I kept pumping out of it.

    • Working, formerly pumping, mom here. I 100% feel for you. Pumping is a brutal time suck. I with that I had had an option to return to a 75% schedule (and would have taken <=75% pay in a heartbeat) just to set expectations and not enrage coworkers (and to have a non-crazy life). My work is such that the fix was just work until midnight to catch up and work/pump through lunch.

      Plz, world, could I have a Mommy Track schedule, at least sometimes?

      • You know, they should make disposable pump parts. the actual pumping of milk is a pain but it’s the whole schlepping, pumping, washing, storing that drags it out. if you could just hook up, pump, and then throw the bag in the fridge and throw the rest away, it would save a LOT of time.

        Is this a thing? Anyone in an industry to make this happen?

        • Yes, let’s add more plastic to landfills!

        • When I was super busy I would just throw everything in the fridge, parts included. Washing got done at home.

          • I always did this, but I have my own fridge. It would go in a ziplock, and then when I got home I (or DH, TBH) would run the sink super hot with soap and let them soak for a little while.

          • For a communal fridge, you can use a skip hop wet/dry bag. I had my own fridge but started to use these after someone unexpectedly opened it once.

          • I would rinse and put everything in an opaque tapper ware then put it in the common fridge in between pumping. Babies aren’t sterile, or clean…

  12. Is the trend of kneeling or linking arms during the national anthem confined to professional sports, or is it filtering down to high school and kids’ sports? My 10-year-old has her first sports competition of the season this weekend. We have been talking about the NFL protests at home. She is very interested in these issues and has previously engaged in other forms of activism, but has been taught to be very cautious about discussing or revealing this in school and in the community because we live in a very conservative area and many families with whom we are friendly don’t share all of our views (although there is surprising overlap on certain issues). I don’t think she’s planning to kneel or ask her teammates to link arms during the anthem, but I am curious about whether I can expect to see other kids doing this.

    • I’ve seen it floating around the internets at HS games, so yes, it’s happening. Whether it’s happening closer to home for you is different altogether (of course; you know that).

    • Yeah there’s lots of it in high school here but I’m in a solid blue state and I’m seeing it in majority black schools. You prob won’t see other kids doing it. And maybe stop teaching your thoughtful sensitive brave daughter to keep quiet about things that matter cause y’all got some ignorant bigoted friends?

      • Yeah this. It’s fair to warn her how others may react so she’s not surprised if she speaks up and loses friends but I definitely wouldn’t encourage her to keep her mouth shut.

      • This got hostile quickly.

        I would not want my child upstaging a school event period.

        • I agree.

          Kids shouldn’t be mimicking protests at little league games, or walking out of class in protest. If they are having problems with a teacher or a policy, then they learn how to go through the proper channels and work with adults/superiors/administration/the board. It’s a perfect opportunity for a parent to come alongside them and say, “What you see isn’t fair, and I’m proud of you for wanting to change it. What do you think your school could do about it?” Most principals and superintendents would be THRILLED to listen to a kid who cares and has ideas of how to make his/her school better. Take your kid to a school board meeting and teach them to prepare a speech, stand in front of the microphone, and advocate for real change.

          Teachers are already worn out trying to help our kids. They have to teach, plus be a social worker (food/clothing for the neediest kids), therapist (coach kids through family trauma/friend issues/bullying), etc. The last thing they need are the students getting up and walking out. Or refusing to participate in protest. I think, as parents, we should support our teachers and schools by telling our kids that school isn’t the place to protest–and protesting is a last resort when every other attempt to be heard has failed.

          • This makes a lot of sense if kids are protesting a school policy or something. But how is a school teacher or principal supposed to fix racial inequality and police brutality on a national level? They obviously can’t, so I don’t see why kids should complain to them instead of protesting publicly.
            There’s a LONG history of kids protesting govt policies in school and school events. There were cases about students’ first amendment rights during the Vietnam War that went all the way to the Supreme Court. This is nothing new.

          • You do realize we aren’t talking about walking out? But rather taking a knee during the anthem?

      • I’m so happy to have girls and to be a non-football participant. We keep our sports for the kids participating in it and our civics separate. Girls sports are so straightforward (as are boys non-football sports).

        [The football craziness gets me as a parent. It really burns me up. I am JUST KIDDING, but I would take a knee at a football game to protest the miserable condition for all other sports, girls sports in particular.]

        • How is this a football thing? Several professional sports have participated in this activism and it has nothing to do with the actual sport of football…Do girls and non-football playing boys not care about civil liberties?

          • No — she is saying that they aren’t necessarily at football games.

          • Wildkitten :

            Women’s basketball has been the most active. Football just gets all the attention.

          • Anonymous :

            Re Wildkitten: what else is new? I’m rediscovering my inner football hater.

        • Take the Knee :

          TBF, this all actually started with a WNBA player over a year ago. So it is not just football or male sports. And there is no need for women, no matter what age, to feel as though they cannot support a cause. The reason that players are using their platform is because IT IS THEIR ONLY PLATFORM. And protest is not meant to be comfortable. It is meant to cause conversation. What you don’t see are all of the hours of conversations and giving back that they do and the money they give. That doesn’t get talked about. So they’ve used this as their way to get the conversations going. I think anyone who chooses to do the same, so long as they have made a commitment to be educated on the issues and look for ways forward, is a true patriot. For the OP, your daughter is brave and kind. Make her aware of the consequences, discuss the overall issues and how people are viewing the show of protest, explain that it’s not about DJT or the flag but that people may think it is. And then discuss what SHE can do as tangible actions outside of the protest to work towards a more just society. These are times when thoughtful conversation can be really bonding and truly enlightening for all parties.

      • As someone who was that daughter . . . don’t try to squash it down. It didn’t work so much so that right now I’m getting a masters degree in public policy because I want to be able to effectively deal with all these issues we all see. That might sound idealistic, but in any case please support your daughter and show her that you should in fact stand up for what you believe in, that you don’t have to go along with the crowd, that its okay to be different or to start something new.

        • I actually have a master’s degree in public policy as well as a law degree, and my work is very relevant to social justice. I support and encourage my daughter’s activism. I just don’t think she is at an age where she needs to make herself a target every moment, especially at school. The kid is 10 and what she really cares about most right now are science and her sport. She needs space to be a kid and explore all the things that are important to her so she can grow up to make a difference in the world. If she chooses to devote all her time and energy to activism when she’s in college, fine. But getting herself pigeonholed as that weird crusading kid at the age of 10 could really limit her.

          • Ok but you said she was very interested and you’re teaching her to be very cautious. I’m saying why not teach her to understand risks and rewards not fear and silence.

          • How do you think she would be limited, and by whom?

          • The conventional wisdom regarding parenting is not to label children, the idea being that if they are labeled they will internalize the label and work to conform to it. So if she gets labeled as that crazy liberal kid who likes to protest everything, she will be treated differently at school and will feel internal and external pressure to devote more and more energy to protesting even if it’s more than she would otherwise want to do.

            We also have legitimate concerns that she could be socially ostracized, bullied, and/or treated unfairly by teachers, based on things that have happened to other kids at school. All of these could have negative consequences. It’s one thing for an adult to stand up to this sort of treatment for the sake of her beliefs, and quite another to expect a young child to do so.

          • Like, limit her how? Does the advanced science teacher not accept progressive children into their class? Does your area’s summer nerd camp request political affiliation on the application? Does she have to swear to protect the lives of the unborn (gag) in order to join the travel soccer team? You may not mean to do this, but right now you’re teaching your daughter that it’s more important to be comfortable and socially accepted than it is to be strong in her beliefs, and stand up for them. Based on the audience of this s*te, I also assume that you’re a middle-class white woman raising a white, middle-class daughter (although if this is wrong, I apologize)–white women are like THE WORST about being “give me credit, I support progressive causes!” but then the SECOND it’s time to call something out or make a stand, we’re all, “oh but that’s just the community I live in, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.”

            FWIW, I went to a super-progressive school with like, 3 vocal Republicans. We got into heated debates in Civics class; I’m sure they occasionally felt targeted by all the people telling them trickle-down economics was horsesh*t; and yet we still all managed to get along and be friendly classmates.

          • I’m also a mom of an 11 year old daughter and I 100% get what you’re saying.

            The book Queen Bees and Wannabees breaks down middle school dynamics perfectly. Being the girl who stands up for others makes you a Champion, which on one hand is awesome! But on the other hand, it’s lonely. Champions end up standing up to (and insulting) other kids, and the consequences are that they are left out of friend groups. They are the friend who is a great listener and is turned to for one-on-one BFF conversations, but ditched and avoided in public. Best case scenario, a Champion can float comfortably from social group to social group, but they never really 100% belong.

          • So kids (girls) shouldn’t speak up on behalf of the oppressed because it might make them slightly less popular? That’s a *terrible* value to instill. I’m not saying you should force your kids to protest if they’re uncomfortable with the social implications but telling them “don’t do this good thing you want to do because it might make you less popular” is absolutely horrifying to me. You know, 30 years ago people told girls not to appear smart in math class because it would affect their social status….

          • OMG you just perfectly described school-age ME with that Champion stuff. Buying the book now, so I can better talk to my daughter when she gets to that age.

            Agreed with the OP on this one. 10 year old Champion crusader me got a specific reputation that meant jr high and high school were pretty lonely and isolating, even though it looked like I was friends with everyone. I think it would have been much different if I would have learned how to be more subtle, at least until high school, and not gotten that pigeon-holing reputation SO early in my life.

          • Anonattorney :

            Oh man, I’m fully on team Anonymous @12:13.

          • God forbid we celebrate our little girls having good values lest we risk hurting their popularity.

          • JFC, Jax, there’s more to life than being besties with a bunch of middle school mean girls that are only going to be in your life for a very short period of time, relatively speaking. My 9 year old has a healthier and more mature perspective about this than you do. I also hope you realize how unbelievably sexist your comment is. If you believe kids shouldn’t be protesting at school, that’s fine, but lets not make this specifically about how girls shouldn’t.

          • There is a difference between “not being popular” and “being the target of N a z i salutes on the playground” (which happened to another kid at her school).

          • That’s terrible. Suggestion-if your daughters’ values don’t jibe with her schoilmates, can you find her a summer camp where she can meet people who do? Like a really outdoorsy camp, one run by a progressive religion, a hippy arts camp, etc

          • Then maybe you need to get louder yourself. Because if you aren’t loudly aggressively protesting an environment where kids who care are bullied, you are a bully. Your silence is consent.

          • Ha ha, trust me, we as parents are plenty loud.

          • Yall. Is it important that we raise girls to be strong individuals with good values, or is it important that we insulate them from discomfort and make sure that they’re popular?

          • Anyone read Harry Potter? Book Hermione is a classic Champion, and she WASN’T LIKED. Harry and Ron were even annoyed with her, especially when she started a protest to raise awareness for House Elves. For a whole book she’s cornering students to join her group, wear her protest buttons, etc. as people squirm to get away from her or flat out laugh at her.

            She spends a lot of time genuinely confused and hurt, wondering why the school isn’t getting behind this. Harry and Ron scuff their feet in the dirt and never tell her the truth–that she’s being abrasive and annoying, and no one wants to put themselves out there like she is. They just want to mess around and have fun, and they can’t do that when she’s around, so the whole school avoids her. As a result, she’s lonely.

            I’m in favor of telling my daughter–who tends to run toward Champion than any other ranking–that it comes with a price. And if she told me she was planning to take a knee during the National Anthem, I would absolutely tell her what reactions to expect from people after that.

            It’s not about popularity. It’s about making sure she realizes what her life could look like, and asking her if she thinks her actions would be worth it. It’s called parenting.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve literally never read anything more absurd than suggesting Hermione is a cautionary tale. You missed the point entirely. It’s called being a coward.

          • Chill out, Anon @12:23. I said “girl” because the book I referenced is about middle school girls and we’re talking about the OP’s daughter. But you do you and twist my words into something hateful.

          • The fact that you think Hermione is an example of what NOT to do is just absolutely befuddling to me. Have you even read the books? Hermione is absolutely portrayed a role model and a brave, intelligent heroine who is often saving the day, not a lonely sad girl that nobody likes. Millions and millions of girls (and probably boys too) around the world have been inspired by her. #HermioneForever.

            Harry Potter aside, there’s a pretty big difference between talking to your child about how people are likely to react to certain things, and encouraging her not to protest (or display her intelligence or do whatever else it is that Queen Bees are not “supposed to do”) because it will make her less popular. I definitely had trouble fitting in in middle and high school because I was very smart and into “geeky” things like science and engineering. I have no regrets about being who I was and found plenty of friends in college and beyond, but I certainly could have fit in better during my teen years if I’d acted like science was stupid and I didn’t care at all about school. By your logic, I should encourage my daughter not to act smart because it will make her less likely to be accepted by the Queen Bees, or at the very least I should warn her that if she studies hard and shows enthusiasm for school her popularity will suffer (because it totally will).
            Is that seriously a message you think a parent should communicate to a child!? I just can’t with your comments and am having a rage stroke on behalf of both my former self and my smart, sassy, independent preteen daughter.

          • Here’s JK Rowling on Hermione’s elf activism:

            JK: My sister and I both, we were that kind of teenager. (Dripping with drama) We were that kind of, ‘I’m the only one who really feels these injustices. No one else understands the way I feel.’ I think a lot of teenagers go through that.
            E[van Solomon]: In Britain they call it ‘Right On’ or something.
            JK: Exactly. Well, she’s fun to write because Hermione, with the best of intentions, becomes quite self-righteous. My heart is entirely with her as she goes through this. She develops her political conscience. My heart is completely with her. But my brain tells me, which is a growing-up thing, that in fact she blunders towards the very people she’s trying to help. She offends them. She’s not very sensitive to their…
            E: She’s somewhat condescending to the elves who don’t have rights.
            JK: She thinks it’s so easy. It’s part of what I was saying before about the growing process, of realizing you don’t have quite as much power as you think you might have and having to accept that. Then you learn that it’s hard work to change things and that it doesn’t happen overnight. Hermione thinks she’s going to lead them to glorious rebellion in one afternoon and then finds out the reality is very different

            Link to the interview:

            So, yeah. Rowling’s Hermione is a cautionary tale about diving into a cause will all heart and no wisdom.

          • And I don’t think she’s a cautionary tale like that’s all bad… it’s like Buffy. Being a hero requires a lot of sacrifices. And there is nothing wrong with telling her daughter that. It’s just good to go into it with eyes wide open. I think that is the entire point the lady with the daughter was trying to make– that it still may be worth it to her daughter, but that she know what she’s getting into.

          • *sigh*

            I DON’T CARE ABOUT POPULARITY and I’m not pushing my daughter to be one of the Heathers. Or pretend to be dumb. I don’t know how the eff we ended up here…

            I referenced a book–called Queen Bees and Wannabees–that listed out the pros and cons of being a Champion. When people flipped sh!t about there being *actual cons* to going against the social flow at school, I tried to give the example of Hermione and her S.P.E.W. club disaster. It didn’t help, so whateves.

            Some people got it. Others just like to yell.

            Annnddd…this is why so many people dropped their handles and just go by anonymous.

          • “Champions end up standing up to (and insulting) other kids, and the consequences are that they are left out of friend groups.”
            I was that Champion, and F*** those “friends” who leave you out for doing the right thing, they were never your friends to begin with, they are shallow, and they are not worth holding on to.

          • Jax – there is nothing in that interview that says that what she did was a con because she made people uncomfortable. All it says is that she got self-righteous and didn’t fully understand how hard it is to change things or understand an issue sometimes. That is not related to speaking out for your beliefs in any way. You are wrong about Hermione and it’s sad that that’s the meaning you got from those books.

      • Disagreeing with someone does not make them ignorant and bigoted. The immediate jump to that conclusion is why people like the OP find it important to sometimes keep opinions quiet.

    • I 100% get taking a knee for a person injured on the field. It has a specific meaning in team sports. I wonder if that will fade away when kids are like “but I’m not protesting anything.”

      I am a hockey fan though. I stand for two anthems.

      And I play tennis, where we didn’t start matches with music ever (or have non-parent fans). And haven’t played a team sport since high school, but for girls sports, when you don’t start with any pomp, it just seems really odd. Like if you were in a musical or other school event, you would not want to detract from it by interjecting a moment of “me, me, me and my cause.” Like if I had a kid protesting FGM or s_x trafficing, I’d tell her to pick a time/place other than her school event that others have worked on.

      • But they don’t sing the national anthem at a musical, and sex trafficking is not something the U.S. government is generally considered to be complicit in. So your analogy is completely inappropriate. Any time the national anthem is sung or the pledge of allegiance is recited, it makes perfect sense for someone who is protesting the government’s treatment of African American citizens to kneel, remain silent, or turn their back.

        • I like the kneeling and linking arms versions of the protest. Either of these seems to me to be a respectful call for a full implementation of the values for which our flag stands. Linking arms has the added dimension of illustrating unity. I don’t like the idea of simply remaining seated or turning one’s back, because it creates the opportunity for the other side to claim the flag and “American values” for itself.

          • And no one has been doing that.

          • Once you start protesting or speaking up about one thing, I think you need to allow speach to occur about all things though. And when kids care about something (it would be Puerto Rico where I am), they really, truly, sincerely care. And they want a platform for that.

            I see a lot of Puerto Rican flags out now. And I bet they will creep onto uniforms more and more (and the uniform = speech thing is a perpetual turf battle, all the way up to professional sports; in high school, it is different due to the whole state actor thing in public schools that isn’t present with the NFL (which has union rules, so very different than high school)).

          • There are definitely NFL players who have stayed seated. Not posting in the actual links as it will just go into moderation

            – Marcus Peters sits for national anthem before NFL opener
            – Raiders Sit During National Anthem Since They Couldn’t Stay in the Locker Room
            – Eight Seahawks join Michael Bennett by sitting during the national anthem

          • I don’t like the linking of arms. I really don’t like compelling kids to speak or not speak about things. The linking of arms seems like compelled speach to me and seems to create a lot of pressure to link up.

          • You wanna not compel kids stop playing the anthem all the time.

          • I’ve never heard the anthem played at a kids sporting event. Maybe at Friday night football games? But I don’t go to those — my kids are 1) just in grade school and 2) girls, so they truly do not care about the sport and it’s not their social scene (yet). At my kids sporting events, they start at school when the parents are still en route or have no anthems, ever (kids swim meets).

          • My kid’s sport always starts with the anthem at all levels.

      • Are you really this ignorant or are you just stirring the pot?

        Taking a knee is about black men saying our lives matter, we aren’t just animals beating each other for your amusement.

      • I think my favorite post that I saw making the rounds fits with your comment nicely. It basically said (I don’t remember it exactly): Why do we take a knee when someone is injured on the field? Because there is an emergency that takes precedence over the game and it signals that everyone must stop and pay attention. Through these protests, these athletes are signalling to us that there is an emergency in our country that is we need to stop and pay attention to.

    • It just happened at my hometown high school football game, so definitely trickling down.

    • Three students were kicked off the football team for doing it here at a local college. He was eventually offered his spot back but declined.

    • This is interesting. When I was in high school (a long time ago), players had to dress up on game day. I don’t know if that is still done? This was in a blue-collar public high school in the northeast.

      But I think if dressing up is a condition of being on the team (or really: playing time or not getting kicked down to junior varsity), then they may have rules on disrupting the game or not following directions (and it may be coach-specific, school-specific, or conference-specific). A lot of rules are for general conduct (like you can’t drink / be drunk / be otherwise in trouble at school) and game-specific conduct.

      I think part of being on a team is group before self, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were rules and repercussions. Esp. with kids where rule-following is just a condition of life in general. But if you are in the stands with a BLM sign, that ought to be OK.

    • Anonattorney :

      I am still so confused by the outrage that this protest has caused – at all levels, especially here. Why are people so offended by athletes kneeling during the national anthem? Aren’t we past the idea that all American citizens owe blind allegiance to national symbols, at all times? And of course our children should be thinking about these things, talking about them, trying to understand the basis for the protest, and considering whether they want to participate as well.

      If my son were that age, and played a sport (and yes, the anthem played before both my basketball and volleyball games in high school), I would fully encourage him to learn about these protests, and determine whether he wanted to participate or show solidarity in any way.

      • Anonymous :

        Well, it comes from NFL players, who are generally not in the paper for anything good, ever. And when it’s “good,” it’s very self-servicing and deliberately so (Player Y supports Player Y Foundation feeling the homeless in hopes you don’t talk about him smacking around his girlfriend). And the NFL just wants to manage reactions so not to lose revenue, as if they really care about anything, like the brains inside players heads (hello, concussion damage).

        And even if the WNBA started it, everyone ignores the WNBA b/c who cares about women’s sports. That burns me up even more.

        So for me, it’s a pox on the NFL’s house all over.

        • I can’t tell if you are being serious or not but plenty of NFL players are good guys who do great things for their community, love their families, etc. JJ Watt raised 30+ million dollars to help Houston after the hurricane. There is an award every year for community service and every team puts forward a strong candidate.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      A high school in Seattle did it last season.

  13. As Kat’s description alluded, there is a Lands End promo for 40% off right now with Code: SPOOKY, Pin: 3687 – good through 10/23.

    just placed an order for this; taking a chance that the “tall” won’t be too long in the body but the “regular” length of 38″ is just not enough to be work appropriate for me (and I’m only 5’8″)

  14. Super Anon for this :

    In need of some advice for keeping calm. About a week ago, my partner and I had an accident that resulted in my taking Plan B, but I wasn’t able to get it until 2 days later. Still within the 72 hour timeframe, but not ideal. I take birth control pills, but wanted to take Plan B just to be sure. I should have gotten my period this week, but it hasn’t come yet. I always get my period on Tuesdays like clockwork. I know my chances of being pregnant are low and it’s too early to freak out, but my mind has started to spiral a little out of control. I would love some reassurance that everything is going to be fine.

    • It’s likely that your stress is causing it to be late.

    • Okay so if you always get your period on tuesdays your cycle is actually not regular, because the number of days in a month varies. You’re on birth control, so you didn’t need plan b. You used plan a, taking your birth control.

      • If you’re on the traditional pill, your period is exactly every 4 weeks, so yes it would arrive on the exact same day of the week each time.

      • Cycle length has nothing to do with months. If your cycle is always 28 days (very regular and very average cycle length) you will always get your period on the same day of the week.

      • Mea maxima culpa

    • Take a test. It’s not too early and a negative test will relax you and make it more likely your period will show up.

    • Why would you even need Plan B if you’re on the pill? The pill alone is very effective. You really don’t need a condom AND the pill, except for concern about STDs.

    • You’re not pregnant.

      • I’ve been in your shoes. My partner and I use two forms of BC (yes, it’s redundant, trust that we have our reasons). Like you, I had an instance where I took Plan B to be extra safe (yes, again, redundant, I know). It did throw off my cycle a little bit that month. Take a test if you’re nervous and if it will lessen your anxiety, but it’s not unusual for things to be a bit off that month.

        • Yes, I was just scrolling down to post that this happened to me once as well. I’d been traveling and not doing a great time of taking my BC at the same time each day, a condom broke, and I took Plan B just to be sure (whaduppppp Eurotrip). Even with being on the pill, Plan B threw off my start date. If you’re really concerned, take a test, but statistically you’re going to be fine!

        • +1

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah, this has happened to my friends too.

      • This.

    • Plan B rushes your system with another set of harmones/chemicals and it will take a bit (2/3 months) to reset. Take a test to ease your mind.

    • I would take a test.

      When you combine taking your pill and Plan B, I think it is unlikely you are pregnant but take a test to confirm Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about being cautious. I really didn’t want to have a baby before marriage so DH and I used pill + condoms every single time until then. There’s a reason that the efficacy rate for the pill in actual use is only like 85% – many women aren’t great about taking it at the same time every day and many women don’t know that efficacy has only been confirmed up to 176lbs.

    • Anonymous :

      Taking plan B on top of hormonal pills is strange and not recommended- of course it messed up your cycle. You really didn’t need to do that and it doesn’t make you extra safe. If you find you have a lot of anxiety about this, it may help to speak to your doctor, who may encourage you to speak to a therapist.

      • Anonymous :

        She doesn’t need a therapist. Plan B is for birth control failure or suspected failure. She presumably had a reason to doubt the efficacy of the pill (maybe she missed one). It’s like exactly what Plan B is for.

        • Anonymous :

          If you miss one, the recommended action is to take 2 pills the next day, not to take plan b. But the reason I say that is because there used to be a woman here who was on pills and would take plan b every time she gardened due to her anxiety issues, not because she missed pills… wondering if it is the same person. It’s really not healthy to be doing that.

  15. Yesterday’s post about negativity :

    There was a post here yesterday about feeling negative about everything, and the universal answer was therapy and meds. I completely agree that that’s the best bet, but there are things that can be done before / other than that.

    This is something a therapist might do with you, but it’s hard to just think “don’t be negative”. A key is to replace the negative thoughts with some other action. Take some times to think it out, maybe even write it down – “when I get frustrated at work I will go to the bathroom / count down from 10 / go drink some tea”. These may sound a little stupid, but what you’re trying to do is have some type of trigger to break the cycle of negative thoughts.

    Some ideas that helped me –

    – I read a lot of philosophy. Marcus Aurelius in particular was helpful, I memorized some pome , biographies

    • Yesterday's post about negativity :

      – I read a lot of philosophy. Marcus Aurelius in particular was helpful, I memorized some poems , biographies of athletes who struggled (typically people who were the same age/gender as me)
      – Exercising, particularly swimming
      – Writing down what I was feeling what I was angry about, and then throwing away (or even better) burning the paper AKA the negative emotions.

      I don’t mean to step on any toes and absolutely get a professional opinion, but just wanted to throw this out there.

      • I agree. It is also helpful to surround oneself with upbeat people. Negative thoughts are highly contagious.

      • I don’t think you’re stepping on toes. Some people do great with therapy and meds, and some need it. But it’s the default answer here a bit too often, I think.

    • I saw an article not too long ago related to this. Every morning, write down 10 things you are thankful for. The effect is that you start noticing the things you are thankful for more and more, and it leads you to be more positive and content.

      • +1. I do this before bed sometimes when I’m stressed. I just make mental gratitude lists. They can be super small things and they can be for things that happened long ago but you can really notice an attitude shift. “I’m grateful I had a seat on the subway today” or “I’m grateful my grandmother was in my life as a child.”

      • +1000. You might also try the “100 Happy Days” project. A couple years ago I participated and each day posted a photo on my IG account of something that made me happy that day. It is amazing how even picking out 1 example from the day could re frame perspective on an otherwise shit day.

    • Going for walks in nature is the one of the best way for me to handle stress. It’s often my favorite part of my day. I actually go on a walk every single day at lunch and listen to podcasts, which lets my mind relax and stop thinking about my own life. The clouds just lift from my mind and I can actually enjoy where I am in that exact moment. Highly recommend walking in nature as a way of coping. It’s free too!

  16. Bus Dev help :

    I am a senior associate in biglaw. I have been told that from a substantive legal and case management perspective, the powers that be agree that I am ready for partner. But I apparently need to work on my “hustle” with respect to business development to raise my profile outside the firm.

    I’m planning to publish an article or two in the near term as well as take on a couple of speaking engagements at bar events to raise my profile within the profession, but I’m a little stuck on client development. My law school colleagues who have moved in house are years away from having hiring authority for their companies, and I work in a bit of a niche litigation area, so focusing on an industry is tough – there will be one or two of these kinds of cases (if any) per industry in a lifetime.

    So far, I’m planning to get more involved in my UG and law school alumni associations to work on building my network. Can anyone share what has/has not worked for you to hone your business development skills?

    • In-house lawyers love CLEs they don’t have to pay for. Develop one that they’d go to, get CLE credit for it, and invite clients, in-house friends, any fool who will come. Get your firm to spring for refreshments. Invite colleagues. I promise it will actually yield work and showcase you as a go-to person.

      • And government attorneys! When I was working in state government, they did not pay for our CLEs or license upkeep at all (and were even weird about giving time off to do it…), so I became tight with a few firms in the area and always asked for us to be able to go for free, and they always obliged. Then I’d get like 15 people to register, and they were happy to have us there! We did end up using a lot of these firms when we needed to bid out, so this was a decent strategy for them, but they went a long way to building goodwill. It was good.

      • Bus Dev help :

        Thanks, this is a good idea!

      • New Tampanian :

        Make it a lunch!

        • New Tampanian :

          Oh! And work with your local ACC chapter. You can usually get a good group of in-house attys to attend if you do so.

    • Remember that you can develop business outside your area. Different firms reward that differently, but at my firm I can get credit for business I generate that I don’t do.

      Work your contacts. Contacts you have from school. Contacts you have from practice. Contacts locally. Contacts nationally. Contacts from industry groups or niche litigation groups or functional groups. Watch litigation filings in your niche, in your market, etc. and reach out whenever you can find any connection at all, even if you have to reach out jointly with someone else in your firm.

      • I’m not the OP, but as a very junior associate who genuinely doesn’t know, what does “work[ing] your contacts” mean in this scenario? You get in touch and do… what? How do you go from getting coffee with an old classmate to generating business?

        • You show your face enough that you’re the person they think of when they have a relevant matter. You get coffee, and you get lunch, and you get drinks, and you take them to a game or cultural event, and meanwhile you’re building your reputation in your field and getting published and doing good work. There’s often nothing overt you need to do to go from coffee to business, you just need to be the person who comes to mind and you do that by keeping the relationship warm and sending them business or other good stuff when you have the opportunity to do so.

        • I’ve had friends use me as their “networking practice” person. We usually go out for lunch/coffee, talk shop for a few minutes. “How’s work going? Any interesting challenges lately?” After a bit, we transition over to talking about our dogs/kids/life outside of work.

          Honestly, it works well, because I didn’t otherwise know the specific areas my friends practice in. If I run into a scenario I recall them mentioning, I might very well give that person a call.

        • Thanks! It helps to see it framed as a longer term process.

    • Maybe this is too obvious, but have you tried specifically asking your practice group leaders what they recommend doing for business development? It varies so much by field. I’m in the same position as you, and the partners I work for are very open and helpful in brainstorming business development ideas with me. We don’t do it formally, just have conversations periodically as ideas arise. About once a month or so we discuss this in some form or another. I tell them about ideas I have, and they let me know if they would be useful. And in exchange they pass me opportunities that they don’t have time for. (But caveat that I have very supportive bosses who affirmatively want me to progress and take over the practice, so YMMV.)

      • Bus Dev help :

        Thanks! And yes, I absolutely plan to do this, just brainstorming ideas to present in addition to asking for advice.

    • Triangle Pose :

      “My law school colleagues who have moved in house are years away from having hiring authority for their companies” I would question this. If you are at parter level then your in-house colleagues likely have purchasing power. YMMV, I’m not in litigation, but even when I first started in-house I was asked to find outside counsel that can do X or Y for our new initiatives on the business side.

      • Bus Dev help :

        Fair point. I had specific people in mind for whom that is true when I wrote that, but your note is a good reminder that the same may not be true for all my contacts.

      • And not just that, but they might still be able to put in a good word with their bosses or those at their company who have that authority.

    • Anonymous :

      Talk to your practice group leader for sure. Given that your networking/bus dev efforts aren’t likely to result in an immediate flood of new originations, you need to understand how the powers that be measure “hustle.” Also, talk to your marketing team about developing a strategy and formulating a business plan. Some law firm marketing teams are better than others (many seem to be populated with former lawyers who don’t have other credentials), but it certainly can’t hurt to explore the resource. Also, keep in mind that your networking efforts may not result in getting elected partner, but they will be priceless if you want to change firms or go in house.

  17. Plus Size Tweed Blazer :

    In case anyone is looking for one, I thought this one was too cute not to share:

    • Really cute. I like the zipper and collar on this– it’s reminiscent of the athleisure trend yet it would be appropriate for my business casual office.

  18. What is your perfect “realistic” salary – and where do you live/what do you do? I don’t mean — I’d like to make $2 million/yr. More like — I’m living in NYC and if I was up to 185k I’d be totally comfortable bc . . . .

    • I live in the suburbs of a small Midwestern city (not Chicago). Our HHI is $150k and I think it’s more than enough. We feel very comfortable, wealthy even. I would obviously take more but it would mostly go to luxuries we really don’t need and charitable donations.

    • I’m making more than enough now and I hope to always feel a sense of abundance and gratitude.

      • + 1

        I took a 40% cut when I went to government and still feel that I make more than enough now. I make more just on my own than my parents ever did, combined. It feels really humbling. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how hard and long my mom worked for a salary of $30 k (in a HCOL).

        • This has always humbled me. Got pushed out of biglaw and went to gov’t with a huge pay cut and just recently realized that the government starting salary that I complained 2 yrs ago was more than my dad made when he retired in mechanical engineering after a 40 yr career. Particularly humbling in biglaw when I was making more than my parents since the time I was about a 2nd yr.

          • Yep, completely agree. In my first job as a lawyer, I was being paid more than my parents. A nice reminder that money isn’t everything but also incredibly thankful to my parents for working hard so my sister and I could be well educated.

      • Same here. $150k HHI in LCOL. We feel somewhere between very comfortable and straight up rich, depending on the month. I’m so very grateful for what we have, and don’t need more. I have the life that I only dreamed of as a child and sometimes have to pinch myself.

        I’m an accountant and husband is a computer systems engineer. One kid. No student loan debt. Fairly modest but comfortable lifestyle. We both have the potential to make a lot more money, but the trade offs aren’t worth it for us.

        • Yeah, I’m the Anon at 10:40 who said we’re very comfortable, bordering on rich, on $150k in LCOL area. We also only have one child and I think it would be a different story if we wanted two or more kids. It’s important to me and DH to fund college completely at the best school our kid(s) can get into and we likely won’t qualify for much financial aid so it would be a very different story if we had to save for private college x2 (or more). And there are a lot of costs associated with kids besides college savings. Having only one child makes a big difference.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m a BigLaw partner in the suburbs of a city in the Midwest (also not Chicago). Our HHI is $225K, and I would like it to be between $350-400K. Mostly to insure our ability to provide for college for our 3 children, but I’d also like the option to retire early.

      • I do not in any way mean this as an attack or criticism – I am genuinely curious – but is the partner salary for BigLaw honestly $225K or less in your city? Is that for full time?

        I have only ever lived in LA and NYC where BigLaw firms pay market, so I am surprised by the disparity in pay in a smaller city BigLaw firm. (I knew there was some, just didn’t realize the extent I guess.)

    • We are in a mid cost of living area, in maryland, 200 k per year. With my student loans,retirement catch up for us both, college and healthcare costs we feel solid and grateful but certainly not rich and like most people I am cognizant that it all mostly rests on us continuing to produce. Yes, we are insured, but I doubt there is one number for me that would do it or calm the boogeyman entirely. I just try to learn to live with it, life offers no guarantees.

      • Anonymous :

        This is us. We’re about $225K in a MCOL area. No kids, but hefty student loans for both of us. We’re still quite comfortable, and maxing our tax-deferred retirement now that our e-fund is fully funded.

        I don’t feel wealthy, but I think that has to do more with my own boogeyman and concern about long-term savings than our actual lifestyle/objectivity.

        On paper I am 100% working wealthy. My anxious brain won’t catch up with that feeling though.

    • Boston area (Somerville), HHI 375-400K. I’d like this to be closer to 500K to save a massive down payment and catch up on non-retirement investing/savings.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m genuinely baffled. You can’t save 200k in a year for that down payment? A down payment on what?

        • The market is pretty hot in Boston right now – everyone I know who has purchased within Boston/Cambridge/Somerville within the past two years has paid all cash and considerably above asking price. Don’t know if that’s what the OP is aiming for, but it makes it very hard for first (or not) time home buyers even aside from the ridiculously high prices.

          • Yes, this. Every home sale on our street in the past year has been for at least 10% over asking within a week or two of listing, and most were all cash.

            We don’t want to move further out bc want to keep my husband close to the university.

            Also – i just finished my 6 figure student loan debt and he just started repaying his. So there are large chunks of cash otherwise allocated (plus ttc so anticipating 2500/mo daycare).

        • Anonymous :

          I only see about 66% of my salary after taxes, so I can understand why they could not save $200k in a year. That is a lot of HHI, don’t get me wrong, but saving $200k would take more than a year if they are paying anything close to a market rent and meeting other expenses. If there is school debt, add even more time to save.

        • A different anon :

          You realize their taxes are probably close to 40% of their gross income, right? My husband and I make a similar amount, also in a HCOL metro area with high state and local taxes, and we take home about 63% of our gross pay.

    • I’m in a MCOL city and I’m happy with my current 80k. More is nice, but only of it doesn’t add more stress.

    • Well, I don’t think any of the posts so far are very realistic! Wow, we have such different lives.

      I make about 40K now and pay for my own Obamacare health insurance (costs me $500 per month + $6000 deductible).

      I would love to make 80K. Such a fantasy, but realistic I think.

      I have lived on as little as 8k a year, when I started grad school.

      • I think they’re realistic for some people depending on their jobs and their current incomes, but probably not for many people. A lot of posters here seem to make way more than I ever will, but more power to them! For me, 100k is a wild fantasy that will likely never happen, but I knew that going in and I accepted it because working in a job I care about is more important than making a lot of money (not saying that people with high salaries don’t care about their jobs, just that in my case I had to choose one or the other). I make enough to get by, and when I finish my master’s I’ll make enough to be comfortable. For me, a mid-career salary goal is about 60k in a MCOL. That’s a fair salary by industry standards and an amount that would allow me a reasonable amount of freedom in most areas of my life.

        • Agreed, Dandelion. I’m at ~$44k now with a HHI of ~$85k. I’d love it if we could make it to $100k in HHI, but I’m very grateful for the modest, pleasant lifestyle we have where we are right now. We don’t have a flashy rental and we don’t get everything that we want, but we have everything that we need; I have a job with great work/life balance; and if we want to do bigger, spendier stuff we can with prioritization and planning.

          In the shorter term, I can’t wait for my SO to be done with his student loans! An extra $400 a month seems like such an amazing luxury.

      • For this, Anon. :

        Unrealistic, how? For you or for the commenters… these are target salaries and we don’t know what jobs individual commenters have.

    • We’re in Philly, HHI is ~$375k. But I still have six figures in law school debt. So we are very comfortable but I worry that if I lost my job and took a big pay cut, we would need to cut back on retirement and cash savings.

    • Baconpancakes :

      MCOL área with a lot of expensive luxuries available/standard in our tech-heavy social circle. Our current HHI is $150k-$170k, depending on my partner’s business that year.

      I’d be completely happy with a salary of $100k in my area, which would bring our HHI over $200k, because I have loans, I’d love to build an expansion onto our house, and our retirements need some catch-up (not in that order). Looking forward, I’d like the opportunity to send our future kids to whatever school will be best for them, even if it’s the private $50k one, and college will either be outrageous or free by the time our kids get there. And honestly, we really like traveling, and that’s expensive.

    • $80-85K would be perfect for me in a small, MCOL city. It’s just me and my cat and I like to travel.

      • AnonMidwest :

        90-95k would do it for me. The dog and the old house both require upkeep.

        • Anonymous :

          for context, it might also help to know the age of the poster. I am single–so it is also just me and my cat in a MCOL city. I make $96k, and it is not nearly enough. I live in a one bedroom condo, and feel like i would need to double my income before i would be able to buy a single family home. This is depressing to me; however, that is because I am 40. If i would have been making $96k, owning a condo, at age 30, I would have felt like it was enough.

    • Our HHI used to be 400k in the greater boston area. It was plenty. We were saving a ton of money.

      I got laid off. DH took a promotion. I hung a shingle and stay home with the kids more. Now we make more like $300k and it is not tight, but in a dream world, I’d work exactly as much as I do now with another $50k. I wouldn’t want to work more (I’m about 20 hours/week how) for that 50k though. We’d use the extra 50k to accelerate a big home improvement project and take fancier vacations.

    • I’m a BigLaw sixth year, and my fiance is a software developer. Between the two of us (assuming my bonus comes in), we’ll clear $500K this year. This is insane to me, and we objectively don’t need this income to survive. I have stockpiled a lot in savings over the last six years (in addition to paying off student loans and buying our home) so that I can leave for a more reasonable salary in exchange for a more reasonable work schedule.

      Neither of us comes from money. Both of my parents went to college and work in their field of study, but together they never made what I earned alone as a first year. Neither of his parents went to college, and they’re both in relatively tenuous financial situations. We expect we will have to help them occasionally going forward.

    • I think about this slightly differently.

      I would be comfortable on $100K income in our MCOL area. My spouse and I combine for almost $150K, so we feel more than comfortable right now.

      But ideally, and realistically, we want to EACH get to $100K so we don’t have to worry about one of us losing our jobs. We’re both in very unstable industries, where benefits are being cut every year, so having that extra cushion would also be helpful for future insurance and retirement needs, and maybe even college for our 2 kids if we can get to that point. Basically, our dream is to live off one salary for our family of 4, and be able to “bank” the other one, since who knows what our future holds.

    • For this, Anon. :

      Philly, I make 200k and SO makes 115k.

      It’s more than enough, we could probably be totally comfortable in our city with combined 200k. I still have five figures of law school debt. We have a mortgage.

    • anonymous :

      We live in Chicago. I’m in-house and he is in finance. This year we will make conservatively ~375 HHI, though that number will likely be higher due to his bonus. We are comfortable but he wants more because this year his numbers have been off the charts and he has been putting in insane hours and due for a promotion, so he wants the pay to reflect that. I want more because (1) I came from biglaw and… I guess I feel like I am worth less now than what I was (I know, I know, I bought my time and life back) and (2) I personally want to contribute more to our HHI. After all, what if he became disabled or lost his job or died unexpectedly? Sure we have contingency plans in place and savings, but I would want to be help provide a sense of stability during a time like that. Also, Chicago is expensive (not as bad as SF or NYC, I know), but still costly to live in a good school district within a reasonable commute to the office. Childcare is expensive, too!

      • Anonymous :

        If he died you’d cash in his life insurance, keep your job, and be totally financially fine.

      • You’ve got life insurance, right?

        • anonymous :

          Late responding but yes, we do. I want to be able to give our kids the same opportunities we had growing up, though, which means paying for college, and honestly the bigger part of me is feeling like I am ‘worth’ more than my salary. It’s still the biglaw thinking. I am definitely less stressed — it just takes time to re-set your mind from a lifetime of “achieving the -est” at everything to saying just because I can get paid more, do I want what comes with it?

    • MCOL Mid-Atlantic City, current HHI is $180K, reasonable goal would be $250k. For us, that’s the difference between totally fine, can afford everything we need and several luxuries, v. can afford basically everything we want. Which would be nicer vacations, kitchen remodel, cleaner 2x/week instead of every other week. We’ve actually been at this level in the past, but my spouse switched jobs to a non-profit – he’s much happier now, so the tradeoff has been absolutely worth it, but I do want that kitchen someday.

    • Anononope :

      Right now our HHI is $160k. We live in a HCOL city (though not like, SF or NYC). Every month is tight (our house was a ‘reach’ for us, but we’re just starting out so hopefully this will work out in a few years) but I’m just hoping in the next few years some costs will go down and our income will go up and we’ll be glad we did it. I think with $180 or so we would have a little more breathing room.

      I may run out of money each month, but I also always feel “rich.” I can afford so many wonderful things to keep myself and my family happy and healthy and safe.

    • I think a lot of this depends on external factors. Do I own a home? Do I have a mortgage? Do I have student loans? If we didn’t have a mortgage and I didn’t have loans, I would be comfortable with a lot less.

      • +1

        HHI is 5x more than anything I ever dreamed of growing up and probably 1.5x less than what I need to get out of student loan debit and carry aging parents who don’t have retirement plans/funds/accounts.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      MCOL Southeastern city. HHI is 162K. We are both attorneys. DH makes right over 100K. My personal goal is to also bring in six figures (I work for state government, so I am very grateful for a flexible job that is hardly ever stressful–I’d like more money, but the same type of work atmosphere). I’d be most comfortable if our combined income was 300K. That way, we could pay off student loans and other debt, save more quickly for our LO’s college education, put more toward retirement, and pay a bigger down payment on a home, and also enjoy other luxuries like a nanny and weekly house cleaning. Plus, we have plans to relocate to a more expensive Southeastern city in the next several years, and an increased income to absorb those extra costs would be lovely.

  19. inexpensive jeans brands - help :

    What are your favorite inexpensive denim brands? I have a casual office so wear jeans most days, and I like dark washes, skinny jenas.

    The longer issue is, I’m post partum and about 5 lbs over pre-baby weight. But my entire body has changed and I just feel uncomfortable in my current jeans. Would love to hear your favorites under $75 or so.

    • Old Navy Rockstar skinny jeans. Super comfy and stretchy, cheap, come in a bunch of different washes. I like the mid-rise ones the best.

      • +1 but I prefer the high rise because I like it to completely cover my belly (baby weight), instead of cutting in at the navel. The old navy jeans are surprisingly great.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I like the “built in sculpt” high waisted old navy rockstars. They sit at my real waist.

    • Levis curvy cut on the website. Best things to ever happen to this pear (size way up — my usual is a 4/6 and in levis I wear a 10). And cheap. And beyond comfy.

    • givemyregards :

      I really like Gap jeans – the true skinny are my favorite but I also have a pair of real straight that I like a lot.

    • Old Navy and American Eagle fit me the best. I have a couple of pairs of GAP too, but they tend to be too pricey for me!

    • Topshop, Jamie and Joni. They’re super stretchy so a few pounds difference means they still fit

    • Has anyone bought the Nordstrom wit and wisdom ones?

      • I like NYDJ that I get at the Rack on sale. Stretchy and a higher rise work well for me. I used to swear by the Rockstar jeans at Old Navy but have been wearing jeans less and less lately so I just don’t reach for them these days.

      • I love Nordstrom Treasure & Bond jeans, and I wear my black skinnies constantly. I am a pear shape. Treasure & Bond is not as cheap as Old Navy, but they last better and go on sale.

      • Late reply. Yes, I have the wit and wisdom. I love them. I’m tall and they are long enough and they are so stretchy it’s like wearing leggings. I don’t have a lot of jeans, but I pretty much only wear this one pair.

    • Express has tall, mid-rise jeans that I really like.

      • +1 I really like Express jeans for my post-partum self, but recently had to order them online because the stores only had super distressed styles that wouldn’t fly for casual Friday at work.

    • I was very skeptical about the Everlane denim ($68) and their high rise skinny jeans are fantastic – substantial, not too stretchy, but still comfortable. I just ordered a second pair.

    • The Frenchie Is My Favorite Kid :

      I thought that I looked perfectly fine in Old Navy jeans but my fashion forward friend pointed out that I could wear more flattering choices. Nordstrom Rack has great options, it just depends on your body type. For me – 2 kids later still 10 lbs over my pre-pg weight, so I guess it’s now my actual weight – I’m curvy and Paige and Joe’s Jeans fit me well. Nordstrom Rack always has those around $75 ish and they’ve lasted forever.

      I do wash them inside out and tumble dry on low and take them out when they are still damp to prolong their life, but I doubt that’s really necessary.

      I got a lot of compliments from friends/co-workers when I made the transition from ON to Paige, so I took that to mean it was worth it.

    • I’m still on the hunt for the perfect fitting pair but I don’t hate some that I recently bought at BR factory online. I also have a pair of Lucky Brand ones that I like ok. I’m searching for the perfect rise for my short waist body. The BR ones are slightly too high (as are the medium rise rockstars from ON), but the low rise Lucky brand ones are a little too low. I have to make sure my shirt covers the back when I sit down. I’ve had express jeans in the past that fit fine (back when flares were in) but that store has gotten so unpleasant to go into. The store itself has blaring loud music and none of the styles you found online that you actually want to try on are there.

  20. Homeowners, could you share your maintenance checklists (or link to one you’ve found useful)?

    For reference, we’re in Texas and coming up on a year in a new construction duplex, two stories, attached garage, small yard (less than 1/10 acre). I’m trying to sort out what actually needs to be done and what is just the various service companies trying to make money on an “annual checkup.” SO is not handyman-inclined at all and admits now that he was probably better suited to staying a renter, but since time travel isn’t an option, he’s asked for some help forming a concrete task list that he will then execute.

    I saw an article in NYT that went through what to do each season, but it seemed a lot more applicable to people living further north with seasons who have leaves in gutters and then need to winterize, so it was a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what was relevant.

    • We fix things when they’re broken. Repaint when it’s peeling. Etc. If we did annual maintenance we’d be doing it full time. Just keep your place clean and do stuff like clean out the air filters on your HVAC and then sit back and wait for things to break (and they will.)

      • We fix things as they break (frequently), but also perform the following routine and preventive maintenance:

        -Have gutters cleaned spring and fall (if you don’t have leaf or pine needle issues, just do it when they get filled up)
        -Have house pressure-washed in the fall (will not be a big issue if it’s not humid where you live)
        -Have routine A/C service every spring and routine furnace service every fall, including cleaning exterior A/C unit when indicated
        -Drain sediment from water heater when we remember, ideally once a year
        -Replace backup batteries in smoke alarms and CO detector twice a year (when we change the clocks)
        -Oil garage door spring twice a year (when we change the clocks)
        -Open foundation vents when it gets warm in the spring and close them when it gets cold in the fall
        -Turn off water to outdoor hose bibbs when freezing weather approaches
        -Vacuum dust from behind/under fridge when we remember, ideally twice a year
        -Vacuum lint out of dryer vent when we remember, ideally once a year

        • This list seems pretty complete to me — I’ll add just a few more things
          — I try to have my trees trimmed every couple years. Annually would be ideal but the trees on my property are HUGE (house is old, and so are the trees) and it’s expensive. OP if you live in a new construction home that might not be relevant to you
          — run washing machine and dishwasher cleaners through the empty machines when I remember, ideally every 6 months (actually more like once a year)

          Otherwise, we just fix things when they break. We try to get to things ASAP just so things don’t pile up.

      • +1 to Anon at 11:50. We have semi-annual furnace/AC inspections but otherwise don’t do any preventative maintenance. I think a lot of this depends on your house, but we’ve never done most of the stuff Anon at 12:16 listed (cleaned gutters, pressure-washed our house, oiled the garage door etc) and we haven’t had any issues. We change batteries in smoke detectors when they beep and empty the dryer vent when we notice the dryer isn’t working as well as it should be. We have a biweekly cleaning service and we deep clean the house ourselves once or twice a year but I don’t really consider that maintenance.

    • For Texas, pest control/termite treatment and replacing air filters. Everything else (A/C, water heater, roof, etc.) just gets addressed when we think there’s a problem. Was anything identified in your inspection report that needs to be addressed?

      • SO offered and closed on the house when we were still early in the dating phase so I never saw the inspection report, but after spending lots of time there and eventually moving in earlier this year, I get the impression the inspector was phoning it in. Numerous lights do not work and never did (we’ve tried changing bulbs), the doors are not properly aligned so they don’t seal and we had a terrible spider problem for probably the first 8 months, some cabinet handles are only attached on one end (they’re the type that should be screwed in at both ends), and we have two corner drawers in the kitchen that open into each other, so you can only open one 1/3 and the other 1/2way. I was a serial renter so I don’t know what all goes into an inspection but that plus a number of other issues just seems like a lot for new construction and to have gotten a clean inspection.

        Recently I noticed that the cement pad under the HVAC, on the corner where the hoses attach, is always wet. I’m not sure if that’s just normal in this cooler-mornings transitional weather or if we have a leak, but the system does not work well at all in summer so I’m not optimistic (the thermostat was programmed to be at 78 during the day and lower to 73 by 5:30pm, and it’s a Nest so it was set to come on early to be able to be at exactly 73 by that time, and it just could not do it. It would be 80 inside until 2 or 3am every single night).

        So short version, I’m really skeptical of the build quality. Probably should’ve mentioned in the OP that SO does have a year left on the builder warranty so we’re also wondering what checkups might be useful to do now so we can get them addressed by the builder if they note any issues. The builder is not very established and I think we might only get one bite at the apple of him coming over willing to work.

    • Edna Mazur :

      I have my furnace filters coming on a subscription so I remember to change them. I think they are set to come every ten or twelve weeks.

  21. People with depression (especially situational depression, where you can’t leave the situation – i.e. severe and long term family illness, etc.) – if you’ve had a lack of interest in activities you previously were interested in, did you wait out the lack of interest to find new activities or did you find that doing the activities helped make you want to do them the next time? I’m considering signing up for a big time commitment – a prestigious self-study certificate program – because I have a lot of free time while this situation is going on and need distraction, but I’m concerned it will be another burden and that I’ll lose interest. I wonder if it’s like exercise – once you start it gets easier. I know the depression is coloring my views on this.

    Already under a psychiatrist and therapist’s care and on AD’s.

    • I found that “motion breeds motion.” Meaning, doing something, anything, got me in the habit of doing more things, and got me less trapped in my own thinking and perspectives. The only red-flag I see for you is the “self study” part of that program. I would have needed external motivation to help me continue to show up and do it.

      • OP:

        Agreed, this part is not ideal given my mental health concerns. I believe I’ll have a pretty decent amount of time at work to pursue this, and if it stays as slow as it’s been, I may not need to do much self-study at all in my free time. I’m hoping that mitigates it. The commitment is about 10-12 hours per week for 6 months with a test at the end.

        • I was unsure about the self-study part too . . . but if you have a lot of downtime at work that can be depressing too, doing this will at least make you feel like the workday was productive.

          • Exactly – twiddling my thumbs at work is certainly contributing to my depression about all of this, and I’m not in a position to change jobs because of the situation in question.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        For me it would depend on how I would see my progress in the self-study course. Doing the things I like to do really snowballs into more energy and more joy for me. When I have downtime at work, I daydream about my next project. But part of why it makes me so happy is that I am creating something, so I can see results and see improvement. If it was something sort of abstract, without clear markers of progress, it might not make me as happy.

    • Tbh why pick something hard and boring when you’re already depressed? Who is happy about going home and studying? How about a painting class? Hiking club? Something that’s going to give you enjoyment and fresh air?

      • I’m doing things like that already – this is a work-related thing that could fill up a fair amount of down time I have right now, that doesn’t seem to be abating. This is for a program that would be valuable to my career, so I don’t want to waste any more time not doing it, I guess.

      • Also, to “old me”, this wouldn’t have been boring – it would have been a fun learning challenge. “New me” is intimidated by the challenge because I’m so stressed and easily distracted. I’m hoping this will be a little absorbing mentally.

        • Then don’t do it. Ask yourself what’s so wrong with just not doing something optional hard and intimidating while you’re struggling with mental illness.

          Most of us don’t pick up a part time jobs worth of self study unless they are paying us to do that.

          Maybe old me needed to calm down a little!

    • I’ve found that it helped. I desperately needed a mental distraction from my Sh*tty Situation, something to look forward to, and something to make me feel good about my world. I totally get the impulse to just feel like it would be a burden, but it didn’t shake out that way for me.

      I’ve posted before on the hobby threads about how I was surprised and pleased to find that it was easier than I expected to re-integrate hobbies and that, after the initial hump, they were generally self-sustaining. I say this as a person who’s suffered from depression generally and situationally. You get positive feedback from doing it and you’re motivated. It’s hard to get motivated right now because you haven’t gotten any positive feedback.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I committed to a year of barre when I was in the midst of depression. Not crushing depression, but depression nonetheless. It helped. Knowing I had committed to it helped me get some forward momentum.
      Then it turned into crushing depression and it became a thing I could feel accomplished about when I did it, although a total PITA to get myself there.

    • I read a book titled Managing Your Depression: What You Can Do to Feel Better. It was helpful for me. One thing it says: The key is not to wait until you feel like doing something. Just do it as best you can now, and the motivation for doing it will follow.

      I say do this program, but try to set up some accountability or sense of routine/structure so you aren’t struggling with the “getting going” part throughout your time in the course. Good luck!

  22. Brooks Brothers Dress from last week :

    Just received the navy Brooks Brothers dress from last week. This is a keeper!

    The sizing is exactly like JCREW. Material is excellent- Italian wool (similar to their men’s suit materials) a little more tightly woven than an Ann Taylor Tropical wool material. It’s a quality dress, has sleeves and it’s lined. Waist is a touch too high, but not a deal breaker like it would be with Boden.

    I ordered a 6 and an 8 through my free Shoprunner account so me return is free ($7 otherwise via Brooks Brothers)

    • How’s the length? I remember thinking it was really short on the model and being surprised Brooks Brothers of all places was going there.

    • I have to say, I would shop way more often at Brooks Brothers if their website wasn’t such a PITA. Slow loading despite the tiny images (and in the sale section, there’s not even an option to view larger images, which makes browsing more of a chore than something fun), no “quick shop” pop up functionality, a high free shipping minimum and a charge for returns (and if you take a return to the store, the clerks act like you’re an idiot for ordering something you didn’t know you wanted to keep, despite Brooks Brothers generally keeping VERY little women’s merch in-store in the first place)…

      • + 1 Their salespeople are the worst. I stopped buying BB after having received terrible customer service from the Bay Bay location in Boston. Rude and snooty. No thanks, I’ll take my hard earned money elsewhere.

        • I have always had very positive experiences with their store sales people. I’ve even gotten thank you cards from them and we sometimes get notes about upcoming sales. And I return things to the store all the time even though I have shoprunne (agree on the regular shipping costs). Weird!

          I also can’t say I’ve noticed the webs*te issues except for slow loading if I don’t filter the sales section by category.

  23. Fantasy book recs needed! :

    Going on a beach vacation soon and recently gotten into reading fantasy books. Looking in particular for fantasy with romantic bent amf strong female characters. Just finished the Tairen soul series by CL Wilson and looking for something in that vein if anyone is familiar with that series. Let me know!

    • Not sure if this is in that vein, but you might like the Outlander series. I don’t read fantasy myself but I liked exploring it here (mostly time travel). It has the romantic element and strong female lead you’re looking for.

      • Anonymous :

        +1000 to Outlander

      • Anonymous :

        Eh….Outlander isn’t really fantasy though. It has time travel, but that’s the only “fantasy” element.

        If you are okay with urban fantasy, I’d go with anything by Ilona Andrews, if you haven’t already. More fantasy than Outlander, romantic elements, and strong female leads.

        • Nudibranch :

          +1 to Ilona Andrews

          I also recommend the following authors All write Fantasy w/romance. There are very different styles and themes here so hop over to GoodReads to see what sounds interesting to you:

          T. Kingfisher
          Anne Bishop (Others series)
          Lois McMaster Bujold (Fantasy & SF series, all wonderful)
          Megan Whalen Turner (Thieves series)
          Jodi Taylor (time travel, St. Mary’s series)
          Patricia Briggs (2 series, both super)
          Robin McKinley (some, look at top reviewed only)
          Sharon Shinn
          W. R. Gingell
          Naomi Novik
          Thea Harrison

          That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once you find some authors you like, that will lead you to more if you follow reviews by others who have the same reading tastes.

    • This list has led me to lots of great reads:

      • Amberwitch :

        I don’t agree with everything on the list, but there are some good ones.
        I’d also recommend:
        Martha Wells – the Wizard Hunters trilogy particularly
        Wen Spencer – the Elfhome series
        Patricia Briggs
        Ilona Andrews

    • Anonattorney :

      Have you gone into YA? Sarah Maas – Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

    • Sharon Shinn! She has several series, but my favorites are the Samaria series (sort of a mix between sci-fi and fantasy) and the Twelve Houses series (straight up fantasy). The Elementals series starts off really strong, too, though the third and fourth books aren’t as good as the first two. She’s really, really good on the subtle romance and the strong women front.

      If you don’t mind reading books that are technically young adult, Tamora Pierce is great on the strong female characters front. Most of her books are set in the world of Tortall, and while I prefer some of her more recent quartets or duologies, like the Trickster series and the Protector of the Small series, you are first introduced to the main background characters in her old quartets. The Wide Green World quintet by Lois McMaster Bujold might fit the bill too. I also really like the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix.

      • I was just going to recommend Tamora Pierce! The bookriot link that Tfor22 posted is also a great resource.

        Other than her, the first one that popped into my head was Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It’s one of my favorite novels that I’ve read in the last five years! You might also enjoy Anne McAffrey (although I’ll give a content warning for some dubious consent issues in the first one); the Hero and the Crown, the Blue Sword, and Sunshine by Robin McKinley; or Mercedes Lackey. All of those should be approachable for a newbie to the genre and hit your criteria of strong female characters + romance bent.

        If you want to read some awesome fantasy by women that does not necessarily focus on romance or have female main characters, I’d go with Robin Hobb (minimal romance, mostly male MCs although plenty of BAMF women; some sequences also have female MCs), Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (same), or the Killing Moon by NK Jemisin (virtually no romance, but the baddest female MC of them all).

    • Have you read any Brandon Sanderson? I’ve heard rave reviews of his Mistborn series, and it has a female protagonist!

    • Robin McKinley may be right up your alley if you haven’t already read her work — favorites of mine include The Blue Sword (and prequel Hero & the Crown), Sunshine, Spindle’s End.

      A Discovery of Witches, maybe, if you can tolerate vampires.

      • Ha, didn’t see this when I posted. Robin McKinley is like the OG of female-centric fantasy.

        • Anonymous :

          Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors in the entire world. Her books are like comfort reads for me now. I loved Uprooted too.

          I think you’d also like, in the YA category, the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (with some sequels), the Tearling trilogy, the Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.

          Finally, if you like light fantasy, I was completely obsessed with the Belgariad by David Eddings when I was a teen. The first book is Pawn of Prophecy. More recently, I’ve really enjoyed the The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – the first two of the trilogy are out and the third may not ever be out, but I think they’re still great reads even without a third book. Eddings and Rothfuss are not great with women, but the books are still terrific.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh! You should also look up Megan Whalen Turner – she writes fantasy novels that are also political heists and they are WONDERFUL. Highly recommended. I also recently read and loved Juliet Marillier’s first book (though I can’t remember the title!). Finally, the Graceling books by Kristen Cashore are awesome. Love them.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (not really romantic bent, but he is one of my favorite fantasy writers. Everything by him is good, but Mistborn has a female protagonist and I’d start there). Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series is entertaining and quick, if not the highest-quality writing (it’s what the series True Blood is based on). Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series (start with the first three. There’s a bunch, the later ones aren’t that great). If you’re open to things that are technically young adult, I’ve got a very, very long list, but start with: Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (author is female; this is one I read over and over and is not as well known as the others on the list), any of the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (most of hers are great).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Oh, and the His Dark Materials trilogy mentioned below (also technically YA)

      • Anonymous :

        I love Sherwood Smith! She has a whole bunch of books set up in the same universe as Crown Duel, and most of them have male main characters, but I recommend A Stranger to Command as a companion to Crown Duel, and the Inda quartet if you want some nice meaty (long!) fantasy.

        Also +1 on everything Robin McKinley, especially The Blue Sword and Sunshine. And I loved Diane Duane in middle school but the Young Wizards series may be a bit too young, although The Book of Night With Moon (sort of a companion book to So You Want To Be A Wizard, but told from the perspective of the cats) is always worth rereading.

    • Check out the Broken Earth series. I couldn’t put it down.

      • yesyesyes!!!

        Though I’m now reading some of her earlier work and am less impressed.

        • I love The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms but the rest of her earlier books really disappointed me.

          • Funnily enough that’s the one I’m reading. It’s entertaining me, it’s not just nearly the vivid, engrossing quality of Broken Earth. Written years earlier so understandable, but I was so excited to read more of her work and I do feel a tiny let down.

    • Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword. I also just read Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and loved that.

    • A bit YA, but I loved Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Great female protagonist AND it has a talking cat!
      I also really liked Sarah Ash’s Tears of Artamon series.

  24. This dress is amazing. I have it in black, and also have several colors in the sleeveless and faux-warp version. It’s so easy to dress up and down. I wear them often when I have a date or an event after work.

    • Lands' End dress runs large :

      I received this dress in the mail today. I agree with ACL – it’s amazing! However, the dress runs quite large. The Lands’ End website recommended size 6 for me. I ignored the recommendation and ordered the 4, my typical size in J Crew and Tahari dresses. The 4 is much too big through the waist and hips; I am exchanging for a 2. I am 5’4, 135, with a small waist and bigger bum and thighs. The length hit right at the top of my knee. I also ordered the suede round-toe, block heel pumps. They are gorgeous, but a half size too big.

  25. His Dark Materials :

    I loved the first two books of this trilogy. The third is a struggle to get through. Did anyone else feel this way? Was it worth it in the end?

    • Yes and yes.

    • I read these when I was a teenager, and I loved them, so that might color my viewpoint a little. I can see how the third book would be a little meander-y now that I’m older. The book isn’t all that long, I’d power through some of the boring parts, and see what you think of the end.

    • there’s a new one that just came out (got the Kindle book yesterday!). Is that why you’re reading them? Am excited for the new one (not sure if it’s quite a sequel…)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I totally forgot that was coming out! Off to order it right now.

      • His Dark Materials :

        I wish I was that on top of things. I’ve been borrowing from the library over the course of like 9 months to get through all three. It was overdrive’s timing, not mine!

    • I think the third is longer and more expansive and the narrative is perhaps not as immediate — but I love it the best out of the three of them and re-read it not infrequently.

    • I never particularly enjoyed the series, but slogged through the third one because it got such rave reviews. Not worth it. YMMV.

      • His Dark Materials :

        goodreads seems to be completely polarized on it. so that makes me feel a bit better. I’m not 3rd book of Divergent unhappy, but getting there.

  26. Resume/Cover Letter Panel Qs :

    I am moderating a resume, cover letter, and writing sample panel for current law school students next week. Our panelists include a member of the hiring panel for our state general counsel’s office employment pool and a large firm attorney who is involved in hiring. I have an idea of some questions I will ask them to answer if the students do not have any of their own, but would love to hear your suggestions as well.

    • -Length of cover letter/resume
      – GPA on resume? What if it’s low?
      – What exactly am I supposed to say in a cover letter?
      – Do you actually read the cover letter? What are you looking for in it? Can it make or break my chances of getting an interview?
      – How am I supposed to talk about my relevant experience if I don’t really have any (i.e., I’m just a 1L like everyone else, etc.)
      – I have only ever had one job, what should I put on my resume?
      – Does my resume have to be chronological?

  27. Biglaw Momma :

    Not sure if anyone remembers but I posted previously about wanting the baby in my belly to be a girl (being raised in a family of four girls and all). Well surprise, surprise, I’ll be having a boy come March! Strangely didn’t feel any disappointment at all, and DH is ridiculously excited at the prospect of a mini-me. So am I, to be honest. Can’t wait to meet my baby boy!

    Any tips from raising boys, especially if you’re somewhat of a girly girl (on the inside)?

    • Biglaw Momma :

      Sorry, can’t count – I’m having a baby boy come *February! October plus four months equals February…

    • I’m from a family of all girls and I had two daughters before my son, my baby, who is 14 now. Raising boys is great. He was a lot more work as a very active and naughty toddler (there was nothing he couldn’t get into or under or upon) but it has been easier in the teen years than my daughter.

      I mean, he’s more of a gamer than a sports guy, though he does like hiking. My middle daughter is really the athletic one.

      But no matter what, all my relatives always got him sports related gifts and even baby clothes way back when (everything had footballs, soccer balls and baseballs on it. I’m sure he has no idea what a ground rule double is), so there’s your gendered stereotype, but that said, it never bothered him.

      Boys are in my experience a little more easygoing about this stuff. My daughters had favorite colors and favorite princesses and what names they liked and what kinds of dresses they wanted to wear and only striped tights not the solid color ones kind of stuff going on all the time. My son was like, this is a top, these are pants – I’m dressed! (Make sure you buy things that all go together)

      Above all, my experience and my sister’s experience has been that little boys LOVE their mamas in a different way than our daughters do. I’m so glad I had that experience and kind of love in my life.


    • Don’t stereotype the kid based on gender. I grew up with sisters and had twin boys. One loves to bake with me and insists on wearing a pink apron I had as a kid when he does. He’s thoughtful and organized and loves to play kitchen, dolls and truck equally. Constantly on the go and hates to read books. The other boy is totally rough and tumble, zero interest in baking with me but LOVES to sit still for ages and ages to read books just like I used to do. I never thought two boys who have been together since they were conceived could be so different. DH might be excited for a mini-me but this kid will have their own personality and interests.

      • Agree. My second daughter has the stereotypical personality of a boy. My two girls look exactly the same and are basically polar opposites.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        This. Don’t try to raise him any differently because he happens to be a boy. He’ll develop his own personality, just a like a girl would, and you’ll adapt accordingly.

        I will say that raising boys to respect women is so so important, so even if you wanted to raise a strong feminist woman, we need more supportive men out there as well.

        • Biglaw Momma :

          Thank you all for your advice! I certainly hope to raise a thoughtful, respectful, feminist boy.

      • Yes, this. I have three boys, and one in particular embodies what I’ve heard called a “pink boy” or a “gender creative” kid. Honestly, based on the number of guys out there finally being able to express varied interests, my pet theory is that we will look back on this time as doing for boys what the 60s and 70s did for “Tomboys” (i.e., girls with the shockingly crazy desire to wear pants and play sports had to have a label at first, and now it’s just not a thing). That is, finally recognizing that not everything has to be so dang gendered, and that some boys like dressy, fancy, pink, sparkly, stuff, and some don’t. Just like some girls like all that, and some don’t. My hope is that if my kids have kids, it won’t be a thing anymore (obviously carving out trans folks, etc.). Anyway, at first I really mourned not having a strong daughter to raise, and then I realized that I love raising strong sons — sons who know they can play with or wear everything, sons who respect other people, and sons who are just cool, kind people.

    • Treat him like a very small person and you’ll be fine. For every Gronk there is a Gunn, for every homecoming queen a Mia Hamm.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Congrats! Boys are fun (I have three).

      For your girly girl bit- bring the boy along when you can, and if not hold onto your girly girl stuff as “me time”. Pedicures and hair stuff is mommy time but my boys love to help me cook (they have dinosaur aprons, so cute) and do crafts with me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Boys are great and a big +1 to how much they LOVE their mamas!

      Please don’t wait on him — make him do for himself so he doesn’t grow up to be one of those non-cooking, non-cleaning, non-emotional-labor-doing men that we see people complaining about here all the time. Teach him how to run a house and be a responsible adult in the world. It’ll be hard because you’ll adore him so much you’ll want to do everything for him. But he and the rest of the world will thank you!

      • Senior Attorney :

        P.S. watch out when you change his diaper — he has a built-in fountain for splashing you! ;)

    • Anonymama :

      Especially if you are a girly girl, try to be aware of gender stereotypes and be clear that even though you like to do *stereotypically feminine activity* and daddy likes to do *stereotypically masculine activity* there are also lots of men and women (hopefully specific people you know) that do *non-gender stereotypical activity*. My son loves construction trucks and ball sports, but also tea parties and butterflies and fancy dress up clothes. I consider myself pretty liberal and open-minded and it still took conscious effort to be like “sure, great” when my son picked out girly stuff, and not say, “oh, don’t you want the boy thing?” Also, once he can walk, outside playtime every day to save your sanity (really for any kid but boys especially).

  28. Kat — loud sponsored Ads playing on repeat on the s i t e , I think, which make me not want to load the page. The ads don’t respond to pausing or muting. They have a little red triangle in the corner of the ad, and also make the page glitchy when they reload.

  29. Ann Taylor PSA - AZCPA :

    Ann Taylor is doing an online 50% off with free shipping day today. They actually have some nice options right now (I’m wearing the knotted top Kat featured a while back as I write, and it is great, and marked down to $22).

  30. I just received an Amazon Prime membership and was wondering what people like to buy through Amazon Prime that makes membership so popular. I think I’ve read that something like 50% of households in the U.S. subscribe to Prime. Note that I’m a die hard Costco fan, so everything that I can get at Costco is purchased there. Any tips or ideas for a new Prime member?

    • It’s the free two day shipping that makes it so popular, I think. At least why I like it. It’s not the products.

      • +1

        I don’t costco, because there’s only two of us and we live in a small space without a lot of inventory (as my dad calls it!), so Prime and Prime Pantry do that work for us. We’ve recently started using the subscribe and save service for One Cup k cups, which has been awesome (need to add dog pee pads and papertowel to that list…)

      • plus, at lease for me (a different Anon than the one at 12:59), I’ve never purchased anything that is sold with the “Amazon Prime” designation that I haven’t been able to return/return at no cost to me. So, there’s that.

        it seems like you are thinking of prime pantry when you’re talking about costco. I, too, am a die hard costco fan. I ordered thru prime pantry one time and found it to be more of a pain than it was worth. This was likely due to the fact that I just wanted my costco item – e.g., kirkland paper towels and dishsoap. I didn’t want to have to figure out what national brand kirkland dish soap is the equivalent of.

      • Anonymous :

        The speed of two day shipping has really gone though. They no longer count Saturdays in the two days and they have shipping cutoffs that are pretty early in the day Eastern time (1 pm I think). So if I order something at 2 pm on a Thursday, it will not ship until Friday and will get to me Tuesday with “two day” shipping. There are lots of other retailers (Target, etc) that regularly get things to me that quickly without paying for any kind of special kind of express shipping. I actually cancelled Amazon Prime, because the shipping is really only fast if I time it perfectly (e.g. if order before 1 pm on a Monday, then I can have my order on Wednesday, that’s terrific…but in practice it rarely works out that way).

    • Wildkitten :

      I buy pretty much everything from Amazon. And I watch Amazon TV and listen to Amazon music and hang out with my Amazon alexa. But yeah it’s the free two day shipping that has allowed Amazon to take over my life. I don’t have a car so I get everything from Amazon.

    • Everything I need in my life that I can’t get at the grocery store, comes from Amazon. (OK, except clothes). Toothpaste, a bike rack for my car, movies, Halloween costumes, everything. I live in the city and haaaaate the inconvenience and crowding of physical stores. So much easier to shop at my desk.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’ve mostly replaced all trips to Target/Walmart with Amazon orders. I’m particularly prone to the $30 box of kleenex problem, so it ends up saving me a lot of money.

    • Anonymous :

      If you are more cost sensitive you should look into, which tends to have much better pricing than Amazon, and there is no membership fee to join. The one caveat is that in order to get the free two day shipping you need to spend $35, but their prices are MUCH better.

    • Anonymous :

      I live downtown, don’t have a car, and don’t get to big box stores very often, so I use Amazon for everything I would normally buy at stores like Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond.

    • Linda from HR :

      Things I regularly buy on Amazon:

      – tights (really easy to order a new pair when I notice a run)

      – Soak wash

      – earbuds (I like to have an extra pair on hand, but when my regular pair goes, I can crack into the backup pair and order new ones)

      – Books. Really.

      Any time I think “oh I could use ___ but I won’t have any time to go buy it this week” I find it on Amazon, order it, and it gets to me in a matter of days. Also very handy for when I moved and needed some new stuff to get settled, but had a ton of unpacking to do.

      It recently occured to me that until very recently, getting a package was an exciting event. It meant you ordered something luxuuurious a few weeks ago and it’s finally here! Now, a package could be something special, but it could also just be dish soap or a new curtain rod for the bathroom.

      I also love the streaming options, right now I’m able to download episodes of American Horror Story and binge the show on my train commute.

    • I use it a lot to skip other shopping trips. Instead of me going to the drug store and big box every third day we get it in the mail. Most recent purchases were mouthwash and soap. We also watch the videos (the BBC Bleak House adaptation is fantastic, fyi).

    • Thanks for all the responses–interesting info! It kind of seems like Prime isn’t going to make much of a difference for me, but I’ll see how it goes.

    • Anonymous :

      I love Amazon Prime for dealing with my social calendar. On Sunday night or Monday morning when I’m going through my planner for the coming week, I’ll realize I need (using this week as an example) – a Halloween costume for a party Friday night, a birthday gift for a friend who invited people to celebrate over brunch on Saturday, and oh yeah, my coworker had her baby last week and it would be nice to send a small gift. Then I pull up Amazon and within twenty minutes I’ve bought a unicorn headband and a tulle skirt, a feminist coloring book and some nice colored pencils, and some receiving blankets. Ideally I’d buy all these kinds of things of Etsy, but I don’t often plan far enough ahead and Amazon is way better than spending two hours on trips to different stores, none of which have exactly what I want so I guess now I’m going to be a cat for Halloween and my friend will get a generic coloring book with pictures of birds or mandalas.

  31. FreckledCPACFO :

    This is a total threadjack, so please remove if inappropriate, however, I’m in dire need of advice from some other business professionals.

    I’m having trouble with my CEO; I’m the only other executive (CFO) of our organization so I don’t really have anywhere else to turn. My CEO worked part time for almost a year to finish her PhD and finally received it this past spring; during her time away she refused to delegate any of her duties and I had to work nights and weekends in order to meet with her to keep the business going. Many, many times I had to make excuses as to why projects stopped once they needed her input or approval or why contracts stopped in their tracks for months on end while she chose to ignore my requests for her to make a decision.

    The business was barely kept afloat during her time away and I was really excited for her to come back so that we can get caught up and move forward on some new strategies that we had discussed prior to her absence. Once she came back to work she starting going to conferences, almost every week since she has been back she’s at a conference, even some that were barely applicable to our business. The CEO’s excuse is that she wanted to catch up and make sure that she was on the cutting edge of what is happening in the greater industry, but my guess is that she realized that she doesn’t actually like her job and conferences are far more fun.

    Now I’m left in a predicament, she’s ran through almost our entire travel budget and is pushing me to revise the budget as no other staff has been able to go to a conference since her return due to budget constraints. I’m having to tell other staff that they aren’t allowed to go to conferences all while the business continues to fall apart in her absence. I’ve attempted to talk with her about how she is straining the budget, about her being the bottleneck of the organization, and about how frustrating it is to have to work around her “busy” schedule going to conferences and eating steaks on the company’s dime, however, it has fallen on deaf ears; I believe that she realizes that I can’t do anything about it without jeopardizing my job, so she continues to act as if the policies and procedures of our organization don’t apply to her.

    The best option that i see is to report it to the Board which will be career suicide; she hates having to report to the Board and has a tendency to blame everyone else when things go wrong so I’m sure she’s throw me under the bus as soon as she is able to. We live in a pretty small town and working in a niche organization would make it really difficult to find another job anytime soon (it took three years of searching to find my current job), additionally, with having kids and being the bread winner of the family I would prefer to keep my job even if means being miserable.

    Does anyone see any other options? Any advice of who to turn to or what strategies to use to resolve this issue?

    • Short of leaving, is there any way for the Board to review travel expenses as part of the regular review process? Does the BOD know what is going on with the PT CEO? I would imagine they do?

      Is there a way for you to speak with the BOD about your job satisfaction perhaps?

    • Do you have a professional level board or are they just friends of the CEO? A professional board with an audit committee would be able to spot these issues without you reporting them. Do you have a board member you can confide in? Or do you have ongoing responsibilities as an executive to report to the board?

      Either way, be very very fact based. Example: we have run out of travel funds, so we have denied travel for all employees except CEO. There should be a follow up question from a board member that will get to the root of these issues.

      As a board member myself, this is exactly the kind of thing a board should know about, but it’s not on you to be the whistleblower. A professional board would have procedures in place to root out situations exactly like the one you describe. Boards can and do replace CEOs – the board I am on had to do this – and you wouldn’t know it was happening. Make sure you are not viewed as part and parcel of her team, so that they do not think they have to get rid of both of you.

      Just be professional and transparent and responsible. Best of luck. It sounds like a miserable situation.

    • I’m sorry you are in this situation. But you may owe a duty to the corporation to report it to the board. Alternatively, can you suggest that the corporation hire an additional person to handle some of the things she is not? And just frame it in a way that illustrates her responsibilities have changed (including more professional development), which you don’t have to couch as a bad thing). I don’t have any experience with this situation, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

      Also, be sure to keep a paper trail of everything. If she does get confronted by the board, you don’t want the blame to land on you. Be ready to defend yourself.

      Another thought is that maybe she is already looking for a different job. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with this problem.

    • Triangle Pose :

      This sounds really unsustainable and untenable. How viable is the company overall? It may be that the rate your CEO is going, the board will find out soon. Do you want to wait that long for them to install a new CEO? You really need a new job. You’re the breadwinner and you have kids, I’d move the entire family to find a new job.

    • This sounds like a vanity CEO–someone who wants to flit around and say she’s a CEO without doing all of the work. I know you think that you can’t find anything better, but I promise that being the CFO when the ship goes down will be very difficult. Start looking elsewhere.

      Agree that you have a duty to report to the board the budget. Make things very clear (target, actual, % change) and things should be very clear. You don’t have to flag this fully–make your board deck slides flag it. Board needs to follow up.

      Really, this woman sounds awful. GTFO. You can’t fix things from the finance function if the management and strategy of the organization is off.

    • Anonymous :

      So I’m guessing this is a nonprofit?

      Nonprofit CEOs are notorious for pulling stuff like this when they get bored with their jobs, but don’t want to quit. They go back and get a Ph.D. or join a national board with frequent out-of-town meetings or start a side-hustle that definitely interferes with their ability to get their normal job done. I’ve worked for and with several of these folks.

      You have two choices: backchannel information to the board via another employee, preferably one with other employment options. Or you can quit. That’s it. Those are your options. Because you won’t get this woman to realize she needs to change. She’s having an awesome time on the organization’s dime and no one is really able to call her on it. People who do things like this don’t stop of their own volition.

      If you go the backchannel route, I might have some ideas on how to work that, but there is a high probability it will blow up in your face.

      Honestly, this is why so many nonprofits have such high employee turnover. When the only people providing fiscal accountability for the organization were handpicked by the CEO for their passitivity and pliability, there’s not much chance of righting any wrongs that may occur. Start looking for a new job ASAP.

  32. rescue dog :

    I submitted an application for a rescue dog, and have emailed twice, over the course of two weeks and never received a response. Should I just let it go or send another email? There is no phone number to call. I’m sad because I found a dog that I would like to adopt but I have no idea if my application was ruled out for some reason or if they just missed it, or just don’t really want to adopt out dogs?

    • Anonymous :

      We once submitted an application to a rescue organization and got a call an entire year later. They were miffed that we had concluded they were not interested in placing a dog with us and that we were no longer able to take one of their dogs because we’d already adopted a dog from our local shelter. I would send the organization one more e-mail saying that if you do not hear back from them you will assume they are not interested and will look elsewhere, give them another week, and then write them off.

    • Anonymous :

      If it was a purebred or a puppy they probably got tons of applications.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’m guessing the organization you’re applying to is overworked and understaffed, and they have a backlog of applications to weed through. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If there are other placed to adopt from, contact them as well.

    • Hello! I’m sorry, I know that must be super frustrating and disappointing. I’ve volunteered with a number of rescue groups over the years and I would say, move on. Rescues are often run by volunteers with day jobs and are juggling lots of things, however most rescues will absolutely prioritize adoption apps over everything else. The lack of response indicates that this rescue does not have its stuff together, and that is not what you want when you are adopting a dog from one. You want a GOOD rescue – one that temperament tests their dogs, that provides appropriate vet care, that is knowledgeable and transparent about the dog that you are adopting and ensuring it’s a good match for you, who will respond to your questions and needs in a TIMELY manner, and who will support you throughout the life of your new pet. There are a staggering number of homeless pets available for adoption … you’ll find another soulmate, I know it!!

      • rescue dog :

        thank you! This is very helpful. It would be my first rescue and I think you are correct. There are no notes about temperament, which I really should have noticed as a red flag, not just a cute scruffy face.

    • Anonymous :

      I would move on. We had no luck with rescues when we wanted to adopt a dog last year. Most didn’t get back to us at all; the ones who did either didn’t follow through with sending us information or applications, or had some problem with our house (we have stairs) or our family (we have a child and both of us worked full time). We ended up adopting a dog being rehomed by a friend of a friend of a friend. Cast the net wide; you’ll be surprised what you get back. Our dog is the sweetest, most amazing girl.

  33. Sloan Sabbith :

    PSA: The Little Book Of Hygge is $2 on Amazon today for the Kindle version.

  34. Is this what a feminist looks like? :

    I had a really interesting conversation last night with a friend of mine and his girlfriend and I’m interested in the Hive’s opinion. The guy wanted to know if we, as two feminists, believed men could be feminists. He said he’d been reading a lot about whether it’s co-opting or making feminism about men. Both his girlfriend and I said yes and that we both considered him a feminist. I have somewhat complicated feelings about men as feminists in general, but I don’t think men can’t be feminists- I just think that if they label themselves feminists they d*mn well better act like it.
    A guy in law school had a shirt that said “This is what a feminist looks like.” I later found out he’d assaulted a woman- went way beyond what she consented to. He also repeatedly abused me and other women. I may have informed another friend of ours to tell him (since I ceased all contact wirh him) that if I saw him wear that shirt again I would strangle him wirh it. He never wore it again as far as I know, but he’s now in a primminent position in our community-on a city commission for human rights (which I unsuccessfully tried to prevent- he’s evil). So, his treatment of women as a self proclaimed “feminist” has made me have to think a lot about men as feminists. However, I also know a few men who are absolutely feminist without a doubt. So, my answer was yes, so long as you live up to the title. The guy last night is one of those. What do you all think?

    • Anonymous :

      Men can be feminist. If you believe women are people and have the right to control their bodies, you’re a feminist.

      Joss Whedon (longtime champion of strong female characters) was in the news recently when his wife went public about his cheating. He used the excuse that he he was a feminist who preferred to spend time with women when his wife would question him about why he spent so much time with women.

    • I have never qualified my feminism as First or second or third wave or anything. I see my belief as simply that women are entitled to the same rights as men, and are as capable as men in almost every capacity.

      By my definition my husband is a feminist. He doesn’t go to meetings or go around proclaiming himself as a feminist (and I hear what you’re saying about men who do that, there’s something that feels sus about it) but he thinks I can do absolutely everything, and our daughter can, and doesn’t think we are somehow less than him and our son. That’s all I require from him.

    • Anonymous :

      I identify as a feminist, DH would as well if you asked him but I like that he’s about actions that support equality not t-shirts. He took time off to be a SAHD for a few months after I went back to work, he started a mentorship program at his office, he purposely does the dishes every night so the kids see that it’s part of running a household not a mommy job, just this morning he called and complained to the politician’s office when a local politician referenced improving the sidewalks for moms with babies in strollers because it defaults to women as the caregivers of babies. It’s easy to buy a t-shirt. What matters are what a person does.

      But I’m also in Canada where our Prime Minister openly identifies as feminist so maybe the term is less loaded here?

      • I think this perfectly captures the difference between labels, beliefs, and actions and that humans rarely do things 100% of the time. Not just for feminism, but for any label. Plenty of people call themselves “Christians” and yet go and do not very Christian things. Same goes for feminists. There is a difference in beliefs, labels, and actions. I believe being a feminist is having the belief that women are equal to men. But can someone with that belief sometimes do things that are not so feminist, yes. Wearing a t-shirt is just a label, not a feminist act nor an accurate portrayal of beliefs.

        All this is to say, people can be complex. I do think men can be feminists. I also think that while believing something doesn’t mean you act accordingly 100% of the time, at a certain point actions bear out an underlying belief system and whether that belief system is challenged or not shows one’s true colors. I.e. repeatedly abusing and assaulting women would signal to me that it has never occurred to that guy that women should be treated as humans and not objects and it takes a strong foundation of that belief to repeatedly do that action. On the other hand, being a feminist but confusing a man in a hospital for a doctor and a woman for a nurse is more about societal stereotypes and one that often quickly challenges people’s belief systems and would be quickly rectified by someone who actually believed in feminism.

        In sum, that guy was a d0uche. I’ve seen jerky guys proclaim feminism as a means of attracting girls to sleep with them. Some people will do anything.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s what you do that makes you feminist, not the t-shirt you wear. Both men and women can be misogynists, both men and women can be feminists.

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