Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Sivan Gathered V-Neck T-Shirt

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

 Elie Tahari blue spa jersey 'Sivan' gathered v-neck t-shirt Bluefly is having some killer sales right now — clearance is up to an extra 40% off. I like this periwinkle tee (which has a matching wool blazer if you like to coordinate colors like that), as well as another version in geranium red. It was $98, but is now marked to $22.79. Elie Tahari blue spa jersey ‘Sivan’ gathered v-neck t-shirt

Psst: Check out The Corporette Guide to the Best Tops for Under Suits, if you haven’t already!

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Jules - Visit to Ann Arbor tomorrow :

    Immediate threadjack, for all you Michigan alums: I’ve got to be in Ann Arbor for several hours on Saturday – I’m taking a kid to an athletic event outside of town and will have some time to hang out while he does his thing. I’m planning to go to SeVa for brunch but am wondering if there are any good bookstores (i.e., not the basic college bookstore), nice boutiques, a good gallery/museum, etc. And I’d like to avoid the football crowd, as there’s a home game that day (I’ll be leaving before 3:30 when it starts but I know that the tailgaters and partiers come out early, at least at my own Big 10 school they did). Thanks for any ideas.

    • Dawn Treader, if it’s still there, is a great used book store. I got a two-volume condensed OED there for $80, and I was as happy as if I’d found a unicorn.

      The university art museum has a really great collection, too. It’s been too long since I was there to recommend any galleries or boutiques, though.

      • Yes! Dawn Treader is still there, (or was a couple months ago) on Liberty just up from State Street. Lots of little shops and galleries in that area, so you could easily kill a few hours wandering around.

        • umich alum :

          Yes, Liberty also has a bunch of little shops. You could easily walk Liberty to Main (Liberty runs between State and Main) and see lots of what Ann Arbor has to offer.

    • umich alum :

      Second the university art museum. Dawn Treader is still in business and I know there are a couple of other used book stores, but I couldn’t tell you the exact addresses. If I were you, I might just stroll up Main Street, which is where most of the interesting/nicer boutiques and things are. Main Street is usually kinda busy by Ann Arbor standards, but shouldn’t be affected much by the game.

    • Midwest Attorney :

      Some fun thrift/vintage stores on State Street. One is next to Cafe Royale and is in a basement. Nice boutique in the upstairs of the Bead Gallery on Liberty.

      • Jules - Visit to Ann Arbor tomorrow :

        I love thrift/vintage stores! Probably wouldn’t have found the one in a basement on my own, thanks for the info.

    • Just FYI, the football crowd will be out waaaaay before 3:30. The undergrads start tailgating (ie binge drinking and generally going nuts) basically around dawn. There will be huge crowds of football people anywhere you go (at least in downtown Ann Arbor/campus area).

    • Second the visit to the Museum of Art (on State and South University). The nicer boutiques are on Main Street, which is about a half a mile walk from State Street. There are some very fun galleries and furniture shops, including Three Chairs and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. If you stay north of Hoover, I think you’ll be fine to avoid most of the football fans.

      If you want dessert, I recommend a trip to Zingerman’s in Kerrytown. Their brownies are delicious :)

  2. This shirt looks fairly short on the model. Does anybody know if this shirt is a shorter style? I have a long torso and don’t do well with shorter shirts :/ TIA!

    • Cornellian :

      I have another Elie Tahari shirt that is really a bit short for my long-torsoed 5’4 self, unfortunately. It’s a totally different style, so maybe this shirt will be fine, though.

      • Thanks!

      • Same. I have a purple and black shirt from a few seasons ago that’s just a smidge too short. I have length trouble with most shirts though, FWIW.

  3. Anonymous :

    Perhaps I am getting old, but $98 for a T-shirt? The sale price is more realistic.

  4. Chicago Meetup! :

    It’s time we had a meetup in Chicago! My initial idea is an after work get together in a bar somewhere downtown in two or three weeks but this should be adjusted to suit the majority’s convenience. My timeline for planning this is
    Today: get ideas on location
    Monday: poll on specific times and place
    until meetup: reminder postings once a day

    Without further ado, where do we want to meet?
    Terry (ChicagoC o r p o r e t t e at

    • Chicago Meetup! :

      Elephant and Castle? What do you think?

    • Backgrounder :

      Oooh! Finally a Chi Town meetup! Excited :) Maybe Rittergut Wine Bar? Southbranch?

    • 312 or Prime Bar?

    • Finally Chicago meetup !! One suggestion would be Plymouth – a block south of Adams between State & Dearborn. Has a rooftop bar, we go here often for happy hour. Easy to get rooftop spot on non-Fridays.
      Anything in the loop/river north/west works for me.

      • A Chicago meetup sounds fun! I’m towards the western edge of the loop, but any of the suggested places work well.

      • Though I really like the rooftop at Plymouth, I think way too many groups have the same idea as us – it’s *packed* at happy hour!

        • Backgrounder :

          I’ll put in a second plug for Rittergut. It is normally never super crowded, good wine & charcuterie/fromagerie selection, has outdoor seating by the river and is right next to Rivers. It’s sort of hidden but I’ve been to several work events there and really like it.

    • layered bob :

      this is a great idea! no location suggestions; I work outside of the Loop so I’m not familiar with bars down there :-)

    • Yay for a Chicago meet up! Prime Bar or Rittergut?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      This could be fun…..

  5. Would love some styling suggestions on this dress:

    I’m wearing it to my own rehearsal dinner at a smart-casual restaurant. Would love to pair it with tall cognac (or black) boots, but I’m not sure if that would make it too casual. Also seeking jewelry suggestions, and blazer/cardigan/something ideas. Help, ladies!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      No suggestions, but the dress is really cute! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

      • Thank you! I was worried it’d look too work-y (a personal shopper pulled it for me) but it fits oh so perfectly. Plus, I can wear it to work :)

    • Congrats! If its your own rehearsal dinner, then you get to decide how casual/not-casual you want it to be!

      I think black boots sound lovely, or you could go with a black wrap/shrug and heels to kind of dress it up a bit if that’s what you are going for. I’d go with silver jewelry – maybe long earrings and a bold cuff – I think a necklace might be too much against that high neckline and pattern.

    • That is cute (and congrats on the wedding!). I would definitely go with sleek black boots, which I think would be dressier (though, personally, I think that pretty pumps would be better for a dinner, at least for my style – are we talking about soon (as in, while it’s still warm)? Then nude for you pumps or strappy metalic sandals or metalic peep toes would look great.) I doubt that it would read too “worky”, but I would probably go with either a wrap or a shrug (black, most likely, though if you could find one that’s black and has some metalic worked in, that would be gorgeous), just to be safe – probably not a blazer. I completely agree with Buffy that long earrings and no necklace would be best.

      • Thanks so much ladies!
        The dinner is mid-October; I’m guessing weather will be in the low 60s.
        I hadn’t thought of skipping the necklace but couldn’t find one that would look good- I think skipping it and doing big earrings and bracelet is a great idea! Thank you all!

        • I actually also think black shooties (if you like that style) would look great with this dress.

        • I think the cole haan air talia gore shooties would be perfect with this, i bought the black suede version of these last year and wear them with this type of dress and opaque tights all the time — the same shoes were also y on earlier this week for 75% off!

          • Now I desperately want those and can’t find them in my size!

          • i bet cole haan will do them for fall again this year. they’re super awesome and very comfortable, plus they look good with every single dress ever made – in a corporate appropriate way, but with a hint of bad a**. i’ve been debating getting a second pair in another color ever since i saw the 6pm sale!

    • I’d go with black boots, not cognac, or with black pumps. If you want to be dressier wear a black wrap; if more casual a black cardigan like the Jackie style from J. Crew. Congrats on your wedding!

    • hellskitchen :

      Black wrap or jacket would of course look good with this dress but if you want to mix it up a bit, I think a metallic wrap/jacket in a silvery or charcoal gray would look divine with this dress and balance out the casualness of boots. This is a gorgeous dress!

    • eastbaybanker :

      Because the pattern is so fun, it doesn’t read work dress to me at all. I love to idea of pairing it with sleek black boots or botties. I would keep jewelry simple, and skip a necklace. I’m imagining some dangling earrings like the Kendra Scott ‘Danielle’ Oval Statement Earrings, or a wide bangle in a gold or silver or black lacquer.

      Congrats and enjoy being the woman of the hour!

  6. I'm Just Me :

    MO’s nailpolish …

    I know people were discussing the color earlier. Here’s the latest from Yahoo News.

  7. Has anyone successfully refinanced recently? We are hoping to re-fi this year before rates go up and looking for bank recommendations. We bank at bb&t and capital one. Also, wondering if our line of credit needs to be paid in full beforehand; we expect to, but would love to avoid it and keep more cash in hand. TIA

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I am in the process of refinancing right now. I am replacing a 15 year mortgage with another 15 year mortgage with a better rate. You will need to pay off your line of credit and, if you want another one, the line of credit lender will have to agree to subordinate to the mortgage. At various times over the years, I have been successful at getting the HELOC lender to subordinate (and so have refinanced), and at other times, 2009, I have not (and so did not refinance).

      I have never done this through a bank, and I never would. The rates are too high. I use a mortgage broker.

      Good luck.

    • Russia Repeat :

      We refinanced and switched from one lender to another for our mortgage in the past six months. The initial lender agreed to subordinate our HELOC so I now have to keep track of paying two places, but we are paying 2 full percentage points less in interest, so it was definitely worth the hassle. My initial attempt to refinance with the initial lender did not work out due to property valuation issues–the appraiser assigned no value to my building’s shared roof deck or to my roof rights to build a private deck and the bank decided even his appraisal was too high.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Believe it or not, we got a great rate on a totally free re-fi from Cash Call, of all places! They were able to subordinate thevHELOC becausevwevhaveva ton of equity.

    • Use a mortgage broker, not a bank, and compare the offered rate to You will probably have to repay the line of credit.

      • Thanks for the tips, ladies! Does anyone have a mortgage broker to recommend in the NoVA area? Will also go to DC/MD for the right person.

        • We refinanced last October to a 15-year mortgage and used RoundPoint, which is an online broker based in North Carolina, I believe (but they service nationwide– we don’t live in NC). I was a little wary of using an online service, but it was a great experience, much easier than the last time around when we went through a bank. I highly recommend them.

    • anon in tejas :

      we refied and closed just a few days ago.

      are you a costco member? we got a great great rate through a costco broker. I would suggest you see if your costco has mortgage services if you have one near you or are already a member.

  8. TJ – I am a new mom (my daughter is almost 7 months). I am b*feeding and have been back at work full time for about 3 months. I will admit that I occasionally forget (not so important) things or mess up minor calculations, but I generally feel that I do a good job. I am also unable to work evening/weekends since I have become a mom. The project manager for the project that I am on yesterday said that I got a (very very minor) calculation wrong because I have “Mommy Brain”. I was shocked and said “Wow, that was rude” but in restrospect I am actually really bothered by this. This person has been generally pretty rude about my family responsibilities, but this was the first time he’s said something overt. What to do?

    • This came up on the other side for me yesterday. A colleague known for being flaky and lacking attention to detail just went out on maternity leave. While finishing up a project we were working on, I discovered tons of errors in her work. When I told the partner that my “finishing up” was going to take a LOT longer because I had to fix all these issues, he said something along the lines of, “Well, she was really pregnant. Hormones do that [cause errors].” Is that a thing? She was flaky before she was pregnant, but now she can excuse it by painting the entire pregnant woman contingent as having mommy brain? I’ve never been pregnant, so I don’t know if this is legit, especially since women like EB0220 seem to be just fine!

    • Well, yeah, pregnancy-head is kind of a thing. When I was maybe 7 months pregnant I drove away from a hearing with the entire file on top of my car, and didn’t realize that the documents were flying out behind me. (The hearing was two hours away and I only realized the file was gone when I arrived home.) A very nice court clerk went around the next day and picked everything up (with tire marks from having been on the floor of the parking garage) and overnighted it back to me. (I sent her flowers.) And about the same time, I drove home from another out-of-town hearing, pulled in my driveway and wondered who was visiting, since there were two strange cars there. I actually turned off the ignition before I remembers that we had MOVED three months earlier. To a different town.

      However, not everyone who is pregnant gets like this, and it’s not okay for the non-pregnant person to cite it — it’s like a guy calling every instance of crankiness by a woman PMS. And I have NEVER heard of it 7 months letter, so EB0220, your project manager was being both ignorant and a doosh. I think telling him he was rude was the right way to go but you also should document it (just an e-mail to yourself with the details) in case the incidents continue and you need to bring the matter to HR. Or a lawyer.

      • OMG, the moving story is hilarious.

        I took my (extremely rigorous, 16 total hours of written exams plus orals plus a paper) qualifying exams while 5mos pregnant. Other than having a concerned classmate volunteer to lobby (successfully) to have me put on a floor with a ladies’ room during the written sections no one expressed any worries about my pregnancy affecting the process. I did fine. I get the occasional moment of loss of focus, fatigue, whatever, but unless you have significant complications pregnancy is not a disability.

        • I defended my dissertation successfully 2 weeks before my baby arrived! I felt fine during pregnancy, for the most part, but I do feel a little muddled mentally now. I’m not sure if it’s the sleep deprivation or the bf-ing hormones or what! But mostly I can hide it at work.

        • For short-term important stuff, it can be possible to pull it together and cover with adrenaline, even for the worst fuzz-heads. I took 2 bar exams while pregnant, at 8 weeks and at 28 weeks. But I came home and slept for about 2 days after the second one. It’s the daily drudge that gets me.

        • I took and passed the bar exam while 7 months pregnant, but was constantly forgetting my purse everywhere! I had never done that before, then suddenly I was always leaving it behind!

      • These stories illustrate nicely why every new parent should invest in those little alarms that prevent you from leaving your baby in the backseat when you park the car.

      • Yep, pregnancy/mommy brain is a thing. At least for some people. At least for me. It was worse with # 1. And at 7 months postpartum, it can still be a thing. Consider: possibly still lactating (can cause foggyhead for some), and baby may not be sleeping through the night yet (I was working on 3-4 hour sleep shifts until my DS was almost 11 months–this will mess with your clarity).

        But you are right; it’s super rude for an outsider to blame hormones. Not everyone has these issues, and sometimes mistakes are just mistakes. Men and non-mommies make them too (gasp!).

    • I’m not sure you can do anything about it now. However, if it happens again, have a Serious Speech prepared in your mind. That comment is sexist and belittling as well as rude. If it happens repeatedly, take it to HR.

    • I think you responded well. Document these comments (and any other actions–you say he’s been generally rude about family stuff).

    • I think that’s rather rude. And I’m sorry – but would he say anything to a man who was a father and working full time? No? Then its not appropriate to say to you.

    • 999999999999999999 :

      Um, I don’t think this is as serious as the other women point out and in fact while I agree uncalled for and sexist, your documenting it is only documenting that you made mistakes, for which you can be let go for in most jobs, so I would definitely NOT bring this to the attention of HR unless it gets aggregiously worse or you get comments that have nothing to do with your mistakes at work.

      And many women do work weekends and nights with families, so while I get you do not want to (and neither do I), if others are working that much or hte job entails those hours (think biglaw), then this really is no defense you have.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Defense? What does not working evenings and weekends when you have a 7 month old have to do with defense?

        It’s not a defense. It’s a reason. The OP wants to actually spend time with the child she spent 9 months growing inside of her uterus instead of turning around and realizing it’s time to send the kid to college. It’s called work-life balance, and I know we’re terrible at that in America, but maybe the implication that she’s making the choice to under-perform by not working nights and weekends is the problem here. She shouldn’t have to choose. It shouldn’t be an expectation, or even an option. The very idea that a person shouldn’t go home when their contract specifies the work day is over is ridiculous.

    • While YMMV, I always attribute my postpartum goofs to prolonged sleep loss. That depends on your child, of course, but I think a lot of non-parents (or even non-primary parents, often dads in the BFing situation) may not *really* appreciate what it’s like to sleep so little, for so long, and with no respite. I thought I was a champ of running on very little sleep and keeping it together because pre-kids I regularly went on 4-5 hours of sleep/night all week, but didn’t realize that being able to get 12+ hours on the weekend made that possible…and those make-up sleep days didn’t exist with a little one.

      The entire time I was pregnant with No. 2, I told my doctor that I had nothing in the tank, and it was pretty true. Both my kids were relatively normal sleepers, and thankfully we never had colic or any other issues, but that still meant I was not sleeping enough. Even 20 months after the birth of my second, I’m still bone-tired and drained in a way that is just depressing. My husband and I semi-frequently talk about how, truthfully, it takes years to recuperate from these early kids years.

      And I definitely flub things and forget things a lot more than I ever did before, even though I’m not usually a forgetter. There was a period when every time I left the house I’d forget something essential (phone, keys, wallet, etc.). But slowly, slowly, that fuzziness is starting to fade, and I’ve never blown anything important (fingers crossed, but having said that I expect I’ll screw something up in the near future).

      • And because I didn’t actually respond to the OP question: as others wiser than I have suggested, document it and be alert for repeat violations. Just a jerky thing to say.

  9. Hi everyone. I need some interview question answering advice. I’m currently a 2L that had a ridiculously awful family situation come up in my second semester of 1L year. As a background, my very dear grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer, my father suffered a mental break down and had to take a leave of absence from work due to mental health issues, my sister was in and out of the hospital constantly, and then my same grandfather and his wife passed away within a week of each other during my finals week. While I managed during finals to pull out great grades in those classes, my legal writing grade (which was granted about a month prior to my other finals) suffered a bit as a result of being out of town a lot and the anxiety and depression issues that I was undergoing. Going through my mock interviews for OCIs, my interviewers asked me to explain the grade. In short, my answer was awful. I started tearing up thinking about my grandparents and the entire mock interview was a bomb. Is there any way to show that there was an underlying reason for one mediocre grade without making it sound like an excuse in my real life interviews if the question comes up?

    • SOrry for all your loss and strife… I think your story is both understandable and compelling, especially since you pulled out great grades in the end. You just need to practice the delivery so you can do it without being swept up in the emotions – though a little emotion is normal and fine. Focus on the ability to work through difficult times and emerge successful, which I think is the important theme and a great skill.

    • If asked, can you simply say that you had an unfortunate series of family emergencies at that time? With your good grades in your finals, I would not think that you were just making excuses for the one bad grade. I don’t know if they would really press you to say more. If so, what about something like, “my grandparents passed away fairly suddenly, and the toll on my family was devastating”–I would practice that kind of response just in case you are asked–I didn’t interview with law firms, but I cannot imagine anyone that interviewed me pressing me on it. And practice whatever response you want to use so that you don’t get thrown off if you do have to discuss. Sorry for your losses.

      • This wording is excellent. I would also practice a transitional sentence. “However, my grades overall that semester are excellent, as you see, and my subsequent grades have also been excellent.”

    • I completely bombed one of my 1L classes and did mediocre in the others due to a similar situation. Try to keep it short and sweet to avoid tears. Can you say something like “I was experiencing a lot of personal stress and traveling a good deal during the semester due to multiple serious family illnesses and deaths. Unfortunately that was reflected in my legal writing grade. However, I don’t think that particular grade is indicative of my actual ability and as you can see from my other grades, I was able to handle that stress fairly well.”

    • I’m so sorry to hear about what you went through. I would just answer that question by saying you had some very serious family matters that prevented you from spending as much time as you needed to on your writing, including two deaths. Point out that just one month later, you were able to pull off great grades. And if they press you any further (they shouldn’t), tell them it’s still very difficult to discuss and you would rather talk about your successes, etc.

    • Practising your answer may help you stay collected. In your shoes, I’d find it helpful to practice in the mirror, to my roommates, etc.

    • Chi-town lawyer :

      I am so sorry for your loss. Having just interviewed 25 2Ls in the past few weeks, I would definitely suggest that your practice your response, and even front the issue if the opportunity arises. Your response should essentially frame the episode as an example of how you balanced competing obligations and inordinate stress. You lost two family members in the course of one week. A parent suffered a health emergency requiring a leave of absense from work at the same time. You were completing your final legal writing assignment at the time. You completed it on time, albeit not to the standards of most of your work. You learned from that experience and realized you would have to be even more proactive to prepare for and perform to your standards on your final exams. That is exactly what you did. You might also point out how you would typically execute a writing assignment (more time between drafts to polish the writing, etc.), but note that sometime, you just need to perform in a crunch and get the work done.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I agree with others, practice until you can give a brief answer without tearing up. Also, I usually (surreptitiously) pinch two fingers together so that I can focus without getting nervous/emotional. Perhaps that might work for you.

    • TBH, I would practice finding a way to proactively address it. I know that I, as an interviewer, have looked at a transcript, noted a bad grade, and dinged the candidate without asking about it. If it’s bad enough to be asked about, I think your best strategy is to find a way to bring it up and explain before you’re asked. It looks less defensive.

    • So sorry to hear about this. You should be very proud of yourself for achieving what you did in very stressful circumstances.

      Agree that practicing is key. Do another mock interview, and I might even practice with a friend. Have a very clear 1-2 sentences to say, and try to leave it at that. I like the idea of ending by emphasizing your accomplishments in the setting of adversity.

      It is going to hard for a long time discussing this one, and there is something about the emotional stress of an interview that can really push you over the edge to tears. I thought I had a handle on my personal situation (father and mother both became suddenly became very ill/disabled and mom passed during my job hunt), but in my most important interview with the Chairman I suddenly (and totally unexpectedly…) broke down and cried. It was awful, and even though I got the job, it was clear the chairman didn’t want me there long term. He admitted to me that he didn’t think I could handle the job and should take time off in light of my emotional response. It was very humiliating. It felt like I was being kicked twice.

      So practice practice…. And also practice at holding in tears if they start. You can get away with holding away tears…

      • I have no idea about law interviews, but when I’m talking about something emotional, I’ll sometimes say to whoever I’m talking to, “I may tear up a bit telling you about this, but please just ignore it.” Sometimes pre-emptively acknowledging that this will be an emotional topic helps me keep it under control. Sort of like letting out a little bit of pressure so my whole head doesn’t explode. Not sure it’s appropriate for an interview situation, but I have found it to be helpful in social settings.

    • I’m really sorry that all of those things happened.

      If I were the interviewer, I’d want to know why legal writing suffered while the other classes did not. Was it because (as would have been the case in my law school) attendance or interim assignments were missed, hurting your grade? Or because you prioritized the doctrinal classes over writing a final project? Everyone’s advice on how to talk about what happened is good, so I would just add something like, “Because I needed to travel to be with my family a lot during the semester, I missed several classes. In my other courses, I was able to make up the lost time by putting in a great deal of extra effort and self-study, but I was not able to make up that part of my legal writing grade.”

    • Senior Attorney :

      These are all good suggestions. You might also want to prepare a (short!) piece of good legal writing that has been vetted by someone you trust (a friendly professor? your legal writing instructor?) so you can pull it out and say something like “I am confident that my legal writing grade does not reflect my abilities, and here’s a sample so you can see for yourself.”

    • I had a family tragedy during Thanksgiving break of my 1L year as well. I agree with all that was said. Unfortunately, all my grades suffered, except one class. I do think that the rest of my grades contrast those first semester grades though which is similar to your case. If asked, I explained the situation. With the writing class grade (I was writing my last motion when I got the call), I got recommendations from my App Ad and Legal Drafting professors (As in both) and had those recs with me if asked this specific question.

      Also, clearing your throat interrupts the brain’s message to the eyes to cry. This helped me in interviews, etc.

      • I really like all these little hints…. pressing your fingers together, clearing your throat… to try to stifle the possibility of crying. I will try to remember them. Thank you.

    • I want to thank you all for your tips and advice, as well as your condolences. While my grade isn’t bad, it’s not the grade I’m most proud of or in line with my capabilities. I have actively been working on how to answer the question and practicing both to myself and my family and friends, and per suggestions I am now editing down to a short writing sample to bring into my interviews in addition to the writing sample I already submitted just in case. As always, this community never fails to give the best advice. Thank you all again!

      • Anne Shirley :

        If your grade isn’t bad, I wouldn’t bring any of this up at all. If we’re talking about straight A’s and a B+ I’d only address it if asked.

    • Let me put your one bad grade in perspective. I got terrible grades in law school, graduated in the bottom of my class, and still landed a good job.

  10. Cool, this is a cheaper version of another shirt I have on my wish list:

  11. The OG OP (Yeah You Know Me) :

    Hive, I’m interested in your thoughts.

    I recently witnessed conduct at a company event that was inappropriate for the work place. I discussed it with my boss. My message was not that I found the conduct personally offensive because I didn’t. In another context (movie? comedy club? after a few beers with friends?) it would not necessarily have been inappropriate. But at work? Yes. My message was that this conduct has the company’s tacit if not explicit endorsement, and this could open us up to liability. Great fodder for hostile work environment allegations. My boss encouraged me to talk to the head of HR but also suggested he would be interested in knowing what a particular more tenured woman in another department thought.

    The latter bit seems to be another version of, “You’re just being overly sensitive.” And here’s the thing: I’m not. This conduct was so far over the line, you can’t even see the line. So when someone suggests that you’re just being overly sensitive and another woman’s disagreement with you shores up that conclusion, how can you respond to that?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m not sure I think his comment was meant to be suggesting you are over sensitive. Granted, I don’t know your boss or his relationship with you or the other woman, but maybe he wants to hear what someone else though (especially if she witnessed it too) in order to make a stronger case to HR or maybe she dealt so something similar in the past and he wants her advice on how to handle it.

      I’m sure others will have advice on how to deal with it if it really was a suggestion that you are being oversensitive, but for now I’d go talk to the head of HR about what you witnessed as he suggested.

      • The OG OP (Yeah You Know Me) :

        Yeah, I’m definitely open to the possibility that he wasn’t suggesting that I’m overly sensitive. But let’s assume he was. I guess my bigger question is, it seems hard to respond to someone who suggests that your opinion isn’t valid because you’re somehow over-sensitive. What’s a diplomatic, effective way to respond?

    • No time for a long reply, as I am prepping for a huge hostile work environment trial right now, but your boss is stupid if he thinks that finding a woman who isn’t offended is a defense to objectively offensive behavior, and yes he is opening the company up to huge liability. And document, document, document. Makes notes of your conversations. Date them. Be detailed. Send them to your personal email. My client’s life would be a lot easier right now if that had happened in this case.

      • but she just said she wasnt offended. so im not really getting this is a hostile work environment thing.

    • I’m also interested in responses to this. While I don’t run into this exact situation a lot (but we’re hiring so maybe I will), I’m expressly told that “it’s just you [me],” a lot. Aside from saying, “you’ll see,” how can you respond to something like that?

    • Im having trouble picturing conduct that was so far over the line that you cant see the line but would not even be inappropriate in another context. Also who was it toward? a third party? If he encouraged you to speak to HR you should. I don’t think he was calling you overly sensitive since he told you to go to HR. I guess it would depend on whether he went to the woman just because shes a woman, but from your description it sounds like she has a lot of experience so thats why.

      • Yeah, I agree with this. And I think that you thinking it’s him calling you “too sensititive” when it does not seem that way seems to make me think that maybe even you think you’re being “too sensitive”

        And i honestly can’t fathom something that is sooo far over the line at work events to you, but is fine (1) in another setting and (2) to other co-workers. Are you sure you are not exagerrating this?

      • The OG OP (Yeah You Know Me) :

        cfm – how about a joke that a particular product is great because you can type one-handed while surfing the internet for pr0n?

        Would I find that inappropriate in, say, The 40-Year Old Virgin? No. If one of my drunk guy friends said it? Distasteful, but I wouldn’t be offended. At work? Yes.

        Or how about a joke suggesting what the speaker’s *ahem* equipment looks like?

        In a Seth Rogen movie: okay. At work? No.

        • 999999999999999999 :

          But is this a one time occurence? And if so, was it out of character for hte parties? Maybe that is their point. That one time event comment is not something they feel they need to address at the moment, and if it happens again or more frequently then they will bring it up to the parties?

          I actually think maybe you are just slightly offended that you are not being taken as seriously as you think you should and in that feeling, you are actually making this a bigger deal in your head then it needs to be.

        • To be honest, assuming that that was a one-off joke, not a constant stream, I wouldn’t find that the least bit offensive even in the office. Perhaps a little eyebrow raising, but not offensive. One of the partners that I work with says worse than that on a regular basis, and we all consider it just his wacky little quirk. If it were a company event, not a usual time at the office, then it just sounds like people relaxing and having a good time, letting their hair down a bit. Most people are with their co-workers for more time than they are with anyone else in their lives, even their families; they don’t want to be buttoned up and always worried about offending them. I was imagining that we were talking about someone grabbing someone, or flashing people, not a PG 13 joke.

          I’m trying not to be rude or attack you, and I’m sorry if it comes off that way, but I do think that you might be overly sensitive here.

        • Ok, not even close to a hostile work environment. I agree inappropriate. But you weren’t offended, you didn’t say anything, and it seems like no one else was offended. But I would say something myself in that situtation. like “oh ew john! too much information, and we are your coworkers not your college buddy” in a friendly way but let him know I dont like hearing stuff like that.

        • If you meant these as an example of something that crosses the line so far you can’t even see the line, you really are oversensitive.

      • I was wondering that, too (though I understand if you don’t want to say what, exactly, we’re discussing). Which, to be honest, particularly since we’re talking about a “work event” not a usual day in the office, makes me wonder if you are being too sensitive. I know that the prevailing wisdom seems to find it offensive that anyone could ever be accused of being overly sensitive, but I have certainly worked with people who were. I’ve also worked in places where work events were pretty much free-for-alls, exactly equivalent to being in a bar or a club. It can a hard call to make, and my assumption would be that the person you discussed it with wanted a second opinion on whether or not this is a big deal. This strikes me as a reasonable reaction, and I don’t think that you should take it personally. Go ahead and take it to HR, and keep lines of communcation open, but otherwise, don’t worry too much about it. (I’m saying that because you said that you, personally, weren’t offended by it, so I’m assuming that it wasn’t directed towards you. If it was, and it bothers you, you may want to take it more seriously.)

      • S in Chicago :

        That was my take as well. That he encouraged you to go to HR means he wasn’t dismissing you. I also think talking to the other woman may have nothing to do with her being a woman. It seems like your reading into things that may not be there.

        It could just be that she is someone he trusts who may have had experience with something similar or knows someone who has or is simply pretty savvy with navigating HR or office politics. I took it as he is actually trying to help by maybe giving you access to someone with insight that could help you avoid landmines as you deal with this with HR. Office culture often has the actual rules and the behind-the-scenes rules–isn’t it possible he is trying to best set you up for success by steering you to someone with a view behind the curtains?

    • The OG OP (Yeah You Know Me) :

      Okay, guys, let me clarify.

      In some ways, this is an academic discussion I’m interested in. Totally open to my boss NOT believing I’m overly sensitive. He’s actually a pretty rocking boss.

      So can we reframe the discussion and answer the question– say something is legitimately inappropriate. How do you respond to suggestions that the behavior is appropriate and you’re just overly sensitive?

      • 999999999999999999 :

        You can not answer that without the premise of “what is the something that you feel is legitimately inappropriate” and then the level of that inappropriateness with how to respond.

        I think your academic argument question, is like asking “what’s the right way to go”. You can not answer that without more information, like where are you going?

        • The OG OP (Yeah You Know Me) :

          Bah! Okay.

          This is hard because I’m hesitant to provide too many details. It was a presentation at an offsite meeting. The meeting was held offsite because so many people attend that we don’t have room for everyone to meet together at corporate HQ. This was not the only presentation in which there was sexual innuendo.

          Stepping away from my original question, here’s why I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive. Let’s say (and this is not my industry, but it fits with the model) that I work for a company that operates grocery stores. Can we agree that it would be inappropriate for the manager of one of our grocery stores to make jokes with his staff about ma$turbation, what his genital$ look like, and other $exual references? Let’s say our grocery store manager then makes comments to a female store clerk suggesting she should wear tight tops and that he’d be willing to give her a blender from the store’s inventory if she has $ex with him. If our female store clerk then files an EEOC charge complaining specifically about the store manager’s conduct toward her, doesn’t the store manager’s general conduct set up nicely for HWE?

          Now, more to my point. As a grocery company, we expect our store managers to NOT conduct themselves in the way described. We’d like it if they didn’t open up our grocery chain to liability for $exual harassment, plus there’s that whole common decency thing. But if store manager attends an offsite meeting where Company has presentations containing $exual innuendo, it seems like Company is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. “Innuendo is okay at the offsite company meeting but not in your store, tsk tsk!”

          Hence, the conduct at the presentations is cause for concern.

      • I think it really depends on the context. There was a discussion earlier this week (either Wed or Thurs) about how to respond when others use words like “rape” in an inappropriate context–SFBay Associate shared an awesome story.

        • SF Bay Associate :


          • I was busy at work so I don’t think I commented, but I read it and definitely remember your awesomeness!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’d definitely go back and read that thread. There were some great comments. I’m not sure how best to handle a situation like this, but thankfully I’ve never experienced it.

          In your particular case, I’m not sure how to respond to the boss specifically, especially now that some time has passed. Bringing it up with your boss and following through with HR though is dealing with it though even though you aren’t specifically addressing the oversensitive issue. Going to HR does show that you think it is a legitimate issue and not something you are being oversensitive about, even if you don’t explicitly say anything to your boss.

      • MaggieLizer :

        If that’s the culture then I’m not sure you can do much about it. I might report it anonymously to HR and leave it at that. If everyone else thinks it’s OK then you saying something is just going to make you look overly sensitive even if you’re not.

        My own experience with this – I was at a party for a big partner at my old firm, and a number of grossly inappropriate jokes were made (by the speakers! in front of the partner’s wife, daughter, and grandkids!). I felt super uncomfortable and I know a lot of other women in the room did too. Come to think of it, none of the more senior female attorneys stayed for the speeches, probably because they knew what was coming. I mentioned the jokes to my mentor and he kind of shrugged it off as “boys being boys” and “this is the way it’s always been.” And then the firm wonders why it can’t keep female associates. My only recommendation is when you’re at these events, drink enough that it doesn’t bother you as much, but not so much that you’re going to run your mouth. I definitely had to put down my second glass of wine.

      • My best response would be to get a better idea of the office culture, and then try to figure out if you fit into it. If you’re the only one who’s bothered by it, and it is not directed at you, then perhaps you need to figure out whether this is the right fit for you. But if one or a few people are causing problems for the rest, then you should go through the channels as a group and first, make it clear that the people are being inappropriate, then bring it to higher ups/HR if nothing gets fixed. Showing that more people than just you are offended is a way to show that you are not being overly sensitive.

        A long time ago, I worked in a place (not an office, a restuarant) where it was a constant stream of dirty jokes and cursing. Much of it led by the manager, but well participated in by the rest of the crew. Could it have been a hostile workplace? Sure, I said and thought that many times. But, at the same time, it was also a really fun and funny place to work. We often even told new hires that, that if this sort of thing bothers you, maybe it’s not the place for you (to the best of my knowledge, no one ever had a concern, though, like I said, if they had, they would have been reasonable). That was just the culture, and it, like every workplace, had it’s own quirks.

    • Encouraging you to talk to the head of HR doesn’t sound like he’s calling you oversensitive. Having said that, he’s right that it’s a good idea to get the opinion of more tenured employees before you take a major step like complaining to HR. No offense, but your reaction to your boss’s suggestion makes me think that you may in fact be overly sensitive.

      • I think you HAVE to have a THICK SKIN. I do b/c I have alot of MEN who I work with and only 1 other FEMALE lawyer and she is alot older then me and she is MARRIED to one of the other partner’s.

        I try to stay close to the MANAGEING partner, b/c he is the one that review’s my work and give’s me my paycheck and my clotheing allowance.

        Yes, there are joke’s that are OFENSIVE, but I just laff and walk away, b/c they pay my salary and the work envirnment is OK.

        If there is a place that you realy have to watch out for it is with the CLEINT’s. Since I bill them I have to be nice and I have to listen to thier STALE jokes and laff at them. Ha! Even if it is NOT funny.

        I also have to tred a thin line between bieng freindly to the cleint and flirteing with them, b/c they seem to get their jollies when they get attention from a pretty girl and I am ofTen that pretty girl (at least in thier eye’s — I STILL must LOOSE 8 lbs! FOOEY!)

        Right now, I am preparing my arguements for an apellate brief I am putting in to the Apellate Divison of the NY Supreme Court, b/c the plaintiff apealled the decision I got under 3211 to DISMISS the case.

        I have done this before so I am OK doing this and the manageing partner alway’s sits with me as SECOND chair, but I am the one that ARGUE’s the MOTION– IN this case that the case was RIGHTFULLY DISMISSED. The case is on the calendar for the END of the month so I have some time to prepare, but it is EXACTELY the same as the SMITH case I argued about a year ago, so ALL I am doing is changeing the name in the brief’s and of course, the DATE’s to! YAY!

        I must show the manageing partner the breif on Monday, so I will HAVE to work on it over the weekend. FOOEY! But as long as I get a paycheck, I am fine. The manageing partner is also haveing me over to his place about that time, so I will wear my NEW red dress! YAY!

    • Ha, is our answer to OP’s question, “How do you respond when someone accuses you of being overly sensitive?” really “You’re being overly sensitive”?

      Something need not offend the listener to be inappropriate for a workplace. Just like one need not dislike your short skirt or be able to see your lady garden for an outfit to be inappropriate for work, right? And just like open-toed shoes, plenty of comments/behaviors that would be inappropriate in some workplaces may be perfectly fine in others.

      As to the bigger question you’re asking: sure, some people are overly sensitive. But a response like “But she probably thought it was okay,” is also a method of undermining legitimate concerns– albeit one that many people may not even realize they’re using. If there’s actually room for debate about whether something is appropriate or inappropriate, I think a better way to handle it would be telling you directly that your standards for the workplace may be too high. That is, after all, the real issue: you disagree about what may be appropriate; certainly reasonable minds can disagree about it. Implying (or stating) that you’re “overly sensitive” suggests instead that you are *not* a reasonable mind. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how to disarm a response like that effectively, because it is really hard to convince someone who has already dismissed your opinion to start listening again. You could maybe try saying something like, “This issue really isn’t about how I feel about [these comments/behaviors], it’s about maintaining a level of professionalism in our workplace.” or “It’s about ensuring that everyone feels respected and welcome in our workplace.” Something that points out that what you’re talking about is not subject to your sensitivity– it’s not a matter of you feeling offended or put out or whatever. It’s a matter of you looking out for others (who may be offended or feel uncomfortable), or the general environment of the workplace (which, even if this incident was “no big deal,” risks becoming a problem if some standards aren’t maintained), or for your employer (who, in some circumstances, could even wind up subject to liability).

      • Nailed it.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Gorgeous, JessBee.

          Might have to adapt parts of this for social events when overgrown frat boys pull out the “it’s just a joke, don’t take it so personally” line.

          Suggestions on exact wording?

          • I always respond to that (the ‘it was just a joke, don’t take it so personally’ or ‘it was a joke, don’t get upset’) with, “oh, I’m not upset, you’re just not funny.” This is usually particularly effective if there are other women in the group, who will almost always agree once someone has the b*lls to say, “well, it just wasn’t funny.” If they persist with ‘haha, yeah it was, you just don’t get it/have a sense of humor”, I find that simply looking at them with as close to a bemused expression as you can muster, in the most ‘oh you poor dear’ tone you can manage, “oh sweetie. No, it wasn’t funny.” to be remarkably effective.

            Anger/righteous indignation are generally not nearly as effective in shutting down jerky men as bemusement/gentle pity. They really don’t know how to handle that.

  12. two offers update :

    Threadjack – Thank you all for the excellent comments about considering the two offers. I went back to Company A in CA and asked them to up the base salary. They increased the base salary, and mentioned that they do have a 401(k) company match, in addition to the profit-sharing. With those two additions, their offer was much more competitive, and I accepted it this morning. SO EXCITED! DH and I have been wanting to move back to the Bay Area for quite a while, as he has exciting job opportunities there. So, I’ll be giving my notice early next week, packing, moving, and starting the new position in early October.

    On another note, I feel terrible rejecting Company B, and terrible about giving notice at my current company. This is silly, since both companies wouldn’t have any problem letting me go or not making an offer if I wasn’t the right choice, but I just feel like a terrible person for rejecting both of them. I’m going to do the right thing and I’m taking the right step for my career by accepting an offer elsewhere, but I just feel bad about it right now!

    • Congrats!! Life lesson learned: always ask for more. I’m so glad it only took me until my mid 20s to learn that one.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      May I be the first to say: Welcome home!

      • two offers update :

        Haha, thanks! I’m excited to plug into the Bay Area meet-ups :)

      • Yes, welcome back! I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you in person!
        and great work asking for what you wanted, i’m impressed! ;o)

    • Congrats! It’s always hard to turn down an offer, but just remember you’re doing it for the right reasons :)

    • Congratulations!

    • Congrats and welcome to the area! We do have a meet-up on the 22nd–it might be too soon for you but you’re invited anyway. Can’t wait to meet you! Let us know if you need anything.

    • two offers update :

      Thanks all, I’m excited for this next chapter!

    • eastbaybanker :


  13. Muddy Buddy :

    I’m going to my first solo career thing next week (an out-of-state seminar on my dream area of law). I’m so nervous about being alone in a sea of strangers and having to figure out how to work it. Any tips?

    On a related note — what in the world is happening in Chicago next week that there are no hotel rooms in the whole city?!

    • Almost everybody gets nervous about being alone in a sea of strangers. Be friendly to everyone you see. If you’re standing around, pick out someone else who is standing alone and say hello – ask them a question about themselves that is somewhat relevant to what’s going on (e.g., do you practice in this field? then follow up based on the answer). Same thing when you sit down. You don’t have to talk to someone forever – you can always move on to other people.

    • There is a great post on here on how to mingle at these kind of things. It is from a LONG time ago, and I don’t know that I could give you anymore direction than that, but I found it helpful. Try google site:(this site) conventions or something like that and it should pop up.

    • Relax. There will be plenty of opportunities to casually chat people up at the seminar, so take advantage of those. Sit next to someone that you would like to speak with and talk to them in between seminar breaks. The seminar itself will give you plenty of conversation starters. Don’t be afraid to approach people at coffee breaks or the evening cocktail event or whatever. Usually you can quickly find some connection (they work at a place with someone you know, they live in an area you are familiar with, etc). Good luck and enjoy the seminar!

    • Imagine someone whose charming, no-fear attitude you really admire. It could be someone famous, like a politician or political spouse (Michelle Obama?), but a TV/movie character could be even better (I’d suggest: Hannah from Franklin & Bash, or West Wing’s CJ Cregg, or maybe The Good Wife?). Pick someone who seems to you to be confident, collected, and powerful. Now, as you head into every event, take a moment to imagine how she would handle it. Anytime you start to feel shy and nervous, ask yourself: what would CJ Cregg do? :) Channel that awesome lady, and remind yourself that you are interesting, impressive, and confident. As they say, you can fake confidence until you feel it!

      When meeting new people, especially lawyers, ask lots of questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves– they’re experts! It might help to spend some time preparing a little bit like you would for an interview– think about what questions you could ask just about anyone, and be prepared to fall back on those. Think about questions about where they’re from, what they do, what kind of cases they work on, what they like about your dream area of law, etc. Ask for advice when you can. Take lots of business cards. Also, ask for lots of business cards, and tell people that you’d “love to hear more about that” sometime– particularly when it’s true! Good luck!

    • layered bob :

      if there are really no hotel rooms, try Air BnB.

    • Muddy Buddy :

      Thanks for the tips! And the reminder that everyone else is nervous.

      layered bob — Thanks for the Air BnB rec! (And it’s true — there are seriously no hotel rooms. Anywhere. I finally found one in a semi-sketch hotel near the airport that I booked just in case nothing else works out…)

      • layered bob :

        hehe I have my Chicago apartment on Air BnB so obviously I think it’s a great resource! :-)

  14. I like Elie Tahari tees for under suits, but for some reason I have a hard time with v-necks under blazers.

    T/J: It’s my SO’s mothers bday soon and we need to get her a gift and I am totally out of ideas. In years past, I have gotten her a music box, which she loved, a shawl, a pretty vase and a nice picture frame, which she seemed to like but who ever really knows. I would get her another vase or something like that, but I feel like I shouldn’t repeat myself. SO is no help with ideas and whatever we get her, she says we shouldn’t have gotten her anything. I’d like to spend around $100 or so. What successful gifts have you given/gotten on such occasions? She’s very sweet to me so I really do want to get something she’ll like, not just a token present to mark the occasion.

    • If you have time, what about having a collage or an album put together of pictures of her family (grandkids, kids, whatever) as a keepsake? Or what about tickets so she and a friend or the FIL can go to a show or something, you know, an experiential thing.

    • Agree with TCFKAG that an experience gift is a good idea. Something she wouldn’t splurge on for herself but would enjoy. Bonus: no added clutter to her house!

    • Definitely suggest the experience ideas: dinner (gift certificate) and theater tickets or what about a salon package (massage and blow dry)?

      • She’s not an experience type person. Honestly, they’re real homebodies who like to go to bed early. They go out to eat but mostly only when we and/or other family members are over and I don’t think they would appreciate us paying for dinner – it would be seen as weird. A gift certificate to a beauty salon could work, but I have no idea where she would want to go and I don’t think she likes to go too far from home. She’s really not difficult, but definitely not a go out on the town type. That’s why I usually do home-oriented gifts … But please keep the ideas coming :)

        • What about a fruit of the month club thing or fancy steaks? Trying to think of homebody gifts here. A few movies on DVD that you think she will enjoy or a box set of her favorite TV shows could also be good.

          • or a gift basket from an upscale cheese shop or food vendor in your town? fancy olive oils / truffle oil?

          • Senior Attorney :

            I am probably close to her age and I would love a fancy fruit basket or box of Omaha steaks. Or a basket of cookies or flowers delivered on my birthday.

    • The last gift we got for my SO’s mom was a Birchbox subscription. I think someone here gave me the idea.

    • Super luxurious skin or beauty product? It’s easy to spend $100 on something really nice, but it’s the kind of thing she might never get for herself. It wouldn’t take up much space, she can use it on a daily basis, and in the long run it won’t add any clutter.

    • Okay, since going out is…out so to speak. Does she watch much tv or movies? One year we got a hit with my mother when we got her the full set of “The Prisoner” on DVD. Maybe get her DVDs of some classic movies or a television show that she really likes. Maybe musicals or something else she wouldn’t splurge on (if you can drag out of her son or his siblings what show she likes?)

      Otherwise, does she like to bake? What about a couple of fun cook-books and some new baking d0-dads? That sort of thing?

      • I know my mom LOVES getting cookbooks as gifts. Packaged with a few fancy seasonings or gadgets, that can make a great gift.

        If cooking isn’t an interest, does she have any hobbies or like crafts? Gift certificates for supplies are usually welcome. I try not to give too many decor gifts, as I don’t want people to feel obligated to display them, but a fancy candle and maybe a pretty throw that can be hidden away when not needed are always popular.

        • Hmm…. a DVD collection would be a definite possibility. She loves to watch shows on DVD. I just don’t know what she has and doesn’t because she gets a lot of shows that way, but I will endeavor to find out. I also like the luxury beauty item idea – maybe I can get her some nice bath goods (as an aside, the body scrubs from the store Sabon is in-f’ing-credible!) … maybe I can get her some scrubs and lotions…
          I love getting cookbooks as gifts myself, but cooking is not her thing… Anyway, thank you all for the ideas! If anyone has others, please continue posting ;)

          PS: on an aside, I had a professor who was obsessed with the Prisoner and once did a whole exam with Prisoner-esq hypos and a protagonist named Numero Seis. Great show!

    • Is there a Massage Envy near her? I hear they can be low-key and it’s pretty clear that a gift card there is for a massage, as opposed to a generic salon gift card.

    • How about a lovely robe and slippers? If she’s the homebody you say she is, a new robe can be a real treat to lounge around in.

  15. Amelia Bedelia :

    Okay. I need a gut check on this one.

    I have had this certain cleaning team for about three months. They do a pretty fair job. They have slacked a bit the past month, but I know they are super busy and the job is still fairly good. Not GREAT like it was before I gave them a key, but good enough to not bother finding someone new.

    they cleaned yesterday. I believe they were going to come at around 5pm. So, they would be there until 6.30ish or so. I come home from work at 9pm and want a glass of wine. There is only one of my pair of wine glasses in the cabinet. These are not super expensive glasses (about 20 bucks each), but my husband and I bought them for our fifth anniversary, so they are kind of special to me. Anyway, there is only one. I hunt, but cannot find the other one.

    So I text the cleaning team (we communicate entirely by text, so this is not unusual). Long story short, the main person immediately calls and explains how the glass was broken during cleaning. umm, why didn’t you text me? we text all the time! you text me while you are cleaning at my house if you see I need to purchase new cleaning supplies, so it is not outside the realm of reason that you would text during cleaning if you break something! She says she was going to tell me, but had not yet had a chance. apologises and offers to pay.

    the thing is, now I am wondering what else has happened that they didn’t tell me! Is this response too outrageous? Is it reasonable that they wouldn’t text immediately? I am just not sure.

    • She shouldve texted you but I dont think its a big deal. Havent you ever gotten an email and been like oh f*ck i forgot to follow up on that. I think you are being slightly outrageous, but it was their mistake not to text you.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        okay. maybe I am.

        The thing that gets me is that they text immediately whenever I need to buy more cleaning products. So I found it odd that they didn’t text when something was broken.


        • I don’t know how your cleaning service works, but I communicate only with the owner of my service, but she doesn’t actually always come do the actual cleaning. So it’s entirely possible that a crew member could break something and not tell her immediately so she could text me. And it’s also entirely possible that they broke the glass and hoped you wouldn’t notice. :) I’d let this one go but if it happens again, start looking for a new service.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            it is a husband and wife team. same team every week.
            The glasses were out to be washed. They do whatever dishes need to be done.

    • This is funny, because I’ve recently noticed that we’re down to 3 wine glasses when we used to have 8, and I didn’t remember breaking that many, so now I wonder if it’s our cleaning crew! They are just Crate and Barrel cheapos, so not as important as your glasses.

      Anyway, I’m in the middle on this. I do think cleaning crews break things from time to time, and it’s just part of the risk of having other people clean your house. At the same time, we once had a cleaning person who dropped something on my husband’s laptop and shattered the screen and we had to fire her (she had broken a number of small things before that, but the laptop was really bad).

      I don’t think it’s the texting or not texting per se that’s the big deal here – I think the issue is that something you love was broken. If it can be replaced, replace it and move on. If things keep getting broken, then it would be time to think about firing them and finding someone more careful.

    • MaggieLizer :

      They should have texted you before they left, especially since they left late and knew you would probably be home any minute. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have told you about it, say, the next day during business hours. I’d be super annoyed in your position too but I probably wouldn’t switch cleaning services unless they did it again.

    • Do you have any reason to believe that she wouldn’t have told you? If they were at your place until 6:30, it’s feasible that they had another house to go to or were done for the day and she didn’t want to just send you a quick text in case you had questions or wanted to talk. Since she’s already offered to pay (is she insured?), I would let this go but ask her to let you know immediately if they break something or if something else happens.

      Was the wine glass out, or in the cabinet, when they broke it? We have a biweekly cleaning service and try to have stuff put away as much as possible before they clean. I’m not blaming you at all, but it’s something to consider going forward. That’s easier, IMO, then trying to figure out what might have been broken, what might have been put away in a random spot, etc.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        the reason I think they would not have told me is that she texts immediately for everything — when we leave cash out, when we are out of supplies, if the dumpster is full, etc. but when she breaks something it is suddenly radio silence.

        And I will admit that I am slightly more paranoid. The last cleaning service (an internet service like merry maids) was fired because my husband came home suddenly in the day and found the person sitting and watching television while eating our food! that’s why I needed the gut check. I know I may be slightly paranoid now because of that previous experience.

    • AHHH, another post of “should I fire my maids” since they didn’t text me immediately about something that is of not so great importance.

      ugh. . . moments like this I wonder are all you corporettes closed toe, stocking, super uptight, milly types?

      Rant over

      • pop, please be nice. That was pretty uncalled for and added nothing to the conversation.

        I second rosie’s recommendation to try to put as much away as possible before the cleaning crew arrives. It does take a decent initial investment in time, baskets, and other storage. Now that the house is set up for strangers to clean it, I am able to prep the house in about 15-30 minutes and I am less worried about things going missing.

      • LOL I actually burst out laughing. At least now we will ALL be prepared for our future “maid” situations.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, actually, I hire house workers just to fire them. It’s hilarious.

        My rule is always let the first (and maybe the second) thing slide if it’s not a big deal. At least they owned up when you asked.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I understand that you didn’t like my question, and I knew based on the last response I would get some of this, but please read more carefully. I did not threaten to fire her. I also did not ask the hive if I should fire her! I just asked “is it reasonable that I am bothered by her lack of immediate notification.”
        I agreed the thing to do was tell her to notify me immediately next time (which I said to her last night), and then watch more carefully.

      • “ugh. . . moments like this I wonder are all you corporettes closed toe, stocking, super uptight, milly types?”

        Yes. Most are.

    • At least they didn’t draw the drapes or change the towels.

      Sorrry, I couldn’t resist. Seriously, this would weird me out a little but not enough to fire. Stern talking to, perhaps.

  16. Things I have learned today. If you are a royal, do not have your picture taken while naked and then have them leaked to the media. Or your grandmother WILL SEND YOU TO AFGHANISTAN. That is all.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Very funny!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      He did several tours there before, though. Apparently he does a heck of a good job over there and earned the respect of the soldiers. The funny thing is, he acted like I imagine many soldiers would after coming off of a couple tours in Afghanistan – he went to Vegas, found a bunch of pretty girls, and partied. He’s a dumb-bum for forgetting that his pictures are tabloid-worthy, and he and his team are super dumb-bums for not confiscating phones before they let anyone in the room, but his behavior wouldn’t be that bad or surprising for a regular person, ya know? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when his grams gave him a talking to, though.

      • Oh I know, I’m just fooling. ;-) The timing is funny is all (though I believe this is his most extended deployment so far.)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I like Harry a lot. He seems like your average overgrown frat boy, and seems to forget he’s a royal a LOT of the time. I think sometimes he does really offensive things (see “My little Paki friend” or the Nazi costume) but he generally is not ill-meaning, just seems to believe he can act like his mates and it’s not a big deal (when it really is). This particular thing I don’t think was all that offensive, just, as you said “dumb-bum”.

        • Oh…I love me some Harry. He’s always taking pictures with babies and pointing at things and giggling and looking bored in the most adorable ways possible. Plus, the girls over at gof&gyourself were practically writing fanfic during the Olympics about how they think he and Kate are having a torrid love affair. So…I say…MORE Harry! MORE HARRY all the time. :-)

          • Their story about poor Harry’s unrequited love for Kate during the Olympics cracked me up. Thanks for introducing me to that site!

        • I get a kick of out him, too. I saw some video clip of him a while back where he was entertaining the other soliders by pretending that he was talking on the phone to his grandmother, and I still laugh every time I think about it. He was all “Ok, grandma, bye, no, OK, yes, yes, God save you, Ok, bye now.” He just seems like a hoot.

      • I respect his military service and don’t fault him for partying, but that fiasco reminded my how glad I am that we don’t have royalty in this country. I know a lot of Brits and others around the world are enamored with the royals and Kate’s wardrobe, but I wonder how many British subjects resent sponsoring them.

    • You’re killing me. I wondered about the timing of that myself.

    • I thought about the other way— as in, he’s obviously known for a while he’s headed back to combat, and he went Lohaning as a coping mechanism/ last-hurrah type thing.

    • That made me laugh out loud, TCFKAG.

      • Yeah, my understanding is that he wanted to go back, and knew he was going back, and if anything the family didn’t want him to go again. But, you know, who knows, really.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      This made me laugh out loud, and considering how awful this day was…….. THANK YOU!

  17. Another thread hijack-
    I have been lurking and reading this site for a few years but this is my first post- and I desperately need some help.
    I am trying to make a choice between leaving my current, very nice, very comfortable, enjoyable Govt job and relocating to take an in-house job in a company that I am somewhat uncertain about. I like the person I would be working for but the company seems to be really traditional, old school corporate. They have some suck-y policies and their office space is dismal. (My future office is the size of a small supply closet and does not have a window). The company is largely male, white and blue collar. I would be giving up about 1/2 my annual leave time and a lot of flexibility but making about 30% more after the first year Also, there is the possibility of upward movement within the company with the new boss as a mentor. At my current position, I have significant responsibility, work with good people, have a reasonable boss, am well thought of and in am an organization where legal opinions are authoritative so I don’t get blown off. If I stay at the current job though, I see little to no chance of significant salary bumps for the next few years so if I stay, I would probably stay for no more than 2 years because I find the current ( very expensive) city I live in distasteful. It is very expensive, taxes are high and I probably would not be able to purchase a house – ever . BTW, I am a mid-career attorney and would like to finally make more money than Govt jobs offer.. Any thoughts? Advice? I think ideally I would like to stay another year at the current job but I would hate to let this opportunity slip away. ( But I dont want to have to live in this city for another year). I am REALLY torn.

    • Sorry about the uni-paragraph. I wish I could edit. Arrgh!

      • One more thing- I am also concerned about a possible degradation of skills as in- house counsel – the future company is a small legal dept and seem to tend to rely on their outside counsel for the heaving lifting. As a Govt lawyer, I am accustomed to doing that heavy thinking on my own. Thanks!

    • I got some really good advice a little while ago to not put too much emphasis on who you work for, but consider the larger organization. Your awesome mentor could leave/be reorged. From your description the company doesn’t sound all that appealing – if you can do it, I would think stick it out for the year and find something with a better culture.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yep. That alternative job does not sound like a good idea at ALL. Keep looking, but don’t take that job. Maybe it’s not true in government, but private sector attorneys change jobs fairly often – you absolutely cannot count on the one person you like at the new company staying there. And yes, the in-house counsel I work with mostly manage discovery (find my custodians to interview, implement the litigation hold, oversee doc collection) and (rightfully) scrutinize bills. They don’t write anything (superficial edits of our briefs), never appear in court, never take depos. They occasionally come to mediation, but usually not since the company doesn’t consider that a good use of their time – there are multiple cases to oversee. They are smart, hard working, and like their jobs, but I don’t know that I’d call what they do as the normal idea of “the practice of law.” I am *sure* that some in-house are very, very active and practicing, but not the ones I work with, at least.

        • so I’m in-house & just thought I’d offer a little perspective. Your skill set in-house is different from what you would do in a law firm. In-house, you tend to be more involved proactively with issues & you outsource litigation type work to firms. Yes, your litigation skills will “degrade” in the sense that you won’t be writing briefs, going to court, etc. But you tend to develop “bigger picture” skills/operational/running a business type skills instead. Whether this is a fit for you will depend on what you want to be career-wise in the long run. In-house is great for some but not all.

          ps – agree with the others that this particular in-house opp sounds like one to skip.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Is there any chance you can talk to some mid-career women who work at, or who used to work at, your potential new company? I once made a terrible move from one firm to another. The second firm was not a fit for me in any way, and had I spent more time talking to people who worked there, and who used to work there, and asking questions like “when you get a new case, how does the firm staff it, who oversees the work of the junior members on the team, how do you mentor associates, what factors do you consider in making partners,” I probably would have figured it out. Instead, a couple months after I got there, I had “an overwhelming sense of ickiness” that just kept getting worse until I finally had to leave. I would hate to see this happen to you.

    • Turn down the in-house job and keep looking for something better.

    • Backbone, just reading your paragraph I got the sense that your gut is strongly telling you not to take the alternative job. So don’t take it. You have a pretty good thing going right now and no pressure to leave at the moment. You can afford to wait for other opportunities and probably would be smart to do so.

      • Good advice, all and thanks for taking the time to reply. I feel like I am making this decision in a vacuum so I welcome all of your thoughts. You are all right.

        I have tried reaching out to former employees because I am hearing nothing but glowing reviews from the current employees, especially about the boss. I did find one person who is no longer with the company and left under less than ideal circumstances- surprisingly he had good things to say about the boss. He said that the company could be somewhat uptight but it was liveable. Unfortunately, I could not find women to speak with.

        Anything could happen but is highly unlikely that the mentor-boss will go anywhere anytime soon. He is willing to groom me to be a GC elsewhere. I sort of feel like if I could just stick out a less than desirable environment for a few years then I would have the opportunity to move upwards into something really, really good.

        I dont think that there would be much litigation assistance require of me by outside counsel b-c of the nature of that company’s business – and thank goodness because I would hate that sort of stuff.

        I really could use the money and I really want to get out of this city. I guess that is why I am waffling. If I stay, I KNOW that I will be in in same position of looking to get out in 365 days so I am thinking I should take the money and run and not waste any more time here. ( And secretly, when I pretend that I have turned down the job in my head and think about my future, I feel very sad .)

        • Senior Attorney :

          I think that sad feeling should probably be listened to. No reason you can’t take the job and keep looking!

  18. Rant/Possible TJ –

    My sister found out she was pregnant yesterday after about a year of trying. I’m really excited for her, because I know that she has wanted kids her entire life.

    Now for the rant, when my sister told my mom (who I haven’t spoken to in a couple of months due to our own relationship issues) my mom told my sister not to tell me. Then my mom ANNOUNCED it on FACEBOOK! Sorry for the Ellen Caps, but it is so crazy to me, I can’t stand it.

    I guess it isn’t really a threadjack, because there isn’t much I can do, but jeeze mom get a grip.

    • Ellen caps warranted. It was up to your sister who would hear it when.

      This reminds me of my own mom, who literally has never even once honored my request to keep something between us. The last time I told her something confidential, I followed it with something like, “if you’d ever like to begin keeping your promises not to pass on my info, this would be an opportunity to try that out. But obviously I won’t get my hopes up.”

      • I think the worst part about it was that my mom lectured her for a bit about how she should keep it to herself for the 3 months or whatever, and then 4 hours later posted it on facebook.

        Not to mention my sister is in the middle of interviews for a job promotion…

        Thanks Mom.

        • Research, Not Law :


          I’m seriously frustrated for your sister. I think mom just lost early news privileges.

      • When I was applying to law schools, my mom would open my acceptance letters and then call me on the phone and say, “I’m sorry, sweetie, you’re not going to Yale.” It was brutal.

        Moms are imperfect. It sucks finding out the news at the same time as countless acquaintances or strangers, but try to view it with some kindness: in her own imperfect way, she probably just wanted to feel like part of the moment by being the one to break the news to the world. I would just say something to both her and your sister. Separately. Along the lines of, “I love you and am so happy for the news, but in the future I’d like to find out before that guy you went to 5th grade with.”

        • Oh, I missed the bit about the relationship issues. Revising statement. Talk to your sister. That’s inappropriately manipulative of your mother. If I had to look at it in the light most favorable though, I guess you could argue that this is her way of trying to bring you back into the fold? I’m sorry – that just sucks.

          • I, too, was downplaying the manipulative factor. My mom sometimes likes to tell me negative things that my brother or sister has allegedly said about me or Mr. Monday, which is awesome because I can’t take it back to the source but do have to stew in it, wonder what was actually said, suspect that my mom encouraged these comments and agreed with them, etc.

            Sorry if this is making it all about me! Just sharing in the vent, I guess. If I were you I might pretend to mom that I hadn’t seen it on Facebook. She will have to see that her ploy didn’t go anywhere–especially if your sister does share with you individually.

    • I just can’t imagine why you’re not speaking to your mother. She sounds like a peach.

    • Ugh, that really stinks. I agree there probably isn’t much you can do, but to maintain what seems like a good relationship with your sister, it probably wouldn’t hurt to tell your mom “Mom, I hope you’re not going to use sister’s baby as a pawn in our relationship issues. Let’s just focus on being happy for sister.” Plus then you have the satisfaction of taking the high road (although I understand that satisfaction wears thin when dealing with certain types of people).

    • Wow. That’s pretty much the only thing that comes to mind. That and the only info your mom should ever receive is stuff you wouldn’t mind being broadcast on the news. It sucks that is the kind of relationship you have to have with her, but people like that don’t change. Your poor sister, but yay baby!

    • Congrats to your sister!

      Sorry to hear about the family drama, but perhaps a new arrival will help smooth tensions. Sending hopeful vibes your way!

      Your post made me think of how on April Fools Day this year, my sister pranked our brother by telling him she was pregnant (he is really excited for her to start a family). Well, her joke kind of backfired because immediately after they spoke, he posted her “announcement” on FB. She was mortified and has vowed that when she actually does get pregnant, she won’t tell him about it until the child is being born.

      • HA, at least your sister found out now. Silly brothers.

      • Ha, I did that to my brother in law. Guess I should be glad he didn’t immediately post it on Facebook!

    • I find it mildly annoying that your sister told you what your mom said. Your sister knows that you and your mother are having issues, and she is just adding fuel to the fire by telling you what your mother said.

      She should have kept her mouth shut.

      My own sister does this stuff, and it serves no purpose other than to upset me. My mom is an idiot and I don’t need more evidence of that or more reasons to avoid her. Maybe I am just projecting my own issues onto your situation, but it seems that your sister could have put your mother in her place on all these counts, and handled it without driving you crazy as well.

      • I think my sister was pissed at my mom and had no one else to talk to about it. I think she is trying pretty hard to stay out of the issues between my mom and me, but I can totally see where you are coming from.

    • Comedic interlude: When I told my mom I was pregnant, I told her not to tell anyone. A few days later, I was talking to her at work and her co-worker yells over the phone “congratulations!!!” I said, “mom, you aren’t supposed to tell anyone.” She says, “oh.” Then says (not to me) “Coworker, don’t tell anyone!!”

      So not the point.

      Talk to your sister. She is the one who matters here. Sounds like you are already dealing with your mom.

    • Oy. Is your Mom a drama queen? She may like to feel important, like she’s the only one who knows important news, and wants to be the own who gets to announce it. But, I’m glad for your sister, and glad that you’re supportive of your sister. :-)

  19. Anon for this. So I started a new job recently, which I hate for a variety of reasons. It is not a good fit, so I’m looking to get out quickly and quietly.

    However, I NEED this job (or really a job with a paycheck and benefits). I work with another person in my department who basically hoards most of the work. Person B has been here 10+ years and is favored among my department leadership, but is cutting me out of things that I should be included in, especially for learning purposes. I’m getting some projects ranging from administrative to substantive (finally more of those), but I am also getting cut out of a lot of important work. Basically, it is as though I’m not even here.

    What do I do? I’m afraid to make too much noise, because of the favoritism with department heads. I also don’t want to get cut out of work, making it seem as though I’m unwilling or incapable, because I’m afraid that will lead to possibly being let go since I’m still within my probationary period (no rumblings of that and it is uncommon, but I’m paranoid). Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    • How long have you been there? Is it possible they are going to start giving you more substantive work now that you have a little more experience at your office under your belt?

      I’ve found that a lot of times people who have been there for a long time tend to get worried that you are creeping in on their territory, and that they will get let go for someone who is younger and cheaper. So her behavior towards you may be colored by those feelings.

      I would try to keep your nose to the grindstone, get your work done, and in the meantime look for another job if you really want to get out of there. It is always easier to get a new job when you already have one.

    • Shady, you aren’t going to win if you pick something with Person B. They’ve been there 10 years and it sounds like they are trusted by department leadership.

      All you can control is you. Continue to do good work. Toot your own horn at every opportunity you get (e.g., send out status updates or stop by people’s offices to share your victories on projects, etc.). Take every opportunity that you can to volunteer on substantive work. This especially is the case when you, Person B, and department leadership are in the same meeting. For example, when projects are being discussed say, “That sounds interesting. Anything that I can do to pitch in?” or “What if we do X? I can research our options for that.” or “I’ve got some room on my plate right now. Is there anything I can do on Project Y?”

      You don’t need to complain about anything by “making noise” but you do need to “make noise” to volunteer for projects and let leadership know that you have the capacity for more work and would like to have more substantive projects.

      • So I agree with your response about not complaining. The issue I’m having is I am volunteering for things and then getting boxed out in subsequent meetings that I am not aware of. Or I ask for work and am being told to go to Person B; go to Person B since they are swamped and am told there is nothing I can help with. I even volunteer for administrative type work that would support the substantive work, because I’m new and that’s just how I am (you do any of the work to prove you’re capable, but I will add I’m new to this company but not new in the field). I’m not sure in that case if I go back to my boss or if that looks like I’m complaining. It strikes me as odd, though I’m not doing a very good job of describing it (trying to keep it relatively anon).

  20. So . . . I have been noticing that my coffee habit is taking a serious toll on my teeth. Any recommendations for cheap and easy whitening?

    • Hydrogen Peroxide watered down and baking soda – brush. And brush more than twice a day.

      • I found that comments about stain from my dentist went down when I started using baking soda toothpaste (I use Tom’s of Maine). Keeping a toothbrush and paste in your purse or desk drawer is a good suggestion, too.

    • Also against yellow :

      I try to swish and drink water after coffee/red wine. Diluted hydrogen peroxide is pretty effective.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I use Colgate Optic White and it seems to work pretty well. I brush my teeth with it before using the bathroom in the morning, don’t rinse and then go to the bathroom while smiling (so my lips don’t touch). I rinse after and it seems to do a pretty good job eliminating coffee stains.

    • I don’t know what your threshold for “cheap” is, but the Crest Whitestrips have worked really well for me. They’re $30ish and up I think for a box, depending on which you get, and most of the boxes have a coupon for $10 off inside them, so don’t buy more than one box at a time (unless you open it and take the coupon out). I am not good about using them every day for 2 weeks or whatever they suggest, but I buy a box about once a year and use them up over several months. I always get compliments on how white my teeth are.

      Also, I always have water when I drink coffee. Sip of coffee, then sip of water, swish the water around in my mouth if I’m not in a meeting or something. I swear it helps keep the staining more minimal.

    • long-time lurker :

      A related question: Has anyone done the whitening systems sold by dentists? I think about $600 or so? What were your experience? I am going to ask my dentist, but I heard anecdotally this way is better for those with sensitive teeth (me) than the white strips.

      • I have. Trays molded to my teeth were $250 ish. The whitening stuff is $50 a vial. I do it every 6 months or so. I have sensitive teeth and it did not make them worse.

    • Some young ladies of my aquaintance drink their coffee through a straw to avoid staining their teeth.

  21. 2/3 attorney :

    Another installment of adventures in D.C. What in the heck kind of presentable shoes do you wear that don’t make your feet hurt? I have been wearing three different pair of flats (not all at once though) while walking around the city. I am not usually a flat-wearer, but I thought they would be more confortable/sensible. But, alas, my feet are being torn to bits by blisters! These are not new shoes, and have never done this to me before! So… help?

    • Are you talking about work shoes or weekend shoes? Is it possible that your feet are sweaty and sticky, causing your usually comfortable shoes to rub you differently?

      The first summer I spent in DC, I did a lot of walking–often walked home from work, 2+ miles–in Paul Mayer Attitudes suede quilted flats. I like that brand, although it’s spendy. I have a pair of Me Too flats from DSW that have never given me blisters, but they’re not all real leather (if at all), so my feet get hotter in them.

      If you’re just walking around, I would wear sandals (Chacos for me), especially if you have blisters that are healing.

    • I love Cole Haan’s Air Bacara ballet flats. I put a Dr. Sholls in them for a little extra padding and can walk for a few miles in them. No blisters, even from Day 1. I have tried all sorts of flats – cheap ones, expensive (Tory Burch) ones, and these Cole Haan ones are the best I’ve tried so far. The Tory Burch flats were actually the worst – ripped my ankle/toes to shreds!

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        I also love, love, love Cole Haan Air Bacara flats (and other flats). I wear them sans extra padding, but they’ve always treated my feet wonderfully–even in NYC with all kinds of walking. There are some colors included in the 6pm sale (including the neon pink pair, which I am obsessed with for $66).

        You may also want to try a shortish wedge, since sometimes stomping around in flats hurts your feet. I loved the Cole Haan Air Tali closed-toe wedges for a while, but the ones on the market now are all hideous, IMHO.

    • Are they for fun or for work flats? If you’re talking about walking to/from work, around the city for fun, I’d go for comfort flats. I have a pair of Puma Maryjanes that were under $50 and super comfortable. They come in colors or black and have left me blister free. Also, baby powder/foot powder prior to going out. I find if I’m a sweaty mess, I get more blisters. also, no shame in a few bandaids – even proactively – if it keeps your feet from killing you.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I wear those little mini socks, use blister stick, and coat sensitive areas with nu skin. It’s an ongoing war.

    • I have yet to find work-appropriate shoes that I can walk two miles in in 95 degree heat, which is pretty much what you need in DC. I wear FitFlops most of the summer and change into my work shoes at the office. Sometimes I wear Lands End Gatas flats, which look a lot like Toms but are more supportive. If I only need to walk a few blocks and need to look professional, Cole Haan Air Tali (not Talia) wedges work well and look okay with a suit. If you really want flats, try the Puma Sneakerina – they won’t give you blisters.

    • Well they are kind of both for fun and work. I like to wear skinny jeans and flats on the weekend so I look a little put together. But I also have to walk (sometimes kind of far) during my work day, so also for work. Ideally I am hoping of a pair that will work for both – looks like the Cole Haan might work (thank you, 6 PM). This weekend I might have to stick to flip flops to let things heal up, though you east-coasters do seem to frown upon them.

      • Definitely let things heal up, but also try some Body Glide on your feet. You can find it on Amazon, or I’m sure City Sports (or some other athletic store) in DC has it. I bought some that comes in a deodorant-like form, and I use it on my feet when wearing shoes that I know tend to pinch. It works like a charm!

    • I generally wear a bandaid on each heel when I am going walking in DC which helps immensely for blisters. Also look for flats with some padding in them.

      • Moleskin (sticks better than bandaids, especially on sweaty feet) and blister block/easy glide. But yeah, I have a closet full of shoes-I-thought-would-work-for-long-walks-in-the-stanky-summer. No true winners yet, although a Naturalizer maryjane style I have isn’t bad.

    • I have a pair of Metro shoes — comfortable shoes I wear to walk to and from Metro, and that I can slip into if I need to walk between buildings during the day (I can wind up walking a total of 5 miles or so between Metro and work stuff sometimes). My Metro shoes are flip flops in the summer, but for winter I get something between a flat and a sneaker like this (link to follow).

    • MissJackson :

      They are spendy, but the AGL flats + little footy invisible socks were a miracle worker for me. I have worn them on days where I literally spent all day walking (on vacation) and my feet did not blister or otherwise ache. They are good for commutes and weekends, and are also professional enough to be worn to the office.

      • Pink on Black :

        I just discovered AGL and bought two pairs of 2.5″ heels – they are comfortable and supportive for their height! I heard they last a long time and the flats are very comfortable.

        Very spendy as you said though….

    • Woods-comma-elle :

      If you don’t normally wear flats, this may be the problem.

      I highly recommend Vaseline (although maybe not for suede shoes!) on your feet before you put your shoes on. This is the only way I can wear some shoes without hose/stockings/tights of some kind.

      It sounds gross, but it works wonders for breaking in shoes!

  22. Styling suggestions? :

    I just bought a bright red button down shirt but am lost on how to style it. It is a structured, fairly fitted and longish shirt. I usually prefer flowy shirts over button downs but this was the first one I found that didn’t gape at the chest and it was on sale so I purchased it. I don’t know how to wear it though… it’s almost a highlighter red and no matter what pants I pear it with, I can’t tone it down enough for work. Help?

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Tuck it in to a camel pencil skirt? Would eliminate proably half the shirt by tucking, cutting down on the red, and the neutral skirt would balance it.

    • In The Pink :

      How about a scarf with some red in it? It could be tied around the neck, draped at the neckline, used as a shawl with a brooch, or tied obi/wrap style as a belt.

      I often wear red with purple in a similar saturation/tone. There’s also navy or grey. Finally, I do alot of red/black/white combinations as well as red and black by themselves. Then I’d add a black statement/chunky necklace to break up the solid red.

      The necklace idea might be enough in an of itself.

      Would a blazer or a cardi help? That would probably involving tucking in the shirt as @2/3 attorney suggested.

      Do you think it’s the color or that it is fitted that is making you feel so different in it?

    • I haven’t tried red and camel but I think it could really work

      In The Pink, I didn’t really think whether it’s the fit or the color that makes me wary… I think it’s both together.. I’d be fine with a flowy shirt in that color or a fitted shirt in a muted color but together I feel like the shirt screams “look at me” louder than I care for. I don’t think red and black is going to work with this particular shade of red but I do have a purple skirt that is similarly saturated and I have often seen red/purple paired together but haven’t had the chutzpah to try it. I’ll give it a shot. What color shoes/accessories would you put with this combo?

  23. Splurge or save? :

    How do you decide when to splurge on a clothing item that can’t be worn to work? I have a hard time with that, as most of my clothing budget goes toward work pieces. 90% of my weekend wardrobe is Target/Gap/workout wear. I’m currently lusting after a pair of $200 riding boots, which is a pretty big shoe splurge for me, especially when it’s something I can’t wear every day. These are casual enough that there’s no way I could make them work appropriate and would even hesitate to wear them on the rare casual Friday. But they’d be perfect for brunches with my mom & sisters and hanging out with friends.

    Am I the only one who totally overthinks decisions like this?

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I am struggling with the exact same problem with a pair of boots right now! I base my decision on how many wears I will get out of them (probably every weekend day for the entire fall and winter) and whether it is a classic item of high quality. If both, the cost-per-wear ends up being reasonable, and you’re not re-purchasing the same item to replace the cheap one you bought in the first place.

      Get yourself boots!!

    • Agree with 2/3. Are these things that you are going to have in your closet, like, forever? If they’re classics (i.e. not overly trendy), go for it. Think in terms of total number of wears, not frequency of wears.

      • Yep, this. It’s how I justified my first pair of casual Fryes 5+ years ago, and they still make me smile every fall when I pull them out.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Personally, leather boots for me are worth the splurge. (a) I wear riding boots (even more casual ones) to my non-business casual office in the winter. Maybe I flaunt the rules a bit too much, but with an otherwise appropriate outfit, I just go for it. (b) My favorite boots tend to last me 3+ seasons. Broken down over cost per wear, it becomes really minimal. And finally (c) although I also tend to wear Target / Gap clothes on the weekends, I think a pair of nice boots really elevates those outfits. I also do not think non-leather or not as well made boots cut it. I am a bit of a boot-aholic though.

      • Splurge or save? :

        I have to admit, I’ve become so anti-synthentic shoes that it’s crazy. But leather definitely costs more and I can’t buy them whenever the mood strikes.

    • When it’s a classic item that can be worn for years. I have a pair of riding boots that were about $180, purchased 5 or 6 years ago. I take good care of them and keep them stuffed and protected when not wearing them. When you break down the cost per wear over 5 years, it’s not so bad. The key here is to find a pair that are truly classic, i.e. black or brown leather, no crazy embellishments.

    • $200 for leather boots is reasonable IMO. They’ll last you a long time if you care for them well, and good quality leather is not cheap.

    • Splurge or save? :

      Thanks for the reality check, ladies. I love boots more than any other kind of footwear and am the type to wear good shoes for years, so … splurge it is.

  24. wow, its busy here already this morning! ;o)

    I hope she won’t mind me doing this, but I know eek is having a Big Interview this morning and I wanted to let everyone know to send her good interview vibes, cuz this would be an awesome opportunity!

    • Well wishes to eek and anyone else looking for a new job!!!

    • Good vibes to eek!

      Also looking for some for myself – I will find out on Monday if I landed a job that I really want.

    • AWWWW! Thank you so much. How unexpected, sweet and thoughtful. Interviews went so much better than I expected. And now I wait and see… Good luck Coalea!

  25. Ugh. I totally woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Actually I think I went to sleep on the wrong side of the bed last night. Ended up working really late last night, which is fine and all, but I wasn’t planning on it and it totally screwed up my non-work to-do list that I had planned to get to last night (which contained time-sensitive stuff that didn’t get done). On top of that, ended up fighting with BF last night about furnishing the house (stupid, right?) and went to bed in a huff. Then didn’t have time for breakfast this morning, which I usually never leave home without eating. Just feel crappy and am still angry at BF even though really I am probably being unreasonable. I just feel like I need to start everything over. :-( /rant

    • Sorry, Nonny. I hope your day gets better (maybe you need to look at some internet kitten pictures?), and that you can have a productive or relaxing weekend depending on what you need.
      And don’t judge yourself for fighting over furniture… these decisions bring out the worst in a lot of couples. My husband and I went 10 rounds over wall colors, and it was *not* about wall colors in the end.

    • emcsquared :

      *hugs* you need a re-do on the day. I had a friend who came home from work, got in a fight with her SO, tripped over the dog, and then left the apartment, locked the door, took a walk around the block, and came back home, announcing, “I’m home! So good to see you. How was your day, hun?” Maybe try that?

      On buying furniture with an SO – seriously, some of the worst fights I’ve ever had with DH came about when we were picking out a couch. There is something very primal about what furniture one considers to be “home.” DH always wants *exactly* what his parents had when he was growing up (hello, Laura Ashley overstuffed floral couch) because that is home for him. That is very much not home for me…so we fight. One strategy I found effective was giving DH pictures of four couches that were all acceptable to me and saying, “Which one do you prefer?” Or bringing in a decorator who takes the decisions out of your hands.

      • I *do* need a re-do.

        Glad to know we aren’t the only ones who argue about furniture. In our case, it is because we are in the midst of merging households and basically his inelegant, bachelor-style, mismatched, albeit sturdy, furniture does not go with what I have until now been painstakingly trying to achieve with my own furniture, or my views of what our house should look like at this stage in our lives. It is really tough. Tips on how to navigate this sort of thing highly appreciated.

        • Do you have a space where he can have some of his stuff and you can close a door and not have to look at it? Also, depending on space issues could you just put all your stuff and his stuff together for a bit and let it sit? I finally did this and it was way more effective than trying to explain how the ratty/broken/immature style didn’t really fit the rest of the stuff, plus the stuff we wanted to buy together to fill in gaps. Also, try tearing out pictures or showing catalogs and asking what he likes. That helped as well.

          If it’s a matter of “it’s not broken” so he won’t give it up suggest giving it to a good home and if he agrees, just arrange it. Call the vets, goodwill, CL, freecycle – anyone and everyone and just get it out!

          Finally – the daily puppy or kitten. That will cheer you up :)

          • He has his own man-cave and I am not interfering with what he wants to do with that. But I do like your idea about just putting our stuff together and letting it sit for a while (even though it will totally bug me, I can grin and bear it). One example: he has this tremendously ugly, very solid wooden bed that he formerly used in a ski rental condo, that he thinks we should put in the guest bedroom *along with* my very beautiful, antique, wrought-iron bed. In what world that is even necessary, I don’t know. Our house is not a dormitory. That is what caused me to lose it a little bit last night. But I might be able to put up with it for a short time, if only to demonstrate that *it won’t work*.

            *Deep breaths*

          • The grin and bear it works best with wine and cheese imo.

    • If it makes you feel better, my BF and I get into it over furniture too. We both have very different tastes and ideas of what our “home” should feel like and how we want it to look. Even though it seems like such a trivial thing to fight about, it can be rough at times. We’re talking about buying new living room furniture in January and I’m already mentally gearing up for it.

      Sounds like you need a day do-over. :/

      • I do think women are much more likely to be stuck on a theme/look for a whole space, whereas men get attached to an individual item.

        He might have to let go of some items, but you’re gonna have to let go of the ‘look’ you’ve been trying to achieve with your stuff as well. You’re going to have to modify.

  26. Anyone know how Ann Taylor tall sizes fit? I need a new coat and was thinking about the Park Pea Coat.

    The only other stores I’m familiar with that have tall sized outerwear are Gap/Banana Republic and Jcrew. Jcrew’s sizing is horrible, the proportions are off and the shoulders are always cut way too narrow.

    • Anonymous :

      I size down one for Ann Taylor generally, can’t help with tall, sorry.

    • Fairly Legal :

      I am 6’1″, kind of thin, but toned, with broad shoulders and normally wear a 37″ inseam in jeans, and an 8 in nice dress clothes, and I found they fit well and ran TTS! I only have one suit though.

  27. TJ – I’m managing someone older than me for the first time. I have experience managing a team of 3-5 individuals but they’ve mostly been recent college grads or younger than me. I’m now managing someone who’s at least 5 years older than me and while there isn’t any resentment there, I feel I have to be more sensitive as to how I offer constructive feedback/criticism. Is that warranted, or should there be no difference in how I manage her versus the others? Have others been in the same boat? Any tips on how I should manage this relationship?

    • hellskitchen :

      I don’t think you should be overly sensitive or hold back but perhaps approach feedback giving slightly differently. E.g for a college grad you might directly tell them what you think needs to change or how to improve on something. For the older person, perhaps first ask them what they think should be done to correct or improve, take their suggestions into account and then share what you want them to do. This way you are taking advantage of their experience. Just make sure you are still direct and clear; it’s possible that you may feel like you need to be less directive in your feedback, which could lead to communication gaps and misunderstandings. Once you build a stronger relationship with this person, you can relax your management style more

    • I tend to manage based on the person’s experience and personality, rather than his/her age.

      I’d be sure not to crack any age-related jokes, but really a 5 year age spread isn’t much among adults.

  28. i have a gift giving etiquette question. my sibling had a baby not too long ago (the first little one in our family). Of course I was super excited and wanted to get them and the baby an awesome gift. I got a few smaller gender-neutral items over a few months in anticipation of the baby shower (moderately priced but retail price was much higher since i got them on flash sale sites).

    by the time the shower came around, i found out they were dying for a mega expensive fancy stroller ($500+) that would be perfect for the cobblestoned walkable city they live in. they could afford the splurge but couldn’t justify it so they decided to forego it but still really really wanted it and kept taking it off and on their registry. as the only not-in-school aunt or uncle on both sides, i decided to get it for them. so i gave them that stroller at the shower and the smaller gifts when the baby was born.

    fast forward, less than two years later, the same sibling is having baby #2 (which will be of the opposite gender). I really don’t think I need to get a large gift since I got them the $$$ stroller so recently which they will definitely keep using and every other gift i’ve given babe #1 since has been gender-neutral, expensive, and of high-quality and will definitely be re-used.

    do you think I’ve set the expectations too high and it’ll come off badly if I just give a token gift this time around?

    • fwiw, sibling and i have an awkward relationship.

      sibling is entirely unaware that their actions towards me are always insulting and insensitive. Meanwhile, sibling is outwardly judgmental and acts like i’m the most irresponsible adult either (probably because i rent, live in the city, don’t have kids, and like to talk about work and adult-stuff all the time).

      I like to take the high-road and, obviously, play nice and make nice gestures so it doesn’t bite me in the toosh later on (as evidence of my supposed immaturity)

    • I don’t know if I would go straight up token gift (not sure what that means for you), but I definitely don’t think you need to drop $500+ bucks on the second kiddo.

      • by token i’m thinking the $50-range, like a special blanket or something.

        • I think that’s totally fine.

          • Same. For my brother in law’s first kid we got them a ton of our favorite kids books for their shower (which are surprisingly expensive). When the first kid was born I think we got him a toy. For the second (same gender) all we got him was a Sophie giraffe after he was born (and we got the first a dump truck).

        • Research, Not Law :

          Yeah, that’s good.

          I recently had baby #2. I liked receiving something as recognition of the new little person, but definitely didn’t expect anything like the first time around. But DEFINITELY include something for older child, preferably a quiet, independent toy like legos, puzzle, ‘paint with water’ book, or playdough. The tragedy that ensues when new-baby-who-is-ruining-my-life gets a toy and they don’t completely nullifies good will of the gift giver.

    • emcsquared :

      I don’t think you need to do a big splurge (btw, buying the stroller was an incredibly generous act, especially given the strained relationship). I know babies don’t realize whether they receive gifts or not…but I would feel bad gifting one and not the other (I know, totally irrational). I would probably give the new baby a couple hardcover versions of your favorite childhood books or something small but meaningful like that and I’d give the older child a pinwheel or ball or something else small but immediately exciting so he/she doesn’t feel left out)

      • Anonymous :

        why would you give books to a newborn? if it’s too wait till they get older, then wait to give em when they are older. it’d be just clutter for storage until then…

        • We read to our daughter from almost the very beginning.

          I definitely remember reading to her when we were trying to get her settled into a bedtime routine around 7 months. The way her birthday fell, that was before Christmas, so there wasn’t another gift-giving occasion between her birth and then.

          By your measure, you wouldn’t gift sippy cups, feeding spoons, bowls, etc. at a baby shower because the parents won’t need them for 4-6 months.

          But then, if books are clutter, our house is EXTREMELY cluttered.

        • Seventh Sister :

          Little kids like looking at books very early (within a few months), and it’s a nice part of the bedtime routine. Also, there are some mad funny ones – Mo Willems, the David books, and the Sandra Boynton ones. I’d rather get new books for my kids than almost anything else.

          My amazing sister, who is kid-free, always gets these amazing kid’s books from an indie book store as presents. She has the time, I’ve got the rugrats. :o)

    • I don’t think you need to spend the same amount, but I would still get something special for the new baby. Maybe a blanket like you’re thinking, and can you get anything to update the stroller? Does it have a place to put toys or something? You could get something new to hang on it and put a note that it’s so new baby can enjoy the stroller as much as first baby.

      • Something with the new baby’s monogram? Especially if the first was born relatively recently, the second child may end up feeling like a lot of their toys/clothes/books etc. are hand-me-downs. Something that isn’t gender neutral (if they’re different genders) or with the new baby’s name or initials makes it very clear that this was special for YOU when the kid gets a little older.

    • Traditionally there’s no shower or major gift giving for a second baby. The purpose of the first shower is to make sure the parents can get all the baby stuff they need. With the second baby, they should still have the stuff from the first one.

      Having said that, whenever someone has a second baby in my office, we take up a pool and buy them a double stroller. So maybe pool money with your family and get your sibling & spouse a double stroller? They’ll really, really appreciate it.

      • Bluejay-sounds like the rest of the family is not up for $$ gifts or not so functional-otherwise maybe they would have chipped in for $500 stroller two years ago? Anyway, I think OP was INCREDIBLY generous with fancy stroller last time, and even though double is a good idea, I think it’s time for someone else to step up to the plate. I just don’t want OP to think it’s her responsibility again. If you have two kids, you should be able to afford your own double stroller, not manipulate your family to buy you expensive items. I much prefer the keepsake items suggested above-my 3 kids (teenagers) still have their personalized blankets and personalized books!

        • She said they were in school before, actually, so maybe they can chip in this time.

          • still in school! i guess my real issue is that it’s been like a year and a half between kids. maybe if more time had passed i’d feel differently. it generally sounds like a token-gift is fine, i’m not game for getting ANOTHER stroller, i think in total i ended up spending about $700 bucks on baby 1 so recently.
            i’m sure sibling will come up with some snide comment either way! sometimes being nice is too tough.

        • Whoa, it’s ok for people who are not rich to have two kids. Not being able to afford a double stroller doesn’t make you unworthy of having multiple children.

          • Agreed, but this particular sibling seems manipulative-his actions are insulting and insensitive to OP, but then he’s happy to accept her $500 gift? I don’t think she should be emotionally bullied into buying another stroller as Bluejay suggested. And, we don’t really know if other family members are in school or out of school. All I am saying is that someone else could take the lead if another stroller is being considered-I agree with prior posters that a nice modest gift is totally appropriate at this point in time.

          • Plus, OP ends her post saying, is a token gift OK? Why do we then jump in and say, go ahead and contribute to another stroller….which translates to….go coordinate all your family members and see if together you can come up with enough cash for another expensive gift? I think the appropriate response is, yes, you gave a great gift 2 years ago, you don’t have to spend big bucks on second baby. Let’s support the OP’s decision!

  29. anon for this :

    DC ladies!! I want to throw my DH a surprise party at a fun DC rooftop in about two weeks. Any recommendations for a fun but relaxed place that will welcome a group of about 15 30-somethings? Masa 14? Public?

    • Saturday or weeknight?

    • Caveats – call ahead and see what they say but on H street Smith Commons has a small outdoor area (may be too small) R&R hotel. You could do Red Derby, which is pretty chill (maybe too much so). Also, for more inspired ideas….

    • I know this sounds silly but I read this on my phone and thought it said you wanted to throw your DH off of a rooftop in DC.

    • kerrycontrary :

      You can rent out the roof deck at 18th street lounge near Dupont.

  30. anon for this :

    either friday or saturday.

  31. I got a job!!! WOOT WOOT!!!

    Now TJ time: meditation.

    I want to start meditating – I know it can be a long road and can be frustrating at first, but for my mental health (over all health) and health of my relationship, I am committed to doing it. However, I am so overwhelmed by all the different types that I don’t know where to start.

    C ‘ r e t t e s – for those of you who meditate, what is a good source for figuring out what will work for me? Or at least a place for me to start exploring without being totally overwhelmed? I would like to learn the history of the different types and the goals of the different types. Any help is much appreciated!

    • hellskitchen :

      I have just started doing this. I googled Buddhist meditation techniques (am not a Buddhist but had heard good things about their meditation techniques) and found a couple of websites. Based on the instructions I read, I now take 5 minutes every night before bed to meditate. The website I saw suggested simply focusing on your breathing and how air moves in and out of your body, while clearing your mind of all thoughts. That last part is very difficult… I haven’t yet managed a full 5 minutes with a blank mind but I still find it refreshing and am trying to build up my concentration. You could also google “how to get centered” – it should show up some good centering techniques that involve meditation

    • Try a yoga class, maybe. Some are more meditative than others, but most will emphasize a focus on breathing and will have a five minute or so meditation period at the end called savasana.

    • Mindfullness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zin generally,
      Yoga Sutras by Patanjali for yoga meditation,
      Anything by Pema Chödrön on meditation and compassion exercises for a Buddhist perspective,

      I could go on.

      You might want to start with some audio recordings of guided meditations (Shiva Rea has done some good ones) or take a class, if you’re near a yoga school that offers it.

    • Congrats!

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