Workwear Hall of Fame: Inverted-Pleat Blouse

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.Inverted sleeveless top for work - collage

This top from Vince Camuto has 100+ reviews at Macy’s, and 92% of the reviewers would recommend it to others. It’s normally $69, but right now it’s on sale for $41-$54 and you can get an extra 30% off with promo code FRIEND. I like the wide range of colors — black, cobalt, red, white, navy, pale pink, and a black floral. I think it just looks great — and it’s machine washable. It comes in sizes XS-XL. It’s also at at Macy’s and Amazon (plus sizes too), and Nordstrom has the blouse in a shift dress form. Inverted-Pleat Blouse

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2018 Update: We’re adding this top to our Workwear Hall of Fame because after years it’s still around, coming out in new colors, and getting rave reviews. At the moment Macy’s has the most options, but occasionally Amazon has the top as well. You may also be able to find it with sleeves or even as a shift dress! If you’re looking for more affordable sleeveless tops for work, check out our most recent roundup!

This sleeveless top with cool inverted details is a great blousy option for work, whether for layering under cardigans or blazers. Love all the colors it comes in!


  1. Yay Kat! I love Vince Camuto, and this blouse I will show to Rosa and she can get it at NORDSTROM’s b/c I can NOT wear this to work. It is way to revealeing and Frank would be stareing all day trying to see something. FOOEY on him! It is a beautiful BLOUSE for Rosa, and she can wear it b/c she is VERY Svelte and small on top. YAY For Rosa and Vince Camuto!

    I apologize to the HIVE — Dad made me switch INTERNET carriers to match the one’s they are installing in my office and b/c mine was to expensive, and we had NO wireless rooters for the WHOLE WEEK! I almost had to go to Whole Food’s to work, but then the teck guy got my IPHONE to work as a rooter. I still do not understand how he got a phone to be a rooter, but he did. Now he want’s me to date him! Can you imagine? Me and a teck guy? He has bad breathe also! DOUBEL FOOEY!

  2. What would you do? :

    DH and I are going to visit my in laws in Italy in a couple of weeks. A cousin works in the fashion industry, and through her we can get a hefty discount on high quality custom tailored suiting – on his last visit, my husband got two gorgeous suits, and is planning to get more this time. My suits are all Macy’s-level quality (Tahari, Calvin Klein separates, etc) and I would love to have one or two nicer ones. Here’s the catch: I am about 3 months postpartum, and not comfortably back in pre-baby pants yet – things that were loose on me before will zip, but with an unflattering squeeze. I’m still (perhaps foolishly) optimistic about fitting into my old clothes, so I’m a little reluctant to have a very nice suit tailored to my current body. But I don’t want to pass up this opportunity, since we may not go back for several years! Do I just go for it, so I know I have something I love even if my size stays where it is? Opt for a skirt vs pants to increase possibility of tailoring if I lose weight?

    • Anonymous :

      Get one suit you love in your current size. You can have it taken in if you lose weight. It will be great to have something you feel amazing in. I would also get one or two blazers because that gives you more wardrobe options – like a blazer you can wear with any black sheath dress and you can change the dress based on your size. A gorgeous cream colored blazer can be a great wardrobe addition and goes well with grey/burgundy/navy.

    • +1 get a suit you love in your current size. The thing with babies is, even if you lose all the “baby weight”, you may or may not fit back into your original size, because the shape of your body can change (e.g., wider hips, tummy pooch). Get something that feels and looks great now. You won’t regret it.

    • If it really is a few weeks. Buckle down and loose the weight. No alcohol, sweets etc until the trip. Gym 5-6 days a week. Only drink water. You can do it!

      • Anonymous :

        You haven’t had kids, have you?

        Agree with two PPs.

        • That made me laugh out loud. Gym 5-6 days a week at 3 month PP.

          I agree with everyone else above. You deserve an awesome suit that fits you now.

          • loooooooooooooooooooool . I may or may not have had time to brush my teeth at 3 month PP.

      • Anonymous :

        Your body changes postpartum though. It’s not just about weight. I got back to my pre-baby weight pretty quickly, but have never been able to fit back into some of my pre-baby clothes because my proportions are different. If your hip bones have expanded, that’s not something you can change in the gym.

        • My cousin magically gained the ability to look good in skinny jeans post-partum (something about her proportions changed). Still jealous.

      • HAHAHAHA

        ignore this, OP

        Have a great trip!

      • Where is Godzilla when we need her?

      • Yeah, I don’t get why everyone is so up in arms about this comment – it’s not off base. She’s saying she’s only a bit off her pre-pregnancy weight. I’d totally suggest the same. Clean up your eating a bit, drink as much water as you can, and add weights. See where you are at the end of 6 weeks. I’ll bet you’ve firmed up a bit. Maybe your tummy isn’t quite as flat as you’d like, but that can always be remedied by taking the suit in a bit after the fact. (PS – I’ve had two kids. The way to lose weight after kids is the same as before – more calories in than out. Being a mom doesn’t change that people.)

        • I think most people are laughing at “gym 5-6 days a week.” Unless OP has a live in nanny and is not breastfeeding or pumping, that’s simply not possible.

        • Oh? And what is the remedy for permanent structural changes in a body? Say, realigned bones?

          • Anonymous :

            Then she should buy a suit for the new size. I took it that she was asking about the extra weight.

        • But if she’s nursing I’d caution against calorie cutting. Once you cut calories and your milk supply reduces it’s very hard to get the supply back.

    • As someone who is eight months pp and still not back in my clothes, I’d suggest a modified version of the previous first two posters. Get one in your current size but a bit tight on the waist (explain to the tailor that your pp and hope to lose some more weight). I think you’ll get more mileage out of it that way, because you’ll probably be a bit smaller in a month or two.

      • Or have them make the pants or skirt such that you don’t have to remove the waistband in order to alter it. Like they do for men’s pants. That way you get something that fits you now, and will be easy enough to alter in the future if necessary.

    • I ended up not doing this when I was abroad because all my research told me that while these tailors are pros at men’s suits, they are not nearly as proficient at the same for women and our different body shape. I mean, I guess your cousin may know better but also worth looking in to.

      • This is a really good point I hadn’t considered. I don’t remember whether this is one of the cousins with good English, so hopefully I can get a sense for this before buying anything.

      • High-end Italian tailors are highly unlikely to offer a women’s service unless they have the proficiency, unlike in Asia, in case your research was for the latter.

        For OP, the more traditional/ classic/ high-end your Italian tailor, the more they are likely to propose a more traditional/ less-fashiony fit. This typically means something with a more structured shoulder and a little more give in the body and the bum. This type of fit may well see you through a bit of weight loss provided the waistband is set up for easy adjustment by a tailor at home.

      • Yes, I’ve often noticed in Italy how poorly fitted women’s suits are. I guess no one in Italy understands the shape of the female body.


        • nasty woman :

          IRK? It’s not like Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance or anything like that.

          • Anonymous :

            The Renaissance wasn’t really known for having closely tailored clothing either. Especially for women. And had a different expectation and beauty standard than modern times. So, I’m not quite sure what the Renaissance has to do with anything here.

            In general, the bespoke suits industry is geared towards men. Because men’s bodies and fashions are easier to mass produce, even when done for specific measurements. Women’s bodies and fashion are harder – so while the Italian fashion houses are probably awesome at dressing and tailoring for (a certain type) of women’s body, I don’t know that you can automatically extend that to every Italian tailor. Especially with what constitutes a “fashionable” suit for women. And at the price of a bespoke suit.

            If the place doing bespoke suits for the OP’s husband doesn’t have any experience with women’s suits, OP is not going to end up with a fashionable suits. It might technically fit her, but that doesn’t mean she’ll want to wear it.

          • nasty woman :

            oh good grief…

            I referred to the Renaissance because that is when humanity came out of the dark ages, began to study the human body, and learned how to represent the human form in an anatomically correct manner. Please believe I wasn’t trying to compare fashion in the Renaissance with modern beauty standards.

            I was pretty much kidding and playing off the comment above me. Guess I should have specified.

    • This is really tough. With both my kids, I started out a size 8/10, gained 55-65lbs, and was back in my pre preg clothes after 8 months. But NOTHING FIT UNTIL AT LEAST 5 months post partum. I didn’t exercise any extra or even really watch too carefully what I was eating (though I did breastfeed both times). My body just packed on, then got rid of, the weight. My mom had the same experience.

      So, if I were going to Italy 3 months PP, I would sadly pass on clothes OR bring a suit that fits well and have something made in those measurements. But I am pretty sure my experience is not super typical.

      • Worth noting is that I had big hips pre pre preg so it wasn’t too much of a change :/

        • As someone with sizable hips now (pre-babies) this is good to hear… when people talk about hips getting bigger after kids, I’m always a little freaked out because mine are already what could be called ‘child-bearing hips’…

          • Anonymous :

            It is so individual that there is no point in worrying. You can’t predict how your body will change. Post-baby, my hips got smaller and my waist got thicker. I went from hourglass to tree trunk and went down a pant size. I think all the calories in the milk came straight from my hips and butt.

          • lucy stone :

            I have big hips and they returned to my prepregnancy size quickly. The rest of me…still a bit wobbly.

      • Yeah, I sadly agree with this advice. 3 months PP is just so soon — I think I was 20 pounds over my usual weight around that time, which is a lot on me because I’m small. I would just hate to spend so much money on a suit, only to have it not fit that well six months later. and I don’t think there is all that much you can do to lose the weight faster — assuming you’re breastfeeding, you need to eat sufficient calories.

    • I’m 12 MO PP. I bought several $100 suits when I went back at 4 MO PP. I actually like them, and even though I’ve lost another 10 pounds since then, I wear them. One or two I might need to get taken in a bit, but getting clothes to fit me at 3/4 MO PP when I still had 10ish pounds to lose was not a waste of money – if anything they fit loose and make me feel great these days.

      Have fun in Italy (lucky!)

    • Sadly, I am team no new suit. 3 months pp is just too soon to know what the final resting size and shape of your body is going to be. Ask me about the time I tried on a bridesmaid dress 3 months pp and found it 3 sizes too big by the wedding day @ 7 months pp… I’d wait till next trip.

    • If you are nursing, I would think pretty hard about the cut of a jacket and whether you plan to wear it open or closed beforeng one made. Because of my proportions, any changes to my bust due to early pregnancy or nursing radically changed my size for tops and jackets, even when the rest of my body was close to normal. Then post nursing bust was smaller than prepregnancy…

  3. New Job, Who Dis? :

    I would love some reassurance – I’m in billable environment, first week at a firm and I haven’t billed much this week. It’s a mixture of being nervous about what (and how) to bill clients for, as well as not having a pile of work on my desk (because I’m the new kid!).

    I know the answer is to ask for work or how I can lend a hand on cases/projects – but is this also kind of normal? Not billing a lot in the first few weeks as I ramp up and figure out how to work the computer programs, how the printer works, etc.? I’m trying to remember to keep new-job-anxieties in check…

    • anon associate :

      First week? Don’t worry at all. You have so many weeks ahead of you to bill (yay.) It is totally fine. I wouldn’t really worry for the first month or so. In 3 months you’ll laugh at yourself for being worried and pine for the easy days. Just a) do your best work b) track everything you do- even if you don’t know how to bill for it, write what you did down and then go talk to a senior associate or partner about how you might bill it and c) keep letting people know you’re available. Trust me, if you’re a new attorney, they know you’ve got time.

    • +1 to just letting people know. It sounds like you’re fairly junior level (apologies if that’s not the case), so unless there was some sort of expectation that you’d be bringing a lot of business in, you’re dependent on your supervisors to keep you busy. And they can only keep you busy to the extent they know that you have availability.

      It’s no fun to ask for work, but sometimes it’s necessary. It may also just be a time of year where there’s a lull in the work. Just keep the lines of communication open regarding work and you’ll be just fine.

      • New Job, Who Dis? :

        okay yes yes, that’s exactly what I needed to hear – Thanks! I am junior but still experienced enough to do some stuff – which is why I’m split on worrying about my hours already (loser! I know) vs. knowing that I shouldn’t worry this soon

        but here I am, worrying :)

    • Agree with all of the above. It takes a while to ramp up to get enough work to bill what is expected. Totally fine and expected to not be at full speed that early.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      If you’re in a billable environmental, I assume you have non-billable tracking codes (most law offices have one for “firm admin”, BD and PD/CLE). Find out what those are and “bill” your hours to those – it creates good habits for you if you haven’t been at a firm before in terms of docketing daily and that way if anyone is checking they will see you ramping up. For my first week as a lateral, I billed a few hours to client files but diligently billed the rest of my time to non-billable numbers – 8 hours of training was firm admin, 2 hours of sending emails to old contacts and adding people on LinkedIn – that’s BD, etc.

      But yeah, I would write your first month full month off – so if you just joined, you’re not looking at billing target until June and even then…it takes a few months to get up to speed on a full case load.

      • New Job, Who Dis? :

        ah, bless you all. Thanks. I’m being such a loser worrying about this, but I really want to crush this position & my status at the firm.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      Nice handle!

  4. I have a $50 gift card to spend at Nordstrom – what would you buy? I’d like to keep it at $50 or under including tax…anyone have a great top that I can throw on with black pants to recommend? Or any can’t live without activewear or a great weekend purse? Please help me spend this!

    • anon a mouse :

      If you have to spend it now, Zella leggings or active pants. But if you can hold on to it for a few months, I’d save it for the anniversary sale in August and get something fab for fall.

      • omg yes zella leggings are seriously amazing. It’s hard for me to justify spending so much on a pair of leggings (although here I am, 3 pairs later) but they are really the best.

        • Mrs. Jones :

          Zella leggings ARE the best.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Sometimes you can find them on Nordstrom Rack for less!

          • Are they the same ones? I thought they were made specifically for nordstrom rack and weren’t as nice, I would be thrilled to hear otherwise! I do have a pair that I got for half off during a sale, sometimes the prints and colors get majorly discounted.

          • Anon in NYC :

            I think? I don’t know if I would have any way of knowing.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          The one pair of Zella yoga pants I have are my favorite item of clothing. So soft. So comfy. Not sure if they’re from the Rack or not, my mom didn’t like them and gave them to me.

      • Just to be that guy… I got a pair of Zella leggings based on internet recs and they totally underwhelmed me. Maybe it’s my proportions, but they do not stay up particularly well on me and it drives me nuts. I personally would not repurchase.

      • Anniversary sale actually starts third week of July, just so you don’t miss it. By August, many good things are gone.

    • Anonymous :

      I would recommend splurging on a beauty item instead unless you want to augment the $50 with some of your own funds.

    • A bra.

    • I bought a pair of Soludos espadrilles last summer ($41) and basically lived in them until October. I’ll probably buy a new pair for this summer. Great for weekends and commuting.

    • PatsyStone :

      I’d get a high-end version of a basic t-shirt that looks great on me.

  5. Motherhood :

    Has anyone read the article “Motherhood is not a woman’s most important job”? It is in Harpers Bazaar, will post the link below. This quote summarises what I think is the basic premise of the article: “Society’s specific glorification of motherhood—the repeated emphasis that it is a woman’s most important job—implies that a woman’s main purpose is not to change the world. It’s not to write books or invent or be feminist abolitionists. It is just to serve as a vessel for younger women and future men.” I found myself agreeing with some of this in that those women who have made a mark in history or are making waves today in various fields might be parents(or not) but the reason we celebrate them is for their extraordinary triumphs in politics, the arts, law or science. It also made me think of that quote that is often repeated, “being a mom is the hardest job in the world”. FWIW I’m not a parent and the closest view I’ve had of motherhood has been watching my mum raise us and steer the family through some really difficult times but when I hear that quote I always find it hard to believe that it is indeed the “hardest job” in the world because I always think there are other roles that are way more challenging. There are other issues the article raises, would love to hear what others think of it.

    • Motherhood :

    • Anonymous :

      I think there is a difference between saying it’s the hardest job and saying it’s the most important job. The former doesn’t bother me. To me it feels like a valid thing for a particular woman to say “motherhood is the hardest job in the world” because there’s sort of an implied “for me” in that statement. I definitely don’t like people saying it’s the most important job, because that’s really demeaning to people who have chosen not to have kids. There’s lot of important work out there, including motherhood, but definitely not limited to it.

      • I’m not okay with this being limited to only mothers, and with qualifying all levels of parenting as “hard,” because being a deadbeat parent is easy. I also don’t think it’s helpful for women to keep referring to it as a “job,” because it just isn’t. I understand that women “choose” (though for many, the high cost of quality child care makes the ‘choice’ for them) to stay home with their kids and not earn an income, but that doesn’t make it a job. It is work, but it isn’t a job.

        Being a good parent is hard work.

    • I think it’s because motherhood is not a job. That’s not to diminish it at all – I think being a parent is probably one of the most important things a person can do, and is definitely an important role but it’s not a job. I can quit my job, I don’t think you can really quit being a parent

      • +1

      • Baconpancakes :

        Well put. It’s a role, but not a job.

      • I love this.

        • Yep. Someone at my office is leaving and the posters advertising her going away party urge us to wish her well “at her new career–being a mom!” It strikes me as odd, though none of my coworkers agree

          • Anonymous :

            Nope, not a career, by any reasonable definition. New endeavor, new direction, new stage of life, yes, but not new career

      • Agree, and I think being a PARENT is key. There was just an interview with a prison therapist who said that basically everyone in jail has a history of parental abuse or neglect. Parenting skills are SO underrated, especially for men. It’s like management–that’s usually the hardest part of any job, but there’s typically very little training. Parenting is really important, and it’s undervalued because women have been entrusted with most of the day to day.

    • equity partner :

      First of all, an article title mentioning Amal Clooney is not likely to be about the sort of motherhood that we had as a child or the sort we provide as a parent.

      FWIW, I am a lucky person that so many people before me parented children into adulthood: the police who came to my car accident. The paramedics. The construction workers who built the roads and the hospital. The people who designed and built the cars and the ambulance, etc. The list goes on. We stand on the shoulders of others; those others stand on the shoulders of their mothers; those mothers deserve a round of applause. The fathers, too.

      Motherhood is a hard job with a long tail on your failures. And you’re emotionally invested in the outcome in a way you aren’t at your job. And I have a job, so I’m fully employed (esp. emotionally) and yet I have another full-time job on top of that. That package is hard. Women from older generations had more children and fewer resources, so I few FT work + 2 kids + working spouse as equal to no job + 4 kids + working spouse in the olden days.

    • I don’t think that being a parent is the most important thing a person can do. But, I’ll bite on your second question. Is parenting the hardest job in the world? Maybe not. Hardest job I’ve ever had? Yes, without a doubt. Part of it is the constant nature of it and part of it is the pressure to not fail. I can always find another day job as an attorney, maybe even find another marriage, but I can’t replace my child. Yet I know that in the grand scheme of things, my accomplishments with this one little person are small. My raising a child isn’t stopping war or curing cancer. But, my impact on my child’s world is huge at the individual level.

      • anonshmanon :

        I kind of feel like the two questions are actually not two separate topics. As someone wrote above, it is not hard to be a sucky parent. It is hard work to be a good parent. So, by building up parenting as the most important thing a person can do is probably connected with the pressure you feel. So the idolizing is in part what makes it so difficult.

    • Marie Curie girl crush :

      The article has picture of Harriet Tubman and Marie Curie on it.

      Harriet Tubman had an adopted child.

      Marie Curie had two daughters, one of whom also won a Nobel Prize and the other one wrote a biography of her mother.

      • Wildkitten :

        But isn’t that the point? They had kids and yet we don’t think having kids was remotely the most significant thing that those women did.

    • Being a mother is incredibly hard. Childbirth alone kills millions of women every year and far too many women suffer serious violence, oppression, depression, and other health and social conditions that having children can greatly exacerbate. Having too many children is oppressive and lack of family planning and lack of choice/control in the bedroom contributes to large family sizes, which in turn increases the odds of dying in childbirth…

      Raising a children IS a job, too – it’s just unpaid labor that no one has valued because it’s “women’s work.” Imagine how different the world would be if it were unthinkable not to pay a woman for domestic and childrearing labor. Is it the hardest job in the world? I don’t know, but it is certainly the largest job in the world, and it’s incredibly hard for women who live in both the worst and the best of social and economic circumstances. We must indeed value women for more than their reproductive potential if we ever want things to get better.

      • Let’s ask all the unemployed moms of the world (non-US) if they’d like a job they could be proud of and see what they say. Let’s see how many would feel that they’re doing something great for their kids if they could only have a job and provide financial support to their families.

        You seem to suggest that recognizing caregiving as valuable (or paying women for it) is a sufficient solution for denying jobs to women that have been given to men – I absolutely disagree. The pay for this work isn’t going to rise b/c of the nature of the work – it’s just not “hard” and it doesn’t require an education.

      • Is motherhood hard? I gotta tell you, come to any suburban affluent neighborhood, where the SAHM’s have children in school all day, housekeeping and gardening help to do the dirty work, plenty of money to eat out, and plenty of time for yoga, pilates, tennis and lunch — it just doesn’t seem all that hard. BTW, I’m not casting any aspersions — if that’s how they and their husbands wish to structure their lives, that’s great, but please don’t even remotely pretend that their “jobs” are hard compared to the typical working mom in the same neighborhood.

        • Meh, this kind of sounds like my SIL’s critique of me (I’m a divorced college professor and so don’t “work” during most of January and June-July-part of August. I do research, etc. but I am at home during these months.) For sure she does not think my job counts as much as her job does (she’s an architect and my brother works in IT.) My brother and SIL recently announced that they’re sending their kids to visit my parents during my planned vacation to see my parents (but, so sad, the two adults will miss me by two days!) so that their kids can “see their cousins” i.e. SIL and bro can be provided with free childcare from grandma and auntie. AbsoLUTELy a presumption about my easy work schedule and my willingness to be responsible for their kids.

          SIL complained to me recently about the difficulty of managing a two-career family and I just nodded along, because who has time for the work of pointing out that her setup involves TWO ADULTS and easily 4x the money I make and I’m pretty sure that my situation also has its difficulties and downsides.

          I have a fair number of UMC SAHM in my ‘hood, too, but IME they are often volunteering on thankless committees that keep the library going or taking care of elderly parents or attending to kids with disabilities who need a LOT of parenting bandwidth. Or all of those.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Love the article, thanks for sharing!

      As a parent, hearing the phrase “being a mother is a woman’s most important job” always grates tremendously on me – but so does the opposite camp (“that’s not a job at all”). We should absolutely celebrate women’s triumphs in science, politics, law and other fields of paid work or civic engagement, and certainly society doesn’t do that enough. At the same time there’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to be a mother, or a stay-at-home one, and doing a kick*ss job at it, and society equally undervalues the things that mothers do – and denigrating the importance of care work feels like a hangover from second-wave feminism. These two things – celebrating women in international, national and community spheres, and celebrating their labour in the domestic sphere – are not mutually exclusive.

      • Why is it not a father’s most important job? Why do we never see that in writing?

        It grates on me.

        • +1. NEVER. That’s why we still have to look at this in gendered (sexist) terms.

        • It is. Also. Google “absent fathers” and it’s a sad story. It takes a village to even begin to fix that.

        • Anonymama :

          I actually have seen a number of places where fathers talk about fatherhood being their most important job… I think it’s a relatively recent development (although my own father has definitely said it as well). And President Obama talked about how fatherhood was his most important job.


          • Yes–I agree. It is a recent development, and it’s really important. Fatherhood SHOULD be very important, as should motherhood, but the OP is right that people don’t “expect” (sadly) fathers to be actively raising their children.

      • anonshmanon :

        Completely agree. Raising kids seems like a tremendous undertaking (both scary and potentially happymaking), but I am more than that. And even if I focus on kids entirely for a number of years in my life, there are other things, too.
        But then again, I do want to be appreciative and express how great it is that people take it upon themselves to nurture children and make them into functioning citizens.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :


    • JuniorMinion :

      I’ll bite. I just read the article and I really liked it. I also saw red when the tabloids discussed Amal bringing her baby bump to the UN to discuss genocide as opposed to….what was actually discussed about genocide.

      I don’t think being a Mother is a job. It is an important role, and people should be able to take pride in doing it well, the way I have pride in being a good friend and a good spouse, but a job entails exchanging your time / labor for money. I think its interesting that there isn’t the same rhetoric around fatherhood, even though most of the guys I know with kids probably do ~50% of the kid rearing.

      We need to create space for parenting / parenthood to be a part of the fabric of a life – there are many ways to live a good life and the over focus on forcing being a parent to be the central focus / “most important job” in life alienates and does a disservice to people who are making other strides / have made different choices.

      Personally, I grew up with a mom who was way too invested in her role as “mom” and would have benefited from some other things in her life and some encouragement to be a more well rounded person. She erroneously takes credit for who I am and what I’ve accomplished which – sorry you weren’t there with me at the SATs / in engineering school / working really hard.

    • I view these types of comments as intentional hyperbole to make a point. I’m not sure if anyone really means them to be taken as literal, absolute statements. They seem to be the kind of thing that gets somewhat thoughtlessly repeated or makes for an easy hook for a magazine article.

    • I hate the idea that motherhood is considered a legitimate full-time “job.” Partly because i think it frames it in a way that implies that working moms are a lesser type of Mom (you can’t successfully balance two full time jobs, so by choosing to have another job, you’re by definition slacking on the full time Mom job). Being a stay at home Mom is definitely a lot of uncompensated work, but I don’t think that should make it a “job.” I do a lot of uncompensated work caring for my aging parents, but nobody describes the challenge of the “job” of being a daughter.

      I do agree with the idea that being a parent can be one of the most challenging “roles” a person can choose. I just wish it was framed as a “role” rather than a job because people are much more comfortable with the concept of playing many roles concurrently. You can be a wife, daughter, friend, employee etc and nobody seems to find it strange. I’m not sure why “Mom” is the only one seen as a “job” where it’s hard/strange/discouraged to juggle multiple things.

      • Yellow – I like the way you put all of this. I think (and this is my opinion only – I am not a mom) that “Mom” being considered a “job” vs. a role has to do a lot with the change where we have more women working now than there were 30 years ago. If you’re not working and you’re a stay at home mom, it sort of makes sense that you’d call being a mom a “job.”

        I had a bunch of stay at home mom friends recently link to an article on facebook where the gist of the article was that people find it offensive that, when meeting them for the first time, you ask “what do you do?” Apparently this question is offensive for some stay at home moms, and people don’t want to be immediately defined by their job, especially when their “job” isn’t a traditional “services for paycheck” gig. While I feel like being offended by this is falls into the category of “things I wish I had time to care about” I can see why you maybe wouldn’t want to answer this question if you are a stay at home mom.

        So, long story short – I think this terminology has come up as a way to equalize women who are staying at home with kids and women who are choosing to work.

        • Kind of agree with this too i.e. the terminology being used in a way to equalize women who are staying home with kids and those who are choosing to work. I also think the question what do you do? can be uncomfortable for other people say those who are unemployed–not implying this is the same as being a SAHM but in the sense that if you would prefer to be in a different situation that question reminds you that you are not where you really want to be.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I don’t love the “choice” rhetoric. Largely because I have seen it used (by my mother) against women who “chose” to work – implying they “chose not to raise their own children” (her words not mine). In most cases it glosses over the fact that globally, the overwhelming majority of women must work – to eat and pay rent and exist. Deciding that one able bodied adult will not work in your household is a luxury and a privilege.

          And yes “what do you do?” is absolutely hard for my unemployed spouse. Other than the fact that I think people who are involuntarily unemployed get sympathy, whereas I think people who are voluntarily not in the workforce sometimes get a bit more of an eyebrow raise.

          • Oh god, the “women who choose” to work thing from SAHMs drives me insane. The assumption that because working was optional for them means it’s optional for everyone is such a marker of privilege that I can barely speak to people when they phrase it that way.

            My ex-husband could have easily quit his job after we got married. We could have lived on my income alone. But when we were engaged, *nobody* asked him “are you going to keep working after the wedding?” and multiple people asked me that.

          • Yeah I think it can be reductive and just plain boring to always try to get to know someone through their paid work. I generally think its both kindest and also most conducive of interesting conversation to ask people a variety of questions to get to know them and not just what their job is.
            But it’s also ridiculous to me to hear this debate play out among relatively wealthy western women. The women in my family have almost always worked because they couldn’t afford not to. For women in some cultures “staying home” isn’t a choice its a result of repressive cultures and political regimes that basically don’t allow them to exist in public. Most women’s lives are ruled by forces that allow for very little choice, including ours in many ways, as privileged as we are. It’s hard to admit that but its true.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Yes. Also my mother who “chose not to work” also in reality chose not to appropriately save for retirement and chose not to fund a 529 for me.

            It has grated on my as a child of my mother that there is no space to say that it really stunk having to work two jobs every summer and worry over whether I was going to get enough financial aid and never get a coat that wasn’t red or blue so that my brother and I could both wear it. What made it stink the most was knowing that my mother “chose” that for me – if my parents had both just been struggling, I would have understood and commended their efforts.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Agree. If I didn’t work, my family couldn’t really live off my husband’s salary. We might be able to squeeze by if we made drastic lifestyle changes, including moving somewhere far outside the city and burdening my husband with a monster commute. I can’t see how we’d have any savings.

            I personally would love to not work. In addition to having four kids, I have many many many interests outside of work that I would pursue more fully. Fwiw, my husband feels the same way.

        • I tend to think that a stay at home mom is who is offended by being asked “what do you do?” is insecure about what she in fact does.

      • I love how you put this and I so agree.

      • I think being a caretaker of elderly people is DEFINITELY a job. I think this is undervalued work, just as being a mother is. And guess what gender does the most caretaking?

    • Ugh. I get that Amal Clooney is gestating, but can we not feature her in parenting articles until seeing what work she does while parenting twins?

      FWIW, Nikki Haley is a child of immigrants, a Clemson graduate, and a parent of post-gestational children and also speaks at the UN. My life more closely resembles hers (like I’m curious what she’s doing for fashion, what she’s doing about the shocking housing cost differential b/w Columbia SC and Turtle Bay, and how she is managing the juggle). Actually, my life doesn’t resemble hers *at all* except that she seems like a normal person and not a celebrity spouse, relatively speaking.

      • I can answer at least one of those questions. The UN Ambassador is provided with free housing. It used to a be an apartment at the Waldorf Astoria but now that the hotel is owned by a Chinese company, it’s probably located somewhere else (I know that POTUS no longer stayed there after the ownership transfer).

        As to the bigger issue – parenting is important, period, because the kids parents raise will affect society as a whole. I recently saw someone yelling at her 2 and 3 yr old kids to shut the F up on the subway and smacking their hands, sadly not for the first time, and I think (aside from how heart breaking this is generally) this will almost certainly have a negative impact on her poor kids and in that sense, yeah, motherhood is a hell of an important job. But I think objectively the person who cures cancer maybe has a more important job. Pretending otherwise just feels condescending (or foolish) to me.

        • Actually, I think that this shows why parenting is important.

          How many of us will it take to undo the poor parenting of that woman on the subway? Or kids in bad foster care / social services intervention scenarios? Or parents who aren’t able to help their kids with school work (like adult literacy services provide a huge societal ROI, but someone has to be hired to do the adult literacy teaching and there just aren’t dollars for that).

          And I do see that fathers are so, so important. If you do into some neighborhoods with absent fathers, you can see how their children struggle, especially boys who often see no good adult male role models (but plenty of bad ones). Why can’t they see more male accountants / teachers / nurses / doctors / EMTs?

          • I agree it’s important. But I don’t think it diminishes the importance of motherhood to say that a) we should emphasize how important both parents are and b) to acknowledge that for the world as a whole there are more important jobs.

            I think my job as a lawyer is important to the people affected by how I do it. But I also think the person researching a cure for AIDS probably has a more important job.

          • I totally agree with you. I mentioned earlier that a prison therapist said that ever person she sees was neglected or abused (seriously) as a child. I think we as a society really undervalue good parenting, regardless of who is doing it (it’s just more typically a woman).

            I just feel like there’s a lot of internalized misogyny in this undervaluing of parenting skills.

        • Wildkitten :

          Parenting is important because the kids you raise will impact society…. by being humans. But you are ALSO already a human. I feel like this argument erases the self of women by saying they only matter via other humans, and not themselves, as humans.

          • BUT THAT’S THE POINT! Parenting should matter for BOTH (or all) genders. It erases the self of women by not even considering men’s roles in raising children.

    • Big Law Sr Assoc Mom (yeah!) :

      So my first (and probably only) baby is 12 MO this month, AND I’m a full time senior associate in BigLaw, and I can’t stand the “hardest job” nonsense people say about parenting. Yeah, say that when you’re 25 and the hardest think you did was pull all-nighters b/c you procrastinated in college and land your first entry level accounting job. But, having put EIGHT YEARS in biglaw at this point (age 36), heck no, motherhood is definitely NOT the hardest think I’ve ever done, not by a long shot.

      I thought I experienced sexism and misogyny in BigLaw, but then I went through pregnancy and 12 months of motherhood, and I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED by the amount of sexism and misogyny that oozes in everything about pregnancy/motherhood. You can’t read a book about what to expect in pregnancy, whether to breastfeed of not, how your child should develop, how to get your kid to sleep through the night, discipline techniques, without encountering a F-TON of sexism and misogyny. It’s insane. The thing that keeps me sane is my wonderful husband who is not sexist or misogynistic in the least. I’d have gone over the edge if I had to face it down at home as well as from society.

      • I say this with zero snark and as a senior full-time lawyer in a big firm. I wonder if you will feel the same way when you are eight years into parenting? My experience has been that the first couple of years of parenting were physically hard. But as my child has gotten older, I have found the emotional/psychological demands and struggles to be more challenging than I ever thought they would be. Everyone’s path is individual though and I realize that I only know my path and my child.

        • Yes.

          And throw in another kid or two while you’re at it.

          • Big Law Sr Assoc Mom (yeah!) : :

            that’s a choice, and one made with eyes wide open as to what the consequences will be

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not a choice when you plan for a second child and you end up with twins without IUI/IVF, and then one has a long term health condition. And then you have three kids and your entire life changes because you’re trying to divide the limited amount of time you have at home across three kids.

            Further, while parenting is not the hardest job, it is the height of economic privilege to say that working indoors in a profession you chose is ‘harder’ than parenting when you consider the economic realities of the vast majority of women in the world. The vast majority of whom had very little ‘choice’ in the number of children they had. That is actually hard. Not BigLaw.

            Equally tired of the SAHMs who think ‘nothing is more important than what they do’ and the working moms who think SAHM is not a real job and the childless women who are so smug about how women’s role as mothers isn’t important. Just stop judging everyone for making choices that are different than your own. We’re all out here doing the best we can with what our situations in life are. Everyone doesn’t have to excel in the same ways or on the same metrics.

          • Big Law Sr Assoc Mom (yeah!) : :

            Oh please 2:08 So we should try to imagine/discuss just those circumstances that would make parenting much harder than average (abject poverty, lack of health care, lack of running water or food, chronic health problems), and then conclude that parenting is the “hardest job/thing”. Wouldn’t those circumstances make any job/thing harder?

        • Big Law Sr Assoc Mom (yeah!) : :

          No snark detected. Well, I’m sure hard parenting issues can arise, but no, I don’t think the emotional aspect or future challenges will cause me to change my mind.

          Going through a hard divorce, a challenging moment in a marriage, losing or caring for a dying parent, getting fired at work… lots of life/relationship stuff can be the “hardest thing” we’ve been through at a moment in time. Even if certain stuff with my kid gets hard emotionally, no, I doubt I’m going to adopt a mantra of ‘parenthood being so hard’ although I might have some really hard times and need help. Just like I wouldn’t say “having a parent” is so hard just b/c it’d been hard to suffer through my Dad’s declining health. Instead I would say, “my Dad’s illness has been hard on me”.

        • Anonymous :

          OMG yes. I hated the baby years, but the tween years are so much harder.

        • Big Law Sr Assoc Mom (yeah!) : :

          I don’t know if I have a comment lost in moderation or what, but to “zero snark”:

          I think lots of personal/family stuff can be hard and ESPECIALLY in the midst of it: death or illness of parents, divorce, bad relationship with one sibling/parent, and I’m sure I could experience some really hard stuff emotionally with my kid similar to what I expect to experience in all my relationships, but I wouldn’t adopt the “parenting is hardest job/thing” mantra, which lets be honest, gets applied 95% to women.

          I suppose it also depends on how we define “hard”, but as I go through stuff, I think I’m more likely to say “Its really hard that my 8 year old hasn’t made a good friend at school and is picked on” or “Its really hard that my 13 year old thinks she’s ugly” or whatnot. Probably, I’d accept the generalization that “ALL close/family relationships are hard at some point”. And I suppose parenting as conducted by some people is super hard , like working moms who are default parents and decide to have 2+ kids under the age of 5….but I reject the notion that if you’re not doing that, you’re not parenting. And again, I’d say “having triplets is hard” or “having multiple kids under age 5” is hard b/c those challenges don’t mean parenting generally is hard, or shouldn’t be made easier for women.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          It is different for everyone. I have two kids that we adopted as older kids, and two bio kids. (Yes, also full-time biglaw sr. assoc.). I really really REALLY disliked the baby years. I found them the hardest by far. They were physically taxing (sleep deprivation is the worst). I also had twins from an unplanned pregnancy after I thought I was infertile, so it was a shock this whole thing was even happening.

          But I think it got easier during the school age years. And I have a teenager and a tween, and this is my favorite phase of parenting yet. I find it easier (and more enjoyable) to parent kids who are old enough you can reason with and are more independent. (And it helps my feelings are not easily hurt-they are teenagers after all.)

      • Cosign.

  6. Ten years ago I tried a retinoid but couldn’t tolerate the breakouts and flaking so stopped. I’m ready to try again, though scared. My dermatologist recommended Differin gel and explained how to use to it but I guess I’d like to crowd source detailed tips.

    Currently I use the oil cleansing method. The only thing I use on my skin to wash or moisturize is jojoba oil. My skin is fine, but it could be better plus I’m not getting any younger. Thanks!

    • You need sunscreen. Find one that doesn’t irritate your face. I’m partial to Jose Maran’s spf 47 but everyone has their favorite. And no matter what acne medication I’ve used, I’ve always gone through a “purge” period where it brings EVERYTHING out of my skin and makes me look awful. You need to give your skin a month or two to get work through it. I also use everything much less frequently than recommended – try twice a week before you build up to every other day or even everyday.

      • Seconding this – put on sunscreen! Even if you aren’t using harsh acne products. Even if you have darker skin and never sunburn and think you don’t need it (this was me until recently). I like biore UV watery essence, you can get it on amazon. You will probably also want a moisturizer – cerave is good and pretty cheap.

        (off topic – godzilla I got the ankle compression sleeve you recommended and I’m loving it so far! thank you!)

    • I similarly to you had difficulties with retinoids the first time I tried them.

      When I revisited, I was much more conservative. Wash your face, and let it dry completely. Apply a pea sized amount of the Retinoid in a thin layer over the entire face I do some neck too). I have to be very careful doing this, only applying a small amount at a time, because if I accidently put too much in an area, that will turn red and peel.

      I started doing it only once a week at night! After 2-4 weeks, I increased it to twice a week. After a month, 3 times a week etc…. Until I could tolerate every day.

      Always wear sun screen.

      I still had sensitivity. So my derm told me to apply a moisturizer immediately after applying the Retinoid. She said if I still have irritation, then I should apply my moisturizer first and then the Retinoid. Some folks mix the Retinoid with their moisturizer.

      I followed up with my derm more frequently initially, and she helped a lot.

    • Differin was MUCH less irritating than any other retinoid I have tried. I found adding in a hyaluronic acid serum (the ordinary one is great) before your moisturizer can help keep flaking/dryness to a minimum.

      Yo should definitely wear sunscreen every day, retinoid or not.

  7. Looking for a quick Carribean vacation this June with DH for our anniversary. We’re leaving our 4 month old baby with my inlaws (for the first time!) so I want it to be a special adult only trip.

    Looking for a direct, not super long flight from NYC. Was thinking Harbour Island but there’s nothing direct. Bermuda is out because its Americas Cup and will he swamped and all hotels are ridiculously overpriced. Any opinions on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos or Half Moon Bay in Jamaica? Or any other outstanding places to recommend? Finally I can say Zika isn’t a concern and go enjoy some turquoise water after being home pregnant all winter!

    • Anonymous :

      T&C for sure. It has a much more upscale, romantic vibe than Jamaica. Jamaica is geared more towards people who want to party. Antigua would be my other suggestion. We stayed in a great adults-only resort there, Coco Bay.

      • Cocobay looks incredible! How did you feel about the all-inclusive aspect? I’ve never been to one because my mom can be a little snobby and lumped them in with cruises as A Thing She Would Never Do. Did you get sick of the food offerings? We’d be there for 5 days

        • I thought the food was decent. It wasn’t a highlight of the trip, but truthfully I don’t think you’re going to find a dining scene anywhere in the Caribbean that’s going to compete with NYC. I have been on cruises, and although I don’t hate them, I think the food at Cocobay (and other upscale AIs I’ve been to) is better. Cruise food tends to be exceptionally bland and they offer a lot of very traditional dishes that are appealing the most unsophisticated American palates. AIs, including Cocobay, are more willing to play around with spices and offer local dishes.

          I don’t think you’d get sick of it being there for five days. There were plenty of options on the buffet for breakfast and lunch and dinner was completely different each day we were there (we were there for about a week).

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’d rethink the “cruise food” thing too. I went on a cruise two years ago (two weeks on Norwegian) and the food was fabulous. I’m a food snob so it’s not like I set the bar low for them or anything. I have food allergies though so mine was prepared in the “allergy free” kitchen so it may have been fresher than the food served to the general crowd.

          • I think cruise food varies by cruise line. The only cruise I’ve ever been on was a Norwegian cruise of the Mediterranean, and the food was also great. Granted, we also sailed out of Venice to the sound of opera being piped over the sound system, so it’s not like they were catering to a low brow crowd.

            My guess is that the food on, say, a Carnival cruise would not be as good. Something I did see that cracked me up was how marked up California wines were. There’s a wine that you can get in the grocery store here for about $7 that I want to say was over $50 a bottle on the cruise.

          • Anon at 10:29 :

            Interesting. I haven’t been on Norwegian since I was a kid, so maybe I’ll have to give them a try some time. I’ve been on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland America and I thought all of them had pretty similar food – almost all of it was edible, some of it was quite good, but none of it was great. I like cruises for seeing the Caribbean or Alaska where the focus is on the sight-seeing and food is kind of an afterthought, but I don’t think I’d want to take a cruise to a place like Italy or France where enjoying the food would be a major goal of the vacation.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Agreed. The cruise I was on was a Caribbean cruise.

      • Agree with T&C. Jet Blue has direct flights. If you’re not into all-inclusive, there are a ton of condo buildings that use a hotel management company to rent units out when the owners aren’t using them. We stayed at Le Vele for our honeymoon and loved it (and our “room” was 3x larger than the NYC apartment we were living in at the time. We went to the grocery store and bought some essentials and some wine, relaxed on the beach during the day and ate breakfast and lunch in our room, and went out to amazing dinners at night. It was low-key and relaxing during the day, and we got to try several great restaurants in the evening.

    • anon a mouse :

      Aruba is a longer flight but is a great vacation destination.

    • Excellence Playa Mujeres in Cancun! Adults only, all inclusive. I don’t typically go for places like that, but it’s truly heaven.

      • Excellence Punta Cana was amazing as well. I’d either go there or Aruba. I’ve been to Jamaica but don’t think I’d go again. It didn’t seem that the local community was helped by all the resorts are there were shanties everywhere and we were constantly being approached by kids begging for food.

      • Same general area – we just got back from Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya. It’s only about 1.5 years old. Really amazing!

    • I am not an all-inclusive person, but Excellence Playa Mujeres (adults-only) in Cancun (but far removed from the hotel strip) is amazing. The food is good and varied, the beach and pools are pristine, and the service is incredible. It was heaven on earth.

  8. Baconpancakes :

    I’ve been planning a two week trip with my parents and SO for about 9 months now, but my stepdad just pinched a nerve in his back and he’s on bedrest. The trip was to be in a month, and the doctor isn’t sure my stepdad will recover in time. My mother has indicated she would feel betrayed if my SO and I went without my parents, but due to work, this will be the last chance I have to take a trip longer than a 3-day weekend for the next year. We have travel insurance, so the cost of canceling will be minimal. After all the work we’ve done planning this thing, and considering it’s my last chance to take a real vacation for some time, I feel really conflicted about cancelling. Advice? Perspective?

    • Anonymous :

      If the cost of cancelling is minimal, can you cancel this trip and go somewhere else just you and SO? I can understand why your mom and stepdad would be sad if you went on a trip you’d all planned together (especially if it was a bucket list destination for them) without them, because maybe they’re hoping you can all go together to the same place next year. But they certainly can’t fault you for taking a vacation somewhere else.

      • Baconpancakes :

        This would be the third trip they’ve taken to this destination in five years. That’s what makes it so galling.

        • Then I super stand by what I said. Does your mom know your vacation situation?

        • Anon at 9:58 :

          Ok, then I think your mom is definitely being unreasonable and I’d go ahead with the trip as planned.

        • Oh then no. You go. Leave it be for a few days to let her settle down and then “we are really sorry he can’t come, but this is our only available vacation time and we are still [email protected]

    • This sucks but your mom is being ridiculous. What you have to consider is do you want your mom resenting you for going or do you want to resent your mom for not going? What’s worse?

    • I think it’s a know-your-family situation, but I would go on the trip with my SO in heart beat. You can always plan a new trip with your parents in the future. But why give up (and possibly forfeit a lot of sunk costs) when you and SO are perfectly healthy and willing to go?

      It’s easy for me to say this, though, because I’m certain my mom would encourage me to go. I know you may have different considerations.

    • I would go. It would be one thing if it were a destination trip, once-in-a-lifetime, because then you could reschedule for next year. Going to a place where they’ve already been twice? You should go. Stand up to your mother this time (I say this as someone who has ALWAYS struggled to do just that, so I know how hard it is, but I also know how bad I feel when I don’t).

    • It sounds like your mom is expecting that all 4 of you can do the trip together at a future date. Once you explain that it’s now or not this year/next year, she’ll probably understand. If she doesn’t, go anyway.

    • Your mother is probably feeling sad because she has to bear the negative consequences (no vacation!) of something totally out of her control. And she’s had the additional burden of caring for your stepfather. And she can’t take her frustration out on him because he’s injured. “Instead of that great vacation I’ve been looking forward to, I guess I’ll just stay in this house and make sure my husband has what he needs while he’s on bed rest” might make someone a little less gracious than they usually are. I would probably feel a little pouty about the whole thing, too.

      That said, you should still go on your trip because there’s nothing to be gained by you and your husband sacrificing your happiness as well, other than giving your mother’s misery some company. Is there something you could do before or during the trip to brighten things up for your mother, like a ‘girls day out’ or hire someone to come clean the house while she goes to the spa?

    • Frozen Peach :

      Depending on the potential emotional labor associated with each choice, I would either just go without them, or plan a different destination for that two week period. DO NOT lose out on the time you’d already taken and protected. Can always say something like “oh, you thought we were going to Belize? We considered it when first planning, but ultimately went with Bolivia.”

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      “My mother has indicated she would feel betrayed if my SO and I went without my parents”

      That is ridiculous, really.

  9. Anonymous :

    Love this shirt! I have it in the black floral, it washes really well. It runs a little large though, so size down if you’re between sizes.

  10. Anonymous :

    Looking for some advise on career development… I’m a mid-level manager in an investment bank with about 10 yrs of experience. I’m strong technically, but I have some work to do with polishing my interpersonal and communication skills to further my career as I’m at a point where 90% of such skills matter to grow further. Are there any good books which helped any of you on these issues? I’m also an immigrant from Asia fwiw.

    • JuniorMinion :

      No books but as an ex banker get in the habit of meeting people for coffee / lunch / drinks etc. and work on your network. I’ve found this to be great practice as usually these are with ex colleagues / random folks where the stakes are low. Additionally, I would (I am assuming you are VPish area) try to work closely with people / MD’s who have these sorts of skills and watch what they do / get close to them. This has helped me a lot. I used to joke with my former boss who was great at stuff like that that I always asked myself “What would x do?” when dealing with difficult people.

      Have you worked with anyone on the client side you’ve become friendly with that you could dance around this with? As someone who is part of a team that hires investment banks / works with them I definitely notice when someone at that level (so sort of front man / woman for execution efforts) is communicating well vs. poorly.

    • S in Chicago :

      I’m in a leadership development program where we have a lot of assigned reading. Most helpful I’ve hit so far is “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” (lot of great resources on the author’s website, too). Also like.” Coaching for Performance”–this one was really helpful to me when looking at how to communicate when you are delegating.

    • Great on the Job by Jodi Glickman

      Any books by Mary Munter, particularly Guide to Management Communications and How to Run a Meeting

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Deep dive into the Ask A Manager site. She’s got a lot of posts about challenging work communication situations and gives good scripts for managing them.

    • Thank you for the recs

    • Is there a Toastmasters club near you to join? That can help a lot with getting feedback on your communication skills and building confidence.

  11. I’m assuming it’s not the case that if you skipped the vacay you would be by your stepdads bedside or otherwise caring for him? Your mom just doesn’t want you having fun if she can’t go too? Eff that. She’s being petty in my opinion.

  12. What should I wear to the Virginia Gold Cup next weekend? Normally I’d wear a sundress, but it’s looking like the weather might be chilly-ish, so I’m looking for something with long sleeves…

    • anon a mouse :

      A lovely floral dress, with a sweater or a wrap. Wedge heels so you don’t sink into the grass. A fabulous hat.

    • Comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, a sundress with a wrap, a crossbody bag and an amazing hat.

  13. Vent that you can ignore! :

    Vent ahead, do feel free to ignore. I hate my biglaw job. I’m a senior associate on track to bill 3300 hours this year. I don’t want to be partner anywhere, especially at a firm where I’m billing 3300 hours. I have no life except work so I hate my city. I feel tremendous guilt being in a different city from my family. My S.O. constantly berates me for letting my job take over my life and “helpfully” dictates emails to me on how to turn down work. Any time I get upset with him, he turns it back on me. Basically I want to jump out a window. I can’t talk to anyone about this because at 3300 hours a year I’ve alienated all of my friends and have no one left. I can’t believe this is the life I have created for myself.

    • So you’re billing 3,300 hours a year, but are still taking on new work? Why can’t you turn down new work at this point?

      • Are you trying to be her SO?

        Tell your SO that he’s not helping. That you are not happy in your job but you are managing the workload as best you can and that if he wants to help, he would help you job hunt for something else.

        Start looking in the city where you want to be. You can hide an interviewing trip as a visit to your family.

        • \Even at the biggest of Big Law firms 3,300 hours a year is insane. And OP didn’t say “I love working this much, I just hate that my SO is making me feel guilty about it.” She said she’s miserable and can’t believe this is her life. Telling her to turn down work is a pretty valid reaction to that statement.

          • “My S.O. constantly berates me for letting my job take over my life and “helpfully” dictates emails to me on how to turn down work. ”

            She gets that she needs to work less. She doesn’t need to hear that from her SO or internet strangers. She needs a way out of this job, and generally that involves finding a new one. You can’t just quit a job if you have rent/loans to repay.

          • our point is that she may not “get” that she needs to work less. If someone keeps accepting new work and is on-track to bill 3,300 hours, they either don’t “get” it, or their workplace is actually abusive and she should have gotten out already.

          • But turning down work is a way to work less. The point that the previous poster was making is that no Big Law firm expects associates to work more than 3,300 hours a year. If you’re working that much, you can and should be turning down new assignments. No one is suggesting she quit her job or slack off to the point that she would be let go, they’re just telling her that she can start turning down work without negative consequences.

          • 3300 hours is insane and even the most cut-throat BigLaw places don’t expect hours like that. You are fully within your rights to turn down additional work. You may not feel like you are, but you are.

            Trust me. Law firms make you drink Kool-Aid that you can’t turn down work and these hours are normal and expected. They’re not and they’re not. If you’re billing 3300 hours, your work HAS taken over your life. Take it back.

    • Please quit your job. Life is short and you are miserable.

      • I stopped drinking the Kool Aid and quit and took off a couple of months and moved to a fly-over state mid law. My life was awesome and the crazy has crept back a bit, but it is leave at 4, log on after the kids go to bed.

        And I can hire junior associates now so I don’t have to do the crazy grunt work. And I treat them humanely. And train them.

        If your finances are in order, just leave and go somewhere fun. Start looking now so that you can leave when the bonus check clears. Or just leave.

      • Of course there are consequences to quitting – but there are consequences to staying as well. If you stay, this will end in a mental breakdown, a divorce, or maybe both.

        I know it feels inescapable, but it isn’t. You do have choices.

        • +1 I found a lump once, when at BigLaw. I didn’t want to die not having left before my time ran out. B/c you never know when that may be, just leave. My lump was a cyst, but it was a wakeup call.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I quit my big law job to do something arguably ridiculous.

        I am a risk averse control freak, so I made sure I had paid off my debts and tied up all the loose ends and got together some savings… and then blew them all on a year doing an awesome job and traveling all over for a year. The landing back in ‘the real world’ was a little rough, but it also showed me how different life can be from that big law hell. Initially, when I got back to the US, I was doing a day job of doc review and a night job writing briefs as a consultant, basically an 80 hour week, but it was like “whatever! at least [partner] isn’t screaming at me!” and it was so so much better. And I felt some pride in owning my hustle. And then I networked my butt off to find jobs that legitimately have work/life balance! I’m not necessarily suggesting you do something that completely different, but the world is big and life is short, and you might be amazed at how good you can feel with a different kind of job.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          The SO thing is hard. My then boyfriend is my husband now, and he was understanding but SO frustrated. He loved me and missed me and was tired of seeing me miserable. One thing that proved to me the kind of man he was/is was how little he cared about the prestige/money of big law — he was prouder of me for quitting than for getting the job, because it was harder to do, and what he cared about was *me* being fulfilled, healthy, sane. And as we bounced around trying to find our place in the world, he was often the breadwinner/supplier of insurance, and then sometimes I was, and honestly I love our totally communistic approach… I dunno, I understand why it frustrates the SO, even though I really wish he could just be supportive…

        • THANK YOU – this is exactly what I needed today. You could be describing me.

          I quit my job about six weeks ago because I was absolutely miserable. It was so tough on my SO that I was so depressed. Now I’m at a point where I could jump back into my same industry / similar role, but am considering taking several months to work at a fun minimum wage job in another industry just to really re-evaluate what’s important. I have plenty of savings to support this and the SO is very supportive… but I have been so scared. It’s intimidating. Part of me wants to jump right back into what I know to be “safe”, but I was just. so. unhappy.

          So thank you for your story, especially, “the world is big and life is short, and you might be amazed at how good you can feel with a different kind of job.” Exactly what I needed to read today.

        • Would you mind sharing how you got the gig doing brief writing as a consultant?

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately, I got it by being in the right place at the right time and being charming. I was “networking” by asking to meet every contact’s contact in the city I had moved to, and there was a solo practitioner I met who I really hit it off with, so he gave me some briefs to write as a sort of trial run, then eventually took me on as his associate.

    • Whats keeping you there? Loans? Map out your payments and the day you are loan free. Bring joy to yourself by occasionally putting extra money toward your loans. Literally, bad day at the office and hate yourself? $1000 to the loans. Buckle down and get out.

      I have no idea how long you’ve been there, and if you’ve always billed 3300, but it isn’t sustainable. You know this.

    • Then stop. Turn down new work. Refuse new cases. Lean out and look for another job. Quit. You must have a ton of savings. Move home. Break up with him. You literally have a world full of options.

    • I’m so sorry. That sounds like a very tough situation. Made even tougher by the fact that the one person who should always have your back isn’t being supportive. Sounds like it’s time for some drastic change on your end – time to change jobs? Change cities? Get rid of an SO?

      • I’m sympathetic to the SO here – this is probably not the life he signed up for too. Sounds like he is trying to be supportive, but when someone is in this extreme of a situation, how is he supposed to do that?

        • As someone likely in the SO’s positions, how *is* the SO supposed to behave here? It’s insanely frustrating and hurtful to watch a loved one torture themselves in the job like this. Where is the boundary between supporting and enabling in these extreme situations?

        • Yeah, I don’t know. I know my husband should have gotten sainthood for all the complaining I was doing about my job for a 2-3 year period, and I wasn’t even working those kind of hours.

    • anon associate :

      That sounds horrible. Time to take ownership of your situation.

      If it’s making you miserable, it’s time to get out.

      If you’re billing that much, it’s time to say no to work.

      I’m sure you’ve saved enough money/ have enough experience to move to a lower paying job that will let you control your life. Give yourself permission to move on.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Hey you can always change your life! I’ve been there in a job that made me miserable working constantly and I couldn’t get out of it for a while (yay financial crisis).

      I would encourage you to try to get some time at the margins while also plotting out your next steps. Can you start going to some gym classes at lunch / dinnertime / morning occasionally? No one will die if you do this. Learned it the hard way that I had to steal this time for myself. Additionally, start trying to take 15 minute breathers where you can – grab coffee with someone from another group and try to forge relationships or just do a lap around the block (laps around the block at 3 AM are my personal specialty).

      Finally, can you talk to someone at work? Your tone in what you have written here comes off as a bit angry (which I get) but I think that you need to talk to someone more senior at work. I would frame it as “hey, I really enjoy doing work x and I would like to continue and gain more skills, but I’m finding the pace of my current billings unsustainable and its impeding my ability to develop skills and I’m hoping for some help with finding a way to make this a bit more sustainable longer term.

      Also some people just cray. I’m sorry about your SO – he shouldn’t be berating you. I think its hard for outsiders to understand the demands of some jobs.


      Ex banker who had a boss once ask me if I would be returning to work FROM THE ER. I was in the ER with lesions on my corneas due to lack of sleep from always being at work.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Want to add that my first paragraph, getting time at the margins, is designed to help you be a good candidate for other jobs. Its hard when you are angry and stressed to come across well in interviews and effectively job search. A bit of leaning out should help you with this.

      • anonymous :

        I went to the ER while in biglaw with appendicitis. I woke up in the night screaming and crying in pain. My SO was ready to take me to the ER when I said, “I can’t. I have a motion due!” and he said “Are you [email protected] kidding me right now? Either I take you to the ER or an ambulance is. This is not a choice.” That knocked some sense into me (especially when I still had to work on the motion from home the next day because the partner did not re-assign it) and I started applying for jobs that weekend.

        OP- you have my sympathies. Please consider your health. The fact that you said you want to jump out a window worries me. This is affecting your health – probably your physical health (when was your last physical?) but definitely your mental health. Your life and happiness are worth more than this. You are worth more than 3,300 client hours. YOU come first. Start turning down new work and book a vacation or time off as soon as possible – next week even. You need to put yourself (health, happiness, and relationships) first. Or tell them next week you are leaving because you are moving back to your hometown and do that! Someone posted here just last week about moving without a next job lined up. Unfortunately, only you can free yourself from this hostage situation.

        If you don’t quit right away, start leaning way the F out and looking for another job that will accommodate you putting yourself first. I promise you they are out there. Tell your husband that you understand his frustrations but that they aren’t helping and make you feel worse. Tell him you are sorry this has happened and that you want to make it better for you and for the two of you — assuming this is true (if it’s time to ditch him, too, so be it, but perhaps that decision is better made in a calmer headspace). Tell him how he can help to make it better — help you look for new jobs, book a vacation for you two or just you, book doctor and therapist appointments, find a yoga studio you can go to, make you dinner, etc. – really anything. Tell him you want to prioritize your life together and happiness but that you need his help to get to that point. Tell this to your friends and family, too. I doubt you’ve really lost them and if you are honest with them, they will support you.

    • In the short term: Do you have an assigned partner mentor? Go to that person, tell him/her that you’re working 3300 hours and this is simply unsustainable. Tell partner you need a mental health day or several because you haven no life. I worked in BigLaw for 5 years and the only woman who worked that much really really wanted to, and you couldn’t stop her. Working that much is highly unusual.

      In the near future: job hunt. I know that might feel impossible bc you have no time to do that, but you can write a general cover letter and update your resume and send things off pretty quickly. Or take a week off and use that time to sleep, relax, and job hunt.

      Also, plan a vacation for minimum 1 week. Tell your partners on the case and do it. Summer is approaching and July/August tend to be slow. Do it then, or earlier even. But do it.

      This is so hard. Big hugs.

    • Wait, you’ve been going at that rate since Jan 1? B/c everybody goes through those spells. Question is how long they last. I can handle that rate for a few months, 3 tops. That rate from Jan – April would kill me. You have my sympathy. Is it going to slow down this year? FWIW, I’m in the opposite boat – having my soul consumed with anxiety b/c my practice group is slow….tick tock tick tock tick tock…

      • Since about November, actually.

        Totally sympathetic to the opposite, too. It isn’t like you can really enjoy the slow period!

    • Thanks to everyone for reading and for the feedback. I do really appreciate it, even/especially the tough love. I know that my hours are insane, even for biglaw, and I’ve been clear with the partners that things need to change. I actually haven’t taken on any new work in 2017, this is all from existing projects and clients. (We’re staffed on clients, so admittedly there have been new projects that have come up for these clients.) We’re understaffed, but also the clients reach out directly to me for projects. I don’t know how I turn a client down. Similarly because the group is so understaffed, if I were to turn down work someone equally as busy has to take it on. There’s also an undercurrent of petty competitiveness. I just sent an email to someone else on the team asking for some flexibility on a timeline because of another project that is more urgent, and he responded to tell me about the three more urgent projects he has. It feels like everyone constantly needs to one up each other with how busy they are.

      SO is in a similarly demanding job so I think it is more difficult for him because he does feel like he can turn down projects and doesn’t understand that it is hard for me to do so in my position. But if anyone has thoughts on graceful ways to turn down clients/partners/etc., I truly am all ears. I also get that he didn’t sign up for this.

      I don’t have loans but would like to build up savings. I am hesitant to take a new job that (i) may be just as bad as this (devil you know?) and (ii) would tie me down to this city that I’m not sure I like. It is all fear, really.

      • I can almost guarantee no other job will require you to bill 3300 per year, re your #1. Good luck in your search (and i think you need to be searching…)

      • Frozen Peach :

        Okay, I could have written your post, with some changes, about five years ago. I decided to take fifteen minutes of my day back and job-search. In less than a month I had multiple offers in hand and was able to leave to a position with more money and way more reasonable expectations.

        You only get one wild, precious life. A health scare will give you this perspective, but so will months of dire misery. Unless you are in a situation where you’re worried about paying the rent/loans or buying food or healthcare, quit your job. And then find a way to take some time to not jump right back into a different version of the same thing. Don’t beat yourself up for not knowing what you want. There is no way to know when you’ve been so strained/stressed/sleep deprived for so long. If what you know now is NOT THIS, that’s all you need to know– that you need to create the time/space to figure out a more specific answer than that. I guarantee you, you’ll never find it– you have to fight for it with spit and teeth. But giving yourself that gift is the only way to know that you’re living the life you want instead of the one you fell into/someone else selected for you. There, enough semi-inspirational life advice. This touches a chord with me though, because I know exactly the feelings you’re having, and I promise, you are allowed more from life than fresh hell every day.

      • Some advice from another senior associate in biglaw…

        I’m a fan of the “yes, but…” method of handling new work. “Yes, I can work on this, but I’m currently working on projects A and B with deadline X. I can turn to this afterward and get it to you by Y.” This puts the burden on them to help you re-prioritize if needed. This works for clients too. If you’re doing multiple projects for one client, ask what they want and when. I work with some teams who assume every client request is OMG urgent, but if you ask client when they’d like to see something (or if you proactively tell them, yes we can do this by X date), they’re fine with it.

        Also, have a sit down with the partners in your group about staffing. Can you hire help? Or borrow juniors from a less busy practice group? The rate at which you are working is ridiculous.

        Hang in there, OP! I hope things get better for you soon.

      • Some advice from a client that used to work in BigLaw:

        Use the “yes, but…” method. And I know I don’t speak for all clients, but I would be horrified if I found out my outside counsel were working 3300 hours in one year. Honestly, I’d have a conversation with the partner that handles my relationship that he/she needs to staff more appropriately. Not only because that many hours is insane, but because work product necessarily slips when someone is working that much.

        Be honest with your clients. I will tell my attorneys when something is urgent versus when it’s not. Help us help you.

    • You’ve vented but you haven’t really stated what you’re looking for. I have a tough-love perspective – you only get to complain about something 3 times. If this is a situation that has bothered you more than 3 times, then you either change it or accept it. Honestly, nothing you’ve mentioned here is out of your control. What do you want for yourself/your life? Because right now, it sounds like you want to do your job and have everyone be happy with and support your choices. That ain’t gonna happen.

      • I’ve complained more than 3 times :) And I know this is in my control, I’m just too afraid to make any decisions. But I do appreciate the tough love.

        • You have all my sympathies. More possibly tough love:
          You have in fact already made one key decision that will help you — you know you do not want to make partner at this firm. That is a good thing, because it means everything else matters less — keeping partners happy with you and staying on partner-imposed deadline in particular. I would prioritize keeping existing clients who call you for things directly over everything else, but with the caveat that I also 100+ support what others who have been in the client position said above. Tell the client new project is too much and you want to prioritize per their direction.

          Also, are these your own clients, that you get some BG credit for? If not, and they’re giving you new work directly because they like you/you do good work/you’re responsive/you’re cheaper than the partner, you have an additional option, which is to tell the client that you can’t take C on given that A and B are consuming 100% of your time (if for that same client — if not, you word it differently) and you regret not being able to assist them on this but need to ask them to talk to [credit partner] to have that partner handle project C/assign it to someone else.

          Overall, as others said, lean out. Don’t leave a specific client you work with directly in the lurch, but don’t go above or beyond and start pushing back on partner deadlines. You are bringing in boatloads on money for that firm. Even if you bill 2200 this year rather than 3300, you are bringing in boatloads of money for that firm. I’m not going to say, “I guarantee they won’t fire you,” because, BigLaw, BUT if that did happen (for having your hours drop to 2200), would that be all that bad? It’s great that you don’t have loans. You need to embrace the freedom of your decision that you don’t want to make partner there and start reclaiming part of your life, piece by piece and hour by hour.

        • Late to this thread and I’m not usually a commenter.

          I’m not in biglaw but investment banking.

          I was hired as an executive director in an american bank to lead a “very important group” (3 people away from the CEO, in a bank of 250k employees). By the time I started, I had 2 teams but no one acknowledged the change. It was a culture that had seen too many hollywood movies about NY banking so there was a lot of one-up maintop, fiefdoms as well as verbal and mental abuse. I ended up with 7 teams and 19 open VP roles within 6 months. Internal transfers would back out when they learned of the MD, and externals wouldn’t accept offers after interviewing with my boss.

          I was working around the clock, I’d be on the train by 618 am and would leave on the last train at 12:30 in the night because heaven forbid I take a car and have the expense (despite that it is officially policy. In fact, my MD would shriek if her admin didn’t order the cheapest pens, which didn’t write and people brought in their own – you get the picture). I worked weekends and holidays, I logged in at 4 am to work with the team in India.

          They had purchased my stock options from my last company which would vest after 1 year and there was a vested pension after 1 year. They even paid me dividends on my not-yet-vested stock! The benefits were amazing. I have a decade of Street experience and an excellent reputation and I felt like I couldn’t leave because I didn’t have anything else (tho we could get by on the hubs’ salary). My husband kept telling me to quit (within one month it was clear). I have always been independent and self-sustaining and I was too proud and embarrassed.

          And then I ended up in the ER with what may have been a heart attack.

          And yet.

          And yet, I kept bargaining with my husband that I could move to another team after 1 year and be vested ($40k in stock and a guaranteed pension).

          Now my husband is a wonderful, loving and wise man. He didn’t give an ultimatium, he just pointed out none of that would be helpful to him if I was dead. He is a smart fellow, I love him and our life dearly. I found a new role quickly (an ex-colleague had been courting me for months, so it was really just a text message and reply within the minute) and moved on.

          So you could resolve this issue by working yourself to death.

          Or you could look back as your future, loving self and make a choice to respect yourself and loved ones more than any office.

          (I will note that they never confirmed it was a heart attack because I am white, female and 40 and don’t fit the profile. If you think you are having a heart attack, make them draw blood and run the regular heart attack protocol. It could be the difference between living and not.)

          Lots of love to the OP.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You can change this. You can quit your job, you can move back to your city, you can break up with your SO or you can improve your relationship by cutting back on your hours.

      You are only as stuck as you think you are.

      If you’re worried about the money, don’t let that stand in your way. I stayed in my marriage five years past the time I knew I needed to leave because I thought the numbers didn’t pencil out, and guess what? The numbers penciled out fine when I finally got the courage to leave.

      The magic only happens when you find the courage to make a change.

    • Are you too senior to lateral as an associate? If you aren’t, I’d look for another firm job. Not all BigLaw is at NY pace.

  14. I’m wearing this today, and it is my favorite white shell. Machine washable and dryable, drapes perfectly, high enough v-neck that I never worry about it dipping too low. I love this.

    • Is the white version sheer at all?

      • Pen and Pencil :

        I have the blush version of this and it is see through, so I can’t imagine the white being even close to opaque.

      • Yes, it is a little sheer, but I’m not too concerned wearing it under a jacket with nothing under it. It’s not sheer–just that you can see a hint of skin color through it. But, I have very few F$#ks left to give, so YMMV. :)

    • I tried it on and it looked horrible on me. The material just billowed around me and made it look like a maternity shirt.

  15. Berkeleyan :

    Ugh this whole Ann Coulter / Berkeley thing. I hate even giving her an ounce of attention by typing her name. Which I’m convinced this is all about.

    My daughter goes to Berkeley High and some of the crazy right wingers are gathering to protest at the park adjacent to her school (on Allston Way). Last time they were here they had tear gas and M-80s and several were arrested with guns and knives. I’m keeping my daughter home today out of an abundance of caution.

    I’m just so annoyed.

    • Whatever happened to the idea that the remedy for speech you don’t like is more speech?

      • Did you not see “several were arrested with guns and knives” ?

        Coulter cancelled because she didn’t want to speak to an empty room.

        • But why the guns and knives?

          It’s like this fear that a speaker we don’t like will be so persuasive that no amount of other speech will counter that that the speaker must be silenced at all costs?

          Me, I don’t find bad ideas to be appealing at all, so I’d let everyone speak. And then speak some more. Where this idea that stifling speech by force is remotely OK come from?

          • “Where this idea that stifling speech by force is remotely OK come from?”

            I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Coulter’s supporters.

          • Ummm the people with guns and knives are supporting Coulter. They are protesting against people peacefully protesting Coulter.

          • I interpreted it as the Coulter supporters were the ones with guns and knives, not the people who were protesting her speech.

          • LOL, people are not “peacefully protesting Coulter.” They are planning the same armed chaos that took down the Yiannopoulos speech, including destroying the windows of local businesses, setting equipment on fire, destroying the student union building, rioting downtown, etc. Read the news.

          • nasty woman :

            “t’s like this fear that a speaker we don’t like will be so persuasive that no amount of other speech will counter that that the speaker must be silenced at all costs?”

            Hahaha. Not at all.

            I don’t think a single protester is cowering in the corner afraid that Ann Coulter or Milo or Richard Spencer will be persuasive.* The idea is laughable. Coulter is barely taken seriously… They are being protested because the ideas these people espouse are racist, s*xist, bigoted hate speech.**

            *Maybe persuasive to a bunch of ignorant bigots on Breitbart’s comment pages, but not in an university setting.

            **None of this is said to imply that I agree with “violent” protesting or express an opinion that what’s going on at Berkeley constitutes “force” to “stifle” speech by protesters.

          • Berkeleyan :

            The guns and knives were mostly on the right wingers. The last protest was a Pro Trump protest they brought to Berkeley (vast majority don’t live here) just to push buttons. It’s the same groups that pledged to show up today.

          • The antifa groups and BAMN are also often armed, though. I’m not sure about guns, but they have pepper spray, clubs, and other items.

    • I also live in the East Bay and I’m so tired of all the drama. If people would just accept that others have different opinions, let Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos show up and speak to the 10-20 people who care to see them, and then go quietly on their way, this would not be happening. This extreme polarization and characterization of all opinions you disagree with as “actual violence” are absurd. The helicopters buzzing overhead during all of these high-profile events set the whole region on edge and that’s before you even get to fighting.

      • I guess that’s it. There’s a lot that I disagree with in this world. I don’t feel compelled to note and protest every.single.thing. I figure that people will see things for what they are and probably feel the same as me.

        I agree that the people who’d go to see AC are about 20 people (or the 2000 who are probably itching for a fight). Why not just let the bad ideas wither on the vine?

      • Agree that a scheduled speech should happen, but disagree about “go quietly on their way.” With the current state of things, I think people who oppose the views of Coulter et al have an obligation to peacefully protest the speech. The real problem is the alt-right crowd who organize non-peaceful protests. Violence is not speech.

        • It’s also violent leftists, not just the alt-right. The violence is coming from both sides.

          • Berkeleyan :

            The two sides are so extreme they go full circle and meet in the middle. These are not normal Berkeley pacifist leftists.

            Oh joy, the helicopters have arrived.

          • I agree, it’s sad. Berkeley had a diversity of political opinions, but it’s so “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” now and both sides are SO extreme that there is no hope for being “with them” if you are a typical reasonable person capable of independent thought. Helicopters are driving me insane already :(

    • Berkeleyan :

      I believe the University will let her speak but they weren’t notified until May 29 that she was the speaker the young republicans had reserved the room for. Once the university found out they said no to today but proposed a date in May where they could host her in a more secure location for students’ and her own safety. This is much ado about nothing – she wants to say UC is not letting her speak, but all it really is is a change of dates due to security concerns.

  16. I was leading a class yesterday and at one point I was standing in the front of the room, and I don’t remember if I was observing a student or thinking about something that was coming up (I was not talking/lecturing) and one of the guys in my class walks by and tells me to “smile.”

    This drives me batsh!t crazy. It wasn’t malicious but WTF, how is this still okay? It threw me off in the moment. But I’m the instructor and they paid to be there so…? How can I shut this down still respectfully? I’m sure somebody has a response on this somewhere via article or whatever, any links would be appreciated, or just wity responses to have in my back pocket.

    Also, rage.

    • “Excuse me” is all I’d say with some sarcasm/attitude. But then I’m not a smiley type of person – and no one expects me to be happy – so now one says that to me.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      “Hey, smile!”

    • So, wait, did he get up out of his seat just to tell you to smile? I mean, it’s always annoying when guys say it, but when someone goes out of their way to do it . . . ugh.

      I probably would have stared at him for a moment and then said “what?” or “excuse me?” and then told him to sit back down.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG so much rage.

      I just googled “how to respond when men tell you to smile” and there is a ton of material out there.

      I’m kind of partial to “I beg your pardon?”

      But honestly, I’d be tempted to say “I’m going to assume good intentions here, but you should know — you should all know, class — that this comment is not appropriate. If you don’t know why, go home and google ‘men telling women to smile.'”

      • Baconpancakes :

        Hmm, I think you just added another SAism to the repertoire. “I’m going to assume good intentions, but x is wrong and here’s why” is a great script for so many things in life.

      • Anonymous :

        I like Senior Atrorney’s response. But I’ll also relay how I once responded to a man who ordered me to smile:

        Me: Has it ever occurred to you that women exist on this planet for a reason other than your visual gratification?

        Him: Whoa, I was just trying to be nice.

        Me: Then why don’t YOU smile at ME? Smiling at someone is nice. Ordering someone to smile is rude and, in this case, sexist.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I love this. And I feel like you could easily make that into a standard response:

          Him: “Smile!”

          You: “Why are you ordering me to smile?”

          Him (almost certainly): “Hey, I’m just trying to be nice!”

          You: “Then why don’t YOU smile at ME? Smiling at someone is nice. Ordering someone to smile is rude and, in this case, sexist.”

          • Senior Attorney :

            And let’s all have a moment of enraged silence while we contemplate the effed-upedness of having to have a standard response to being ordered to smile…

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My instinct is to always scream “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF MY FACE!”…. just an option.

      • My usual response to strangers is “go f*ck yourself.”

        In the situation OP described, I would use a version of the SA script and turn it into a teachable moment.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Ha! Love this!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Once a guy I didn’t know told me to smile, and I replied, “No thanks.” UGH.

    • I typically just bare my teeth in a very non-smile then return to my RBF, which is my happy place.

  17. Ten Step Skin Care Routine :

    Have any of you heard of and/or tried the Korean 10 step skin care routine? In order you use these products: Oil Cleanser, Water-based Cleanser, Exfoliator, Toner, Essences (still not really sure what this is…), Serum, Sheet Mask (usually once a week), Eye Cream, Moisturizer, then an SPF or Sleeping Mask.

    It seems like a lot but beauty bloggers have been swearing by it. Apparently its great for not only keeping your skin flawless but also good for anti- aging.

    • Ugh.

      It is not going to change your genetics, or suddenly give you flawless beautiful Korean skin.

      It will cost you a lot of money…. as the companies are trying to suck you in. You do know that most bloggers indirectly work for companies by essentially advertising their products, right? Gotta get those clicks and commissions…

      You do know the obsession in Korea with appearance, giving it now the highest rate of plastic surgery in the world?

      Just…. don’t promote this terrible movement.

      • Yeah I agree with all you wrote/those are all valid points, however I wasnt aiming to promote this movement- I was just curious if anyone actually does this in real life (outside of the beauty blogging world that is…).

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – how is this not a marketing ploy to buy 10 things now? And then 10 new things in 3 months?

      • +everything. I feel like Asian skincare right now is what “it has botanicals” was 10-15 years ago, with a little bit of cultural fetishism thrown in.

        I lived in Japan and Korea for 2 years each, and had some great skincare finds and some stinkers. East Asian skincare companies are as aware their products have instant cult status in the West as clothing manufacturers are aware people think they get great steals at outlet stores, and just as willing to exploit that awareness as the latter.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’ve had good luck with a pared down regimen and have found the products to be cheaper (~$10 – $20 / product) than many US beauty products (other than Cerave / Cetaphil).

      I think the most important things are
      1) oil cleanser – I use Banila clean it but have also had good luck with ponds
      2) foaming cleanser – I use Cosrx good morning low ph cleanser but you could also substitute cerave or something
      3) toner – different than american toner – mine is Mizon AHA / BHA toner
      4) Any actives if you struggle with acne etc – I use AHA / BHA
      5) Moisturizer – I use Beauty of Joseon but I think there are some
      6) sunscreen – I use biore UV from Japan cause I’m cheap…. La Roche Posay Anthelios is good htough I hear

      To the poster above – its not going to change my genetics, but its made my skin more stable / less breakout prone and the emphasis on sunscreen will probably help with anti -aging / staving off skin cancer

      • S in Chicago :

        I also use a mix similar to this.
        1. Ponds
        2. Cosrx low -ph cleanser (this stuff is amazing)
        3. Cosrx BHA on areas where I typically get clogged pores

        Skinceuticals physical sunscreen in the morning (not a K-product but I like the texture more than anything else I’ve tried)

        If I start feeling overly dry, I use a moisturizer. One I’m currently using is belif aqua bomb (I think it’s a K product but didn’t get it specifically because of that. Had a sample and really liked it so splurged on full size.)

        Every other evening I recently started to use Drunk Elephant c-serum. (Not a K-product)

        I’ve tried snail muscin and cosrx whitening essence and didn’t really see much difference so not using again.

        Price-wise, most of this was tried because I had a gazillion credit card rewards on Amazon and decided to treat myself. Most of this is fairly inexpensive compared with American products. I’ve stuck with it though because my skin is much less prone to acne now and no longer dull looking. If I could only pick one product, it would probably be the BHA. Made the pores on my nose seem to disappear like nothing else has.

  18. Is there such a thing as an eye cream/gel/mask/treatment of any kind that really reduces dark and puffy under eye circles? I have the permanent dark smudges that are super common for middle eastern/olive skinned women and I feel like they have gotten worse lately (or possibly I am noticing them more because I moved from the middle east to white bread america). To a certain extent I just kind of roll with them, I’m otherwise really happy with my skin care routine and don’t feel the need to wear foundation or coverup in general. But maybe someone out there has found a good solution? Or maybe I just need to either suck it up or put makeup on them if I don’t like it?

    • I’m of the same ethnicity (hi!) and I use Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream to depuff and Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in the Neutralizer shade to conceal. This combo’s been working well for me for a couple years now.

      I’ve never found anything that helps actually lighten, especially since we’re born with the pigment there. Just sleep and whatever undereye moisturizer I happen to be using at the moment.

      • I’m checking this out thanks! I think I would be happier living with the pigmentation if it was less puffy, I also wear glasses so that kind of draws attention away from it.

        (Hi! I’m glad you understand! I’m actually a mixed ashkenazi/Arab Jew who got my acne from my dad’s Ukrainian family and my under eye circles from my moms Arab family thanks a lot parents)

    • Darkness unfortunately is harder to combat (but like you said can usually be covered with makeup) but the Clinique PepStart eye cream is awesome for de-puffing.

      It’s been recommended here a few times, but just to pile on the love, the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer is amazing.

      • I have the Mac prep & prime stick.. my skin is pale and i use a light pink color, it doesnt match my skin color, but it minimizes the dark areas under my eyes. They probably have a shade that will help your skin color. Lately I’ve been wearing just this + mascara.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      For puffiness, I’ve had great results from the 100% Pure Caffeine under eye cream. So much that I just ordered a full size one. I’m pale Scandinavian, but really prone to the puffiness. I put the cream on before I start my eye makeup and by the time I’m ready to add concealer, the puffiness is gone.

      It’s a bit weird but the brand name really is “100% Pure”. I got mine from a site called Green Goddess – great service and they threw in a bunch of samples.

    • Anonymous :

      “White bread America” ? What on earth? How is this terminology acceptable here?

      But otherwise +1 to Origins Ginzing. But maybe my input isn’t valid since I am white and from America

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I am of the same complexion, and Retin A helped this for me. I also use a concealer that is way too light for my skin on my under eyes, under my foundation.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I should also add that I put an off-white eyeshadow under my eyes, and then use a color-correcting finishing powder over my whole face.

  19. Anon for this :

    How do you function at work when have just had something unexpected and bad happen?

    I was seriously injured in a car accident and a friend recommended someone he knows to handle the lawsuit against the driver who hit me so I could cover my medical costs, etc. The lawyer I went to (that my friend knows and who is the partner of the small firm) passed the case off to someone he had just hired 3 weeks ago and who had never run a trial on his own (never been first chair for all the lawyers). The defendant openly lied on the stand (in an obvious way about actual facts – think saying a hilly street is flat) and also brought in “an acquaintance” who suddenly realized she had been passing by and had seen the whole thing and of course it was my fault.

    My lawyer was clearly not experienced enough to handle any of this and we lost. More than the money, I feel wronged – like I was harmed and then the person responsible JUST LIED and got away with it. Not even lies that couldn’t be shown by an attorney who knew what he was doing.

    I’m in shock and don’t know how to function while I feel like this. I keep trying to tell myself that i know life is unfair but this just seems so wrong somehow.

    • 1. Has the appeal period expired? Even if it has, you may want to get a new lawyer and try to file an appeal.

      2. I would consider a complaint to regulatory body in your state. I would normally be hesitant to suggest that but in this case, it sounds like the attorney was not even familiar with the basic facts of the case (street was a hill vs. flat) which in my view would be below the standard of practice.

      • Anon for this :

        Thanks. I’m not trying to be unkind so I don’t think I would cause the attorney the trouble of the complaint. I mostly feel shocked that a liar would win and that my lawyer was so bad. And trying to function at work.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s unkind to allow this type of attorney to continue to practice. If this happened to your best friend, would you be saying “oh, cut this guy some slack”???? NO WAY! This is legal malpractice AND you deserve the money to cover your medical bills. Yes you should appeal (with a different attorney) and you should consider suing your former attorney over this. Absolutely no way should this happen.

    • Anonymous :

      There is something missing here…where are the insurance companies? If this is the way it was going, you would have know a loooooooong time before trial. If this is what happens, you should 1. appeal; and 2. consult with a malpractice lawyer (Someone who sues other attorneys for not doing their job). But there seem to be a lot of details missing for this to have occurred in as shocking a fashion as relayed…

  20. Important Hair Question -- Arizona Hair :

    I was in Arizona recently and my hair was a wreck.

    My hair is the sort of limp white-person’s hair. It has more volume in humidity. It is really oily so I wash every day and also use generous conditioner.

    In Arizona, it was not fluffy at all and was really hard run a brush through. No product in it or anything to make it tacky or mat together. I used hotel shampoo and conditioner. What do I need to do different next time? Ultra-rich conditioner? Some sort of product? Needs to be something that comes in 3-OZ TSA containers.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      The water you use on your hair has a huge effect on your hair texture and how it responds to products. I would get some sample shampoos/conditioners and bring them to see what works best in Arizona.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Your hair probably got dry enough that the cuticle (tiny scales on the outside of each hair) contracted and were catching on each other. Things which have helped my limp hair in dry Midwestern winters:

      When you wash your hair, only apply shampoo to the roots. Do not try to get the shampoo all the way to the ends. You want to maintain the oil on the bottom 2/3 of your hair. I manage this by just not piling my hair on top of my head. Sometimes, I have to add a little bit more shampoo to my hands and get the underside at the back of my head.

      Flip this when you apply the conditioner. Apply the conditioner mainly to the ends and smooth a bit at the roots. I use a wide tooth comb while the conditioner is in my hair to remove tangles. When you rinse, try to rinse only the roots and minimize the rinsing you do at the ends. My hair is below shoulder length, so I literally pick up the ends and hold most of my hair out of the water.

      I also then apply a leave-in conditioner when I get out of the shower to the bottom 2/3 of my hair. I try to minimize blow drying to keep the cuticle smooth.

    • It sounds like your generous conditioner use might actually be weighing your hair down.

    • Arizona is dry in more regions, and has hard water, so not surprising that your hair reacted. For me, my hair is a disaster when I go anywhere else because the humidity and water softness wreak havoc – it adjusts after about a week, and the same when I come home if I’ve been gone a while. So if you are only coming for a couple days, you might plan on a ponytail or bun while you are here.

      Do definitely try to wash less frequently; you need the hair oil here. Try getting the travel sizes of Living Proof at Sephora to bring next time.

    • Hotel shampoo and conditioner are notoriously terrible. I recommend buying the gogear silicone squeeze bottles and decanting your regular shampoo and conditioner into them.

      I travel 4 days per week and if I used hotel hair products I would look terrible. My hair is fine and wavy/curly, and theres a lot of it- I like the L’oreal everpure line and bumble and bumble’s gentle line. If you dont want to decant the big bottles into small ones, the L’oreal one comes in small bottles at CVS/Target.

  21. Anon for this :

    Are there any other income partners in the hive who are not striving to become equity partner? It’s not that I don’t want the promotion (I would love to have the extra $$), but it just seems like it’s going to take a lot more work to get to that level and I’m burned out from being the highest billing associate (and ignoring my growing family and all hobbies) for years. Anyone been in my shoes and your feelings changed after awhile? I’m wondering if I’m going to feel like this forever, in which case I might as well go to an in-house position where at least I’m not going to be “on call” all the time and have vacations ruined regularly.

    • I was an income partner and IP can be good at a firm that will tolerate an 85% busy IP who is a service partner. Many firms are up or out firms though. But when you are really utilized and bringing in your own work, IP comp is a lot lower for capital partner comp even with the same economics. If you are that sort of IP, you might as well be a capital partner.

      Often you have no real choice — if you have clients, you act more like a CP than an IP. Ditto if you do your own billing, negotiate fee arrangements, deal with conflicts. If you have clients, great. If not, you may be IP for life. But when someone senior to you retires, you may be there anyway.

  22. No Way Out :

    Last night I broke up with my live in long term SO of 9 years. Truth be told our relationship has always been rocky. A lot of that is my fault for wanting him to be someone he is not. At this point, I can no longer deal with his poor anger management and other issues that put a real strain on my well being. Life is too short. The balance of the problems we had is that we have horrible communication. I’ve tried very hard to improve my communication skills in the last 6 months but I do not see improvement on his end.

    He was very emotional last night when I ended things and accused me of pulling the rug out from under him. Without my income, he is not financially able to keep the lifestyle we’re currently living. He threatened that he would not agree to terminate our lease (not that he has to agree). I told him to keep the place and I’d move out but he can’t afford the rent. He wants to move into a storage unit detached from the apartment but still on the property because he says he can’t afford to live anywhere else. I told him get a roommate and find an apartment. He doesn’t want to or won’t. On more than one level I can’t fathom a situation where he’s living 10 feet away from me in a storage unit.

    I’m not sure how to untangle our lives. No kids but we do share a pet, which he says he cannot afford to take with him. Any tips on how to part ways with a live-in SO under the circumstances? I suppose I could move myself but I’m hoping there’s another way out.

    • When is your lease up? I would give him a set amount of time to figure out new living arrangements, like a month or something. Like you said, life is too short. He needs to be able to function independently. The storage unit idea is ridiculous and if he does that I would move. It sounds like staying might be more difficult that it’s worth.

    • I would move out. It will be a lot harder if you stay. Give notice on your lease immediately. Pack and move. It will be very hard but you will get through it. Anger issues are a huge problem, you don’t want a future with this person. It’s a recipe for disaster if you try to stay in this apartment when he is trying to hang onto a life with you for financial reasons, and given that he has anger issues. Please talk to friends/family so you have a safe place to stay if he refuses to leave the apartment. Pack anything of sentimental value immediately. Bring the sentimental stuff to your friend or parents place today.

      • +1. Trying to kick out someone who is trying to hang onto the relationship is never going to end well. It will be much easier to put this behind you quickly if you move out. Take the pet and anything you really care about on the first trip.

      • +1

      • I forgot to add that you should get your mail forwarding set up with the post office immediately. You don’t want him to be able to access documents arriving in the mail. Use your parents address if they are in town, or rent a box at the post office.

      • Anonymous :

        Move out. You got this. Don’t let him emotionally blackmail you.

    • Move out, take your pet, break the lease as soon as you can.

      • Yep. His financial situation is not your problem anymore.

        • This is so true, but can also be really hard to fully accept in a breakup situation, where you’re not exactly acting or feeling rationally all the time. (At least in my experience . . . )

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Except it is if she is on the lease too and he refuses to move out and doesn’t pay rent. I agree she should move out but it gets complicated when people have joint financial obligations. He could effectively ruin her credit.

      • Senior Attorney :


        Keep in mind that if you are not able to terminate the lease, you will be liable to continue to pay it.

        If I were feeling generous I might offer to pay a couple of months rent to give him time to get on his feet.

        And be prepared for him to get angrier once the shock starts to wear off.

    • I don’t understand how someone can reside in a storage area. Like won’t the LL get in trouble? Is there a CO for the storage area as a dwelling?

      • Yes, it definitely is not legal.

        And of course, he would insist on coming inside to use the toilet/shower etc.. Impossible.

    • Move out! And then, even though it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult, don’t let yourself feel responsible for his arrangements. Yeah, it’s probably going to suck for him to live in a crappier apartment, but that is not your fault in any way and not your responsibility.

    • Agree you have to move out. Get your name off the least as soon as possible. Take any of your stuff that is important to you because he will trash it when he’s angry. Move into an extended stay type hotel or a friend’s couch and for gods sake don’t tell him where you are staying. Take a couple of days off work to do this while he is out of the house (hopefully this guy works).

      Do not worry about his finances. They are not your problem.

      • Adding – don’t stay because of things. Things can be replaced. If all you can grab is your jewelry and financial documents, so be it. You can buy new clothes and dishes

    • Make a clean a break as you can. When I did this almost 10 years ago, I threw money at the problem because a total break was easier than a long drawn out separation. I took off a day of work and packed up all the essential stuff while he was out of the apartment, and left everything that he might want.) I found an apartment and gave him a check of the remainder of our lease (that I’d been paying most of anyway.) I arranged to have all of my mail forwarded. I didn’t accept calls from him mom. I gave him a choice of letting me take the dog, or having her stay with him and I’d give him $ for 3 months of her expenses – he chose to keep her. That was tough, but shared dog-custody would have bound us together for years.

      It was hard but necessary to avoid the emotional blackmail. In hindsight, I’m not sure what his game plan was … convince me to stay because he couldn’t find a roommate to let him live essentially rent free and drink all day?

      You will be ok.

  23. How do you find time to job search when you are working crazy hours and can’t get away easily, like in ibanking/consulting/law? Any tips from people who have gone through this? When did you let people know anything about your job search? If you used your network did you ask people not to talk about the fact that you are job searching?

    • It’s rough – did it when leaving biglaw. Personally I was senior enough that I blocked out a lot of “meetings” on my calendar — they were really my own networking meetings, not client meetings but I was ambiguous about it. That works if you are senior enough to where you have a role that has you out of the office and also if you’re in a big enough place/dept where you work for a lot of people and they don’t all know the rest of your caseload. It wouldn’t work in a small department with 1 partner bc if he calls and your assistant says – she’s at a client meeting – obv he’ll know he didn’t send you anywhere.

      As for networking – I personally do NOT say “don’t tell anyone,” and when people say that to me I find it juvenile and off putting as if you think I’m so unprofessional that I’ll run and tell the world right after my coffee is over. And thing is – someone who wants to tell, will tell regardless of your disclaimers. Word does get around a bit but nothing over the top and frankly I was ok with the firm knowing I was looking out for myself (if they heard anything). I never explicitly told anyone – hey I’m job searching – until I announced my resignation; I’m sure people could have surmised but I wasn’t going to confirm it bc it’s not their business.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I always used a combination of my network and online job posting / recruiters in IBD. The answer is you just do it. Doctors appt, be late to work, mysteriously disappear at points. If you want to leave you have to sort of balance that against your work reputation.

      No one will talk about you job searching because at least in IBD everyone is always job searching on some level. I wouldn’t tell your bosses / MD until you have a signed offer in hand.

    • Following!

    • Frozen Peach :

      YMMV but I had one colleague and friend who knew my situation and wasn’t my direct competition in our department. She covered for me a few times during fly-in interviews. Total lockdown for everyone else. Lots of unexplained closed doors for phone interviews, and also cultivating a certain amount of not-caring. It’s amazing what a few focused minutes every day will do to propel a search forward.

  24. Anon Associate :

    Our firm emails out each associates billables each month to all the attorneys (so I see what all my fellow associates billed as do the partners). I’m just looking for some anecdotal data on whether or not this is the norm everywhere. Mid-law.

    • Same here. Also mid-law. You can get on the timekeeper system though and check for all attorneys, too.

    • At my Big Law firm the partners can look up any associate’s hours, but associates don’t get any info about what any other individual is billing. We (the associates) do get some aggregate info but its all anonymous. We can see the 25th/50th/75th percentile levels for associate billable hours within our small practice group, within our larger “division” and for the entire firm. So you know how you’re doing relative to others, but you don’t know what Jane Doe or John Smith is billing.

      • Anonymous :

        My firm is basically the same. Partners get a monthly report that lists each attorney in their practice group and office and can see the data for any attorney in the firm. Associates get average data by practice group, office, and practice group within the office.

    • This is terrible. Worked in BigLaw for several years and this was never done. I had no idea what other partners/associates billed unless they told me.

      • In Big Law, same at my firm. A handful of partners keep an eye on hours and will nudge you if yours are too low in comparison to everyone else, but I know nothing about the details of anyone’s billing and where I fall into the scheme of things. I’m totally happy with that.

      • My current Biglaw firm doesn’t do it. My former Biglaw firm did and I liked it, because I could see if everyone was slow or just me. It let me benchmark against others and I appreciated it.

        • Should add, at my old firm it was every timekeeper from our law librarian up to the managing partner.

      • Biglaw at two firms and same. The only way an associate would know what other associates bill is if a partner (who can everyone’s hours) or the other associate shares their own hours.

        I actually like the percentile point above — it’d be nice to know where you stood — but at the same time I imagine people would end up aiming for the 50-75th percentile

    • My first, AmLaw 200, firm did that when I was there several years ago. I think they still do.

      My last firm, national BigLaw, didn’t email a report, but partners could access anyone’s hours on the intranet.

    • I think that this is the norm for the firms (some BigLaw, some RegionalLaw, some branch BigLaw) I’ve worked for.

    • I worked at an AmLaw 100 firm that had monthly excel spreadsheets (with atty names) where they tracked billable and non-billable hours and realization rates. People who weren’t hitting their targets appeared in red. All non-partners appeared on this spreadsheet. At my midlaw firm, you can see all non-partners’ billable hours and realization rates, but it’s anonymous. Partners, of course, have access to everything.

    • We don’t email, but our firm is open. So, all the associates can see what the other associates bill and have in fees (and technically, there’s an easy work around for associates to see what partners bill–they just have to do it one by one). And all partners–equity and non–can see what everyone in the firm bills, has in fees, makes in salary and gets for bonus. Totally open system. It’s depressing at times, but it’s a good thing IMO. It keeps things fairly honest.

      • Oh, and I’m regional BigLaw.

        • Anonymous :

          I would love to know salaries at my firm. We’re not lockstep and it would not surprise me in the least if some of the associates are getting screwed relative to others depending on when everyone started.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      My midlaw firm did this.

    • Anonymous :

      Midlaw (or perhaps regional biglaw?) They don’t email it out, but there is a report in our time keeping system where you can see everyone’s hours. I suspect most people don’t know this exists except for the partners who need to know it–it’s kind of buried and I happened to stumble across it one day after 3 years of working here.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My former mid-law firm did it weekly.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Scratch that. Weekly we got naughty notices regarding who didn’t have all their time entered. The billable hours chart was monthly.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Boutique firm of 30 lawyers – partners have access to all info but associates can only see their own hours.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      We have a weekly report that goes out to everyone (partners, associates, staff) showing hours for all timekeepers (from project assistants to partners).
      I actually rather like it, for the reasons others have stated. It pushes people who need to be pushed, and puts thins perspective: when I need to push and when I can pump the brakes, and when I shouldn’t worry that my hours are low.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      This seems crazy. They do not do this where I work (and there is no hours requirement).

    • Anonymous :

      My last firm — mid-law — did this monthly for all timekeepers. I kind of miss it.

  25. Month-long trial :

    I will be in a month-long trial later this year and could use some advice abt what to wear (I’ve already read the comments on the post from 2010 about this, but would appreciate updated perspectives).

    I sweat a lot, regardless of shirt fabric.

    I have three suit jackets, each of which have matching pants and skirts. I may buy one more suit (should I?), but I anticipate wearing some jackets multiple times in a week.

    Any tips or tricks to minimize jacket smelliness? Any other trial apparel/packing suggestions?

    • For jacket smelliness, I would definitely not wear the same jacket on back-to-back days if you can avoid it. At the end of the day, when you take the jacket off make sure to hang it separate from the rest of your suits (maybe in the hotel closet/bathroom?) and let it air out. About 2 weeks in, maybe give each jacket a little Febreeze on the inside.

      I would also encourage you to have more than 5 shells, bonus points if your shells can go with multiple suits. It’s going to start feeling really stale after the second week if each shell only goes with one suit and you only have enough to last a week.

      • Anonymous :

        Try garment shields in your suit jackets and switch them out after each day of trial. I use the Hollywood brand of garment shields, and they work for me. The only key is that people may see them in your jacket if you take it off, so I usually remove or put on the jacket in the restroom. Good luck!

    • Try to wear shirts with sleeves of some sort under the suit jacket, so you don’t get sweat on the jacket in the first place. I use a spray bottle with vodka mixed with water to get out stinkiness, and it gets out about 90% of the funk.

      • Ooh, also, I’ve been very curious about a brand called Ministry of Supply that has “technical” workwear, including shirts with antimicrobial fabric. That could help! (and if you get them, please report back!)

      • what ratio of water to vodka do you use?

        • I think about 50/50 — you can google it and find different recommendations.

        • Anonymous :

          Not OP or Vodka OP, but I do this too and I just do it straight – no water. Certain types of alcohol also work.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, it doesn’t have to be vodka. Any clear alcohol will do. I use the isopropyl alcohol I have in my medicine cabinet and I just use that straight out of the bottle.

            Just be sure to test anything on an inconspicuous piece of the garment first. Just in case.

          • Anonymous :

            Well – almost any clear alcohol. I wouldn’t go with a flavored clear alcohol (like the marshmallow vodka or a clear gin). But vodka or anything from the medicine cabinet.

    • Do they still make dress shields? Would that be a solution?

    • I’m super sweaty as well. I only wear shirts with short sleeves under blazers because that seems to make me sweat less. I’d also recommend using Sweatblock towelettes the night before and that should cut down on the smelliness.

    • Month-long trial :

      Thanks for the helpful suggestions everyone. I will definitely be trying the vodka/water trick, and I just ordered the Nehru top from ministry of apparel. Fingers crossed that it’s not too good to be true, because this sounds like a perfect product for me!

    • Are you able to use Certain-Dri deodorant? It’s not good if you have very sensitive skin but it really cuts down or eliminates perspiration.

      • anon for this :


        You guys. I have always been sweaty AF. No smell, but just what felt like a faucet under my arms every day. It was horrid- pit stains, no silk shirts, dangerously slippery yoga mats. I recently tried Certain-Dri’s prescription strength deodorant and it has CHANGED. MY. LIFE. Dries me up like the Sahara. I can’t believe it. Even other “clinical strength” stuff didn’t work. You think I’m being dramatic, but I have about 15 silk shirts that I’ve basically given up on. My dry cleaning bills have just been dramatically reduced! No more horrid deodorant stains/lines all over my clothes! The joy of not feeling sweat run down my arms! Greatest improvement of 2017.

      • Anonymous :

        yes, and a derm can up the ante by prescribing a 20% aluminum chloride solution, which is even stronger. That worked for me about 6-7 years until I built up a tolerance. Went from insanely sweaty (thanks genes) to no sweat, ever.

        Also, if you’re willing to pay $1000 out of pocket for Botox, most derms will do it without going through insurance.

    • I find that I sweat more if shirts have sleeves. I minimize jacket smelliness by taking the jacket off during breaks and airing them out in a well-ventilated place. Turning the jacket inside out helps. I think you’d be ok with three suits but would probably get a fourth just in case you get a visible stain. Change as soon as you can and hang the items. I would bring a lot of shirts and only expect to wear them once before washing. Also bring more than 1 pair of heels. Even comfy heels can cause friction after a long day so you want to be able to shift the pressure points. Heels can also break at the most unfortunate times. It’s easy to get dehydrated and forget to eat during trial so I always pack trail mix packets and make myself snack on them during breaks. If you don’t want to carry all of that on you, you could send an amazon package to yourself at the hotel.

      • Anonymous :

        I second the prepped snacks! I’m not huge on trail mix personally, so I usually use Clif bars instead. Definitely something substantial that has some protein in it.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I would get 2 more suits, and find a local dry cleaner (will your fim handle doing this already perhaps). Every long trial I have been a part of we were on a dry cleaning schedule, with the cleaner providing sacks and coming 2-3 times a week. One of the staff handled coordinating this.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Oh and other packing suggestions from someone who has done this several times before: 5 suits (yes really), 7 shells/blouses, 10 pairs pantyhose in case of destruction, 2-3 pairs court shoes, and about 10 sets of casual clothes (or whatever you wear in the war room-had done both casual and business casual depending on client) and shoes to go with those. And at least 2 sets PJs and ample workout clothes if you plan to exercise.

        It takes a little thought on how much toiletries and makeup to bring. I forgot nail polish remover/nail polish/manicure tools once. Item not to forget for such a long stay.

    • I don’t know how far you want to go in dealing with this, but you can get Botox injections in your underarms which will stop the sweating for a few months.

  26. PHLUR-bc I love Internet retail startups :

    Anyone tried PHLUR- the internet retail startup for fragrance?

    Curious if you think the fragrances are of a quality to warrant $85.

  27. butter shoes update :

    I asked a couple weeks ago about Butter shoes- I ordered a pair on Ruelala and they are narrow but amazing- I’d totally recommend. I’ve been wearing them around the house today (with leggings and a tshirt and a baseball hat, its a great look!)

    I’m going to be returning the Jimmy Choo’s I’d purchased for my wedding and be waltzing around in these instead. My dress and these shoes make me feel like Belle in the cartoon Beauty and the Beast and for me, that’s the dream.

  28. My last job ended very, very poorly, and I got a great new job, but I’m staying in the same (small) industry. I’m feeling a certain amount of anxiety about my reputation and having bad blood with my old company. Has anyone dealt with this? Any advice or experience anyone can share?
    For reference, I’ve posted about the job here before, it was a case of targeted harassment that got so bad that I had a medical intervention to deal with the resultant stress and insomnia, and even though I dealt with it as professionally as possible as long as possible, I wound up being pushed out and I think there’s resentment all around.
    I’m sure it will all blow over and be fine, but I can’t help but be antsy about it.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Ooof, that’s a tough one. I’ll provide my favorite recommendation – Ask A Manager. She’s got several posts with this general theme to give you an outside perspective.

      If I were in your shoes, I would just focus on doing my job and continuing to be highly professional. As people interact with you, they will compare your actions to the gossip. Your actions will speak louder.

  29. Month-long trial :

    Thanks for the helpful suggestions everyone. I will definitely be trying the vodka/water trick, and I just ordered the Nehru top from ministry of apparel. Fingers crossed that it’s not too good to be true, because this sounds like a perfect product for me!

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