Thursday’s TPS Report: Trimmed Ponte One Button Blazer

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

Limited Trimmed Ponte One Button BlazerI like this colorful ponte blazer from Limited, as well as the navy trim and navy polka dot lining (squee!).  It seems like a fun addition to a navy sheath, or even worn as here (with jeans and a white blouse) for a weekend at the office.  The blazer (which has glowing reviews in both regular and petites) was $98, but today you can take 40% everything off at The Limited with code FASHION, bringing the price down to $59ish. (There’s also a more subdued version in navy.)  Limited Trimmed Ponte One Button Blazer

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  1. I am in love with this. Must resist the urge to buy. I had such grand plans of a shopping budget for this month…

    • The Limited is such a great place to buy blazers! I’ve always been impressed with them for the price (particularly because they are always having sales).

      • Really? The Limited was my go to when I was in about 7th grade, and I still think of it that way — i.e. a good mall store for teens. Is it a good place to buy decent quality work clothes?

        • Yea, you need to go check it out again! I think it’s majority work clothes, and some casual stuff. I think the quality is decent, I like that I can machine wash a lot of the stuff.

        • Ciao, pues :

          This was my thought, too. In my head it’s equivalent to Express, which is definitely a techno-thumping mall store for teens and twenties. The target market for Limited seems to have changed since I was cruising the mall!

        • It seems like when I was in my early 20’s (early 2000s), the Limited and the Express were basically the same. Then, pretty suddenly, the Limited changed focus to more work-wear (and Express sort of gradually veered towards more party wear, I think). I was in my first corporate job at the time and remember being excited about this.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I have 2 blazers from The Limited. I’ve been impressed with the quality for the price. They are (in my opinion) casual blazers – I use them as an upgrade from a cardigan.

    • I love the color, but it’s so shrunken I don’t think the cut would work on me. Sadface!

    • Do they ship to Canada? I love the green

  2. I wish my weekend in the office look was so put together! I’m usually wearing the comfiest clothes I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen by my boss in. :)

  3. Omg I love this! It would be work appropriate in my office during the week (haay marketing). I’m just in that awkward stage where I’ve gained weight and don’t want to order new clothes to motivate myself to lose weight but at the same time I need new clothes to wear. Ugh what do I do?

    • Maybe pick up a few (cheaper) things for the interim? You can try a thrift shop or consignment store. Then, if you lose the weight, you can always donate the clothes back.

    • I have the same issue… I really could not go any longer without buying at least a new pair of blacks pants, so I did. Now I’m losing weight (yay!) but my brand new pants don’t fit (boo!). I guess it’s still an overall good situation!

    • I'm Just Me :

      I’ve been losing weight steadily over the past year, and have relied on Target, Kohls and sales at various places to give me just enough pieces to get thru the week. I buy stuff that can be mixed and matched and classic. Now I think I’m at a weight that I will maintain for a while I will start buying more investment places. I plan to donate the pieces that are too big to a local career closet that helps women in transition.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was a yo yo dieter for, like, 40 years, and one thing I learned was I could never ever hate myself into losing weight. Like they used to say on “What Not to Wear,” dress the body you have. Pick up a few pieces you love and feel great in now. If you feel good about how you look even with the extra pounds, I swear it will be easier to do what you have to do to drop them. At least that was my experience.

      • This was honestly exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!

      • hellskitchen :

        I second Senior Attorney. I asked a similar question a few months back and the Hive’s advice really helped me. Instead of getting a lot of cheaper items buy a few mid-range items that you really love and that are capable of adapting to your body. For me, those were sheath dresses with some stretch, silk blouses that fit snug now but will still be appropriate when I lose my postpartum weight, skirts with a hidden half elastic band etc. I shopped the sales rack at places like Macys, Nordstrom and hit stores like TJMaxx to get high quality items on discount

  4. Land's End? :

    I’ve just realized that Land’s End has a website for my country and am about to place my first order. I seem to remember from comments on this site that it is best to size down, but I was wondering about their shoe sizing (I have two pairs of flats in my cart). The website says to size up half a size, but there is no half size up from mine, I have to go straight to the next size up and am a bit concerned that the shoes will be too big. Any advice? Is it ok to order in my usual size?

    • I ordered slippers from Lands end. It said to go up a half size. I’m usually an 8.5 so I ordered 9, and they were way too small. I would have exchanged for a 10 but they were sold out. I like slippers that are a little loose and i dont have experience with “regular” shoes from them.

    • Famouscait :

      I’m wearing a pair of pointed toe flats from land’s End right now, and they are my regular size. They’re real leather so they were snug when I first got them but now they have stretched just a little to be a perfect fit. I’ve tried some heels from Lands End too (which I did not keep) and I seem to remember that I ordered my normal size. Hope this helps.

    • The slippers I’ve ordered have run very narrow and small (like Preg3L). However, I’ve ordered heels and they are my normal size. I found that the flats run a little narrow, but I have wide feet. I’d say if you are on the bigger end of your normal size, or you have feet on the wider side, go a full size up. Otherwise, order your normal size.

      FWIW I found the pointy toed flats to be more narrow than the rounded toe…

  5. Manhattanite :

    I see Limited now has petites and returns by mail are free for petites. Can anyone speak for the sizing? (I’m usually a 00P at BR, for reference)

    • I can’t comment on the sizing (I’d guess it would skew small considering the younger demographic?), but thanks for the heads up about the free returns.

    • I am skeptical that anything would fit. I haven’t tried the petite line, but I’m completely sized out of The Limited and I’m a 2P. Everything runs HUGE.

    • Extra Petite did a review on her blog:

    • Flying Squirrel :

      If you are 00P at BR, it probably won’t fit. They have a few pieces that go down to 0P, but they are bigger than 0P at either BR or AT. I’m hit or miss (or at least was pre-pregnancy) 00P at both places (BR petites tend to run long on me and AT is just inconsistent), and Limited petites are so big on me that it’s not even worth trying to tailor them (at least for suiting).

      • Flying Squirrel :

        Whoops, I just realized that I was talking about regular sizing, not petites (which are new and didn’t exist before I was pregnant). Yeesh! I thought I was getting more sleep than the average person with a two month old…but apparently not enough ;)

  6. Equity's Darling :

    Tell me a hilarious embarrasing story!

    Today I tripped getting on the train, and fell into a very put together woman holding coffee, ruined my dress, awkwardly scrambled off the train, ran home to change, then decided to try my day again.

    • Ooh, jeez. That’s the worst. I have a whole list of them but am blanking at the moment. Rest assured, you are not the only clumsy person out there.

      • Ahh, I remembered. I walked into a cafe recently and slipped on the wet tile floor, knocking over a table with glasses and a water jug. Yes, I was slightly more hurried than I should have been but the floor was really wet and slippery and the people didn’t even ask if I was okay!

        I was meeting with my supervisor whose office is up a narrow, windy staircase. She was running late and asked me to make tea and I went down to the kitchen, missed a step, and fell down several stairs, ending up on my back.

        • My first day of my clerkship, the judge took us out to lunch. I was nervous and talking with my hands, and I hit the straw in my drink (fortunately not the drink itself), which then flew at the judge. It was like slow motion. I was so embarrassed.

          • S in Chicago :

            I’ve done this with pen caps, while fiddling with pens while I’m talking more times than I can count. I now use the click-type pens for the safety of everyone around me in meetings. Seriously. Can’t even guess at how many people I’ve hit.

          • Ha, but click pens have their own issues–I click-click them constantly, which I’m sure is annoying, and then I don’t notice when the pen is clicked open and end up drawing all over my clothes and face.

        • I had recently graduated from school and went to the alumni career center for job search advice. The atmosphere was very interview-esque and I was trying to make a good impression on the woman I was meeting with. She was trying to help me define what culture would be a good fit for me, asking me about what sort of working environments and people I liked and disliked. In formulating my response to the “dislike” portion of her question, I thought back to my traumatic internship, where my superiors were major jerks. I was searching for a way to put this into words, and I think she took my pausing manner of speaking as hesitation. What I said was, “Well,… I don’t like people who are… I’m not sure how to say this.. (Pause, looking away, then meeting her gaze directly)…PUS*Y.”

          Her jaw dropped, her eyes widened, as I said “OH! I Mean PUSHY! People!”

          I could have just died.

    • I don’t even like coffee, but I once took a cup at an interview just to be social… spilled it all over myself and the floor. I had already decided that I didn’t really want the job, but the embarrassment from this incident just sealed the decision for me.

      • Oh my, that reminds me of my interview here 24 years ago. I wasn’t a big coffee drinker but, like you, I took a cup to be social. What I didn’t know was that the Dean was known for making coffee like mud. I almost couldn’t stomach it – especially after a more heavy lunch than I was used to. The amount of food alone at that interview could have made me sick! And yet, I still took the job and here I am all these years later.

      • I had the same issue! When I was in college, I applied to be an INTERN at a goverment agency. When I went in for the INTERVIEW, the guy asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee. At that point, the ONLEY coffee I liked was ICE COFFEE, so when he came out with 2 hot coffee’s with NO cream, I did NOT like it and spit it back into the cup. He saw me do that and said that that would not be good form if I was in a meeting, so I did NOT get the job. FOOEY b/c I realy wanted that job on my resume but wound up workeing in the cafeteria that semester instead.

        Last nite, Myrna and I went to a bar on Second Avenue. She said she needed a breathe of fresh air, so we went out. It was OK, but 3 guy’s kept askeing us for our digits and one guy kept rubbeing up against me and Myrna at the bar. There was pleanty of room so I did NOT understand why he kept rubbeing up against us and asked him what the issue was. He said that we were the cutest girls in the bar and he wanted us to have his children. I knew this was a line b/c I have heard this SOOOO many times before, so I told him we were MARRIED. He figured out we were NOT b/c he said where were our husband’s. He also said we did NOT have ring’s so he knew we were lookeing for guys, so why not him? I said that there are alot of jerk’s in Manhattan, and we wanted real men. He brought his other 2 freinds over and it turn’s out one of them, Frank, is a lawyer for a NYC goverment agency. He said we had alot in common b/c I am a lawyer, but I think he was NOT interested in discussing legal topic’s, but wanted to arrange a date with us. We took their #s, but I do NOT see me calling a goverment lawyer. Benjamin is already on the list and he at least did NOT want sex but these guy’s did.

        Margie came into the office today, and she is already showeing! The manageing partner is strutteing around the office b/c he has impregnated Margie and will have his own son. He does NOT know yet, but he want’s a SON. I told him he is very lucky to be MARRIED and haveing a son, so he is happy. YAY!!!!!

    • One time, I was walking down a very long staircase to get to the Caltrain (at Millbrae, for you Bay Area peeps). A few steps from the bottom of the 3-story staircase, I looked up to see if the train was coming. Big mistake. Twisted my ankle badly, but didn’t fall. Literally limped onto the train for the 20 minute ride to SF. By the time I got to SF, I was nearly faint from pain, and I knew I couldn’t go to work. Thus, I turned right back around on the next train (after hobbling to another platform, with all sorts of CalTrain employees concerned for me), went back to Millbrae, got into my car, and drove to the emergency room.

      Turns out I had broken my foot. Super-embarrassing. And then I had to wear tennis shoes to work for the rest of the week (with business clothes). Very Working Girl.

      I hope your day has gone better since your incident!

    • Famouscait :

      Not my story, but my sister’s: we were flying out of our hometown together this past weekend, and visited the ladies room right after passing through security at the airport. Sister had put her military ID into her back pocket…. and it fell into the toilet right as she flushed! From the stall next to her I heard, “Oh crap! Oh crap! OH CRAP!” She had to plunger her hand all in the way in to retrieve it. She burst out of the stall, hand dripping, jeans unzipped and laughing hysterically so she could wash everything off ASAP. The whole bathroom was laughing at us. =)

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I’m sure I’ve had plenty, but blocked them out. However, I heard of someone who tried to quietly creep into a lecture at the back of the room (she was late) but instead walked straight into a chair resulting in loads of noise and everyone turning to look. She was mortified and actually quite hurt herself but was too embarrassed to say anything.

      The worst part was that quite a while later, she was at a party where the lecturer was also at (coincidentally) and he said ‘oh, yes, I remember you, you’re the one who tripped all over the chair in that lecture’.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I could say that I was on the train this morning and a very wonderfully well dressed woman tripped and caused my coffee to spill on her lovely dress. But, you already told that story.

      And, no, it wasn’t really me but I was thinking wouldn’t it be strange it you actually tripped into one of the followers of this site.

      • haha!! that is hilarious.

        I also have SO many. But the one I remember was I was walking to the doctor (just a few blocks from my house) but I was super late, so i was walking kind of fast. Got to the corner to cross the street, my foot slipped on something RIGHT out from under me, I tried to catch myself, but I ended up pretty much face down in the middle of the street! There were nice people who asked if I was okay, but again, super late, so I just kept going. My knee and hands were all scraped up, though.

        On my way home, I went back to that corner to figure out what I had stepped on that was so slippery. It was .. Literally… Wait for it…. A Banana Peel. That sh1t in the cartoons is NO JOKE people!! Banana peels are slippery!!

    • One time I was going back to my desk from the kitchenette and just burst around the corner without really looking and ran smack into one of the senior PIs (pretty famous in her field) on our floor who was carrying very hot tea. She was also known for being pretty aloof and scary, so I was absolutely terrified when I caused her to spill tea all over herself. She yelled something in her native language, which I’m glad I didn’t understand. I just kept saying “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” and being really ineffectual at helping her, because I was so embarrassed.

    • I spilled hot coffee on my cro*tch on the train. I yelled because I surprised myself by spilling on myself not because it was hot. A guy near me (I think he may have been developmentally disabled) yelled “Oh no, did you burn your vag*ina!!!” I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m not super shy so I just came back with, “Nope, I think my vagina is good!” Pants on the other hand were ruined.

    • WouldOutMyselfSoAnon :

      A former grad school classmate had moved to town and become a current colleague. I was meeting him for dinner, along with his new wife who I’d never met before. I got there a few minutes early and was seated. When they walked into the restaurant I stood up and somehow took the tablecloth along with me, knocking over every single glass of water and the water pitcher. It was embarassing, but made me instantly like Mrs. Classmate because she was so completely calm and relaxed about the entire thing.

    • A few weeks ago in my yoga class, my phone alarm went off disrupting the entire class. I jumped up to turn it off and knocked over my water bottle and emptied basically the entire bottle on the mat of the woman next to me. Super embarrassing. So I feel you on the klutzy moments!

    • Anon for embarrassing stories :

      Anon because this story would totally out me
      -I worked in a lab where we made paint, and one day I had an especially spectacular spill of dark green paint. My labcoat took the brunt of the mess, but I was covered in paint from my knees down. My kind coworkers offered to clean up the floor while I cleaned myself up. I managed to snag a dry lab coat on my way to the ladies room, so I peeled off my stained one. I knew my pants were never going to come clean, but I couldn’t keep them on since they were coated in paint, and I thought if I cleaned them up I might be able to salvage them as “messy work only” pants (common in the paint industry). I took them off and starting rinsing them in the sink and got the majority of the paint out, but now they were soaking wet and I was only wearing a paint spattered shirt and a lab coat with no pants – I hadn’t thought through what I was going to put back on my lower half, and I wasn’t about to saunter around work sans pants. Luckily a kind coworker realized I’d been in the bathroom for a while and came to check on me. We realized there was a Target down the street, and since she is a kind person she offered to go buy me some emergency pants. I had to hang out pantless in the bathroom for another 1/2 an hour or so before she came back. I am so grateful to her, and to this day those emergency pants are in a drawer at every company I’ve ever worked in (along with a full rest of an outfit), and I’ve loaned them to more than one person in a similar mess.

      • Haha that is totally hilarious. And not thinking through what I was going to put on my lower half – totally sounds like me!!

      • I don’t have any great stories, but I do have emergency jeans at work for when I spill something in the lab on my pants.

  7. Miz Swizz :

    My husband and I are starting to seriously look at homes to buy and found out that while I have excellent credit, his is pretty nonexistent (he’s an excellent saver and pays cash for everything). Has anyone been in a similar situation?

    • When I started dating my now husband I was 20 and he was 26. My credit score was excellent (got my first credit card at 18 and always paid it off in full) while he had nonexistent credit because he never used a credit card. I had him open up a credit card and start putting all his purchases on that and paying it off in full every month. Now I’m 23 and he’s 29 and we both have credit scores in the 770’s. I don’t know how long you’re waiting before buying a house but if you have like a year that’s my recommendation. If not you could consider just having your name on the loan until he gets his score up.

      • Agree with this if you have the time. Also, if he doesn’t want to use a card, can you add him as an authorized user on yours? They’ve changed the rules on how authorized user status impacts your score since I was a teenager so I would check into how much you can still benefit from it, but when I was a teen my parents put us on their cards so that we could piggyback off their on-time payment and length of credit history.

    • By nonexistent, do you mean he has a low score? My parents were in a situation where my mom had stellar credit and my father had bad debts, she ended up putting the mortgage in her name only to get a much better rate than they would have otherwise. Of course, that opens up other issues…If he just has an average/middle of the road credit score (vs bad credit), I’d probably err on the side of just accepting the higher interest rate.

      • Especially if you think that by the time his credit improves interest rates will have risen enough to eat up the benefit of waiting for the improvement.

      • He’s pulled a credit report with no negatives on it, but went to run his actual score and was told his file was “too light” to generate a score. He’s on my credit card right now and I’m going to advise him to open one to build credit but we’re looking to buy sooner than later.

    • Have you actually talked to a lender about this? They may require a bit more documentation (like showing the fruits of this excellent savings habit), but I would think that there’s some room for explanation.

    • baseballfan :

      When we bought our house, my credit was excellent and my husband’s was, well, less excellent. The obvious answer to us was to put the loan in my name.

      I believe when we refinanced a few years later, we did a joint loan at that time, but would have to check and verify because I don’t totally remember.

      • This is what we’re doing. Loan in one name only. The person with the loan can still add the other person to the deed after closing. (Yes, that means both have rights to the home but only one is on the hook for the mortgage, so some couples may not want to do that, you do you.)

        • We did this, too. I doubt we’ll ever refinance because our rate is so low but that is how some people take care of adding the second person to the mortgage later. However, adding his name to the deed means we can take out a joint home equity loan in the future if we ever decided to do that.

        • Adding someone to the deed, but not the mortgage may constitute a default under your loan documents.

    • Yup! My husband immigrated to the US three years ago, so had no credit before that. The biggest thing we did to build his credit was to add him to a credit card that I had been using for years. That bumped up his score a lot because he suddenly had a line of credit that had been in good standing for 5+ years. We also opened a new joint credit card. Because it was joint, and I have excellent credit, we were able to get a pretty high credit limit on that card, which made his debt-to-credit ratio more favorable.

      We did all this right after he immigrated three years ago, and only bought a house last month(!) so I’m not entirely sure how long it took for his scores to improve, but by a few months ago his credit score and mine were within five points of one another.

      Point is, it’s worth googling around and reading up – there are definitely ways to game your credit score, particularly if the issue is a thin credit history (as opposed to record of missed payments, bankruptcy, etc.).

    • That’s so funny, my husband and I are in the exact same boat. Literally just started looking at condos a month ago, and though I had sort of always known he had no credit card (like your husband, he’s an excellent saver and uses a debit card or cash for everything), I didn’t connect the dots about the lack of credit until I was talking to the loan officer. We haven’t made any offers yet, but it sounds like because I have very good credit, it won’t affect us even for a joint loan, so long as we are able to put 25% down, which we were planning to do anyway based on what we can afford as a monthly payment. I did have him open a credit card that we will start using immediately and also added him as an authorized user on mine.
      It really annoys me that credit cards are the ONLY way of building credit – my husband has been paying rent and other bills on time for close to 10 years, has a savings account that has consistently grown, and has paid off student loans in full, so I don’t know why none of that can build a good credit history, but it is what it is.

      • Miz Swizz :

        We’re scarily alike, other than the 25% down. :) I was thinking my husband should open a Home Depot card because we’ll need it if we’re going to be homeowners, right? I spoke to a banker this morning and he said it may affect our rate a little if husband doesn’t have an actual credit score but it shouldn’t be a big deal. I suppose we’ll find out soon.

  8. Here’s a funny and interesting Washington Post piece on “following the news” and all the different meanings depending on the person using that term. Especially in the recent furor over news/not being aware of stuff/following in detail or not…

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Excellent. I don’t want to open up any kind of political debate, but I found the bit about Republicans vs Democrats and their respective news sources particularly interesting, though not surprising, here in the UK we equally have newspapers more aligned with the interests of the various political parties. Broadcast (news) media here is required by law to be impartial though, of course, it ultimately isn’t in all cases, but there is less of an obvious ‘Fox vs MSNBC’ divide here.

      • I think that is an interesting point. And the internet allows you to read sources that conform to your own world view. Americans (myself included) tend to think that the BBC is the best thing ever because it is such a contrast to our own hyper-politicized debate (and pretty accents make everything seem better).

        It’s strange though as we have an impartial (ish) BBC and then an incredibly vocal print media. We don’t have the red tops in the States and it would, I think, be fairly unusual for an American paper to be campaigning for legislation to such a degree (ie. the Daily Record and the EU-exit campaign)

        • I read a few articles about how one can easily be enveloped in one’s own bias-bubble by only reading the websites and blogs that agree with you. Something about how yes, it’s sometimes incredibly comforting to be surrounded by “your camp,” but if that’s all one reads, it makes one more extreme (in whichever direction.)

          I think that effect can also be intensified in that if everybody of a certain political persuasion is already in agreement. Because humans keep trying to differentiate and distinguish themselves, so we get more extreme to prove ideological purity. If everybody is generally Pro Potato Chips, then, how do you distinguish yourself? Well, you become the extreme person who claims that Potato Chips are therefore the chosen food and should be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and all snacks and that anybody who chooses Popcorn is morally and intellectually bankrupt. The next person tries to top you by suggesting capital punishment for those who switch from Potato Chips to Popcorn. And so on.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Absolutely agree with this. I have witnessed vitriolic arguments about the Daily Telegraph vs the Guardian, and instant judgments being made about someone based on which newspaper they read, in a rather similar way as someone might judge a person (fairly or unfairly) based on whether they watch CNN or Fox!

          • I had an awkward moment in class this week when someone mentioned that they had read something and another student snidely said ‘in the Daily Mail?’

          • Woods-comma-Elle :

            Ah, the Daily Mail! I think pretty much everyone at least agrees on that one (but still secretly reads it).

          • LOL, I kind of love Daily Mail. You get all the speculation on breaking news stories and celebrity photos that you just can’t get anywhere else. I check their website at least a couple of times a week.

        • Famouscait :

          After CNN rushed to report the Supreme Court’s decision on the ACA (and subsequently got it dead wrong), I decided to be more thoughtful and discriminating in my new sources. I no longer go there for my news and now pay for a NYTimes online subscription.. But, the idea of adding in a foreign news source like BBC is a great one. I read so much of the Times now, but have also realized that I don’t always read the really newsy stuff (foreign policy, etc.) as much as I immediately gravitate to the lifestyle news. So even though my news source is better, I still need to bone up on the right content.

          • I’m pretty into Al Jazerra. It has its issues but no one is talking about some of the political and humanitarian issues in less photogenic places. Their Crimea coverage was very, very good.

          • +1 I watched a documentary years ago, The Control Room, about Al Jazeera’s coverage about the war in Iraq and it really opened my eyes as to the glaring biases in news coverage. Really interesting movie.

        • Silvercurls :

          I want to put in a plug for NPR (National Public Radio)–available in your radio, car, or online (www dot n p r dot org–no spaces between the NPR letters ;-))! People say it skews left; I don’t think so. They have thoughtful presentations of international, domestic, domestic/regional news plus stories on quirky-but-part-of-being-human topics. Topics recently covered: Crimea, Malaysian Airlines flight, U.S. Congress, DC mayoral race. Can’t recall a recent quirky story but past ones include postcards from places abroad, profiles of people making a difference in their communities, and many cannot-stop-listening stories such as first-person accounts of living with/dying from various diseases. (Sounds awful, but it was uplifting as well as upsetting.)
          TL;DR: YAY NPR!

    • Any recommendations for resources to keep up on “important” news? I listen to the first part of the hour on NPR to get the big headlines and thoughtful discussion, and I follow BBC Breaking News on Twitter. (I know.) But that’s about it.

      I feel like 24 hour channels (and their websites) are too focused on minutia and frequently get it wrong. And local news is just poorly read press releases (“What new food could be killing your children… tune in at 5!”) in between depressingly frequent reports of murders.

      I want some news source that will provide true breaking news (NOT a person reporting that they saw lights in the Indian Ocean.) and thoughtful analysis of worldwide impacts, without alll the fluff and reactionary ridiculousness that is current news. Does this actually exist?

      • I’m most partial to NPR. I feel like they’ve had pretty good coverage of the issues in Ukraine/Crimea. They’re coverage of the Malaysian Airlines Flight has been spotty, but I assume that’s mainly because of the lack of information they’ve gotten from the Malaysian government. I usually just go to the website, filter the articles by News (as opposed to Culture, etc.), and read through a few articles.

      • The best thing to do is to try out different news sources. I prefer CBS Evening News for my nightly newscast (and their website, reporters on Twitter). Maybe each week try a different outlet?

      • AttiredAttorney :

        Try the newsletter “The Skimm.”

    • I like news aggregators. is a good one. You get news from all kinds of sources, it’s interesting to see the different viewpoints.

  9. can anyone tell me how the jcrew lady day coat fits? is it true to size? it’s final sale right now so i’d hate to order the wrong size, but you can beat the price.

    • oops, sorry, *can’t beat the price.

    • I think it runs a little small. I wanted to wear a sweater under mine, so I went up 2 sizes from my JCrew dress/pants size.

    • It runs 2 sizes small, at least for me. I’m usually a 0 at JCrew, but I have the 4 in the lady day coat and it barely buttons over my suit jacket/sweaters/cold weather clothes.

      • thanks for the replies, ladies. If I wear a 2 in the emmaleigh suiting dress will I be ok with a size 6 in the lady day coat?

        • also, I’m 5’4… should I be considering the petite size?

          • I’m 5’3″ and got the regular size – the length is fine and the sleeves aren’t too long, I don’t think. It does run a bit small, especially if you want to fit sweaters underneath. I am usually a 2 in tops, 4 in bottoms at places like Loft, BR, and Limited, and I got the Lady Day Coat in 6. It is fitted, but I can fit a moderately heavy sweater underneath. Probably not the giant chunky Guatemalan ones I wore in grad school, but a regular wool sweater + shirt underneath is fine.

          • I don’t think you’d want to go petite on it. I’m 5’5 and the sleeve length is comparatively short for a coat.

        • I find that the Emmaleigh runs small too – you might be OK in the 4 for the Lady Day, but I wouldn’t think that the 6 would be overflowing. I wouldn’t think you need the petite size – I’m 5’3 and have the petite, but the arms are just a touch short.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I only went up one size in mine– an 8 to a 10– but I would struggle to wear a blazer under it. I’m tall so I don’t know at what height I would switch to petite but it is a long coat.

      • thanks for your input. If I were to get the size 6 regular, and it’s a little too long/boxy in the waist/sleeves too long, do you think it’s the type of item that could be tailored without much fuss?

        • just ask JCrew over the live chat – the reps have all of the measurements! And if you’re nice, they sometimes agree to not mark your order final sale (ex. if you want to order two sizes).

    • I am a 4 in Jcrew’s #2 pencil. But even going up to a 10, I couldn’t get it to work under winter clothes (pants + sweater, suit with jacket, pants + blazer). I am a bit of a pear. I got a LE wool coat in a 10 to wear over my winter clothes. I am usually an XS on top from LE, 6/8 on the bottom. If you are at all a pear, it may not be the prettiest fit.

  10. Anon Prof :

    Hi everyone, just wanted to thank you for all your helpful comments on my sister’s divorce situation on yesterday’s P.M. thread. It’s definitely not going to be easy for her and it’s disheartening that our system allows for this to happen so easily and with seemingly no consequence, but at least it’s a bit of a relief to think maybe there’s not all that much more that could be done even if she did have the resources and a motivated attorney.

    • Your sister may be my sister. My BIL hasn’t been that bad but threatens it all the time. What kills me is that my sister has a credential that she has let lapse but would allow her to be self-supporting (albeit at a more modest level). I think now that she knows this could happen, she ought to get working on that now, but she insists that she is entitled to be supported in her prior style. Yes, but that won’t pay the rent and she is in such a better boat than a lot of people.

      Also, for your sister, it’s one thing to think of support when children are small. But your sister will eventually be old and the children gone. How will she support herself when she’s 55 or 65 or 75? The luxury of time is fleeting.

      • Right now her focus is just getting to the point when the kids are a bit older and both in school. She is working on starting a business – a longshot, I know, but it’s something she’s always dreamed about. If it works out, it would give her a flexible schedule where she could start working from home and then build on that. If it doesn’t, she is going to go back to her old job but it’s too time intensive and far from home for her to do with a toddler and no child care. She is long past the “I deserve my lifestyle” phase, she just wants her kids to stay in their home for as long as they can so that’s one less disruption for them and for their dad to provide some minimal support for their food and clothes. Unfortunately the way child support is calculated in our state it’s very low based on a percentage of a certain portion of income, and then usually the rest gets made up in spousal maintenance. But husband isn’t paying the spousal maintenance since he knows he can get away with it. I am sorry both our sisters are going through it! It’s hard not to say, “I told you so” as well in these situations — but ladies this is why it’s essential to never rely on anyone else for your financial well being!

        • No idea how your sister’s state handles it, but until my stepdaughter was 13, my husband was able to claim his childcare costs in the child support calculation because he “required” child care in order to work full time (school gets out at 3:20 pm, he gets off work at 4:30 pm so he had enrolled her in an after school program). Not super helpful since your sister’s ex isn’t paying, but at least something she should look into claiming when they head back to court.

        • Silvercurls :

          ” ladies this is why it’s essential to never rely on anyone else for your financial well being!”

          Sometimes women get sidelined (e.g., staying home to take care of young children, staying home to take care of younger or older children with special needs). BUT I agree completely that one should develop one’s skills/education/experience to the point of being able to support oneself and one’s dependents–even if that’s not in the style to which one was previously accustomed.

          Women also need to develop excellent b*llsh*t radar. I’m convinced that some of these sad situations can be avoided if women were sufficiently self-aware, and had enough positive attention in childhood, to avoid getting stuck with a jerk in the first place! (No, this won’t weed out everybody…I don’t know how anyone avoids the true liars and psychopaths…but surely in some situations there were pit-of-the-stomach twinges and other early warning signs.) If he belittles your opinions, criticizes your every move, resents your being focused on anything or anyone other than HIM, and/or comes from a super-sexist “traditional” culture that doesn’t see women as PEOPLE, RUN run run!

          • Silvercurls :

            Um. I should add “try to delay childbearing until you’ve finished your education and gotten at least a toehold in the workplace.”
            Also, not trying to blame anyone currently stuck in misery. I just wish more women could value themselves–and fewer men dismissed womens’ value. Grrr.

          • Wise words, Silvercurls, I’m so glad you posted this. While I’m cheering for the OP’s sister’s situation to improve, for others who aren’t yet married or otherwise encumbered by horrible exes, to train and use that bullsh*t radar. An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure.

            I also think that we, as women, sometimes pat ourselves on the back too much for being “non-judgmental.” We nice-police ourselves into not cutting off the crappy people in our lives. There’s being stupidly, shallowly judgmental about someone’s shoes or clothes, and then there’s being smart about red flags — you know, crappy, jerky, inconsiderate behavior. Just as that book _Gift of Fear_ is helpful for avoiding people who want to harm you physically, there should be something similar to help people, especially women, who’ve been socialized to be ‘nice,’ (a.k.a. to put up with more crap than is necessary), to avoid people who want to harm you emotionally or financially, or otherwise.

          • This.

            I talk frequently about how my husband has to actually add VALUE to my life, and my friends/coworkers are appalled that I see it that way. But honestly, I don’t need another kid to worry about, I need a partner that I can rely on to manage the house with me. If he was just another mouth to feed and more mess to pick up, why have him around? Yeah love, blah blah, but I could love him in his own house if he was a horrible roommate. If he’s around, I want to get some kind of benefit from that. (And likewise, I aim to ensure he benefits from sharing a house with me.)

          • Senior Attorney :

            Amen, amen, amen.

            My number one message to young women is “make sure you can always support yourself and your children, on your own.” And “yes, I can support myself and my children by being having a husband who brings home a good paycheck” doesn’t count because that arrangement can disappear in an instant for any one of a number of reasons. Like my mom always told me, “you need to have something to fall back on.”

          • R– you’re wise. Perhaps your friends are just taking issue with the word-choice?

            By saying ‘value,’ they think it’s somehow monetary, or that you’re keeping a ledger.

            But I think they miss the point– the point is, you want a full partner.

            The man-child is the worst of both worlds– he’s a dependent in all ways except legally. He creates as much, if not more mess than a helpless infant, but, unlike the infant, has the legal right to blow up your life, wreck your finances, and pretty much ruin almost everything you’ve worked for. I have a coworker who’s married to what I call a “Disney princess.” She’s just the female equivalent to this man-child. Neither of them are true partners. They sound like millstones around the necks of their spouses.

          • I am obviously in agreement. I think it’s also because we ladies are sold this love fairy tale from before we can walk. “Love conquers all”. “If only you find your soul mate, all will be well”. “You’ll know him when you see him!” “You’ll feel it in his kiss”. Not saying chemistry should be discounted entirely or romance taken out of the equation, but sometimes being strongly drawn to a guy isn’t enough. And loving him “so, so much” won’t cure his faults and your problems.

            What’s interesting in this situation is my soon to be ex-BIL approached this marriage much more methodically: he wanted a younger, pretty, not too educated woman to marry and have his kids, keep his house, and look good on his arm. Unfortunately, he didn’t pick one that would also put up with being cheated on and ignored but he was much more pragmatic and realistic about it. But my sister really did think that because they had the best s*x and she loved him, all would work out. Thank you for the support folks — I have been trying to support her through this for so long now I didn’t realize how much I myself needed to vent.

          • I hope your sister’s plan to start a business once the kids are in school is successful. Since you said it’s a longshot, it sounds unrealistic, though – almost as unrealistic as expecting to live “happily ever after”. Can you steer her in the direction of vocational training, attaining a degree, or some such thing? Sounds like she needs it.

          • WestCoast Lawyer :

            In general, I agree, but I’m also going to suggest that for some families there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for one spouse to decide to stay at home with the kids, and I hate to think that option should be off the table if it is what someone wants just because they feel the need to hedge their bets in case the working spouse turns out to be a jerk. I’ve often thought that if we ever in a position where we decided one of us would opt out of the workforce it would be a good time to put something in writing (is it called an anti-nump?) where we make it clear what obligations the working spouse will have towards the non-working spouse in the event of a divorce.

          • Query to WestCoast Laywer:

            Would putting those obligations in writing be effective? As in, contributing to a victory in court AND enforceability afterwards? What’s the precedent for these sorts of things being effective?

            I’m not a lawyer, but it does seem from reading this site that pre-nups are often/easily challenged, and post-nups are even weaker.

            And, it seems that there are cases where the non-working spouse “wins” the court case, but the jerk spouse hides money, refuses to pay, and enforcement is weak enough that the jerk spouse basically gets away with it. Is the key actually your state and how willing it is to enforce certain terms and prosecute deadbeats?

          • Silvercurls :

            “for some families there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for one spouse to decide to stay at home with the kids”

            Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! It doesn’t even have to be an “obvious” reason (kids are tiny, kid(s) has/have special needs, stay-at-home parent has elder care responsibilities). Sentient, capable, reasonable, responsible adults can have all kinds of reasons for staying home such as: working from home; homeschooling the children; being deeply involved in a traditional religious community*; home-sourcing food and clothing in an effort to live frugally; or doing whatever else said adults do when they’re not spending 40-60 or more hours per week in a place of employment.

            * Women in these communities extend a lot of practical and logistical support to parents of newborns, families facing extended illnesses or bereavement, etc. It’s today’s kitchen-to-kitchen version of the old-fashioned barn raising.

            I have no quarrel with stay-at-home moms or dads. Even if they “just” want to “be around with the children.” I also have no quarrel with moms who step out of the workplace because that’s just what married mothers do in their particular community of origin or community of marriage etc. My quarrel is with people who assume that they can do what they want whenever they want and treat their spouses like mannequins. Ditto for folks who think that having an employed spouse entitles them to take every possible penny from the soon-to-be-ex during and after the divorce. There’s a difference between being unABLE to work (for reasons involving personal or family health, caretaking, etc.) and able but unWILLING.

            Of course, since I’m not Queen of the Universe, that’s why we have to have family lawyers and judges to sort out all of the details in individual circumstances. /end rant.

          • Senior Attorney :

            LOL, it’s called an antenuptial agreement, not anti-nuptial. And it means the same as prenuptial agreement — “ante” means “before.” What you’d want is a post-nup, which can indeed be enforceable if it’s properly drafted and especially if both parties have separate counsel.

          • I agree completely, and can I add that having a skill is not only important in case you end up a single parent, but sometimes spouses loose jobs, are hurt, sometimes other circumstances in a married relationship make it necessary for the wife to work?

            My dh has some mental health (depression/anxiety) issues that he deals with, and if I hadn’t had a marketable skill that allowed him to quit a job that had become very damaging to his mental health I don’t want to think what would have happened.

            And it is possible to have children young, keep your foot in the door, and have a successful career when they are older. At least I was able to do it. It takes some planning, foresight and some luck, but it is possible.

          • WestCoast Lawyer :

            Thanks, Senior Attorney. Obviously, family law is not my specialty :)

            To Susedna, you are right that you can run into problems enforcing even a valid agreement. But this is where a certain level of trust comes into play. I’m all for protecting yourself, but if you feel you have a strong relationship (and are not just putting your head in the sand in the face of contrary evidence) at some point you also can’t set up your entire marriage based on the premise that at some point your spouse is going to try to scr*w you over.

          • @ WestCoast Laywer

            I think you’re right– that’s the crux issue. Trust. We can think about various legal remedies and possibilities, but it does all come down to trust.

            The sad thing is, so many people guess wrong. And their spouses do screw them over, and sometimes get away with it. Can we have Silvercurls be Queen of the Universe? :-) The way the world actually is, is pretty horrible sometimes.

        • Wildkitten :

          As a child of divorce, I don’t think moving out of the home is nearly as traumatizing as parents make it out to be. That doesn’t need to be priority #1 IMHO.

          • I COMPLETELY agree with this. It sounds like her kids are under 5, so there’s no worries about moving equating to a school change. I think as long as the move doesn’t take them far away from their father or too far from any extended family they live close to, it’ll hardly register for them. Kids are resilient, and if you treat a new house like an adventure, they’ll probably enjoy it. My parents divorced when I was in high school, so I’d had a longer period to be attached to our house (which I had lived in my whole life), but I got over it in about five minutes when my mom told me I could pick out paint, carpet, and new bedding. The traumatic part of the divorce for me was seeing my parents date, and navigating new boundaries/ family dynamics.

            I hope your sister isn’t projecting her desire to stay in the home onto her kids at the risk of her financial future. Starting a business is SO risky, and spreading yourself thing just to hang on to some real estate isn’t the way to go. He may never pay up, and sadly, I think the smartest thing is for her to operate as though she’ll never see a cent. Starting with enacting emergency measures to figure out a tenable employment situation.

    • Hug’s to her, and FOOEY on men who do NOT suport us for life. If ED ever tried to do this with Rosa, I would persnaly represent ROSA to make sure she was taken care of for LIFE! But Ed is crazy about Rosa so this should NEVER happen, tho I have learned NEVER TO SAY NEVER, as men like to have sex with other women even if there wife is gorgeus like Rosa. I saw that Earnie was interested in other women even tho his wife was suposedly also very gorgeus, so you NEVER can tell. Men think thru their sex organ’s so that explain’s that. When we are in the bar, there are alot of guy’s with rings on that are alway’s trying to get us women to go to bed with them. I have learned NOT to fall for cheep line’s b/c I know that these guy’s will NOT be there for the long-term, especialy if you sleep with them. FOOEY!

    • I would just encourage you to try to encourage her not to keep the house.

      This is what I did. I didn’t want my kids to have more change. He was supposed to pay the mortgage for awhile, then I was supposed to take over. Unless they’ve been married a really long time, or he makes a ton of TRACEABLE money (because the court is going to look at what can be proven- if I remember he works for family, so her lawyer can likely subpoena the business records but I doubt they will find anything. There’s lots of ways to funnel money.) the court will probably (almost certainly) NOT order him to pay that mortgage and utilities for the next many years. If she can show a definite plan (i.e., I am attending X training program at Y school, which will require 2 years of full time schooling, after which I should be qualified to earn Z amount of money) then the court may order it as temporary support for her to complete a training program or something like that.

      Anyway, I kept the house, trying to save my kids more “trauma”, in the end he quit paying, I couldn’t make up the difference, lost it in foreclosure, I had taken out a 2nd mortgage on it to get by, so my credit was ruined, I ended up having to file bankruptcy because the 2nd mortgage was taken out post-purchase and so was not no-recourse and the bank could have filed a judgment for it, because I couldn’t pay it off, the house was worth less than was owed and the first mortgage (him) was foreclosing.

      She doesn’t need the house. It will only trap her, unless the mortgage is LESS than she could rent an appropriately sized house/apartment for. Again, she needs to apply for public assistance ASAP.

      • Wildkitten :


      • I hate to seem like I’m just piling on, but I think Sadie is right here. I think this might be the time for some tough love. I acknowledge that I am a stranger and don’t REALLY know the situation, so maybe I’m wrong and you can just ignore me. But it seems to me like it might be time to revisit the “plan” she has had up until now, and think of a plan based on the assumption that she does not get any money from him at all. Which is entirely possible, even if the court makes a judgment against him, there is literally no way to force him to pay if he can hide his money, which he has shown he can.

        Anyway, I hope I’m wrong. My heart and lots of internet hugs go out to both you and your sister, I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel for her soon.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        On the flip side, foreclosure and bankruptcy aren’t always the worst options either. Many people do worse damage to themselves postponing an inevitable bankruptcy. I know of a case where an ex wife refused to sell the underwater marital house. Neither party was paying the mortgage. She was going to wait until she was forcefully evicted from the home. He didn’t care because this kept her living expenses low on her affidavits and kept his alimony low. It has been three years and she is still living in the house and hasn’t paid a penny on it. The bank is just in no rush to complete the foreclosure. Many would find this unethical but if she is resigned to the fact that she can’t keep the house, she might want to live there for as long as she can to save up some money before moving out. This really depends on the laws of your state though and what recourse the lender has.

      • I also agree, especially since kids are so adaptable. I know it’s not the same thing at all, but we have moved to new cities 3 times when our kids were young (last move was when ds#1 was 10 and ds#3 was 4) and they handled the moves better than dh & I did overall. And my boys are not known for handling change well.

      • Joanna Toews :

        100% agreed. Kids are resiliant, and moving to a new home — even a much smaller home — would be totally fine. Particularly as they’re still very young and aren’t attached to schoolmates yet.

    • PinkKeyboard :

      Just a suggestion for cash… could she watch a child or 2? Childcare generally pays well and in cash and she would still be able to be home with the kids. Actually depending on her future she could always run a home daycare, especially in a high COL area it could make enough to support her till she can get a different job.

      • This is a very good idea. Depending on the laws of her area, the process to get officially certified as a home daycare can take a long time, so that might not solve the problem entirely. But should definitely look into what she could do to take in a few other kids the same age as her youngest. That’s brilliant.

      • Totally agree. I pay a pretty penny for basically ‘mother’s helper’ type sitters, someone to play with my kid while I clean up/cook dinner etc. for 1-2 hours at night. Lots of working moms in my area make arrangements with the stay at home moms to take their kids from after school till 6 or so for $10/hr at least in cash. Why not ask around the neighborhood to see if you can watch someone’s kids in the morning before the bus or after the school day?

        • anonforthis :

          A SAHM friend of mine charges neighborhood parents $15/day to watch their kids on snow days/school holidays that are not work holidays. People would pay much much more if that’s what she charged!

          • Anon Prof :

            These are great ideas and things I would do. Unfortunately, she is at her wits end with both her own kids already since she has no help and few breaks so I think she might go insane if she had other people’s children. But you guys are right – tough love time.

  11. Shopping challenge (not too hard) :

    Shopping challenge for anyone who has time: I’d like a everyday bag for work that is a) black, b) cross-body plus regular shoulder strap, c) large enough for papers, but not huge, and d) preferably under $50. I saw a nice style at Target that was larger vertically than horizontally, which would be perfect for holding it in my lap in cramped seats on the subway, but the fake leather material smelled bad and seemed cheap. Does anyone have any suggestions or any ideas for websites where I could find this bag? I’ll search more myself, of course, but everyone here always seems to have good tips.

    • I’m located in within a few miles radius of 3 DSWs and while the stock at each one varies, sometimes they have really nice bags for under $50. The online selection is not as great.

      I’ve also found Kohl’s to be pretty good for decently priced bags, although you should probably sign up for emails because they are always sending coupons. In fact, I got one today – FAMILY20 for 20% off.

      How about H&M? I’m embarrassed to step foot in one, but it seems like Forever 21 sometimes has nice-looking bags (can’t really vouch for them as I haven’t seen them in person). A little more money, but sometimes Zara has nice bags.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you have a Marshall’s or a TJ Maxx near you, give them a look. They have a good selection in a variety of price points.

  12. I’ve just been promoted to a head of a department that was created for me to lead it. I’m “stealing” (being given) two associates from another department, keeping my current 2 direct reports, and have an open headcount for a role that was described to me as a “Mini [Brant]”. Essentially, they are really happy with me, want to clone me, and are throwing a million things at me and know it’s not sustainable without help. So they want me to bring on someone I can groom to take on more of the tasks I’m leaving behind as I transition into a bigger “strategic” role and less of a “doing/managing the doing” role.

    So I started thinking about the qualities about my work style that have made me successful at this company, and am trying to figure out to hire for them without hiring someone so much like myself that I can’t stand working with them.

    Things I want to find, in order of importance:
    someone that isn’t afraid to take charge in a room full of indecisive people, who will make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions rather than because they “think it sounds like a good idea.” I want someone who is good at being politically neutral (or can play it on TV!), and can listen to three people who clearly don’t understand what the other is saying and translate it into something all three can understand (think: a developer, the head of marketing, and a sales guy). I also want someone who isn’t afraid of titles– meaning just because someone is more senior than you doesn’t mean you can’t push back on what they’re suggesting.

    So, with all that said, HOW DO I FIND THIS PERSON?! What can you ask in an interview to get at these qualities? All I can think of is “tell me about a time…” type questions, but those are really hard to answer. Especially since I’m looking to hire a mini-me, and I hate those questions!

    • I’ve used my network to source people before. They know me, they know the people they know, they can see if there is what I’m looking for. Do you have these people? I think it’s the safest best. When you post a job, the avalanche is unbelievable and half are just junk. It’s best to have some good candidates mentally lined up or to put out feelers.

    • Sounds like you’re looking for a project manager with experience getting buy in from multiple departments. It might help to write down a list of tasks rather than qualities- you don’t actually need a mini-me, you need someone who can do specific things.

    • You need a policy advisor!! Sorry – I don’t know if that’s actually helpful — but those 3 characteristics you are looking for are exactly what you would look for in a good policy advisor. I don’t know if I’ve ever had interview questions that focus on those traits but they are the types of things I give as my answers. Will think about this and see if I can remember anything that may be helpful…

    • Can you think of a real-life problem at work, explain it to the interviewee, and ask what they would do? To be honest, I think everyone struggles with hiring the right people for the job. I have had to do it, and my results were hit or miss. Some great hires, some not-so-great. I find that to be true of my current job as well, and I am not the one doing the hiring. Sometimes we get great people. Sometimes we don’t.

      Good luck! I think it might just come down to a gut hunch, as much as that sucks.

    • Congratulations!

      One interview question I ask the experienced hires and laterals is: “From our work, we not only learn about the job and about that company, but about ourselves and what tasks we like and don’t like. Some people decide that they love cold-calling, or love writing, but hate financial modeling, etc. Tell me about two tasks that you’ve discovered that you really enjoy doing, and two tasks you tolerate.”

      It’s pretty open-ended and allows them to tell me what they enjoy doing. It also allows you to ask them why they like certain tasks and not others. So you get a sense for their workstyle. Someone who doesn’t like to interact with others, may not be a great liaison; someone who doesn’t like talking /asking/cold-calling will have a hard time calling up management teams to evaluate them. Etc.

    • LawyerMomOfFour :

      I would encourage you to not dismiss the “tell me about a time” method of hiring. Like you, I hate those questions when being interviewed. I have found, though, that if I really implement that methodology in a rigorous way and take copious notes during the interview process, it can help me differentiate and identify exceptional candidates. I have pretty extensive management responsibility, and have used this method since my company adopted it several years ago. Our HR has a template of questions that we use, and I usually map out who on my team I would like to inquire in various areas during our interview process, so each interviewer has an area of focus. I have been shocked at how effective it has been. Good luck. Sounds like a great opportunity.

      • I agree. I was once asked a “tell me about a time” question about a situation where I disagreed with a team member or I found a team member difficult to work with and how I handled it. It was a great question for what the job turned out to be.

        I think you can ask tell me about a time questions to get how the person in operates in various scenarios. In the answers, how they describe the other people involved and what the problem was can also indicate professionalism and people skills.

    • I would look for someone who has been a successful (software) product manager in their past (as opposed to a project manager)

      Myself, and all my colleagues are required to do everything on your list daily.

  13. Has anyone tried the blazer on in person? I like it, but it looks kind of short on the model for my taste. I have a long waist. Does the blazer hit mid-hip? Higher? Lower?

  14. Does anyone here work in compliance? I’m a mid-level associate at a law firm, and I’ve seen a number of health care compliance jobs that fit my background. Has anyone made a similar move? For context, I recently had a baby, so I’d like to find a path with stable hours and predictability. But I also want to keep using my law degree and keep doing interesting work, and it is difficult to tell from the outside what kind of work these jobs would entail on a daily basis. Thanks in advance for any insight!

    • health care lawyer here (regulatory/compliance and corporate- working for providers). I work closely with the compliance team at a major hospital. My take is that the work is interesting, although at times like herding cats and can be pretty stressful. What I see with the hospital is a lot of internal/external audits, policy review, HIPAA , and work with risk management and bio-ethics as well. Also, government investigations. A law degree would be helpful but my understanding is that a lot of entities keep legal and compliance separate. If you want more information, poke around on the AHLA and HCCA sites. Those organizations do some joint seminars so if you can find the old materials online, that might give you a better sense of what it entails.

      • Different industry, but I deal with a lot of compliance people. It may be JD-helpful, but isn’t JD-mandatory. But agree that they are separate from legal (and possibly seen in a worse light). IMO, in a company, profit centers > cost centers (in which, legal > complaince), in terms of respect, letting people get in the loop for heading off problems, etc. But when stuff happens, [poop] rolls down hill.

    • From what I’ve seen, it’s great for lawyers who dislike risk and really like following all the rules (e.g. Any grey means don’t do it). If you’re of this ilk, it’s something to consider. If you aren’t, it can be a very frustrating area. Not judging either approach, it’s just an area of work where I think you need to be philosophically aligned to like it.

      • Along those lines, you have to be comfortable with the fact that even what seem to be bright-line rules have a lot of grey area. My colleague once joked that being a chief compliance officer could also mean being the chief go to jail officer. That’s a pretty big risk. The recent Halifax settlement is unsettling for a lot of hospitals right now.

    • Compliance :

      my healthcare firm is hiring a compliance manager right now, with a focus on my business unit! I can talk to you very specifically about what we want from this person, if you’d like. Especially since right now I’m pinch-hitting for the gap in talent.

    • At our healthcare company, which sells software in the healthcare space, we have one person in charge of overall compliance. Our products have to meet specific guidelines for various reasons. As an example, the industry is moving from the ICD-9 coding set to ICD-10. All our products have to be able to handle this change. Another example is EMRs that want to qualify to be “Meaningful Use Certified”- there’s a whole bucket of criteria around what that means. At our firm, the compliance managers are responsible for certain products/business units. They have to understand what the regulations / rules are, how they impact our products/services, and for any that require certification, make sure we’re on track to get/keep certified.

    • Healthcare analyst at an academic medical center. Our chief compliance officer is a lawyer, and the rest of the compliance staff are from billing and coding backgrounds. You could become “Brant, Esq., Chief Compliance Officer” somewhere!

  15. Monthly Facials? :

    Hello ladies. Longtime lurker here. I know there has been skincare talk on here before, and I’m wondering what everyone thinks about the benefits of getting monthly professional facials versus at home treatments. I’m 33 and while I have no wrinkles, I do have occasional hormonal acne and dark spots from past breakouts. I have a pretty good at home skincare routine, never sleep in makeup, etc. But I would really like to prevent new breakouts as much as possible and decrease the appearance of the dark spots. I’m half Indian but I actually have pretty fair skin. I’m willing to budget for the monthly expense, but I guess I’m looking for some reassurance that the cost of professional treatments by an esthetician (facials and probably glycolic acid peels) is actually worth it.


    • I’ve heard very different things on this. Some derms say it’s great to do regular facials and some say you don’t need them. Why not try every three months and see how that goes?

    • These days my skin behaves (for the most part), but in high school and my early college years I had really awful breakouts, mostly concentrated on one cheek. Getting monthly facials from a truly amazing esthetician was the only thing that finally worked to clear it up. I’ve been going to see on a regular basis ever since.

      I would say it is definitely worth it provided you do your research. The times I have gone to someone besides my usual woman have been hit or miss. Look for someone who is really going to get to know your skin, the products you use, and work on the best possible course of treatment. Try to avoid the creatively described or stereotypical “spa” facials. If you’re lying down on the table and the person doesn’t even take the time to really look at your skin or ask you about it before exposing it to a single product, that’s an automatic red flag for me.

  16. Purple Cat :

    So, I’ve *finally* allocated some resources for a personal training sessions twice a week. I have specific goals — to strengthen my core, to tone my arms, and to drop two dress sizes (ideally). Other than goal-setting, do you have tips for making the most of our time together? What has worked best for you in your relationship with your personal trainer?

    • At the risk of sounding like captain obvious, make sure you are eating properly, drinking a LOT of water, and getting enough rest. I worked with a trainer for around six months and found that I really noticed a difference in my performance during our sessions when I had treated my body right in the days prior.

      Good luck!

    • I’ve never hired a trainer, but from watching people with their trainers, I’d say make sure you are really pushing yourself and not using the trainer as excuse to just chat the whole time. A good trainer should push YOU, but unfortunately at two of the gyms I’ve been at over the years, I consistently saw people basically sitting on a machine and talking to their trainer for half their session.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Skip the trainer and get yourself to a barre studio :)

    • To drop dress sizes, you’re going to have to incorporate some cardio. It’s good to talk with your trainer about what kind of cardio might work best for you, but don’t spend your training sessions doing extended cardio workouts – you don’t need a trainer to yell at you while you run on a treadmill. Focus your trainer time on weights and dynamic movements where form is a concern, and supplement with cardio.

      • Purple Cat :

        Thank! Good point. I swim every day already, so I get much of the cardio I need.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I have been working out with the same personal trainer for 3 years – I love it and him because I realized that I am not a particularly self-motivated gym goer. I like someone telling me what to do (like group exercise classes).

      So, my tips for working with your personal trainer:
      (1) communication is key. Obviously be clear about your goals, but also what your lifestyle is like (do you work 12 hours a day and are exhausted most of the time?), and whether you have any injuries.
      (1a) consider and communicate the type of encouragement you need. More Jillian and less Bob?
      (2) be on time and respectful of his time. This is his livelihood.
      (3) don’t be whiny. There’s this one woman I see at the gym I go to all the time who seems to be constantly whining about exercises that her trainer makes her do (and sometimes lashes out at her trainer. It’s uncomfortable to watch). It’s one thing to ask if you’re doing something right because it feels weird or hurts (you should absolutely ask), but I get the impression that this woman is whining because of her own issues rather than the exercises.
      (4) this is mostly for yourself, but I agree with the above comment to take care of yourself the night before. I’ve shown up hungover to a training session, and it was awful. Just don’t do it.
      (5) realize that you’re doing this for yourself and mentally show up while you’re at the gym.

  17. I just finished reading the Hunger Games (I know, I’m about 4 years behind in life) and loved them! Does anyone have any book suggestions with a similar feel?

    Thanks ladies!

    • Famouscait :

      Divergent series and The Giver

    • Divergent, but the books get worse and worse with each one – the final one is so irritatingly mediocre I almost threw it across the room when I finished! But the first one is fun.

      Different feel (more fantasy than dystopian future), but for another YA series with great story, writing, and an awesome female lead, try Graceling and its sequels/prequels (Fire and Bitterblue).

      • I felt the same frustration with the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I did not even finish it.

      • MBAwannabe :

        +1 I wish I hadn’t read the last installment in the Divergent series. It ruined the whole story for me. And I’m a huuuge Hunger Games fan, including the last book.

        • I was SO bummed at the end of the last divergent book. I didn’t think the second or third were very good, and I kept waiting for the third to get awesome (I think someone told me that only the second one sucked) and it never happened.

      • I will -1 Graceling. Just did not like it at all.

        I did, however, enjoy the Razorland books. The first one was great, the second one was mostly good but veered a little into WTF-land towards the end, and I haven’t read the third one yet, but will at some point. Also, not dystopic, but if you like YA with strong female protagonists, I’d give the Vampire Academy books a try.

        • Totally agree w/you on Graceling. Sometimes, I cringe that this is what gets passed off as “writing that women like,” because when it’s so sloppy and poorly executed. I really think there are a ton of hack writers out there who think that just by throwing in a strong female protagonist, they can get away with crap writing. And sadly, they do. They get the multi-million dollar movie deals because sequelized books are a moneymaking machine for publishers and movie studios.

          For me, with fantasy novels, there has to be some internal logic to the world that’s been created. Inconsistent, weird naming, poor understanding of how economics or geopolitics really work will all be really glaring. The very boringly named squarish kingdoms in Graceling suggest sloppy planning. The conclusions seem unrealistic. The whole world seems overly simplistic.

          • Aw, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s been a while since I read the books, but I remember really liking the worldbuilding – I liked that it felt just a little bit off – like it was almost the familiar fantasy world, but just a little bit lopsided and with all these kind of interesting, dark implications at the edges. Those are more fleshed out and pulled together in Fire and Bitterblue (I think Fire was my favourite of the three). I didn’t find it overly sloppy, although I agree it could have used a little editing and tightening up, and I don’t think it’s a multi-million movie type of series. But book likes/dislikes can be so quirky and subjective and I’m not always good at putting why I do or don’t like something into words.

    • Maddie Ross :


    • backgrounder :

      5th Wave by Rick Yancey

    • I read the Divergent series after finishing the Hunger Games after hearing it was similar and liked it a lot.

    • Amelia Earhart :

      Divergent is also set in a dystopian future, with a female lead. I’m enjoying that trilogy so far. :)

    • The obvious answer is the Divergent series. They are actually very good (until the end of the third book!).

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Oh gosh. I read a lot of dystopian books.

      The first Divergent (movie coming out this weekend), Marie Lu’s trilogy Legend, Prodigy and Champion, Diana Peterfeund’s two of three books For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea (I liked the second one better than the first). Hugh Howeys Wool Omnibus.

      Other dystopian but not necessarily young adult: The Circle, Oryx and Crake trilogy. You may also like The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Although it’s more magic/fantasy than dystopian, it is YA and not Harry Potter level of magic.

    • I liked the Matched series (well, the first and the third; didn’t love the second) and I also liked Bumped and the sequel. Both those are dystopian without feeling like Hunger Games rip-offs. I was not a huge Divergent fan, unfortunately, though I’ll go see the movie.

    • The Choas Walking series. I liked Divergent but the last book was meh. Chaos Walking held up throughout and I already want to read it again.

    • The Uglies!

    • Appreciate the suggestions! My middle-schooler has lots of great reading material thanks to you ladies!

    • Not dystopian, YA fantasy instead (set in the ‘real world’), but I really enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s books – City of…. Bones, Ashes, Glass, etc. and if you are into steampunk at all, the ‘Clockwork’ books are good too (Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Princess)

      • Ooh, the City of Bones ones are deliciously terrible/awesome. Heartily recommend for junk food YA reading. I haven’t read the Clockwork ones yet.

    • Anything by Tamora Pierce. Especially the two Trickster books and also The Will of the Empress. I also just read a series by Rae Carson (I forget the name, and there’s a baby attached to me at the moment, but there are 3 books and a couple of short stories) that was awesome.

    • TO Lawyer :

      You ladies are awesome! I’m going to add all these suggestions to my reading list right now!

  18. for AnonProf :

    This is for AnonProf, who posted yesterday about her sister going through a nasty divorce – if you’re reading today, just wondering where your sister is located? While I was in BigLaw I worked on some divorce cases with a non-profit organization and we had a fair bit of success imputing income (i.e. getting the judge to say “ok even if you’re saying you earn X, there’s no reason for it, as until recently you did and clearly have the potential to earn Y”), garnishing wages for child support arrears, etc. If your sister is below the income cut-off for these types of organizations (and many of them make exceptions as to that cut-off if there’s a big disparity between the incomes of the parties), finding an org that works pro bono with women going through divorce may be a really helpful resource – especially ones that farm out cases to big firms who have unlimited resources.

    • Thank you! We’re on Long Island in New York. So far the judge has imputed the old income to him for purposes of calculating maintenance and child support, although now husband is threatening bankruptcy filing, which I think might actually be a good thing since a bankruptcy court probably won’t be as lax looking into his finances. If you know of any organizations she can reach out to, please let me know. One of the problems for her initially is that they live in a very well-to-do area and everyone tells her she is not the kind of person non-profits are looking to help.

      • In NJ, you can opt to have CS paid through the court system. They file contempt motions all the time (and arrest people for nonpayment where the bond is set at the amount of arrears). Not sure if NY works like that, but maybe you can check into that? In NJ, those people were tenacious.

        Also, in NJ, the welfare people used to file a lot of similar motions where the family was on welfare due to nonpayment of support. Some people were just in court all the time (different treatment usually for hardships as opposed to people who stonewall). So be it. I think this would have to be for once your sister is divorced (and house $ counts for support).

        If she qualifies, I’d file for foodstamps and start going to the food bank (perferably where the husband’s parents go to church).

        • You can’t bankrupt domestic obligations, so that’s not going to help him out at all. Domestic obligations are priority creditors and are non-dischargeable, generally. (some property settlements might not be, but support payments are, which it sounds like is what we are talking about. he can’t get out of alimony & child support by filing bankruptcy. Surely her lawyer has told her this?)

      • In House Counsel :

        Back in my time in NYC BigLaw, I worked on several child support cases on a pro bono basis where the firm partnered with this organization

        Although I believe the organization only takes on cases within the 5 boroughs of NYC, it can’t hurt to call and ask for referral to perhaps similar organization in Long Island. The organization also has some good reference material on their website (available at that may be helpful to your sister. Good luck!

      • In House Counsel :

        I think my comment is stuck in moderation so re-posting w/o the links

        Back in my time in NYC BigLaw, I worked on several child support cases on a pro bono basis where the firm partnered with this organization called Her Justice (formerly InMotion)

        Although I believe the organization only takes on cases within the 5 boroughs of NYC, it can’t hurt to call and ask for referral to perhaps similar organization in Long Island. The organization also has some good reference material on their website that may be helpful to your sister. Good luck!

  19. AnonForThis :

    My husband’s sister just found out that her husband has been having an affair. She is understandably devastated, and my husband and his family are so upset. I’m not that close with my sister-in-law, but what can I do/say/send right now? She’s not local (lives about 4 hours away) so I can’t be there with her but I do want her to know that she has our support during this.

    • Famouscait :

      If you can get to a Target (or other card store) I found all kinds of cards I sent to a friend in a very delicate and devastating situation. I didn’t really think I would find anything that expressed the right sentiment… but I ended up finding so many that I bought about half a dozen and mailed them to her every few weeks. (The check-out guy did look at me funny, however). My friend said she has really appreciated getting them in the mail.

    • From experience, I think one of the worst parts of this situation is not just what happened but what you think others expect you to do now. In other words, not just that he broke his vows to her but also that now the family knows and will judge the marriage and her for being in it/having gotten to this point/staying if she doesn’t leave. If she wants to leave him, that’s one thing and she’ll need help with that, but it also makes it so much more difficult to forgive him if she feels like she’s been humiliated in front of others and they expect her to throw him out. I would send her a note expressing your support, and really stress that you are there for her no matter what she decides to do in this situation. It’s okay if she needs time to figure out, too, so don’t rush her to make up her mind.

    • I like the idea of sending cards. Maybe a care package, if she would like something like that. But checking in on her (calls, emails) would be good. And let her know she has your support.

      Are your in-laws (her parents) able to be supportive, while maintaining the proper….distance? As in, being supportive to her, but not pressuring her to divorce because they never liked their son-in-law anyways, etc.

      • AnonForThis :

        Yes, thankfully. They’ve actually always really liked her husband so I think their feelings right now are a mix of shock, disappointment, and anger. My husband was very clear to his parents that they need to rein in their anger if the marriage is going to last.

    • I’m going to dissent here. If you’re not that close with her, I would do nothing. This is a very personal situation–and between her and her husband only. It’s not a cancer diagnosis. If I were her, I would be much more humiliated by someone sending a card–that’s almost sanctimonious, to me. Not a perfect analogy, but can you imagine if you had a huge fight with your husband, and he said some awful things, and people found out about it and started sending you cards? Ick.

      • AnonLawMom :

        +1 As someone who has been in you SIL’s situation, I agree. I would have been HORRIFIED to get a card, especially from a not-that-close to me person. Your husband should be the one to reach out to his sister. And not in the “I will kill your cheating husband” way, but in the “I will support you no matter what” way because no one other than the two people in a marriage really know the whole story.

        • Famouscait :

          Perhaps I should clarify: the cards I was suggesting (and that I sent to my friend) were most definitely of the “I-love-and-support-you-always” variety. Nothing mentioned (nor did I write in) anything specific to the situation she was dealing with. I agree that would be creepy and boundary-crossing.

          • I have also been in SIl’s shoes (see above post about my divorce, ha!) and I think whether the card is appropriate depends on one thing: has she, personally, confided in you personal details about what happened?
            If yes, card is ok.

            if no, card would be mortifying.

            For example, my BFF of course knew all. She lives in another state, so my sobbing rantfests were by phone. Had she sent me a “I love you and am here for you card”, that would have been very nice and well received.

            LOTS of people “knew”, but I hadn’t personally discussed any of the details with them, beyond perhaps them saying “how are you doing” and me saying “as well as can be expected” or the like. If one of those people sent me a card? oh my. That would have been mortifying and would have felt super intrusive.

  20. I think I’m going to be all about colored blazers this season. Want to keep blacks and grays to a minimum. I’m so tired of all the cold and snow that I’d really want to overindulge during spring and summer.

    Anyone with me?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yup! Although this is me all the time, not just this season, but I’m still looking for that perfect canary yellow one (I have red, fuschia and jade green).

      • KS IT Chick :

        If you find one in canary yellow, especially online, could you share a link? I love yellow, but everything I’ve tried has been more “mustard” than “canary”, to the point that I’ve gotten gun-shy about ordering anything.

        • How about this? I love it but can’t figure out how to fit it into my life so am probably not going to get it (I don’t wear blazers on the weekend, and I think it’s too bright and casual for my NYC BigLaw office):

      • Zara has one that might be just a shade too dark:

    • Abby Lockhart :

      See Anne Klein.

  21. Famouscait :

    What are some ways you manage to-do lists for multiple projects? I’ve tried on line lists (Wunderlist, Remember the Milk) but I’ve decided to go back to plain ol’ paper and pen. Right now I’m creating a list for each project, but I’m still haven’t quite developed the system I need. I manage multiple projects on top of my regular duties, and I’m the only person on my office in my functional area, so there’s no one to A) delegate to or B) whom I would need to share the lists/tasks with. Ideas?

    • i do pen/paper, my poor abused whiteboard, and i use OneNote

    • Could you do it in a word document? That way you can add stuff as you need to without having to re-write the whole list. But you can also print it out and scribble on it as necessary.

      • Wildkitten :

        simplenote does this well

      • I used a word document at a former job where I worked on numerous projects at once. Every Monday I saved it as a new document and printed it out, but I updated it in Word throughout the week. I could easily cut and paste to reorder things if deadlines/priorities changed and I would highlight emergency tasks in red and urgent tasks in yellow. I used an outline format to keep the projects/tasks/notes to myself in an organized format

    • I was just doing a bunch of research on this. You could look around for “project management” software. there are some that are web-based, and some that are app based, so you can have the app on your computer and your phone. Some are free, some cost a little bit of money.

      I am currently doing a trial of Redbooth, which will cost $ to buy, but I think will be worth it. It is web-based. You can create different “Projects” and then under projects you can create task lists and tasks. You can then create subtasks in each task. If you assign dates to things, you can then look by date and it will pull all the tasks from all the different projects taht are due today, for example. And if you ever wanted to, you could invite people to specific projects so that they could also be assigned tasks or see the lists. I like how it shows a progress bar for each task and task list as well. And allows me to add comments, notes, or attach files of info I want to keep track of.

      I just googled “project management software” and found some top-ten lists from reputable websites of some of the best options out there right now, and checked them out till I found the one I liked the best.

      Good luck!! ;o)

    • I use the tasks list in outlook

  22. Anon for this :

    I have a close friend that I very strongly suspect of being bulimic. I don’t have definitive proof, but I know she has struggled with it in the past, and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to the fact that she’s doing it again.

    I don’t think I can really say anything, though, right? If she doesn’t want help, anything I say isn’t going to make a difference? Or is that wrong?

    • No, no, no. Say something. Make sure that what you’re saying comes from a place of love and not a place of judgment, and that it isn’t motivated by your own issues, but definitely say something.

      I struggled with eating disorders for more than a decade, and I still remember the (remarkably few) occasions on which someone expressed their concern for me. Did I change my behavior right away? No. But think about it this way: you have to lay a lot of bricks to build a house. That doesn’t mean those bricks don’t matter.

      As for what to say, tell her that you love her and are worried about her because of X and Y. Ask her what you can do to help her. And try to make clear to her that you aren’t judging her – a lot of times during a relapse, it’s terrifying to admit to people that you’ve failed in your recovery. Tell her you know that recovery is hard and can involve some slips and that you want to be able to be there for her if that’s happening.

      And please, please, please avoid negative food/exercise/body talk around her (or in general in your life, because it’s bad for all of us! but it’s particularly hard for even well-recovered ED patients to hear).

      • +8 million to the avoiding negative food/exercise/body talk.

        As an aside, one of the best things I have ever done for myself was to stop verbalizing negative things about my body, and then start refusing to listen to my friends when they did it. (E.g., “I will not listen to you speak negatively about your body. How ’bout them Wahoos?”)

      • layered bob :

        Amen. In my ED recovery I started by avoiding negative body/food/exercise talk, and now I just avoid all body/food/exercise talk, positive or negative, and I don’t let people around me talk about it either. People will say, “Oh this salad is so healthy so I think I’ll get a cookie after lunch; I deserve it today.” And I will either completely ignore it or say, “you always deserve to feed yourself” and move on. I don’t want to hear that you’ve been to the gym. I don’t want to hear that you feel fat today, or skinny today, or whatever. It’s not good for anybody, so just don’t talk about it.

        I have a friend who also had an ED and still relapses occasionally, under stress. If I notice certain behaviors, a technique I learned from my therapist is to gently ask, “If I were eating/exercising/treating myself like that under those conditions, what would you tell me? Would you want that for me, your good friend?” And of course she doesn’t! So then I check in with her about getting herself to her therapist again, or offer to go with her to her support group, because I don’t want that for her either.

    • I had an ED (well, to a certain extent still have/will probably always have it; I’ve just mostly learned how to ignore the ED jerkbrain and go about my life). If you are genuinely concerned about your friend, and are willing to come form a place of compassionate caring, with the understanding that she will do what she will do with the conversation and you have 0 control over that, I would think that you could bring it up like,

      “Friend, this is hard for me to say, but I care about you because [reasons]. I’ve been worried about you recently, because I know you’ve struggled with bulimia in the past, and right now I see [things that make you worried]. I just want you to know that I care and that, if you ever need support, that you can always come to me.”

      The end. Don’t bring it up again, unless she does. Just keep being a good friend.

      Absolutely do not under any circumstances hammer at her about it. One of my good friends from college came back from study abroad quite a bit smaller as a human than when she’d left, and another good friend kind of staged an, IDK, friend intervention, but just WOULD NOT listen to the study abroad friend that no, really, she was fine, she’d just become a vegetarian/started running/etc. The study abroad friend, who did not have an ED (I am 99% sure she would have disclosed to me if she did) just ended up feeling really isolated and attacked. That is the opposite of how one of these conversations should go.

    • just Karen :

      Actually, when I was going through this, being called out on it was the only thing that would get me to stop the cycle. It was humiliating and hard, but it did help me.

    • I agree. Say something. Ask her what you can do to help. If she has gone through recovery in the past ask her what helped then and if you can do those things. It may be as simple as being around her after a meal to help her through the feeling of being full. I agree with cbackson, admitting a disorder/relapse is very scary. At least in my experience, there’s a fair amount of shame/self-loathing in bulimia which makes it even more lonely.

    • Not the OP :

      Any tips for how to respond when someone I know has struggled with an ED makes body/food/exercise comments? This is a workplace friend in my situation. Again, not the OP. She will say something like “I have to leave by 5 because I can’t miss aerobics or I will be a fat porker again.” She will also get very angry about the office having unhealthy food. We keep candy in the waiting area which is near her seating area. One day several more senior staff were out there getting chocolate and she started yelling “I think we should just get rid of all the freaking chocolate. It isn’t healthy. Not all of us can eat that stuff and we don’t want to have to see it all day.”

      She is clearly struggling and I feel bad but I’m so afraid to say anything without coming off as shaming, or condescending, or patronizing. Someone who doesn’t know about her ED said “just because you can’t eat chocolate doesn’t mean I can’t” I’m sure that did not go well. Her boss has said something like “god forbid you miss a workout” sarcastically about her not staying late one night. I’m sure he meant “cause you don’t need it” and I’m sure she took it as “OMG boss thinks I need to work out.”

      • I understand why the situation is frustrating and it does sound like she has an unhealthy obsession with her weight.

        That said, I too wish that workplaces would no longer have candy in open spaces (totally different if you want to have candy on your desk). It would be so helpful to me personally and many others who I know struggle with the issue of whether to take a piece or not. I’ve often reflected on how many pieces of candy I’ve eaten from the candy bowl in our office over the last year, and I’m fairly certain it adds up to at least 5 lbs of extra weight I might not otherwise have. Obviously there is a large element of personal responsibility, but candy in the workplace just isn’t necessary, so why torture people?

    • Thanks for all the comments, I really appreciate it. Just for a bit more background – my friend is in recovery for other addiction/compulsive behavior, and is doing very very well on that front. But, she is fragile, and I worry about contributing to her stress or making her feel even more like she’s being watched for troublesome behavior.

      I want to say something like you all have suggested – “This is what I think is going on and I’m worried about you, and I just want you to know that I’m here for you in case you want to talk or need any support.” At the same time, she goes to weekly support groups anyway and has a therapist. She has outlets where she has a safe place to talk about issues, and I guess I kind of assume that if she wanted to talk about them, she would.

      I’m really really torn though.

      • You know, even if you have outlets to talk about this stuff, knowing that your friends care can still really help. The key to not making her feel monitored is to approach her with compassion and love, and to let her know that she doesn’t have to explain her behavior to you, but rather that you just want to support her – wherever she is in the process of recovery.

    • A practice that is always useful, especially in difficult situations like this – using “I” and “me” statements instead of “you” statements. It helps the other person feel less attacked. It’s more gentle (and I think, more compassionate) to say something like, “I feel sad when I see you do this” or “It makes me feel scared when I think you are hurting yourself”

  23. mintberrycrunch :

    TJ: Please talk me either into or out of this AT club stripe blazer (link in reply). I bought it when AT had their 70% off sale, so it was only $40, but I’m trying really hard not to purchase things *just because* they are on sale and I want to build up a classic work wardrobe. I really can’t decide how much use I’ll get out of this piece.

    PRO: It’s a non-suit blazer in a tall size (so rare!), fits nicely – I love the cut, will work with jeans for the weekend or over dresses/pencil skirts for office wear, it’s not boring (I have a closet full of basics)

    CONS: I’m tall and size 14, so I feel like it ends up being a LOT of pattern on me, it’s memorable so can’t wear too frequently, might look dated by next year (?), I feel like the pattern is a bit louder in person than in the picture (not in a good way).

    What would you do?

    • mintberrycrunch :


    • too much pattern, even on the model. Boo, though, since I’m a tall too and desperately need blazers.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If you don’t love it, don’t keep it. Saying it’s louder in person than in the picture indicates to me you’re not crazy about it, but I wouldn’t worry about it being to memorable. What’s wrong with memorable? If it looks good on you, and you’re not wearing it with exactly the same necklace, pencil skirt, and statement necklace twice a week, who cares? I’m warming up to the idea of having work “outfits” or a work “uniform,” particularly if they’re fashionable, well-fitted, and make you feel good.

      • Senior Attorney :

        If it were me, I’d super keep it because I love it. I have a striped blazer from two years ago that I wear a lot in the summer and feel great in.

        That said, it’s pretty obvious you are not in love with this, so I think you should definitely return it.

    • I saw this on someone and thought it was lovely. She wore it with light colors, which made a difference. Maybe khaki pants and an ivory shirt? I think it looks like a lot of pattern in the picture online because of the high contrast between the darker shirt & pants against the blazer. Play with a few options before you get rid of it, especially because you love the cut.

    • I think fit is extremely important, and so the fact that it fits you well is great. I also don’t think it is SUPER memorable and I don’t think it will be outdated next year. I vote keep! You can wear this with so many colors. :)

    • As a fellow tall 14, the only reason I wouldn’t leap up and buy that right this minute is because I already have a ridiculous number of navy-and-white striped garments. I can dress head to toe in it, no lie. Blazers that fit well are hard to come by and I think it looks great.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      Thanks all – I’m still on the fence. Might need to play around with it this weekend before making the final call :)

  24. Just saw an online comment in a fb group I follow saying, in effect, “Winston Churchill was a great man, he makes me proud to be an American.” Put history on the list of classes we need to bring back for our kids ;)

    • is penmanship on that list? how about an English class where you have to diagram sentences?

      • Can we add basic manners to the list too? Is that really overstepping? I’m injured and have more kids shove me on public transportation than I would have ever thought imaginable.

      • As someone whose work involves a lot of reading/editing of subordinates’ writing, yes please.

        In an interview a couple months ago, the other interviewer and I were finishing up a chat about an article one of us had read detailing how cursive writing isn’t even taught in some schools anymore. I was just about to make a comment to the effect that I think it’s really sad… then the interviewee, who was about 22, piped up with, “yeah, because who even uses cursive anymore anyway? Devoting so much time to penmanship is a waste of classroom time when everyone just uses computers.” Gah.

      • Have you seen this – I’m obsessed with it:

      • Threadjack — my penmanship is not great generally, and it’s terrible in cursive (I’m left-handed, and just never really had to write cursive past grade school, so no practice). Any advice for practice books/courses/etc. that I could use to improve? I hardly ever need to use it, but for certain circumstances (thank you notes, etc.) it would be so great to be better at it.

    • LeChouette :

      FWIW Churchill was half American (mom was American) and made an honorary American citizen (I believe the first person to receive such an honor).

      • Yes — he’s a Yank.

      • He’s also a great figure in American history. I don’t think that the statement is necessarily as ignorant as it first sounds.

      • Dang!

        Now I need to go back and look at the fb thread and see if she knew that. I’m sure someone called her out on it and she likely responded if that’s the case. I feel a bit footinmouth right now.

      • Yes, but I really doubt the person who was overheard claiming to be proud to be an American because of WC knew the relevant facts. He was a British war time leader and that is his real significance. Unless the person making the statement qualified it somehow, it sounds to me like he just didn’t know what he was talking about.

    • *headdesk* My husband is an American history teacher (HS) and would be both saddened and not surprised by this.

    • Silvercurls :

      Let’s add geography so that we can eliminate the image of Americans who cannot find either the specific nation or the general region of, say, Turkey, Afghanistan, Missouri, Viet Nam, or Mussolini on a map. Bonus points for anyone who knows that Mussolini is a person, not a country. Super duper bonus points for knowing when and where he lived and what he did in his time on this planet.

      While I’m at it let’s throw in basic proofreading, fundamental civics, how to run a washing machine and the use of TURN SIGNALS on an automobile.

      Guess what? According to somebody else’s list–e.g., be able to tell the city, sport, and ranking of a team from its name; distinguish between “Friends” and “Girls” (TV shows), know how to use a smart phone, be able to use Twitter, and manage to discuss the difference between Tex-Mex cooking and a martini–I’m every bit as ignorant.

      See y’all in class!

      • Silvercurls :

        Vocabulary fail! Missouri is a state not a nation. Gah.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I’m nodding in agreement.

        The difference, of course, is that you are much less likely to offend someone by not knowing how to distinguish between Friends and Girls than you might be, say, asking a Parisian why they don’t have a Texan accent or offering steak to a observant hindu (true story: a partner at work took an Indian client to dinner to a steakhouse where they bring the raw meat out on a tray to show you the different cuts).

        • Silvercurls :

          “offering steak to an observant Hindu at a steakhouse where they bring the raw meat out on a tray”

          Ouch. ouch. ouch. Head on keyboard. I hope the menu at least offered a baked potato (without meat drippings)!

        • taz devil :

          as a south asian woman myself, I cringe at the visual picutre of a bloody raw steak being shoved into the face of an observant hindu. At least you did not have the experience that I did where the dinner host asked my why if I am an American I don’t eat like an American!!

        • Was it known or obvious that the person was an observant Hindu? I say this as a person who routinely offers drinks containing liquor to people only to find out that they are Baptists and Methodists and probably even Mormons (not sure re Muslims, but that’s likely, too).

          • Honestly it doesn’t matter. Even if the person didn’t “look” Indian (which by itself is a pretty good indicator that they will not eat meat or at least not beef- hindu or pork-muslim), I think it’s a huge faux pas to take someone to a steakhouse no matter what religion or ethnicity they are. As a vegetarian, I would be horrified and embarrassed if I was taken to a steakhouse in a professional context. If it doubt, always take a person to an establishment where they can get a variety of options.

          • *in doubt

          • This is going to have to be a regional disagreement, because in Texas and large swaths of the Midwest, it’s a huge faux pas NOT to take someone important to a steakhouse. A steakhouse is where people go for fancy and important meals, so to take someone for Italian instead is insulting.

          • well, I guess if adhering to outdated and exclusionary regional norms is important to you, then by all means.

          • Anon @LilyB :

            That’s a bit overdramatic. I work with a lot of men (not in Texas or the Midwest) and you just take clients to nice steak places. I don’t think we’re adhering to outdated and exclusionary norms – it’s just a nice restaurant. No one is going to take a client to a vegetarian restaurant because quite frankly, most of them are inhabited by unwashed hipsters (or maybe just in my city….) A lot of steak places now have other options and going to a steakhouse is in no way “horrifying”

          • “in Texas and large swaths of the Midwest, it’s a huge faux pas NOT to take someone important to a steakhouse”
            What?! Where do you live where there isn’t a single appropriate alternative to a steakhouse? I’ve never heard of someone being offended because they were taken to a restaurant that wasn’t a steakhouse. That’s a new level of sensitive.

          • Anon from 3:49 :

            I live in uptown Dallas. There are plenty of restaurants (even some with famous chefs! I know! In Texas!), but you’re quite the little snob, aren’t you? But the fact remains that steakhouses are several tiers above any other type of restaurant, even ones that are “appropriate” and therefore when you want to impress someone, you take them to a steakhouse.

            And you know what’s a new level of sensitive? Being offended that someone took you to the nicest restaurant in town because you were too much of a passive aggressive b!tch to speak up about your dietary sensitivities.

          • Anonattorney :

            Wow, this has escalated. Let’s take a deep breath and relax. Every single time I’ve either been asked to dinner by professional contacts, or have taken clients to dinner, the person extending the invite says something like, “There’s a great ______ [steakhouse/seafood place/Indian restaurant/sushi place/etc.] that I really like. Does that work for you?” Then the guest has an opportunity to point out any dietary concerns.

            I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a business dinner where the restaurant was a surprise. If this happens in other parts of the country, please let me know so I can prepare myself.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          I don’t think that being Indian makes you unlikely to eat meat–even among observant hindus there are plenty of us who still eat beef. I would just ask the client (or person).

    • anonforthis :

      I might get flamed for being elitist on this one, but IMHO, comments like these have less to do with teachers/curriculum and more to do with parents. Kids don’t learn history, civics, grammar, etc. if their parents constantly say things like “well I don’t remember any of that and it hasn’t hurt me at all!” Admittedly, I do not live in a highly educated area but I am constantly shocked at how many parents do not take their children’s education seriously or just don’t think it really matters that much. We were one of FOUR parent teacher conferences that my daughter’s math teacher had. He teaches 4 classes of 25+ students. Similarly we were one of less than 10 for her English teacher.

      • Olivia Pope :

        People who have benefitted enormously from their education (e.g. the people who frequent this site) value their education. People who haven’t don’t care.

        Unfortunately, the options for people without an education are shrinking and many don’t realize it until late in the game.

        • Your first paragraph is so true. I come from a poorly-educated area, and schooling honestly HASN’T helped them. When you live and work in the same 60 mile radius (and that radius doesn’t include a large town), Pakistan has no bearing other than your classmates who joined the army might be assigned there. Churchill’s biography doesn’t help you be a better floor manager at the local Walmart.

      • Wildkitten :

        I learned a lot in school from my teachers (& other students).

      • This sounds so class-ist, but living in a very wealthy suburb I’ve really noticed how polite and sociable the children/teens are compared to the much poorer inner-city area I grew up in. The parents of kids around here have obviously taken the time to teach them social skills like shaking hands, making eye contact, how to behave in nicer restaurants, etc. that often didn’t (and don’t) happen in poorer areas. My parents in visiting have noticed and remarked on it too. I think of it as yet another invisible class marker, the kid who knows how to behave/what to do in a a nice restaurant vs. one who’s never been to one.

  25. There’s been a lot of talk here about different strategies for organizing our lives. I was wondering if most people keep separate work and personal tasks/to-do lists/organizers or if you combine both, no matter what approach to organization you take?

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