Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Luxe-touch piped neckline tee

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

Luxe-touch piped neckline teeThese are the kinds of shirts that I’m always looking for — a basic, opaque, good weight tee that has a little bit extra detailing to make it feel special enough to wear with cardigans, blazers, and suits. Check, check, check, and check with this one — it’s a super soft t-shirt with a not-too-high, not-too-low neckline, and a bit of piped charmeuse trim at the neckline. I wish it weren’t “delicate cycle” only, but I’ll take it. It’s currently available in 5 colors (and tall and petite) for $29-$36, but with today’s code BREVENT you can get them for $20-$25. Nice. Banana Republic Luxe Touch Piped Neckline Tee

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  1. emcsquared :

    I just bought this in a berry color, and it was very comfortable and looked great. I haven’t washed it yet, but I suspect the “delicate cycle” is necessary to keep the piping from fraying and the shirt from pilling.

    • I have it in navy and it is a very nice shirt. I usually find BR’s shirts too tight across the chest, but this one was okay.

    • I’m wearing it in black today. It’s held up well (I always wash my blacks on the delicate cycle with Woolite Dark and hang to dry), it fits well (not too tight across the shoulders or chest), and it’s long enough to tuck in with confidence.

      • I completely agree with this analysis. It’s a great t-shirt. I have it in two colors and would like more.

    • I have this in 4 colors (1 is older than the rest and is nearing retirement after 2+ years) and really like it. I also have 2 long sleeve t-shirts from the outlet that are very similar–the trim is a little bit different and the neckline is higher.

      • I only see purple, pink, white and off white online. Am I missing something or is navy and black in-store only?

        • I don’t even see the nice purple featured. Just a bright “orchid” color.

          • Anonymous Poser :

            When I was in-store recently, the nice blue-purple wasn’t available there, either, save one that wasn’t in my size (it was probably a return). So I don’t think this color is an option anymore, or I would be snapping a couple up! I have one black one, right now…

        • I bought mine in store in a coral and a deep berry, but it was a while ago. I do think this is something they always have, so maybe the colors rotate in and out.

        • I bought the black and white a couple seasons ago. I think they rotate colors through.

        • I bought gray, black, and hot pink in-store in March, but they also had white and sparkly at that time (and maybe a few others). My first one is a purple/mauve color that I really like, and I hope they bring it back. I have the long sleeve in navy and ivory.

    • I have this from a couple years ago and it’s held up fairly nicely. After about 2 years now the edge on the piping is starting to fray just a bit, but then again I don’t dry it on delicate either (the woes of being relegated to a $1.80 per-wash and $1.50 per-dry laundry room!).

      • viclawstudent :

        I have 4 of this shirt, plus one of the print sleeveless versions (and just a warning if you’re ordering online – in my experience it fits big, had to go down a size from my usual if I wanted it to lie smooth under cardigans) and I love it. And I don’t do anything special when I’m washing it and they seem fine after four months of pretty solid wear.

    • While I do love this shirt for casueal wear, but I absoutleley can NOT wear this at work b/c it is to tightly tailored and and the manageing partner would be calleing me into his office and be stareing at my body which I do NOT like at all. Fooey on that! Beside’s he has his OWN wife to look at, not me. And Frank is no better. He also make’s sexeual coments which I try to defer by talkeing about other issues.

      Anyway, today Jim is coming by the office to discuss billeing for August with the manageing partner. I wonder if he is goeing to complain about Frank and not get charged for Frank’s billeing on the HSR. As it was, I had to cut off alot of hours and NOT bill, even tho I was busy geting up to speed on HSR and ANTI-TRUST, which will help me with the do diliegence in a couple of week’s. If I get any more hour’s chopped off by the manageing partner, I will have to work all weekend doing more “research” on my WC cases that I realy do NOT need to do, but will HAVE to b/c of the billeing requirement’s that the manageing partner INSISTS I do. FOOEY!!!

      It is not easy bieng a PROFESSIONAL attorney admitted to the Bar in NY State. I also have to be 100% etheical b/c I have to certify to this every 2 years with the STATE and take CLE’s.

      The manageing partner is makeing me prepare his CLE outline which HE is giving to the Bar Association in November, and HE will get 3x the CLE credit for being the instructor, while YOUR’S TRUELY does all the work. What is THAT all about? All I get to do is go and listen to him at the CLE. Big deal. Yay!!!

    • This one didn’t work for me (unfortunately because I love the details Kat highlighted). I have narrow shoulders so I needed a size Small, but then it pulled across my chest (34D). Common problem for me though.

  2. Glee-premiere TJ: I have to say, I had low expectations. And Darrin Criss and Kurt/Burt scenes are the only things that keep me watching the show. But I have to say, much better than I expected. :)

    • Ditto! I liked it.

    • I haven’t watched it yet. All I know is that I follow someone on Tumblr who is literally counting the days since Blaine and Kurt kissed and is VERY UPSET about it. (This is what happens because Tumblr is really full of teenagers and you follow them for their pictures of Neil Patrick Harris and Darren Chris and then they get all emotional every time there is a new episode of Glee…so….I guess toss ups?)

    • Fully agree. Though I’m not sure how I feel about Kate Hudson being a regular, but she was killing that dance number!

    • I really liked Kate Hudson’s Dance Again/Americano mash-up, and her performance in general. I think I’ll keep watching….

    • I liked it, but I’m so annoyed that its on at the same time as Grey’s Anatomy, which is the only show my husband and I watch together. Seriously debating whether to get a new Tivo or subscribe to HuluPlus to get my weekly Glee fix, since Glee isn’t on regular Hulu until a week later. Anyone want to let me hack their tivo so I can watch?

      • I’m pretty sure that Glee’s regular night will be Tuesday and only the premiere was on Thursday, so no conflict with Grey’s.

  3. SF Bay Associate :

    FYI California ladies: today is the last day an order off of Amazon is tax-free. Midnight tonight, Amazon will start charging sales tax.

    • Same for Pennsylvania.

    • punk rock tax lawyer :

      But of course, y’all have all been diligently filing your California Consumer Use Tax returns for all of your Amazon purchases anyway, so this won’t change anything. Right?!?! ;)

  4. I have to replace two electronic gizmos: my electric toothbrush and my food processor. Any recommendations?

    Toothbrush: I bought an Oral-B one about 7 years ago and liked it, except it was difficult to find replacement brushes. It is now officially dead (won’t even turn on).

    Food Processor: I inherited a really old one and it too died. I’d like something around 10 cups and not horribly expensive because, unlike the toothbrush, I don’t use it that frequently.

    • I have an Oral B Titan, and I love it. I didn’t buy it, my dentist dad gave it to me for a birthday or something like 3 years ago. Still running strong. They have generic brush heads for it at Target/CVS whatever which is nice.

      No idea on the food processor. Maybe try Hamilton Beach or Oster. They aren’t terrible brands and if you don’t use it that often it isn’t necessary to go for the higher end.

      • We also have an Oral-B (the Professional Care) and like it. The Target brushes are about 40% cheaper than the branded ones and I actually like them better.

    • I like the cuisinart mini prep. We don’t have a lot of space at home and it works well of you don’t need a large one.

    • Food Processor: If you have a Kitchen Aid (or other high end mixer) you may be able to find a food processor attachment. I’m in a similar situation – I don’t use the food processor that much and, at least in my case, don’t want to use up that much storage space on one.

    • For things like food processors I rely almost exclusively on Amazon reviews — I find them extremely reliable (as long as there are more then say 50 reviews) and they rarely lead me astray. On the larger, cheaper models, this one seems to have the best reviews:

      • I have this one, and the on/off button shorted out before the second time I used it. I think maybe there was a little water on the counter? Not sure, but now I have to plug/unplug it to make it work. Not a fan. Am too cheap to replace it though.

    • I have a Sonicare that I bought eons ago (more than 7 years ago). It’s still going strong.

      They now have generic replacement heads at Target.

      • Ooh, I didn’t know that! I’ll have to swing by Target this weekend.

      • Second Sonicare- it has made a world of difference in my dental health! Dentist recommended.

      • No Problem :

        Sonicare, as recommended by my dentist. It feels like I just had my teeth cleaned at the dentist every time I use it. It’s probably 2-3 years old and still going strong.

        Going to have to investigate those generic replacement heads…

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 for Sonicare. I got mine at Costco for a good price.

        Didn’t know about the replacement heads at Target — thanks for the heads-up!

        • Oooh. I’m going to Costco this weekend. Now toothbrush has been added to the list. Great idea. Thanks!

    • I had been using an Oral B Cross Action battery-powered toothbrush and my dentist told me that it’s better to use the rechargeable because otherwise, your battery runs down and you get lesser cleaning and you hardly notice until you change the batteries. So I bought virtually the same one in the rechargeable and I really like it. It’s like this one:

      • I can verify. There is no outlet in my bathroom, so with my rechargable I use it for a few days, then charge up. On the day I charge it is like 5x more powerful. But I hate having to store a toothbrush in my bedroom all the time, so I figure I get 3 great brushes, 5 acceptable brushes, and 2 bad brushes and then recharge. It’s still better than the all bad brushes I was doing with my normal tooth brush.

        • The only outlet in my bathroom is in the light fixture so I actually have my toothbrush recharger on a phone stand in my upstairs hallway. When my friend and her grandsons visited, one of the boys asked why my toothbrush was in the hallway!

    • We replaced our inherited food processor with a Kitchenaid 12-cup last year, based on Cooks Illustrated recommendations. It has a smaller bowl, too, so in theory you can chop a smaller amount of stuff without needing to get the big bowl dirty. (I say in theory because I have not used it, and you still have to place the small bowl in the big bowl, so it seems like the big bowl could still get dirty). I’ve been happy with it. Dishwasher-safe is a huge plus.

      I have been getting lots of emails about a sale at Macy’s, so it might be worth checking out what they have to see if there are any deals.

      • I have the small bowl thing for mine, as well (not a Kitchenaid, though – completely blanking out, though it’s a comparable brand), and you’re definitely right about it getting dirty. The small bowl is nice if you just need something small done and the big bowl just wouldn’t get to it the right way, but I’ve never been able to get by with not having to wash the big bowl, too.

    • SpaceMountain :

      What kind of food processor? If it’s one of the good old Cuisinarts, you might want to try to fix it. Seriously, they went way down in quality. My mom’s old one is so much better than my same-style new one. I’d try to replace the motor on the old one if possible. Then again, if you don’t use it that much, maybe it’s not worth it.

      • 2nd. I will take my big old Cuisinart to the grave. I bought one of their later mini preps and it works better as a paperweight than a food processor.

    • anon in tejas :

      If you have a costco membership, costco has a great price on oral b and sonic care (I have sonic care, and husband uses oral b), and food processors!

      also guild has food processors regularly featured too!

      • Thanks! I’ll check Costco for both this weekend. I always forget about their electronics—as though the TVs aren’t prominently displayed or anything :)

    • English Rose :

      For the food processor, I love my Magimix more than is reasonable. As soon as I got it I couldn’t understand how I’d lived without it for so long so it gets used much more often than I expected. It’s relatively small so good for not taking up too much counter space, and has a great guarantee.

    • I love my Cuisinart which is always the most highly recommended food processor. However, Cook’s Illustrated just rated the Kitchenaid one higher. The new kitchen aid one has some pretty cool features which make me envious.

    • I’m on my 2nd sonicare (first one lasted 7 years) and love it. Brush heads frequently available at Costco with $7 off coupon a few times per year.
      I picked up a Cuisinart 10 c. at Costco about 5 years ago and love it. Based on research at that time, Cuisinart and KA are the “top” brands, but I second recommendations to read reviews on Amazon to see if you can find a less expensive option if you don’t use it that frequently.

  5. BIIIGGG Thanks to Sweet as Soda Pop, shortiek, ABr, PollyD and Anya for very late last night responding to my questions and giving me awesome pep talks about taking an adult ballet class!!! I am sufficiently charged up now, there’s a studio that has a class this Sunday, and I’m going to DO IT! ;o) Yur all awesome.

    • e_pontellier :

      so jealous! I would love to take adult ballet classes…. maybe I should look into it. Let us know how it goes!!

      • you should!! ;o) I am totes nervous about how out of shape I am, but I miss dancing soooo much, I think I can suck it up.

      • This also sounds like a great idea… I’m now officially looking into this.

        • For TO lawyer – the National Ballet School has adult classes – I went for a few years and loved it. I think registration is on now.

      • Just do it! I decided I needed a totally new activity because I was so out of shape that my usual running just made me feel awful about myself because I was so slow/couldn’t go that far. I signed up for adult dance classes (jazz and ballet) at a studio nearby and it was great! I’m a terrible dancer, but I really enjoyed it.

    • Go you! It will be so fun.

      I’m always so happy to see other adults taking ballet because I think it really is such a great form of exercise – it’s strenuous, but you get to be somewhat creative/dramatic, and it really gets you out of you head (at least it does for me). On a selfish note, the more adults take ballet, the more classes there will be for me to take as studios try to cash in!

      My usual class got merged with another class, which is okay, although I liked my original teach somewhat better. But I think I am still getting used to the new teacher and the new space. I realized last night that I was having trouble with turns because I miss my usual spots. There were some perfectly located exit signs in my former studio and I haven’t found good things to spot in the new room yet. It’s frustrating, but I am trying to take my own advice and be patient with myself. Really want to try to go more often once I get back from my trip.

      • No Problem :

        Do you ever spot yourself in the mirror?

        Or if they’re blank walls, you could ask the studio to hang some pictures. My studio has been slowly adding giant portraits of ballet dancers in action.

        • I’m not good at spotting in the mirror because I get distracted by the other dancers in the room! I have joked about them hanging some big red dots on the walls, but no luck yet. I imagine I’ll adjust. Or learn how to spot in the mirror.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Oooh, anyone ever taken an Alexander Technique class? It reteaches you how to move, sleep, drive, walk, and just overall connect with your body, and makes living in your body less painful.

      It’s traditionally an actors/performers class, but I found it amazing and fun. Anyone tried it?

      • I did a couple workshops 10+ years ago – one for piano, and one for singing. I remember thinking they were amazingly helpful, although I have to admit I’ve forgotten almost everything at this point. Now I kind of want to look one up…

      • I studied piano pretty intensively in college, and my teacher was a big fan of using Alexander Technique to use the whole body better, more comfortably, and more efficiently in playing. I’ve been intrigued by it ever since.

    • First Year Law Student :

      This sounds like so much fun! I miss exercise in general and could be MUCH better at some of the things ballet helps with (namely posture…I have sad sad posture). I’m looking into taking one on campus next semester, but payment schemes are confusing, and I’m not sure I’ll have time. Does anybody have thoughts on how well a ballet class would fit into a 1L schedule?

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        Do it! I took tap weekly all through law school. The stomping around helped with the frustration and stress of being a 1L, 2L and 3L (different year, different stresses). Pick a weekly class that’s convenient (maybe a weekend or an evening where you have early AM classes) and just give the time to yourself. And try hard not to think about the law in class. :) I took a Thursday 7pm class for most of the time, which worked since my schedule was light on Fridays, FWIW.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yay! I’m a tapper, too! So much fun!! Plus just being in the dance studio is incredibly therapeutic because it’s about as far from law school as can be! Just find a class time when you don’t have class, and make it a priority. If you have to change classes every semester, just let that be okay.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Heh. I mean “Just fine a DANCE class when you don’t have LAW SCHOOL class, and make it a priority.”

      • I did a dance class during 1L year. It was on a Sunday, and it was a lot of fun. Just pick a time that will work with your class schedule, and go for it.

    • That sounds really fun! Can you still take something like that if you are completely stupid about ballet and haven’t done it since you were in, say, 2nd grade (and are dreadfully out of shape and clumsy to boot)?

      • Yes you can. The adult program at my studio has a class called Ballet Basics for adults. Something like that might help you get oriented. The adult classes I’ve taken have been very welcoming to dancers of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.

        • I hope that this becomes more trendy, and maybe I can get started after baby. Sounds like a nice way to get back to pre-pregnancy weight!

  6. I am the happiest lil bumpkin right now: I’m in Atlanta for a long weekend (wedding), so while DH sleeps off last night’s bachelor party, I am enjoying the Lenox Mall. Dudes, there are stores here that just do.not.exist in my area. I mean, I know they exist, but I’m happy to be AT their doorsteps.

    Now I know what y’all are raving about with Club Monaco–just passing by it made me happy!

    • Also in Academia :

      Check out Phipps Plaza (basically across the street) for even more high-end stores. I always feel underdressed there but it’s fun just to look sometimes!

      • I went there last night for dinner and RHOAtl hunting. It was excellent. It took everything I have not to bop into Cole Haan and buy all the things. All of ’em.

        • Anonymous Poser :

          Oh! If you’re serious about running (I snuck a peek at your blog), my advice (as a 32F) is to go back to Phipps Plaza, go to Intimacy. Ask for Kathryn Lancaster, and get a fitting from her.

          I can’t vouch for any of the other fitters, though some may be fine, I’ve found that that’s not always the case.

          I used to wear Enell bras (still do, ’till they wear out) for running, but I really like the Freya that has support for high impact. Kathryn fit me in one that *almost* fit, but she suggested that I have a tailor put darts in (with the darts on the outside so they don’t rub) and give that a try. That worked, and I’ll be switching to Freya-only for my running…

  7. L'Shana Tova :

    Religion in the workplace TJ:

    I work in an office where the workload is tied directly to the election cycle, so we’re just getting busier and busier right now. However, the Jewish High Holy days always happen in the two months right before election day, and it’s generally frowned upon to take any time off in that period.

    When I’m asking for time off, should I mention that the time off is for a required religious day? I’m generally pretty open about my religion, but dislike pointing directly to it. (If someone asks what I’m doing for the holidays, I’ll say I’m going to my mother’s for Hannukah, but I didn’t want to say “I’d like Sept 26 off to attend religious services.”) However, there’s a possibility my request for time off for Yom Kippur will be denied in this busy period, and that’s simply not an option for me. Suggestions on handling requests related to religion in the workplace?

    • I think you should definitely say its for a religious holiday if you’re concerned about the request being denied.

    • I tend to agree with wanting to keep religion out of the work place, but in this case I’d mention it. It might help show that you understand this is not a great time to take off, but the reason is very important. Is it possible to get a bunch done ahead of time so your time off doesn’t have as big an impact? Is it also possible to just take partial days instead of full days?

      Just my opinion, this isn’t something I have much experience with. I am trying to look at it from the point of view of a co-worker whose own workload might be impacted by your time off. I think knowing it was for a religious holiday might help.

    • In my more Jewish than not office, people still send reminders like “I will be out of the office Monday for the Jewish holiday” or “for Yom Kippur”, etc. to make sure that everyone knows that it’s not a regular personal day. I would mention the reason in whatever terms you’re comfortable with.

    • I mention it, and I think it’s totally reasonable for you to do so. Another thought–do you have the ability to earn and use comp time? Maybe if you could add an extra hour or two to some of your work days, you could take the high holidays off as comp time, rather than leave. Even if it wasn’t great for you to be out of the office, you would have at least put in the hours some other time.

    • Absolutely mention it. Religion should be out of the workplace in the sense that no one should be imposing their views on others, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be able to observe their own religious holidays because they happen to contradict the traditional work/holiday schedule (which is, ahem, built around Christianity, so its not exactly like religion isn’t in the workplace to begin with).

      From a workplace management viewpoint, I think everyone is much more understanding and happy to pitch in to cover when they know its for something as important as high holidays versus just taking time off because you feel like it. As someone who is genuinely clueless about all religions and their holidays – i.e., I’m usually showing up at stores on Easter Sunday and wondering why they are closed – I would appreciate the heads up; otherwise, I might be unfairly resenting you for taking a vacation day during our busy time.

      • This. You are taking time for religious reasons, not taking a trip to Aruba. People will be much less bitter if they know why you aren’t there and it is busy.

    • You can’t be the only Jew in a workplace that focuses on politics and the election cycle. What do other people, especially senior people, do?

      If you are the only one, I would vote in favor of saying that you need the days off for Jewish holidays, and perhaps offering other times that you can pitch in to relieve others’ work loads.

    • I would state it in a matter-of-fact way, and note that you are able and willing to work on Christian holidays if other people want to prioritize those as their opportunities for time off. Not sure this would be super relevent between now and the election, but if you anticipae that there will be Christmas or Easter or Sunday work that comes up that you’d be available for, IMO that’s good to point out now.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Just say “I will need to be out of the office on September 26 for Yom Kippur.” Short, sweet, and to the point. I can’t imagine it being denied.

      • Totally agree. Don’t get defensive, don’t over-explain, and don’t ask for permission. Simply state it as a fact.

    • I always state when my vacation day requests are for Jewish holidays. I’m in a religious Jew working in an office with no other Jewish people and I find my managers and coworkers to be unfailingly respectful, understanding, and accommodating. I also always let them know if there are other days I could work if needed but am requesting time to spend the holiday with family, as opposed to days where I religiously cannot work (like your Yom Kippur example). It may be too much information but my impression is that they appreciate that I am straightforward and honest about my needs. Good luck and Shana Tova :)

      PS – If anyone has any questions or needs to talk to someone about being an observant person in the work world, I’m happy to be a resource.

    • Glad to see this question now as it’s relevant for me in the coming weeks. I’m going to services on Sunday night for Rosh Hashanah to avoid taking Monday off for work, but have not figured out what to do about Yom Kippur yet. This is a new thing to me as I am in the beginning of the process of conversion and this is really the first time I’m observing the high holidays. Thanks for the feedback, ladies!

    • I am fairly new at this firm and was wondering how I should handle the request for time off for the holidays as well. I sent out an email that stated I would be taking vacation days on 9/17 and 9/26. A few people “mentioned” that I had a couple of days off coming up and I just said that it was for the holidays. Everyone has been understanding.

  8. Today I have to give an employee a very negative performance review, and then tell him we’re going to cut his hours to a point that’s not sustainable for him, which is going to make him need to find a new job as soon as possible. I work pretty closely with this person and, while his job performance has been abysmal most of the time, I like him as a person and am not looking forward to doing this. Any advice? Thank you in advance.

    • 1. Do you know why his performance was abysmal?

      2. Did you and your company try to help him improve?

      3. Does your company’s HR give you a sort of script you should generally follow? I’m not saying you should be a robot spokesperson for your company, but they should have key points that have to be covered if you’re going to effectively demote this guy.

      4. Not saying this guy is going to do that, but sometimes, the poorly performing employee will lash out at the sympathetic manager both because that manager is the nearest and most accessible target, and because on some level, he suspect that she actually cares, rather than some impersonal HR representative. Think about how you’d like to handle this in a way that doesn’t make things worse for both of you, or expose you to legal action (if he’s litigious.)

      Finally, I think your company is weaselly and underhanded trying to force him to quit rather than just letting him go already.

    • hellskitchen :

      – make sure you are behind closed doors
      – deliver the news as directly as possible; don’t waffle around it… it’s worse if you have to try to read what your manager is saying
      – perhaps couch it as “we need to manage costs and given some of the performance issues in the past, it’s been decided to cut your hours” Only do this if it’s at least partially true. It would be horrible if someone else let him know that budget and costs were not a factor
      – after you deliver the news, just let him absorb it and tell him you are happy to discuss and answer more questions but let him drive the conversation. It may be awkward to be silent but power through it. Perhaps offer to let him take the rest of the day off
      – know that, even if it feels so in the moment, any negative reaction he has is not directed at you personally and that in a few days the awkwardness will hopefully melt away
      Good luck!

      • I think you need to only focus on his performance and do not mention managing costs. Be sympathetic and polite.

        If his performance is that abysmal, why are you cutting his hours instead of terminating his employment? I always get concerned when management wants to make someone quit by cutting their hours/treating them badly instead of letting them go outright. This is not legal advice.

        • hellskitchen :

          I agree – it’s about performance. But often times the situation may be that management does need that person to do some tasks but perhaps they don’t feel worth it to pay so much so costs do come into factor. This may also be why they are cutting hours. We have had to do that with a temp who was okay at one task but really poor at other tasks we needed him to do. We had to cut his hours so we could use those savings to bring in someone else who could do the rest of the work

          • It’s important that you don’t refer cutting costs, making savings to pay for a temp and any other openings that might give rise to the subsequent idea that your company is trying to evade its obligations as a employer.

            I’d second consulting HR if you’re really uncomfortable with delivering this. Most employers I’ve been familiar with have a process for easing staff out on performance-related grounds ie. formally delivering warnings, setting targets for improvement by specific deadlines and so on. It’s a harder discussion than saying that business activity no longer justifies the role but needs to be done if the company intends to be seeking a replacement.

    • I hate to say this but Friday is absolutely the worst day to do this. We call it “the Friday dump.” It makes it much more likely that the person will stew angrily about it over the weekend and come back blazing on Monday morning. I would hope that this is not the first time you’ve discussed this employee’s performance with him and that you have been trying to coach him to better performance before this drastic measure.

      That said:
      1) Own it. It’s coming from you and if you aren’t completely behind what you’re saying, he’ll know it and you’ll waffle.
      2) Keep it completely private and confidential. If he goes and talks to others, that’s his business. You stay out of it. If he is spreading information to others that is inflammatory and not true, bring him back in to discuss it privately.

      Good luck. This is not an easy thing to have to do.

    • Ladies, you’re wonderful. Thank you. We’re a small startup, and he has dropped the ball on many, many things. He screws around on the internet half the day and doesn’t get his work done. We have tried to help him improve. We have had a million conversations about how to not be weaselly or underhanded. There are a few things he does well, and we want to keep him on doing just those things while he looks for another job. We think this is kinder than just letting him go completely. I really appreciate the advice about being direct and not waffling – will definitely keep that in mind.

      • Agree with others. Focus on the performance, not the person. I have had to do this and I made it my mantra. Do NOT apologize.

      • Yeah, but (unless my understanding is wrong) if you force him to quit, instead of firing him, he will have trouble collecting unemployment. It would be kinder to give him the option of an employer termination such that his application for unemployment wouldn’t be denied.

    • anon in tejas :

      I have had to do this, and it is very very difficult. Pour yourself a drink afterwards.

      Here’s my advice.
      1) be straight forward. Don’t beat around the bush, and if necessary preface the conversation with “I need to be very clear and straight forward with you.” if you want.
      2) Use specific examples when possible. Saying someone “always is late” is tough to hear and absorb. Hearing that someone was late on x, y, z, day is much more concrete, and harder to wiggle out of. Saying that project x, y, and z was not delivered on time or up to standard would be approp too.
      3) Take really good notes of your conversation. For me, it helps to have really concise notes about what I am going to cover in the conversation so that I can rely on those. It would be good to also take good notes if you need to fight an unemployment claim later down the road (if necessary).
      4) Consider having a witness present. If there is a potential for future litigation (unemployment, wrongful termination, etc.) in addition to a paper trail it is always good to have someone there who can vouch for you or intervene or call security or act as a mediator if things get ugly.
      5) send something in writing going over your points immediately after the meeting (mail, email would work)

      Good luck. It’s not easy, but being honest and straightforward sometimes isn’t.

    • Just curious–how is this not constructive termination? Asking the hive mind.

      • anon for this :

        I think it depends on the jurisdiction’s definition, but using the “reasonable employer would know that a reasonable employee would be led to quit” or some variation thereof, it seems to me it would be, since not only do they know that he will likely have to quit, but that’s precisely why they’re doing it.

        • He’s an at-will employee who’s doing a terrible job. If we fire him for cause, the law in this state says he won’t be able to collect unemployment, plus then he would have a firing on his record. Even if he does get unemployment, it won’t be as much as we would pay him for part-time work – I looked into it. Employers get in trouble for constructive termination when they make the workplace so unbearable the employee has to quit, usually through some kind of harassment or other bad treatment. Here, we’re simply managing him out. We’ve given him chance after chance after chance, and he’s not cutting it, and it’s killing us. I work a lot of extra hours to make up for his slacking, lack of followup, and resistance to every assignment we give him. We’ve been more than fair. Constructive termination is not unlawful in and of itself; it’s only unlawful when it’s discriminatory. That isn’t at all the case here. Again, thank you for all the comments and help!

          • This is probably too late for you, but I think your follow ups made it clear that you’ve gone through all the right steps this plan is actually intended to help him out, and i think it sounds appropriate, and I don’t think some of the comments above apply in your situation.

            It is never easy to let someone go, so I sympathize. So, I would make sure you articulate to him exactly what you all are thinking. Would it be possible to present it to him as 2 options? “You know you have had these issues with performance. We have gotten to the point where we just can’t give you another chance. So, we could either terminate you straight out, but it would have to be for cause. Or we could let you go part-time for XYZ tasks, and that would give you a chance to keep getting some pay while searching for a better fit for you. And these would be the terms of that: LMNOP.”

            And, you might need to give him some space to just vent at you and be frustrated, cuz that happens, and it is not easy to be the messenger in this situation. And be prepared for him to ‘bargain’ but it sounds like you have all the appropriate paper trail to point to, so you might feel like a broken record, but just keep reiterating, we’ve been taling about ABC issues for a while, and we’ve given you chances, but it is not in our interests to spend any more time working on this.

            If this is too late, sorry and I hope it wasn’t too bad!! Hugs.

  9. I'm Just Me :

    After walking around at work this morning for an hour, I glanced at myself in the ladies’ room mirror and realized I was wearing 2 different earrings. So, now I’m wearing none.

    • it’s not an earring day… I got to work with only one, the guy I work with asked if I was a pirate today… now I also have none

    • I wore 2 similar but different earrings (same shape, different color) last week. I didn’t notice until I got home. I decided to believe anyone who noticed it assumed I had done it on purpose.

  10. Ladies, need some advice!

    I applied for my dream job and had the final interview last week. The hiring mgr asked to call me this afternoon, so I’m pretty hopeful that I’ll be getting an offer. Problem: salary negotiation.

    I had to specify salary requirements in my cover letter, early in the process, and in my rush to be one of the first applicants I specified too low– 50-60k when it should have been at least 55-65 or even 60-70k. (i currently am earning ~65, but the job is a less well-compensated industry, so I thought I should be open to less. Further research on this specific company and the crazy cost of living in the new city proves me wrong.)

    Any ideas as to how to address this in a conversation? Or tips as to acceptable counteroffer/negotiation tactics and ranges? Saying “Actually, my salary expectations have changed. They’ve gone up ten thousand dollars. Whoops!” doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    • hellskitchen :

      Do you have to respond right away to their offer? Could you ask for a few days to reply and then perhaps send them a written counter offer? No idea how to phrase your changed expectations but this should buy you some time

    • No Problem :

      “After further research on your company/organization and the cost of living in New City, I have revised my salary expectations. I now believe that X is a fair salary.”

    • Check out askamanager dot org. She has advice on this type of situation.

    • Kontraktor :

      See what they offer you first? Sometimes HR really is just using your initial answer as a benchmark to see if the match makes sense (i.e., to make sure you don’t require 200k when the job was structured as a 30k job) and might offer something higher than your range anyway.

  11. 2/3 attorney :

    You guise. Today I am wearing my j crew No. 2 pencil skirt (in golden burgundy if you must know). It fits great when I put it on, but as soon as I sit down, it stretches out like crazy around the bottom hem! And because of that, it flaps around weird in the front when I walk. I’m uncomfortable like I’m a little kid in mom’s clothes or something! Blergh, I was so happy with this outfit today.

    Do y’all have the same problem with this skirt? Any solution?

    • I am never again buying that skirt in cotton, for these reasons and more. Unfortunately no suggestions.

      If b23 is here today, she will also commiserate!

    • I have had so many issues with those skirts this year. The cotton ones get lines across the front from sitting, and stretch our weirdly so that from the side it looks like my skirt is tilted to the front. I really liked one I got last winter though, so I picked up a couple more in the fall wools. Fingers crossed that they won’t have the same issues. The skirt is so flattering in the stupid store.

  12. I know I’m not motivated to do work when I’ve organized over 300 messages in my gmail inbox.

    • Not gonna lie Merabella, having a tidy inbox is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I support your organizational efforts.

  13. Morning ladies! Quick TJ. This afternoon, I’m going to an open house for the graduate program I’ll be applying to this fall. I haven’t been able to find a dress code listed anywhere, but it’s not a super-conservative field (education), so while I don’t think I need to bust out my suit, I don’t want to roll up in jeans and flip-flops either. I’m planning to wear a green and blue striped shirt-dress (it has three-quarter sleeves and hits mid-knee) with open-toed green ballet flats. Does this sound appropriate?

    Other than the sartorial dilemma, can anyone who’s been through a grad program already think of any questions you wish you’d had answered beforehand? I’m planning to definitely cover: tuition; availability of financial aid; placement rates for the program as a whole; placement rates for my intended niche; and what kinds of internship/grad assistant positions are available for my niche. Am I missing anything?

    • You may want to consider asking if there are any differences in financial aid/tuition should you have to switch from FT to PT (or vice versa). Also, I’d ask about placement in the particular location you’re after and ask for companies they successfully placed people in the past. You could also ask if there were alums in the area who you could talk to because their experience may be vastly different than what the admissions people try to sell you.

      • Agree with L. Also, when you ask about funding, don’t let the answer cover only the first year. You want to know what the guarantee is for every year you’ll be there. I say this because some programs bring you in with an amount that actually only applies to the first year, or the first two, and then after that either you lose it or it becomes competitive–i.e. only some students continue on at that rate of funding.

        Hopefully you’ve already researched which faculty are in your specialty. If you’re really banking on working with one or two of them, confirm that they will be around and available during your time there. Sometimes it isn’t so. Meeting them in advance would be ideal.

        The outfit sounds great; might recommend a non-statement color for your toenails. Good luck!

    • assuming the weather is warm, and the dress isn’t too short, it sounds very appropriate to me (and cute!). I would just make sure to wear some understated jewelry (as opposed to no jewelry), to make sure it seems classed up enough and not too summer-dress casual.

      I don’t have any advice on the grad school q’s, other than maybe if available positions in your field seem to be declining/increasing for after graduation? Not just placement rates for your program, but overall.

    • e_pontellier :

      I think you have great questions, but if you’re looking for more: I would also ask about the alumni network. I’m in law school and I’m learning how crucial happy alumni are – for everything from donating back to the school (to make it somewhat more affordable for me to be here) to helping me find a job.

  14. Question about Seattle :

    Question for the Seattle c’prettes: My husband is being offered a job in Seattle (downtown) and we know almost nothing about the residential neighborhoods (we’ve been there to visit as tourists, but that’s it). Which neighborhoods would you recommend that are good for walking, lots of restaurants / coffee shops / things to do? We’re in our 30s, married without kids, but might start trying for kids in the near future. Are there any particular areas we should focus on? Thanks, ladies!

    • Anon in PNW :

      Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Fremont, Wallingford, Ballard. Seattle has a lot of cute neighborhoods that you and your husband would probably enjoy living in.

      Are you planning to buy or rent?

      Regarding renting, if you have a dog on the Seattle restricted breed list you will find it almost impossible to find a landlord that will rent to you.

      Regarding owning, know that discrimination is really rampant here. I’ve been bidding on houses for 4 months to no avail. This week I lost a house because the sellers wanted to sell to a married couple with children instead of me, even though my bid was higher. Finding a place to live is a blood sport. We are in total despair, because my partner is in town to look for homes this weekend but there are no homes for sale. The walls of my 350 square foot furnished studio are closing in on me and I might throw myself off the Fremont bridge if something doesn’t change soon.

      • Speaking of which, Anon in PNW, have you followed up at all on that rejected bid? I’ve been waiting for an update all week and am wondering if you have taken it further….I’m rooting for you!

        • Yes, please update us. I’m rooting for you, too!

        • Anon in PNW :

          Hi Nonny. You are so sweet – thanks for asking.

          So yes, I sent a detailed account of what happened to the president of the selling agency. I just got a note back from them saying that the selling agent essentially denies every part of my account. She never accepted my bid. Her sellers simply elected to sell to the lower-bidding party for “sentimental reasons.” Naturally, the agency is taking this at face value without contacting my own agent, even though she has every reason to lie.

          At this point I don’t think I can do much. I will wait until the house closes, and then I will send the selling record along with my higher bid and all this history to the Washington State Department of Licensing. In the meantime, I am honestly thinking of giving up my dream job and moving back home. My short term lease expires in November and then I will have nowhere else to go.

    • I used to live in Ballard and I loved it. It has everything you described. There’s sort of a young, hip core around the neighborhood center, but there are also a lot of families with kids in the more residential parts of the neighborhood. It’s a pretty easy commute into downtown by car, and if you can get a place near one of the express bus lines they are great for commuting.

      All the neighborhoods mentioned by Anon would be good to check out, too.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Ballard would be my first pick, too. You should also check Green Lake in addition to others mentioned.

        Trying to get a place (rent or own) in Seattle is a miserable experience, so brace yourself. I’m sorry.

    • I personally really like Ravenna/Greenlake, although some people hate the u-district area. There’s also the area closer to U-village. I don’t like Ballard as much (although it’s adorable and super trendy) because it feels ages away from I-5, which is the main N-S freeway. Ravenna/Greenlake would be my first choice, but I also really like wallingford, Greenwood (a little further out, but cheaper and very cute, not as many hipsters as ballard), and the older part of capital hill.

    • Cavedweller :

      My best friend bought a house in Greenlake. She’s married with 2 kids. They love it there, but it was difficult due to the popularity of this area for young families.

  15. Major shopping dilemma here. I want to get a wool pea coat, and I can’t decide between camel and winter white. Camel is versatile and practical, but winter white is just so chic looking….at least in my fashion daydreams. Does anyone have a winter white or cream coat that you love wearing? I guess my biggest concern is dry cleaning requirements — it would be kind of impractical if it needs cleaning after every wearing or two.

    • I have an ivory pea coat and it needs to be cleaned around twice every winter. If you don’t live in a city (gross bus fumes, oily sidewalk splashes etc), you might be able to do it less than that.

    • I have a winter white pea coat and a winter white car coat – obviously, I am a fan of winter white coats. I drive to work so they don’t get too dirty. I clean them once halfway through the winter and once at the end before I hang them up for the season.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Are you likely to spill things or stain it? I’ve been too afraid to buy one myself because I think I’ll get it dirty and have to try and get it cleaned too often. I bought a white jacket last spring as a test and managed to keep it totally clean, so I’ve been seriously considering buying a white wool coat myself this year. Have you seen any in particular that you like?

      • That’s the thing, it’s kind of a given that eventually it will get something spilled on it. Something like coffee, red wine or beer. But that could be an issue with camel too. Argh, I’m just tired of black, charcoal and navy.

        This might be too boxy, but I’m tempted to order and return since I have a 40% off code.

    • I have a cream (though maybe it’s on the darker side of cream – moving towards camel? Light tan?) colored one, that I really do love, but one problem is that grime tends to hit the edges of the sleeves – it’s just not possible to avoid brushing up against things when I use my hands. Cleaning fades it but doesn’t get it out entirely. So, personally, I probably would avoid a white or otherwise very light coat (mine’s dark enough that I don’t think it is very obvious).

    • Merabella :

      I have a winter white coat that I love. I do not however live in a big city or take public transit. I wear it from my apartment to my car to my office. I also get it cleaned like once in the middle of the season to keep it pretty. I also suggest a scarf to keep your face/makeup from getting on the coat.

  16. DC folks, any suggestions for where my husband and I should go for the evening tonight? We’re feeling like lame suburbanites but also often feel like the only options for going out involve eating and drinking. We’re both trying to take off the newlywed nine we put on in the two years since our wedding and we’d just like something that doesn’t revolve around food and drink. (We also realize that most people our age — early 30s — don’t have this problem because they’re at home with small children. We plan to be there soon but are trying to enjoy our freedom in the meantime.) Any thoughts?

    • How do you feel about improv comedy? I haven’t been to the DC chapter, but I have been to my local version of Comedysportz. It’s not in DC proper (it’s out in Arlington), but it’s a usually a fun, interactive night out. It’s also a nice introduction to improv comedy if you haven’t been before, since the skits are all about 3-5 minutes.

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Why not see what’s playing at Blues Alley, the Black Cat, Bohemian Caverns or 9:30 Club? Or, since the weather’s good, take a stroll around the memorials and bring snacks and wine in a thermos. DCist and WaPo’s Going Out Gurus usually have good suggestions.

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Oh– you could also check out Washington Improv Theater’s show.

    • There’s a free show at the Kennedy Center–U.S. Army Blues (jazz).

    • It should be a great evening to go walk around the FDR memorial or the tidal basin or something! Easy on the wallet, helps the newlywed nine, and takes advantage of the cooler evening temps.

    • Kontraktor :

      I like the idea of walking around the Tidal Basin or maybe Georgetown if you want some place more crowded. Go browse around that big bookstore in DuPont Circle? What about classical music conerts? WETA might have a list online of classical music performances in local churches or concert halls that are free (ex., the Nat’l Presbyterian Church seemed to be running some sort of chamber music ensamble performance every weekend, usually free or nominal entrance fee).

    • +1 on the Improv in Dupont Circle – usually a pretty good show.

      Other ideas:
      – non-mainstream but artsy movie at E St. Cinema?
      – watch a show – Woolly Mammoth or Shakespeare Theatre always has performances – even Capitol Steps is hi-larious
      – restaurant with “activities” like buffalo billiards or h. st. country club?

  17. MaggieLizer :

    Ladies, I could use some serious internet hugs. My bf of 3.5 months just called me in the middle of the day. while I’m at work. and will be all night. to break up with me. He’s “not in a mindset to be in a committed relationship right now” and “[I] deserve to be with someone who’s in the same place [I am].” Given the way things have been going I’m not all that surprised, and I’d been debating whether to end it, but it just really sucks to be at work and dealing with yet another disappointment and failed relationship. What a DOOSH. Thanks in advance for your support.

    • Sorry and hugs.

      BTW, I always love seeing your posts because of your name. Justice is blind!

      • MaggieLizer :

        Haha best. show. ever!

        • Research, Not Law :

          Have any of you ever even seen a chicken?

          Big hugs. Doosh indeed. Put on some angry girl music to power through the night.

    • TO lawyer :

      You deserve all the internet hugs!

      First things first, I’m assuming you can’t leave work but can you step out for a few minutes? Maybe getting some air, a latte or a treat will help.

      Second, he may be a DOOSH but he’s right about one thing – you do deserve someone who wants to commit to you. And while this may not be helpful right now, at least you know now instead of being led on for months.

      Third – it does suck to be dealing with this at work. I’ve been through something similar during the day and I closed my door for a while, and tried to focus, but ultimately ending up crying for a few minutes. It worked because then I was able to focus on what I needed to get done.

      Hugs again because you definitely do deserve them.

      PS he’s definitely an inconsiderate jerk – seriously, what kind of guy breaks up with someone during the day when they’re at work? DOOSH

    • That really stinks. I’m so sorry.

    • Here are your hugs. I’m so sorry. Is there any advantage to being busy today and tonight? If not, I’m sorry…close your office door when you can…

      Remember that you would have been “disappointed” and it would have been a “failed relationship” even if you were the one to break it off, which you were thinking about doing. I know it helps to feel in control, but try not to get caught up in feeling rejected. It sounds like you both saw what was going on, and in the end this was necessary.

      When you finally do go home, the treat you give yourself will be very well-earned. Try to hang in there until then.

    • This is terrible and here are some more hugs. However, look on the bright side. Better this happened now after a relatively short period of time than if he waited a year and told you then. That would have been even worse and even more DOOSHY.

    • Late to the thread, but *bighugs*. You dodged a bullet!

      He just made it that much easier for you to get over him, right? I see that as the silver lining. Also good that he didn’t waste any more of your time.

      He does win a DOOSH award for selfishness and the lack of consideration.

  18. I have a similar one from the outlet. I’m not the hugest fan of the way it fits, but the material is very soft (and for the $7 or so that I paid, I’m not complaining!). I wash it on whatever setting I’m washing that load, then I let it air dry, and steam it to get out the wrinkles.

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