Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Long-Sleeve Sheath Dress

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

Readers were expressing some dismay at J.Crew’s latest offerings — even worrying about possible store closures, as well as whether they’re ending their suiting line — and while I have no inside scoop, I will add another complaint: their website is ALWAYS weird for me, in Chrome at least, and I have to scroll for miles to find the description and available sizes.  In any event: while I definitely agree that some of J.Crew’s current pieces put them solidly on the “why, why, WHY” train that so many workwear brands seem to be on — I do like this dress. (Ooh, and this one.) The bright, happy purple is unusual (it’s also available in a more sedate green as well as a black), and there’s something very mod about the whole design.  I’d wear it either with a long pendant necklace or a brooch — or, if I had a longer neck, a long scarf wrapped once around my neck like a choker and otherwise hanging long. (Or, hmmn, the French girl scarf look — long scarf wrapped repeatedly around your neck — would also work.) Scarves and brooches are matter of personal style more than trend, though; if it’s not your style I’d stick with a long pendant. The dress is $98, available in XXS-XXL in regular, petite, and tall sizes. Long-Sleeve Sheath Dress

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  1. Hi, everyone! Happy new year to the Entire HIVE! I hope all is well and that no one is freezeing their tuchuses off like I am. Dad insists I walk to work, even tho it was only 10 degrees this morning! FOOEY! And that was without the wind chill. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Go away.

      • +10000000000000000000

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1 million

        • Sloan, I appleaud you for putting your REAL name down, even tho it seems you do not like me. I watched the HBO Newsroom Show– and I am wondering if you are like the real Sloan Sabbith? Sloan for the rest of the HIVE, is an economist with two Ph.D.s, and was VERY good at her job, but is also very socially inept and prone to creating uncomfortable situations for herself and others. That sounds familiar, no? Dad says there are alot of paralels between you and her, but I wanted you to tell us personaly! Please do! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      aww Ellen!

  2. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone tried the Morning Miracle method? Any thoughts on it?

    And Happy New Year! Today’s my office’s first day back, and I am trying to be less sad about it than I feel. I’m also going to a Slow Flow yoga class tonight wearing new sparkly star-and-moon-printed leggings to make exercise feel like a luxury.

    • What is the morning miracle method?

      • Baconpancakes :

        It’s a process by which you start your morning with meditation, affirmations, visualization, writing, reading, and quick exercise – it’s a little cheesy but I’m going to give it a try. There’s a whole book on it but reviews confirm my assumption that I don’t need to read it to get the gist.

        • I haven’t done that, but I have been doing Morning Pages from the Artists Way for about a week now and it really does help me have a better day.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Pinterest is a big, big fan.

        I haven’t tried it, but I am doing a Two Minute Morning entry each day.
        “I will let go of”
        “I am grateful for”
        “I will focus on”

        I also read at breakfast and think it really, really helps me get my day off to a good start.

    • I think I have your leggings! Old Navy? :)

    • I’ve never called it that, but I’ve been so much happier since I started getting up about 3 hours before I have to leave for work, and in that time I work out, read, make breakfast, comment on here ;), etc. I love a start to the day that’s not just about racing out the door.

  3. I tried this dress and it was weirdly very tight on the arms. And I am a XXS Petite. I had to return it.

    • I have this dress in green and it is great! I have muscular arms and don’t find it tight in the arms. I am a 0/XS and 5’4″ but bought a regular (non-petite). To each their own, I guess.

    • Arms were fine for me but it was wayyyyy too tight in my normal size. I’m also petite. Ended up sizing up to regular and I think XS. the XSP / XXSP was not at all work appropriate.

  4. This looks like a nightie. It’s so very short.

  5. There are rats in my office! They chewed threw a case of plastic water bottles that were on the floor over break and today there is apparently rat urine in the kitchen. I am pregnant and already super nauseous and this isn’t helping….there is also mold and falling paint in some of the offices, though the company i work for insists it isn’t mold. i’m wondering how healthy it is for us to be working in these kind of conditions…

  6. Cold Weather Whine :

    I wore a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, pants, shearling lined booties, and socks. Its so cold in my office that I am now wrapped in a blanket, with my scarf and my hat still on. I’m considering putting on my coat. GAH stupid arctic tundra weather. Grumble grumble grumble.

    • Yep. 9 degrees today, at least my office is pretty warm, and I have hot tea. Spring can’t come soon enough.

    • I hear you. Keep adding the layers. I keep a thick long cashmere cardigan at my desk and a throw to put on my lap. But honestly just a cashmere throw as my scarf can often do it when I’m on the move.

    • It’s a balmy 15 here (not sarcastic — this is the warmest day we’ve had in a week) but fortunately my office heater is blasting.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I am heading straight to Bed Bath and Beyond after work and getting a heating pad. I am not at high productivity when I’m shivering; this is ridiculous.

    • Long underwear. I’ve been wearing long underwear pants nonstop for the last 2 weeks. Also, I’m wearing calf high boots to keep my ankles warm and stop any drafts from entering up my pant leg.

      • +1 I rotate through silk and wool long underwear and they make SUCH a difference tucked into my wool socks.

    • The heat on my office floor shut off over night and my office was 60 degrees when I came in this morning. Luckily, they overrode the system and it is back up to it’s normal 72 degrees. We all had our coats on for a little while though!

    • I am thiiiiiiissss clooooseeee to photocopying my hands in an effort to warm them up.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m wearing tights under my pants and a HeatTech shirt under my sweater. My office is fine, but ONLY my physical office. Once I step outside the door of my office into the hall, it’s freezing cold.

  7. Book suggestions? :

    I’m going on a beach vacation in a few weeks and am looking for fiction book suggestions. I’ve recently read and enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and most everything by Maria Semple (disliked her debut novel). Any suggestions for me? Thanks!

    • If you like wine, and don’t mind nonfiction that seems like fiction, I loved Cork Dork. It’s a true story of a twentysomething writer who joins the New York wine world to find out why wine is so expensive and what the trade is about. The author’s (mis)adventures, a truly hilarious cast of characters she meets along the way, and her insights are fun. I thought it was a good quick read, easy to pick up and put down. Only one chapter, on the science of smell, dragged. I loved it!

    • Pachinko
      Everything I Never Told You

    • I think Elin Hildenbrand is light but entertaining for a beach read. Of Frederick Bachman’s books, I liked My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt Marie was here. Nora McInerny Purmort’s It’s OK to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too). Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series is engaging and light, Emma in the Night was engaging but much darker. I really liked Sourdough, and the Hate U Give, and I’m currently rereading some Jodi Picoult- The Storyteller and Small Great Things were recent favs.

    • I just finished The Wife Between Us. Great beach read.

    • I don’t think everyone here loved it, but I really enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow.

    • The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
      The Girl You Left Behind – JoJo Moyes
      Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
      Midwives, The Light in The Ruins, Skeletons at the Feast – Chris Bohjalian
      The Good Girl – Mary Kubica
      In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

      I liked some of the non Shopaholic books from Sophie Kinsella. I recently read Finding Audrey and My Not So Perfect Life.

      • I was going to suggest anything by Liane Moriarty, and Crazy Rich Asians is my current audio book – I’m really enjoying it! And My Not So Perfect Life is coming with me on our beach vacation next month. Obviously you have great taste in books!

    • Eager Beaver :

      This is How It Always Is: I’m pretty sure I got the recommendation here.

    • Beachaholic :

      I re-read the whole Harry Potter series on Kindle on holiday last year in Bali. Haven’t touched them since the release of the last book ~10 years ago (was only a teen then) and they were So. Good.

    • I just read Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward and am now about halfway through her most recent book, Sing, Unburied, Sing. They are hauntingly beautiful, and very sad. Maybe not everone’s beach read material, but really worthwhile.

    • I’m reading The Power right now and loving it.

    • Anony Mouse :

      –Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeline Thien
      –Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
      –Juliet in August, Dianne Warren

      Are you familiar with Zadie Smith? I’ve only read Swing Time and didn’t love it, but it may be more to your taste.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Modern Lovers
      The Vacationers
      Last Christmas in Paris (not just a Christmas book!)
      The Alice Network
      Anything by Jojo Moyes
      Eligible (!!!)

  8. Ugh, I called to make an appointment with my endocrinologist and was informed that she has left the practice. They won’t tell me where she went and will only offer to make an appointment with the other doctors in the practice. I’m so disappointed. She was one of the best doctors I’ve ever had. I’ve been googling with no luck yet to see where she went. It just seems unethical to me to not inform your patients or at least say where your doctor has gone.

    • Cornellian. :

      that is weird. Maybe she had some disciplinary action?

      I would check your state’s registry.

    • I doubt she’s currently practicing. If she were, her practice affiliation/business address would be public and easy to find on Google. Doctors don’t just go off the grid the way, say, a hairstylist can if they leave their current salon. I would suspect disciplinary action as well.

      • IDK

        Our hospital is gobbling up medical practices. We lost our ped when there was some issue with her lease and the hospital wanted to move her into one of their buildings and do a bunch of other stuff. She decided to leave the practice and went dark for a while while having to build out a new space, hire staff, etc. So you never really know. My OB also semi retired and went in on a wholistic female wellness thing that had her go dark for a while.

    • That’s so frustrating. We had a similar situation with our pediatrician – she told us she’d be leaving, but under her contract or whatever she couldn’t tell us where she was going and said to google her after the new year if we wanted to go to her new practice. So I imagine it’s a similar situation, but I was really surprised she wasn’t required to tell us. The practice not sharing doesn’t surprise me – even my hair salon wouldn’t tell me where my old stylist went to.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Most state licensing boards have a database/directory of doctors you can search that should have updated contact info.

    • It is unethical. My state’s physician regulatory board states that physicians must give reasonable notice that they are leaving or closing their practice. Also, physicians or physician groups should not withhold information from a departing physician that’s required to give reasonable notice (which, admittedly, is different, since they’re withholding information from you, not her).

      It’s possible that she had a non-compete agreement and is currently prohibited from practicing locally. That’s more likely if she worked for a hospital or other institution. The good news is that the non-competes often get negotiated after the physician leaves–but it may take time.

    • In my area, several OBGYNs have recently left their practices and due to non-competes are not allowed to say where they are going. They can let you know to give google a few weeks to catch up to their new practice in the search results, though.

    • Check and see if she is on LinkedIn or ZocDoc?

    • Anonymous :

      Is it possible that she developed a significant medical problem or family emergency that is preventing her from practicing? It happens to physicians too.

  9. Which trade is this? :

    I bought an older house. I got a new stove and there is a big hole underneath it on the floor (wood) where the gas line comes up from the cellar / crawl space. I suspect that there is a similar hole underneath the diswasher for the water pipes / electricity / something.

    WHY do I suspect this?
    1. Horrible drafts now that it is freezing.
    2. OMG mice

    Who fixes this? I can’t shimmy these appliances out on my own b/c they are too heavy and I think that the dishwasher is attached with bolts?

    Do I call a floor guy? Appliance guy? Handyman?
    And what is the fix? A piece of wood? SOmething metal that the mice can’t chew through? SOmething with insullation b/c of the draft? Stuff it with steel wool?


    • Handyman and steel wool.

    • Flats Only :

      Yup – a handyman. He will pull out the appliance and asses the situation, and then come up with a solution. They tend to be Jack-of-All-Trades types who can deal with this type of thing.

    • Call your realtor and get a recommendation for a handy man. My realtor has great contacts for every house situation under the sun.

  10. Resume length :

    When is it acceptable (or even expected) to have a resume longer than 1 page? I am in general corporate management (think Marketing or run of the mill MBA type jobs), and have always had the “your resume should be 1 page and no longer” mantra drilled into me. But there was always a “until you’re more senior” caveat. Well, now I’m more senior…but what is senior enough to have a 2 page resume? C-suite? Executive level? High-management but not quite exec level?

    • At least 10+ years of experience.

      • To add, I’m VP level and could keep mine to a page because I’m very concise. But at the director/senior director level on up, I generally see resumes move onto the second page. Two full pages seems excessive.

    • 30 years of experience, sr director / VP level and I keep it to one page. If they have questions about what I was doing in my various roles, they can bring me in and ask me.

    • I don’t understand the 1 page rule. It seems arbitrary to me. As long as your resume is concise and it’s easy to get a sense of your background without detailed reading, why does it matter if it spills over onto a second page?

      • I do a lot of hiring and recommend 1 page because I really don’t read past that and they are pretty much always long winded and filled with either redundant or irrelevant experience. I’m most interested in your recent experience, and if you’ve done something particularly relevant to what I’m hiring for. If that particularly relevant thing was a long time ago, tell me in a cover letter or selectively edit your resume to tailor it. Fwiw, I’ve never seen a long resume that’s been a positive, it’s always something to “get past.”

        • I also have done a lot of hiring, and while I agree that an overly long resume is negative, I don’t agree the a single page is always the appropriate cutoff. There’s nothing magic about 1 full page vs 1 1/4 or 1 1/2.

          • I agree with this, but I think it’s where presentation comes in – format, fonts, spacing, 1.25 and 1.5 can pretty much always be cleaned up into 1

          • I’d rather read a 1 1/4 page resume than one that’s been crammed into a single page by adjusting fonts and spacing. Readability is much more important to me than whether the resume fits on one page.

        • I agree with Scarlett – I hired 43 people over the course of three years, which means I reviewed hundreds of resumes. I’m not reading anything other than past job titles and dates and credentials, for the most part. If I have to wade through a couple of pages to find what I’m looking for, I’m probably not going to get to it. I would also conclude that you’re incapable of getting to the point, which is not in your favor.

          The purpose of a resume is to get you in the door for a phone or in-person interview to ask about your background.

          I understand academia is different, but in the F100/F50 world, keep it terse and to the point.

    • I think it also depends on your market. In my city people change jobs and companies very regularly. Because I am a controller (accountant) and can work in any industry, there is no way I could have a one to one and a half page resume. I keep mine to 2. And that is the norm here, even for less senior roles.

      • Yup same here. Most resumes I see are two pages. The exception is law students – presumably both because they don’t have much experience and because they have career services selling the one page “rule.”

    • Counterintuitively, a resume will be shorter if the candidate has been at the same organisation for many, many years. That’s one entry for company, location, dates, and maybe role, and then a hit list of the top-level stuff done at that company.

      People who have done a lot of contract, temp, consulting, etc., work end up having longer resumes – even if they don’t put every single job on there!! – simply because they need to show what they’ve been doing for the last decade.

      My resume is two pages. First page is work in second career; second page is work in prior (relevant) career, positions on boards of directors, national publications, etc. For reference, mid-thirties.

    • I spent 30% of my time last year recruiting and rebuilding my team. I have nothing against 2 pages CV, if you have 10-ish years of experience, changed roles/jobs a few times. I will roll my eyes if juniors with 2y experience send a 2pg CV (with 1/3 of total length dedicated to all basic programs they can master – incl Outlook and Internet Explorer). But I also agree that most CV will fit into 1 page. Just make it worth reading and you will be fine.

  11. PAGING KAT :

    There are so many ads on this page that it is literally hard to comment. There is now a repeating pop-up banner across the bottom of my screen which swallows the “post comment” button.

    I totally get monetizing, Kat, but this site looks and feels trashy. There’s top banners, side ads, ads before the break, more side ads, and now popup banner bottom ads.

    I currently am staring at two Identical subway ads for $4.99 footlongs. TOO MUCH.

    • I don’t see any of what you’re describing FYI. None of the subway adds or popup adds, and I don’t have an ad-blocker. I’m on Chrome.

      • Gail the Goldfish :


      • I’m on Chrome without a blocker and I have side and top banner ads and the pop up ads on the bottom. Side and top banner don’t bother me but the bottom pop up in super annoying especially when using Safari on my phone.

        • Same. Huge bottom ads on Chrome without a blocker.

        • Same here. Chrome (at work so I can’t put in a blocker) and seeing exactly what OP describes. The side banner is annoying because it makes it clear that I’m not working, but hey, Kat has to monetize and really I should just draft that letter. The pop-up at the bottom, though, is too much.

        • I usually have the bottom pop up and usually read using Safari on my phone, and I’m not seeing it today. I’m glad because it’s annoying and hard to scroll without clicking it and launching the ad (which I’m sure is the point)

          The side ads have never bothered me but that bottom banner is a problem.

          • I take it back. The bottom pop up is back. Side ads still not a problem for me – iPhone, safari.

    • This is the site that finally got me to install an ad blocker. Not sure if that’s an option for you, but it’s been life-changing. I agree – the ads here are totally out of control.

    • I see it too, and often have to leave the page. That’s with an ad blocker installed.

    • AGREED, the ads in the middle I can handle but the banner across the bottom of my phone really makes me not even want to comment anymore. Also agree some of the ads are trashy.

    • I have to use a different browser on my phone to visit this site, because the ads are so obnoxious. The banner ads I can mostly handle but the hijacking ads that take over the browser and won’t let you click away from them – nooooope. Not gonna put up with that on any level. I’d be happy to PayPal Kat a few bucks as “support” or a “subscription fee” so she could get rid of the trashy, spammy, malware-filled ads.

    • Get yourself an ad blocker!

    • Anonymous :

      Agreed. The side ads I can take, but the bottom ads which cover the Add a Comment function are highly annoying. And, it does look trashy.

    • JobSearcher :

      Same – I just tried to post on another thread and a link popped up so I clicked that instead.

      Phone, chrome, pop up blocker installed (and the number it says it’s blocked in here is crazy)

    • Anonymous :

      Agreed. I’m on Safari and the bottom banners are beyond annoying.

  12. Man Purse recs :

    My husband carries three wallets, his cellphone , keys and a few other things in his jacket which always looks a bit odd. Anyone know of any great man purse (not backpack), small messenger bags that they find useful?

    He has tried to streamline his wallets but cannot seem to let go of all the loyalty cards etc.

    • With the loyalty cards they can usually pull up your account my phone number. I also keep the most commonly used ones on my key chain.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Would he be amenable to putting loyalty cards on his phone? Google Wallet will let you add loyalty card barcodes so you can just scan your phone.

      • I use an app called Stocard and it’s great for eliminating the need to carry physical loyalty cards.

    • most loyalty cards have an app as well so you don’t need the physical card. That or the key fob will reduce the number of cards dramatically.

    • Unless he’s asked you for help or he’s lost important information because of his disorganization, I think you should leave him alone. So what if carrying three wallets looks weird. It doesn’t matter and if it makes him happy just let him do it.

      • She’s allowed to comment on weird husband habits, perk of being married. If he insists, though, it’s not a big deal.

      • Agreed. Has he asked you for help on this? Would he actually use a man bag? This is, like, the smallest of problems to nitpick.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Just a bit of anecdata: A friend of mine was given a man bag by his wife and he used it once. All his friends teased him unmercifully and the man bag was never seen again.

    • I refuse to carry loyalty cards. If a merchant can’t handle that ish electronically, then they don’t get my loyalty. Period.

    • Sneaky trick – Bought my husband a small wallet, think glorified money clip with a few card slots, for “going out” instead of his big bulky one under the guise of you don’t want to carry all of that if we are going to the bar, etc. 6 months later, the big bulky wallet has been relegated to a drawer and the slim wallet is his every day wallet since it takes too much effort to switch it back.

    • Anonymous :

      Tumi has some nice options.

  13. Sad Grad Anon :

    How do you guys deal with comparison and self-doubt? This year I went back to school and after a rough first semester, which I survived and did pretty well, I realize that I spent a lot of it constantly comparing what I’m doing to others (namely a few people in my peer group doing ‘big’ things). I worked for a few years in between grad and undergrad so it has been a huge adjustment in general both financially and socially (my program is pretty anti-social but thankfully I have my SO and good friends about an hour away). One thing I’m doing is going back to therapy and limiting social media, which so far has helped a ton. But in the back of my head I still have these feelings. Any advice??

    • I struggle with this too. Instead of trying to force away the thoughts (which never worked for me anyway), I now try to channel them into something productive for me. Specifically, I’ll ask myself what the fact that I’m feel competitive/jealous says about ME – do I want to be in the career field that’s person is in? Etc.

      Not a perfect solution, but it has helped.

    • Ug, I’m sorry. I felt this way for the entirety of my undergrad education. I still get really ragey when people talk about how they never studied during college. No advice, but hugs. I’m sure you’re doing great.

    • If you’re a few years out of college, it’s a weird time, because it’s a lifetime high point for a lot of people and a really low point for a lot of other people – and neither has any bearing on what happens ten or twenty years down the road.

  14. LinkedIn Question :

    I separated from my law firm a few months ago and have been looking for a job (and enjoying some free time) since I left. I haven’t yet updated my LinkedIn profile to reflect that I’m no longer working at the firm. I thought it might make it easier to find a new job if it wasn’t so obvious from the start that I am currently unemployed. I did update my resume though to clearly show that I’m no longer working at the firm. Should I continue to leave my LinkedIn profile as is, or should I update it to show that I left my firm and am looking for a job. If I should update it, what should I say in the summary at the top of my profile? If it’s relevant, I was a mid-level associate when I left the firm.

    • Yeah, if it’s been a few months then you should update it. Can you put something like, Attorney at Law, in the current employer field?

    • Fwiw, I see a lot of profiles that are months out of date.

    • LinkedIn is infrequently used by the vast majority of their members, so no one’s going to look at you askance if your profile’s out of date. But your former employers may have a problem with it after awhile, because it looks like you still work for them and you don’t. Especially as you start networking, I would change your profile to make it clear you’re not with your previous firm. Not changing is, to a degree, deceptive and since the deception won’t hold up under any level of scrutiny, save yourself some trouble and just change your profile.

    • It might be a violation of your state’s ethical rules to show yourself as affiliated with a law firm where you no longer work, you should check on that.

  15. What are thoughts on wearing Etsuko dress for my new headshot tomorrow? I’m mid-senior level in a staff function, with no client facing responsibilities. I almost never wear a suit in real life, mostly dresses and fun blazers. Main purpose for this is things like my LinkedIn profile, conference speaking profiles, etc.

    • I wore a similar dress for my head shot because I am not a suit person. The dress was the only thing I liked about the photos.

    • S in Chicago :

      I think it’s a great idea. My go-to headshot is a typical suit one. As speaking engagements tend to become more informal/youth-focused these days (I’m in marketing serving a financial audience), it feels too stuffy. A plain dress like that gives a lot more flexibility with use–mixing well when you’re with a bunch of suit folks while also holding your own when you’re dealing with the creatives, start-ups, etc. of the world.

    • I did and it worked great

    • What colour is it? Jewel tones and good necklines make for excellent headshots.

    • It’s fine. I assume it’s not a full body shot but just a chest-up kinda head shot (I ask because I recently did one for my company and was surprised they wanted a full body – me sitting at a small table, looking like I was at a meeting)

      For a chest-up head shot, all that matters is color and neckline and accessories. I do not recommend any bitsy necklaces – either wear something chunky like a pearl strand or no necklace. None of those tangly little gold chain thingies. They get lost and look out of proportion. Simple stud earrings if you have them. If you wear makeup, wear a little more that day.

    • Thanks! Green Etsuko it is!

  16. Should I factor my husband’s 401k balance into the equation when considering how much term life insurance to purchase for him? He is 32 and has over $200k saved. We are reassessing our insurance needs now that we have a kid.

    • No. If he were to die you wouldn’t be able to access that money without penalty. He’s young, and assuming he’s in good health, buy as much as you guys can afford. We just got $600k each for $45/month and are about the same age. A friend of ours had a child and put off buying term for a couple years. He was just diagnosed with a rare blood clotting disease and is now uninsurable so do it now! Also be sure to have a will drawn up too if you haven’t already.

      • Hrm, I got a million policyfor $39/month. Maybe we have different health profiles? I’m 33 and healthy but could lose a few pounds. You might want to shop around.

    • I would factor it in, assuming you or your child are the beneficiary of his 401k. But assume that you won’t access that money until you’re retirement age. Life insurance (+ your salary) should cover your living expenses until retirement and any educational costs you want to cover for your child.

    • I do, though we don’t have kids and that makes a big difference. We each have $70k (~1 year of salary) in life insurance we get through work at minimal expense. We make roughly equal salaries and each of us could comfortably cover the mortgage and other living expenses on one salary, we’d just be saving less for retirement. Since retirement saving would be the major financial hit, it makes sense to take into account that we each have ~$175k in retirement accounts already (enough for a decent retirement at 65 if we add nothing and just let it grow at a reasonable rate). If we had kids, we’d certainly buy more life insurance, but I think it does make sense to at least consider retirement savings, especially if each spouse has reasonable earning capacity on their own.

    • KateMiddletown :

      If he dies it will become yours (unless he has another beneficiary) and you likely will not want to touch it until 59.5. Not sure what you mean by “factor in” – how are you trying to determine your life insurance needs?

    • On a related life insurance note, what do people pay for term coverage? My husband and I were quoted ~$450/month for the two of us for 2M in coverage each, which seems high to me. However, we each have parents diagnosed with cancer at a young (<50) age.

      • I only have $600k and we pay $45/month so no help of the $2M front. But I just switched our car and home insurance to Costco and saved 50% so see if Costco has term life….if you’re a Costco member.

      • $450/month even for 2 of you seems way high, but not knowing your ages or the length of term coverage (10 years? 30 years?), it’s hard to say.

      • Around $50 per month for $1.5M policies, 20 year term, both mid thirties. Mine is a bit less than $50 and his is a bit more, but I think men usually pay a bit more than women.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Are you sure that’s a Term policy? (If you’re talking to a Northwestern Mutual person it’s probably Whole Life.)

      • $30/month for 1M, 20 years. Early 30s in great health.

      • That sounds like whole life pricing. Even with your family history of cancer I think you can do better on term pricing.

        • What’s the difference between whole life and term? I know basically nothing about life insurance.

          • Whole life is just that. It doesn’t expire. It’s good until you die. It’s sort of an investment vehicle in many cases.

            Term life is a flat benefit that expires at the end of a set term. 20 years is common. Lots of people buy term insurance at the birth of a child, so that child is covered until adulthood should something happen to the parent. The idea is that your other assets will grow during the 20 years, your child will have reached adulthood, and you no longer need the insurance.

            All life insurance is a bet. In the case of term insurance, the insurance company is basically betting that you won’t die before the term is up. The premiums represent the percentage chance that you do, applied to the principal amount.

            Whole life insurance is a bet that you won’t die before you’ve contributed the entire face amount of the policy in premiums and the investment income on those premiums. Needless to say, whole life premiums are a lot higher for these reasons.

            You don’t really need whole life on yourself to protect your children, unless you have a special needs child or something like that. But some people like whole life for investment vehicles for tax purposes – life insurance proceeds are generally not taxed. Others buy whole life with small face value because they want something to pay for burial costs etc when they go – but honestly you’re better off just saving for this unless you are very low income.

            I’m an actuary but not a life actuary, so if I have some of this wrong please chime in. I know there is at least one other actuary on here.

    • I wouldn’t because it’s not immediately accessible. Also, having recently shopped for life insurance, my experience was that for term life, an extra $200K for a healthy non-smoking young person isn’t a huge difference in premiums per month. What I did to figure out our needs was basically add up our mortgage, college costs, and then added some extra to compensate for lost income/the first few years of grief and whatever effects that would have on the surviving person. But we make somewhat similar incomes and the bulk of our costs go to mortgage so if that was paid off and college was fully funded, there wouldn’t be that much need for additional income beyond what would be left over. I didn’t consider life insurance I have through work (100K) or retirement accounts because I figure those things can always change/be difficult to access.

    • I considered it but ultimately it didn’t change much. DH and I have $500k between the two of us for retirement. If one of us isn’t around, health insurance costs go down by 50%, but I’d think a large portion of retirement expenses still exist. I’d be living in the same house, doing same/similar activities-maybe more?. My husband wouldn’t be there to provide in-home care and I’d have to hire a day nurse if something happened like I was immobile due to foot surgery, say, vs having my husband help me bathe. I might move to a smaller place faster, but it might be fancier. I would outsource maintenance projects DH would otherwise putter and do.

      I looked at DH’s retirement savings as an added bonus/cushion.

      DH and I have the same background/earning power, though right now I work less and earn less. We have enough life insurance to send all 3 kids through college, pay off the house, take 2 years off, and “step down” in terms of career. The assumption is that the surviving spouse would still work. If, however, the surviving spouse didn’t want to work, s/he could sell our expensive house, move somewhere more modest and not work for a good long time.

  17. How do you support someone who is about to start detox therapy for opioid addiction? A family member is about to begin treatment using suboxone at a treatment center nearby (that looks reputable enough). He only just opened up to me and the rest of the family about his addiction, although we all already knew, and is extremely sensitive about being judged for it. What are the right and wrong things to say, especially if the first attempt doesn’t work?

    • Flats Only :

      I would say you’re proud of him for getting treatment, you wish him well, and then otherwise don’t make a big deal about it. Turn the conversation to sports, vacations, whatever else might interest him. I think being treated as “normal” will lend him the most dignity during a tough time.

    • Anon for this :

      It depends on so many things. Are you very close to him? Has his addiction impacted you negatively in any way? Where is he at with hitting his “bottom”? Is he doing a 12-step program along with the detox?

      If you are actually affected by his addiction, then you should be honest with him about your boundaries throughout the detox process, and explain what you will be doing to help him in recovery. If his addiction has just been something in your periphery, then I would just follow Flats Only’s suggestion above.

      One cautionary note – part of the recovery process is learning some humility and accepting your failure. Fear of being judged is not a great start.

    • givemyregards :

      I agree with flats only to keep things light, without being completely fake, unless they want to talk to you about deeper/darker things. Also, I would caution you that opioid use disorders are chronic diseases that require ongoing management so I wouldn’t use wording like “if the first attempt doesn’t work” – the less emphasis there is on “curing” or “fixing” the better because a lot of sufferers of these diseases feel a strong pressure to “resolve” them and move on, which is not how recovery works and can be a dangerous mindset.

      • Thanks for this – good point. This is a very close family member. He never hit a proverbial “rock bottom,” but I know that one of the reasons he’s doing this is because he gets so anxious towards the end of the month when his pills run out and he wants to stop going through that stressful cycle. What does worry me is that he said something along the lines of “if I didn’t have that monthly process, I would stay on them forever to treat pain” or something like that. He does have real pain as a result of multiple surgeries, but seems very afraid of treating it without painkillers.

        • Wait what? He’s in genuine pain. What’s so wrong with treating it? Support him because he wants to make a change but he doesn’t need to hit rock bottom to recover from medical treatment, and of course he is afraid of treating real pain without painkillers because he is human.

          • What is “so wrong” with treating it is that he has become addicted to painkillers that were never intended to treat chronic joint and back pain. The painkillers he takes are suitable for end-of-life cancer patients, not someone who had a knee replacement. His pain is real and he needs real treatments with proven efficacy and appropriateness, including certain types of painkillers. He doesn’t need to be taking drugs that can (and I’m terrified they will) kill him.

        • givemyregards :

          I’m so sorry you and your family member are going through this. Opioid use actually changes how your brain functions and at a certain point you need them not only to ward off pain but withdrawal, so it’s very understandable that he’s feeling that anxiety. Unfortunately, reversing those changes is extremely slow and not always possible, so depending on how long he’s been using opioids, he may need to stay on suboxone indefinitely and one other piece of advice is not use language referring to whether or not he’s “clean” from drugs (you didn’t above, this is just something else that came to mind). This is controversial in the addiction treatment community, but some people object to using “clean” to describe individuals using suboxone and other drugs to treat addiction, which can hinder recovery efforts. If you google “dying to be free huffington post” there is a good – although somewhat outdated – longform piece that talks about the stigmas associated with opioid addiction, which may give you some food for thought on this. If you’re open to it, I would also check out a nar anon meeting in your area for friends and family members of those with narcotics addictions.

    • How is he doing this detox?

      This sounds very problematic to me. Someone who has real pain and forces a detox process without a plan for treating the pain off opioids is a set-up for disaster. This is not usually done for someone with real pain.

      Is this family member being followed closely by a doctor for the primary problem, a pain clinic with specialists in physical therapy/psychiatry/pain specialists etc..? Are they being slowly tapered, while ramping up non-opioid pain medicines (eg. anti-inflammatories, tylenol, neuropathic pain meds etc…)?

      There is actually a lot of poor information in the press right now about opioids. There ARE some patients who need and use opioids for chronic pain and can use them safely and appropriately. It is wrong for the lay press (and for many doctors) to make blanket statements.

      The OP hasn’t posted anything so far that explains why the patient is forcing him/herself through detox. Are the pain meds working? Are the doctors concerned? Why isn’t a psychiatrist/pain specialist assisting in treating end of the month anxiety, encouraging more complementary therapies to assist pain management and setting long term goals?

      I’m a physician that treats many patients with chronic pain. Something is off here.

      So as an answer to the OPs question…. I’d make sure they were closely followed in a pain clinic and by a medical doctor that is carefully managing their primary problem, getting regular physical therapy, using heat/ice packs/topicals/anti-inflammatories and neuropathic pain medicines as appropriate. A doctor must be monitoring this “detox” process.

      • OP here. This is all being managed by a doctor at a pain management center at a major university. I know she has prescribed multiple medications to help get through the process (including anti-nausea and sleep medicines), but I am not sure what the plan is for managing the pain. I know that there are therapy sessions and group sessions, but I just don’t know the specifics. My family member also gets sports massages and has done physical therapy, although the latter not lately. He uses ice packs and other anti-inflammatories regularly in addition to muscle relaxers and I don’t even know what else.

        The pain meds “work” to some extent, but my family member admits that he is addicted to the “high” as well as the pain relief and he is so stressed and fearful about withdrawal that he doesn’t want to go through that stress every month anymore. It was a contributing factor to him quitting his job, actually – he literally could not work the final few days of the month. I think he is also concerned about all the press coverage of opioid deaths and worried it will happen to him.

  18. Dating in DC :

    One of my goals for the New Year is to find my life partner. I’ve realized that finding him isn’t something that’s serendipitously going to happen for me and I need to make a real effort to find him. I’ve signed up for the usual dating apps but I also want to try to meet more people in my daily life. I’m in my early 30s so the bar scene isn’t really something I enjoy anymore. Does anyone have suggestions on how to meet new potential dates in everyday life? Any advice for dating in the D.C. area? Places I should go, things I should sign up for, etc.?

    • Your plan is a good one – both dating apps and meeting people in everyday life. I gently encourage you to reframe your goal as, I will devote more time to social activities that I enjoy, rather than, I will find a partner this year. It’s easy to get discouraged with dating, period. Don’t put more pressure on yourself by assigning a deadline.

      Fwiw I’m very goal-oriented but also a huge procrastinator so I need deadlines to motivate myself. While that works in other areas of my life, it has led to only terrible results with dating. Either I feel like a failure for not meeting my self-imposed deadline or I settle for someone who seems good enough (but isn’t). Don’t be me.

    • Flats Only :

      Don’t give up on bars! Find the ones that the grownups go to, sit there, have a drink and dinner, and watch the baseball/basketball/hockey game on the TV. Whenever I eat dinner by myself at a bar (at least a couple of times a month for various reasons) and am visibly watching sports, I always meet men. The sports give them an easy conversation opener. FWIW I am 45, well groomed and my clothes fit, and I am generally friendly, but I am not stunningly attractive. I also notice that independent breweries (at least in the ‘burbs where I live) tend to have a heavily male clientele, and there are often many over 30s – try attending an event or two – you’ll find it’s not hard to meet people since everyone is pretty much standing around talking about beer.

    • I’m 36 and I met my now-fiance on Tinder in DC a year ago. For me, I worked in an office with mostly women and wasn’t interested in the flag football on the Mall type activities that are always suggested, so I relied completely on apps. I was very much looking for the person for the rest of my life, so I was pretty serious about it.

      I went on 2 dates per week, every week, for about 2 months and on 3-4 dates per week, every week, for about 4 months. The upside to this is that you get really good at dating and spotting what you’re looking for and what you’re not. I gave myself permission to want what I wanted – aka, to not settle, to not “well, maybe…” If I wasn’t excited about the person and left wanting to know more about him, then he wasn’t the one for me.

      I picked a restaurant close to my house where I got to know the hostess and bartender (and my favorite house wine) and frequently suggested men meet me there. That way I was in control and comfortable, and if things got really bad, I could give the bartender a look and she’d be a wingwoman/rescue.

      Here’s what I thought of the various apps in DC: (this is as of late 2016; these things can shift)

      Hinge – quiet, well-meaning guys who were very earnest

      OkCupid – their algorithm is actually pretty darn accurate – it’s lots of the same people from other sites, but it’s free and the info you see is interesting

      eHarmony – bait and switch! they frontload all the cute guys during your trial period and then once it’s too late to cancel, they show you what the pool really includes…and it ain’t pretty. Also annoying: it’s super complicated to take down your profile, so many users who show up in your feed don’t even have accounts anymore.

      Match – every guy I went out with from here was Single For A Reason – the Stalker, the Took Me to PANERA (!!) and was Moving in with His Mother (!!), the Inferiority Complex, the My Parents Like My Sister Better, the I Have a Terminal Illness, the I’m Not Over My Ex. I went on so many bad dates from there, I turned my insta into a running gag about modern dating where I’d recap whatever last night’s guy did.

      Bumble – Clarendon bros

      Tinder – I liked the guys from here the best – the trick is to be selective about who you swipe on. Sure, there’s a bunch of riff-raff, but there’s also lots of busy, educated professionals who aren’t bothering with subscription sites because they’re out living active lives. As far as its reputation as a certain kind of site…that’s there if you want it, but not if you don’t. My faith is important to me, and I actually listed “naps after church” as a hobby in my profile and never had a problem with guys being inappropriate.

      Pro tip: if someone has their cell phone number tied to their FB account, you can search for them with that number and their first name. That’s how I discovered the flaky guy who kept having “work emergencies” was actually married! with children!

      The rejection I used in post-date texts: “It was nice meeting you, but I just don’t think I feel a spark and that’s something I’m really looking for. Good luck out there.”

      I hope some of this is helpful!

      • Yes! Tinder! Use Tinder! I had a similar goal to you last year (although to the poster above kindly suggesting you reframe your resolution … I agree; mine was just “go on dates” so that I’d make sure I could achieve the goal, while still working toward my long-term dreams of partnership) and used Tinder to find my wonderful BF. And my similarly eternally single, shy (like me, not necessarily you) boyfriend was on the same, want-to-find-someone but just-force-myself-to-date-in-the-meantime journey.

        Oh and total side note, but I thought this would make meeting him feel less serendipitous, but now I think love just is serendipitous, so don’t feel as though meeting someone online means giving up the dream of a meet cute. My Tinder story gets lots of “aws” and “oh you two were meant to bes”.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I’m confused–what’s wrong with Panera?

        • Agreed. It doesnt seem that much different from a coffee shop to me. I get that it’s a chain, which some people are averse to, and which I myself don’t love – but I wouldn’t automatically write someone off for wanting to meet there.

        • There are just SO many better options in DC, imho. Not sure if that’s OP’s reason, but that would be mine.

          • Anonymous :

            I mean, yes, there are many better restaurants in DC or in any city, but to reject a guy solely for that and mock him as That Guy That Took You to Panera seems….wildly excessive, to say the least.

          • Linda from HR :

            I guess I would be annoyed if someone just said “we’re going to Panera” instead of “I’m thinking Panera, how does that sound?” or give me a chance to suggest a different place. Most of the time I’ve been on a first date, I’ve had some input in where we went.

          • Anonymous at 1:54, I don’t disagree. Both you and Linda from HR are along my own lines of thought. I do enjoy Panera, but like, I’m not sure I’d be thrilled or feel…special? cared for? if someone equated Panera with solid first date territory (put a little effort in, I guess?)

        • Linda from HR :

          Seriously, I love Panera! For lunch dates, anyway. For a dinner date, I’d want a real sit-down restaurant or at least a place with a bar.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, it’s incredibly snobby to judge a guy for taking you to Panera. I consider myself a foodie and it’s definitely not my favorite place, but sheesh, rejecting someone straight away just because he brought you there once? I would never expect a guy to shell out for a $$$$ restaurant for a first in-person meeting.

          • She found someone more to her liking. Hopefully he did, too. It’s all fine.

        • Anonymous :

          Everyone has a right to make their own dating requirements, but that doesn’t mean that they are rational or not snobby.

          I think it’s weird to equate taking her to Panera with moving back in with his parents or having huge hang-ups. Likely, the guy suggested Panera because almost everyone at least likes Panera. It’s not a home run, but it’s not a strike out. Nothing wrong with just going with the base hit (to continue the baseball analogy, which hopefully no one will be taking to mean a gardening euphemism).

      • I’m not sure it’s fair to mock someone for trying to date with a terminal illness. Maybe I’m overly sensitive but that made me cringe a little.

    • Not in DC, but when I moved to a new city it helped to get more plugged in generally. I met some partners and eventually my spouse through my widened circle. I went solo to events that seemed interesting, signed up for dodgeball, bowling, and rowing, took some art classes, etc. I chose all stuff that I would actually enjoy. Then, I pushed myself to reach out to people I seemed to connect with and made new friends that way. Through the naturally widening circle of people I knew, it became much easier to meet more and more people.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m much older than you, but I found my sweet husband at my local Rotary Club. And he was in a triathlon club that had more marriages than you can shake a stick at. So I am a big believer in joining organizations that have a good mix of men and women and reflect your interests.

      And yes, sports bars.

    • Anon in DC :

      I agree with Flats Only on sitting at the bar by yourself. I have been doing this for years (getting a drink, a snack, and/or dinner by myself) largely because I’m an extrovert who enjoys being in the middle of a crowd, and I find I am consistently approached by men. It’s a low-risk scenario for them, which is key.

      Crossfit gyms, rock climbing gyms, hiking/camping groups, cycling groups, running groups, etc. are also great ways to meet men (and to make friends who will introduce you to new social circles).

      If there are any young professionals groups in your career area, I’d start going to any happy hours or similar events they do.

      Check Eventbrite too for events that look interesting.

      • Anon in DC :

        Oh, and don’t be shy about asking guy friends if they’re doing anything this weekend that you can tag along to. That was probably the number one way I met guys when I was dating (because my friend invariably had a bunch of other guy friends in his orbit that I’d never met).

    • KateMiddletown :

      Don’t make it a goal to find your life partner, make it a goal to go on x# of dates or do x# of things that lead to meeting people. You can’t control whether the dates turn out to be the life partner, but you can control the number of dates you go on.

    • Anonymous :

      Let friends know you are actively looking. I’m married know but even when I was single, I wouldn’t presume to set up/suggest potential dates to other single friends unless they asked me.

    • Anonymous :

      Let friends know you are actively looking. I’m married now but even when I was single, I wouldn’t presume to set up/suggest potential dates to other single friends unless they asked me.

  19. Building on the latest string of request for advice from people who separated from their firms: How do you list an “organization” when registering for networking events? When I try to register, they request an org, but I currently don’t have one.

    • LinkedIn Question :

      For networking events, I’ve been listing my title as “XYZ Attorney,” like Patent Attorney or Tax Attorney, etc. For my organization, I usually try to just put a couple of spaces in the online registration form so the website accepts my registration but nothing shows up on the name tag. I wonder if it would be better to just be direct and say “Seeking Employment” so that’s what my name tag ends up saying. I guess that’s how desperate I’m starting to get…

    • In the finance world, most people say “independent”. It is understood to mean “seeking employment”…

  20. What are some good hair ties that are available on Ama zon prime? I have fine and kind of thin hair that slips out of most hair ties. Recommendations welcome!

    • These are the best. For some reason they go in and out of production regularly, so I always stock up:

    • AnotherAnon :

      I like these:
      I always get them at my local grocery but they are quite a bit less expensive off Amazon.

    • I really like these:

      • Eeertmeert :

        Invisibobble, yes! Makes my baby fine pony appear thicker and never snags or pulls. I have super fine, thin hair. My ponytail can look thicker based on the spiral of the hairtie; makes sense if you get a visual on the item. Sometimes I anchor it down with a Bobby pin, but not necessary.
        Life changed, no joke. I bought the xs option.

  21. Trying to work up the nerve to make the dreaded gyn appointment – they still have good appt times available in the next 2 months and I haven’t gone in years, so I need to bite the bullet. All I can think is – if a man had to be examined this way with instruments/fingers inside and other hands pressing outside, they sure as heck would have invented some better way to do screenings and/or they’d be told something more than – try to relax. Like they’d be given drugs and take multiple days off work after. I feel like men would put up with such an exam once – forget routinely – and that’d be the end of that and there’d be external testing fully covered by insurance bc this would be considered too much. Ugh. Forgive my vent.

    • Eh, men do have internal exams for prostate cancer once they get to be a certain age. My father has to have them twice a year (because of some abnormal bloodwork) which is way more often than I have a pap. No dr*gs or time off work involved. There are a lot of ways in which the medical field is tremendously unfair to women, but I’m not sure this is one of them.

      • Um, no. Because I get stuff stuck in me and special holsters and scraping of a very sensitive part AND she does the finger in the b*tt too, which is all my husband gets at his annual exam.

    • I completely agree. Sometimes I’m surprised there isn’t more widespread outrage. It’s such an awful experience, I don’t care if it’s normal! For men in straight relationships, I feel like there should be huge gratitude to their girlfriends/wives too for having to do all these appointments on behalf of the couple, not just herself. You’re right–if men had to do this, it would be A HUGE THING.

      I don’t know what else to say, other than what I do: choose a “prize” in advance that I get after it’s over.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        For a good while I was able to get through it with a “you’re a [email protected] woman taking care of yourself, yay!” (imagining like, ‘a single girl making it in the big city’ rom com?) attitude, but now I just sit in my car and cry and cry afterward. Then a reward, like a pedicure. Ugh it is the WORST.

        • This is an actual thing!? A gyno exam isn’t pleasant and yeah maybe I’ll treat myself to a cupcake afterwards, but it blows my mind that there are this many women who dread it to the point they cry afterwards. It’s just….not that big a deal. Don’t you have a child? Labor and delivery (and recovery afterwards) is so much worse than a routine exam.

          • +1 to this. Is it my favorite day of the year? No, it’s really not. It has a whole feeling of being uncomfortable and the actual exam has some parts that are physically uncomfortable, but other than that, I just do it because it’s what you are supposed to do and it’s a darn good idea to do it.

          • I think it’s a bigger deal if you’re not gardening regularly. Also think it’s a MUCH bigger deal if you haven’t had a child; once you’ve been thru delivery, your body is so used to such things that it doesn’t even register. But yeah even when I had my first exams before I was gardening, while it may have been uncomfortable in the moment and I may have told them, I don’t ever recall crying after from the shock or pain or anything. Now I try to do them late on a Friday, grab food I like but don’t eat much for lunch like a burger and get an early start to the weekend.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, I’d rather have the gyn exam than have my teeth scraped at the periodontist. It’s faster, at least.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            For me it’s less about the physical thing and more about the emotional/mental thing. Like someone who doesn’t care at all is shoving things up my [email protected] and poking around? And then usually getting some blamey sh*t about my IUD falling out again, or hey, surprise, you have unexplained cysts!, or, worse, “sorry, yeah I have no idea why it hurts so much.” The doctor at my catholic hospital making me feel like a sl*t for wanting access to birth control solely to prevent pregnancy… etc.

            Uhh one of the things I deal with in therapy is my desire to reclaim agency and control over my body after [you know] so yeah…

            Since you asked: yes I had a kid, she was an emergency c-section so she didn’t come out of my [email protected], the whole birth thing at the hospital was pretty effing horrifying/traumatic and might be part of why I don’t love going to the gyn. Anything else I can do for ya?

          • You can respect that something that isn’t hard for you, is hard for someone else.

            Not saying anything about Rainbow Hair or myself, but FYI, the reason these appointments are so difficult for some women is due to a history of s3xual assault. Don’t dismiss their feelings without knowing where they came from.

          • @Rainbow Hair, sounds like you desperately need a new doctor! There are lots of OBGYNs out there who won’t shame you for your IUD falling out or for wanting birth control just for preventing pregnancy. Mine is super s*x-positive, to the point that she wants to discuss my s*x life and level of satisfaction. It actually gets kind of uncomfortable for me, but it’s basically the opposite of sl*t-shaming.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Thanks Monday. I get put down for expecting people to be nice on here sometimes, but really… it’s not nice to put someone down for being scared of something. Sure, you can give advice about how it’s not scary for you, but “This is an actual thing?!” is not the kindest approach to multiple people who have said a thing is scary for them.

          • Yeah, same here. They’re not comfortable but I know they’re medically necessary so I just deal with it.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to co-sign “this is an actual thing?”

            But I totally think you need a new doc!! It definitely doesn’t have to be that bad! Reading this thread I think I’ve just been lucky with my gyns over the years!

          • Anonattorney :

            @Rainbow Hair: I agree people should always strive to be sensitive. To be honest, to me this level of distress associated with a gyn exam is just surprising and not something anyone I know has experienced. I don’t generally assume that someone has experienced trauma unless it’s mentioned in a post (although perhaps I should), and that really didn’t seem like it was a part of the original post. I would assume best intentions, and just think that people were commenting on whether the posted reactions to a gyn exam are “normal” (i.e., widespread, generally held views about the system or process). Based on your post, you have the one-two punch of having a deeply personal negative experience that affects your basic comfort level with these appointments. You also have a crappy doctor. That totally sucks. But it’s sometimes hard for people to assume those circumstances exist for others without otherwise having that information up front.

            Anyway, your point about commenting kindly is well-taken.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I’ve never experienced that kind of trauma, but I would put getting a filling just slightly above going to the gyno. I had a terrible first exam (“ow!” “that doesn’t hurt, you’re imagining it.”) and a series of painful exams after that, partially because I was so tense, partially because I am really just super sensitive. I bleed for a day after a routine pap smear, no matter how gentle or skilled the doctor is. Before I started gardening frequently, I would definitely cry afterwards, and I still dread having an effective stranger touching me so invasively.

            I’m strongly affected by anything that goes into me – when I had an orthoscopic nasal exam, I had a panic attack. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with trauma, although I can only imagine that would expound the terribleness of it. I do seek out and pay premium rates for the gentlest, most understanding and patient doctors, and that makes the experience tolerable, but still something I hate and take off the entire afternoon for.

          • Linda from HR :

            Oh yeah, I remember exams in my late teens and early 20’s where something would hurt, and the person examining me would go “oh, this shouldn’t hurt . . .” okay then, if you think me feeling pain right now indicates a problem, let’s do some problem solving, a little down-there debugging if you will. That is your job, is it not? If you think I just need to relax, give me some tips on how to do that. If what you’re trying to say is I’m weak or too sensitive, how about don’t? It’s not necessary or helpful.

            It’s like when I was getting blood drawn, and said “ow” when the needle went in and the lady said, I kid you not, “what’s wrong?” What’s wrong? What’s wrong?? You stuck a needle in my arm! Most people would say that hurts a little!

          • Not the OP I have vasovagal syncope related to p*p smears or any cervical manipulation. It’s not fun. You can look it up.

            So yeah, I put it off. I also put it off because of the number of times I’ve had false negatives which are just h3ll to go through until they’re like, never mind! And third, there is a lot of evidence that annual p*p are overkill for those without high risk HPV or family history.

    • It’s usyally really not that bad. You don’t need drugs or multiple days off to recover. If it’s that bad for you you really should discuss it with your doctor.

      • Yeah. I mean, it’s certainly not my idea of fun, but it literally lasts less than five minutes (more like two minutes with some doctors) unlike a dentist appointment, which I find about a thousand times worse. I think I’m pretty sensitive down there (and have a pretty low pain tolerance in general – I had to have a transv*ginal ultrasound once and cried from the pain) and it would never occur to me take drugs for a routine pap/gyno exam, even if they were offered to me.

        I think this is something that should really be discussed with your doctor – there may be a physical issue that makes it so uncomfortable. Or maybe your doctor is really unskilled. Anecdotally, my worst gyno exams were with a PCP. I’ve found that actual OBGYNs get in and out WAY more quickly, and it’s much less painful.

        • Yep. I’ve never attempted it with a PCP. My friends think I’m crazy to add one more appointment to the schedule when a PCP can just do it. But I don’t have the greatest pain tolerance and I want the dr who does this exam 8-12 hrs a day every day since they were a resident – they’re quick, they know what they’re looking for, and their offices are equipped with smaller instruments etc in case you need them. A PCP is doing this exam a few times a week max and often they only have 1-2 sizes of equipment and you have to make do with what they’ve got.

        • Yep, I think generally (trauma issues aside), if you’ve had bad experiences, you’ve had bad doctors. My only “bad” one was with my PCP who did a semi-surprise bottom check while he was down there. Hello to you too, sir.

          • Noooo! That is something that should never ever be a surprise. In any situation.

      • Anonattorney :

        Yeah, I just don’t think it’s that bad. I know a lot of dentists prescribe valium for patients who hate teeth cleanings. Maybe your gyn will prescribe you an anti-anxiety med to calm you down before appointments?

      • I didn’t mean it’s THAT bad and of course you don’t need drugs or recovery time. I’m saying a man would make it SUCH a big deal that he would need those things if he had to endure anything similar and everyone would nod along – oh we can’t bother Charlie with that work project, he’s had SUCH a rough week and needs to recover; as everyone at home spoke to Charlie in gentle hushed tones, brought him his favorite dinner in bed etc. I mean I knew dudes who made SUCH a big deal and were SO nervous for hernia tests and/or where they check the [email protected]$ – and while I’m sure it’s awkward, it’s all external and no more awkward than the [email protected]$t exam which I consider the “good” part of this. I know dudes who basically stopped going to the dr after their mommy could no longer make them bc they just could not deal with this one part of the exam. Yet women are expected to get on with it – go get it done at 9 am and be at work and totally on for the 10 am meeting.

        • An annual physical for a man over 40 includes a digital rectal exam to check for prostate cancer. None of the guys I know make a big deal about it or imply they need time off work. It’s just an unpleasant thing they’ve got to do, like the gyno is for most women. I know lots of guys who’ve had colonoscopies without drugs too. Sounds like you just know whiny dudes.

        • Anonattorney :

          Oh, well, I think this is a bit of hyperbole. But maybe we just know different men.

        • Men do get an internal exam, fyi.

        • I know a lot of guys who are super lazy about going to the doctor, but I don’t think for most of them it’s because they find the exam physically uncomfortable. My husband stopped going at age 18 and it was just out of laziness – his mom organized his doctor’s visits as a kid (as most moms do) and then when she wasn’t around to do it, he just didn’t do it. It wasn’t fear of a hernia test or prostate exam (which he was way too young for) or anything like that. At my urging he started going again after we met.

        • Seriously – it isn’t that bad, and if you do find it that bad, you need to find a new doctor. My doctor is over and done with in 5-10 minutes, a little uncomfortable but then I’m back to work within a half hour.

    • I’m pretty sure men get a digit stuck up a certain place during the prostate screening part of their physicals, if that makes you feel better.

    • The exam itself doesn’t really bother me, but I do resent how women’s health has become so focused on the reproductive organs to the exclusion of everything else. But most of the current advice is that it’s definitely not necessary every year (assuming no complaints, previous abnormal paps, etc.). My PCP follows the guidelines that I only need one every 3 years (married, in mid30s) and is perfectly willing to renew birth control prescriptions after checking blood pressure and other tests that tell her far more about my health than a pelvic exam!

      • Yep, Planned Parenthood follows this protocol too.

        • I’m on the side of ob/gyn is better than a dentist but I get that people all have their own issues (mine is, obviously, dentists). But that said, for everyone who dreads this – try to find a doctor you like. Ask your friends. Don’t go to anyone who isn’t enthusiastically recommended. This makes such a HUGE difference. I’ve gone to doctors who’ve made me cry and doctors who I actually looked forward to seeing (not for the exam, but the catch up time after). I never enjoy the exam but having someone with a good bedside manner is crucial to making the experience tolerable.

    • Linda from HR :

      My issue with gyno exams is that I can’t make an appointment with mine online, I have to call, and their lines are only open during the workday, and making that call anywhere in the office – in my cube, in the stairwell, lobby, etc. feels awkward because not one of those places is reliably private.

      My PCP does allow for online appointment requests, but those can take days to process, or I can call and sit on hold for an hour and talk to a tired, cranky, overworked receptionist which makes me anxious. I’ve used online scheduling for haircuts that were as easy as selecting what service I wanted, then going to the calendar and clicking on an available time slot, boom, done. I wonder if there’s a reason, besides cost, why healthcare practices don’t use this same sort of thing.

      TL;DR I’d be a lot better about seeing my doctors if getting an appointment wasn’t a huge, and sometimes embarrassing, pain in the bum.

      • I always say I am calling to set up my annual exam. To someone who is listening on your end, that could mean a whole host of things.

        I don’t know what it says about me, but I wish we were all not so embarrassed to talk about this sort of thing. I talk about it openly because there is nothing about my body that should be stigmatized or thought of as gross or whatever. I also don’t care about the exams and I am a rape and sexual assault victim. The doc I last saw at my PCP chuckled when I told her that I had my last pap done by the super awkward male nurse. I talk throughout and was asking him about all sorts of random things – to me it was hilarious.

        I understand everyone is different and I totally respect that, but find a different doctor who respects your apprehension, history, and all of that and it will be much easier!

        • I agree. Why can’t you just say you’re calling to make an appointment? If they follow up with something that requires you to say “annual visit,” I don’t see how that is something to be embarrassed about. It could be your regular check up. Whatever. It’s not like you have to say “pelvic exam, please!”

    • Anonymous :

      Just wait until you’re due for a colonoscopy!

  22. FYI, Narcisco Rodriguez items in the Barney’s sale at 70% off. I love the simple-on-the-edge-of-severity style, and if I had unlimited money, I’d buy it all. IT’s still very very expensive but now slightly more attainable.

  23. Rainbow Hair :

    Ugh can you please tell me I’m not a monster? Or if I am, how to fix it?

    Backstory: about a month ago I emailed an outside associate I work with and got a bounceback that just said “I am out of the office” and referenced “only intermittent access to email” — no end date, no one to contact for immediate response. Yesterday I emailed her again and got the same bounce back.

    The thing I needed her on this time was time sensitive, so after thinking for a minute or two, I forwarded to the only other person I know at her firm, the partner she works for. I was neutral in tone: approximately “Partner, I’m not sure from Associate’s out-of-office message when she will be able to respond to emails. Since this appears time sensitive, can you please direct appropriately? Thank you so much and happy new year!”

    Ten seconds after I hit “send” on the forward to Partner, I got her response to my initial email. And then about an hour after that, she forwarded to me an email from Partner (in which he rather curtly told her to respond to me ASAP) with a note about how she was dealing with a seriously ill family member living across the country, but that she could almost always respond to email quickly. (She added “I want to be sure you received my earlier email” as though I emailed Partner *after* getting her response?)

    So of course I feel bad. I was not trying to ‘rat her out’ to her boss or anything, but her out-of-office left me baffled and concerned that she might not be responding for weeks, and the deadline was Monday… I just sent back a note that I am sorry about the family thing, and appreciate knowing she’ll have access to email as needed.

    Did I screw up?

    • No chill.

    • Relax, you didn’t do anything wrong. She should have had a more detailed out-of-office response. It was nice of you to send her a note saying you’re sorry about the family emergency.

    • Anonattorney :

      Nah, I think you’re fine. If I were in her position, I wouldn’t be irritated; just a bit concerned about being available. If anything was off, it sounds like the partner she works with was a little rough on her.

      • Cornellian. :

        Agreed. I don’t think forwarding the partner dressing her down was very professional on her part. If you had done that to me, I would have felt bad and reached out saying I’m dealing with an ill family member but have email, but never forwarded the internal dressing down.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          + a billion to this. Never forward the dressing down.

          If she did not respond in a month, RH, and the same out of office bounced back today, you were totally in bounds to ask someone else to help you on a time sensitive matter.

    • No, not at all. If she planned to respond she should have turned off her auto-reply.

      • Not true at all in every law firm I’ve ever worked in. If you are physically out of the office or unable to respond to emails within MINUTES (during the work day) you must have an auto reply up. But you are still expected to check email and respond to anything time sensitive within the business day. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all to have the auto-reply up even if you are checking and responding regularly.

        • I didn’t say it was inappropriate, just that she can’t expect people to wait for her reply if she sends an automatic reply saying she may not reply.

        • I think if you’re going to be checking and responding regularly, though, your auto-reply needs to indicate that.

    • Did you copy associate on the email to the partner? If you’re talking about someone in an email, it’s best to copy them (unless there’s a reason not to). Also, did you email the partner the first time you got the out of office? Any time I get an out of office, I reply back to all counsel of record for that firm with a short message – something like “I received A’s out of office message so I’m looping in X, Y, and Z as an FYI.”

      • “If you’re talking about someone in an email, it’s best to copy them (unless there’s a reason not to).” This is a very good rule.

    • No, you’re fine. She should have had a more detailed message up or off if she was going to respond.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I mean, yeah I would be secretly annoyed at you for only waiting 10 seconds rather than seeing if I responded within an hour but you’re the client and that’s your prerogative.

      • No sorry this is unreasonable. I’m not interrupting my day to follow up on every out of office. Especially not at a time of year that tons of people are out. I’d never do anything but follow up on emails if I did this. Forward the message immediately – copying the original recipient – and move on with your day.

    • Not at all!
      It was a time-sensitive matter and her email left you with no choice but to reach out to someone else. You reached out to her a month ago and she did not respond. You did your job and while she is dealing with a rough situation, a month is a long time to not respond to your email.

      Even though I only know you by what you post on here, I know you to be a kind person who has often helped me out. Don’t let her get to you.

      You could respond with something like “Hey sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time. I just received your email and XYZ needs to be done. Did you want me to talk to another person in the office regarding XYZ so you can better concentrate on taking care of family member? Wishing them a healthy recovery, Signed RainbowHair

    • I think since this already happened and IF you feel bad, you can email the partner and CC associate to say something along the lines of “thanks, Associate took care of everything and was very helpful…”

    • Email the partner and copy her. Say something like,

      “Hi, Partner,

      I emailed Associate yesterday and got her OOO message. She was very prompt in responding to it – in fact, she was typing an email to me as I was getting in touch with you. I literally received her response within seconds of emailing you. Thanks so much for following up on this – I appreciate it even though the wires got crossed and Associate was on top of it.


      Your Name.”

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Thanks, all. I’ve learned a lesson that at least Associate’s OOO doesn’t mean the same thing that mine means… something to keep in mind for next time.

      • Yea, but it’s not your responsibility to try to read between the lines on everyone’s OOO message. She whiffed on it for a MONTH. That’s unacceptable even if it weren’t a time sensitive matter. I always give someone a response even if it’s just to let them know I have received their email and to give an estimated time frame on a response.

        • Agreed.

        • Yeah, I mean, if you are out of pocket that long with a family crisis, you need a triage system set up so that this stuff gets shuffled to the right person. For example, when a co-worker needed to be out for an extended period caring for a dying parent, her assistant read her email twice a day and forwarded to different team members based on a list she set up. The only emails co-worker saw were the ones that we just couldn’t figure out and there were only a handful of those during the entire 6-week period.

  24. Email Organization Tips :

    Need some serious tips on how to organize my email. I work at a large firm.

    I make folders for every matter (and subfolders for important items, which is generally just signatures). I am horrible about filing them in the right folders and had my assistant help me sort a few of them out earlier last year. However, since I got a new secretary, I literally just let them pile up, unless it was signatures, since I need to actively track them.

    I am kind of way in over my head and embarrassed that my inbox has no rhyme or reason (and that it’s not organized at all). I think the problem is also that I have sort of “given up” and keep saying, “Oh, I’ll organize it next weekend” and don’t file anything because I’m supposed to be organizing it later. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened.

    Aside from starting to organize my email daily, how do you deal with emails? Do you file them immediately and then respond? Respond, then file?

    Need some serious help on this.

    • JobSearcher :

      I’ve been in similar situations and am now as well. For me, it’s when I’ve been away or too busy for a bit and they grow by the thousands. I usually sort them by sender, topic, etc. and put in folders that way. Another option is to use tags instead of folders. When I’m way behind I’ll make myself do x number a day while I’m taking a mental break. Other times, like right now, I’m not worried because honestly it’s easy to search my inbox.

    • Can you make a goal of filing 50 emails a day, until they’re cleaned up?

    • I respond and then file, daily. However, I find at my Biglaw firm that people either file right away, or don’t file at all, and both systems seem to work equally well (for them). I couldn’t be a not-filer, but I know people who can’t stomach the thought of filing. Our search function seems to be pretty good.

    • givemyregards :

      I’m not in the legal field, but I have set up rules for my e-mails so that messages related to each of the three departments I serve get automatically routed to folders for each (and can be sorted into subfolders later). This keeps my general inbox more pared down, but it is kind of a pain if you do a lot of e-mailing on your phone. As for sorting, I try to file things as I go (I respond then file), but inevitably it all gets out of control. Then, one every three months or so when I have an all day conference or meeting that doesn’t require my total attention (or a boring weekday night/weekend), I go through and do a major sort/purge.

    • Not in law but FWIW, I stopped filing my email within my inbox. I save some key things in relevant folders on our server, but mostly I just use the search function to find what I need. It works fine for me.

      • Anonymous :

        Some consultant told some partner that filing is a waste of time and searching is better. I do a combo. I file to client folder or deal folder but don’t filter beyond that

    • Can you not find things when you need them by searching or scrolling? If you’re not actually having problems, then I don’t think you need to agonize over whether you have the right organizing system or not. Use that brain space for something better.

    • I’m way behind right now too. I like to give myself 10 minutes to file 100 emails. If you use search functions and then move it over in bulk, it’s not too hard to file a bunch in 2 or 3 minutes, and then take a little more time to scrutinize some that you might actually need to read.

      I also delete emails that are not related to a client or matter–outdated administrative stuff, industry publications, etc. There’s no reason to keep everything.

      I keep a folder for “active” matters and another for “inactive.” It’s nothing official, just a short cut for me to be able to see the folders for things I’ve been working on lately at the top of the side bar, instead of scrolling through folders for every single thing I’ve ever worked on.

      When you send an email in a new thread, put the matter name in it. At least then, anything on that thread will be easy to file. Obviously, you can’t control what other people do when they start a thread.

      • JobSearcher :

        You can usually tag/label in most email programs with your own (private) names for those that others send you and don’t include the appropriate words!

    • Anonymous :

      Create folders for the month. Plop everything for that month in that folder. Use the search function to find what you need.

  25. JobSearcher :

    Job search question – attorney

    I need to get out of my current employment situation (for many reasons), but I’ve stuck here longer because of a worker’s comp recovery thing. This is my first job as an attorney and first time using recruiters. I’m not 100% recovered but getting close to actually full time in the office, etc. and definitely can do a lot more. I sent emails out to a few recruiters who contacted me in the past, just saying that I’m starting this process, and got some quick replies with various postings and places they’d check with confidentially. I expected this to take a while and started now to move in Feb to April, hopefully, when I expect to really be back fully. Of course, if a great job opens, I’m in a niche area where good openings aren’t really common yet there are a couple right now. If I wait, there may not be options (right now, are some BigLaw ones I’d like to explore).

    2 questions:

    1 – How do I deal with wanting to move in like 1.5-2 months? I expect the process to take a while but from some of their emails can’t tell if that’s really the case (or if they say it’ll be quick because most want that). Or should I just move whenever it happens, expecting it’ll be at least a few weeks to month plus?

    2 – Should I disclose the recovery? The reason I want to wait to move is both so I can be almost if not totally recovered and so I can slowly transition my stuff out and close up cases.


    • 1- it will probably take close to 2 months, best case scenario, and likely longer

      2- absolutely not. And plan on giving 2 weeks notice and leaving. That’s how it works. No slow transitioning it will be fine.

      • JobSearcher :

        Thanks, that’s what I was hoping to hear!

        The slow transition is for my own stuff and templates – sorry that wasn’t clear.
        I . I want to close a few cases to make it easier on my friends here, but if I can’t/they don’t have me work out my 2 weeks, they can deal with it.

        • JobSearcher :

          Hit post too soon.

          *I don’t keep a lot of personal stuff at work on the I want to be able to leave immediately at any time theory, but it’s easier to move a couple items at a time. It’s much more the templates!

        • The templates belong to your employer if you created them during your employment.

          • JobSearcher :

            Based on everything the employer and other employees have said and what is norm here, I can take my templates. Those here from other places have theirs from past places that we use. Plus, they share templates with others outside all the time. They’re fine with it. I just need to organize it better for both myself and those who will need to use them here in the future. A lot of my colleagues use mine so I don’t want to leave a mess when it’s fairly easily avoidable.

    • Legal Eagle :

      The daughter of a big name partner in the firm is a first-year associate in my practice group, and she’s working directly under me for a couple of files (i.e. she does the grunt work for me, and I clear her drafts).

      To put it simply, I’m not sure if she has the aptitude nor attitude for practising law, her work has been rather abysmal and she hasn’t been pulling her weight for the matters we’re working on together. Quite apart from her obvious carelessness and lack of attention to detail (inter alia), she’s been latching onto privileges that other associates don’t get to go (e.g. a partners-only networking event that her dad invite her to attend as well)

      Even if I could manage most of the legal work on my own, I need to know that I can rely on the junior to do a thorough job on document review or – heck – even proofread accurately. Big name partner is, well, a big name, so I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve been close to losing my temper with her because it’s so frustrating but I can’t! Ugh.

      • Legal Eagle :

        Ah sorry a mis-post! Wanted to type a reply to your post and got carried away with my rant. Anyway:

        1. It shouldn’t be an issue, the interviewing process takes quite a bit of time (probably 2 months/ish) and you may not even get shortlisted for the first position that the recruiter pitches to you. Recruiters rarely (if ever) have lateral positions that require you to drop everything in a week to join a firm, if they tell you it’s because there’s a big case with an urgent need for associate staffing I suggest you walk away from a firm like that.

        2. Unless it’s something that would affect your employment prospects, I’d suggest you keep silent. If anything, it’s really an issue between you and your future firm, and they should hear of it first-hand from you – you don’t want a recruiter misrepresenting it in front of potential employers. Sorry you’re pretty vague on this and the first thing I think of for worker’s comp is if you fell off a ladder at work or something…

        • JobSearcher :

          Thanks and no worries on the rant!

          It’s not a “are you available in a week” thing, more of a “this search will be a quick process” thing.

          Honestly happy that it’ll take a bit longer. That fits my ideal timeline better!

          I definitely don’t expect to get the first or even third job, my concern is more to verify with you all that I’m not starting too soon. Hopefully one of the first ones looks good, but realistically expecting months of searching!

          Re the recovery, that’s what I was thinking, as well, but I wanted to be sure it wouldn’t be liked at as dishonest generally. I was vague to try to be less identifiable, sorry I can’t give more info! Like I said, if the process does take a few months, at most the effect would be appointments or breaks that would seem fairly normal, assuming things continue smoothly.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I don’t think wanting to move in 1.5-2 months is going to be an issue — the hiring process might take longer than that, and even if this proceeded more quickly, recruiters/firms understand that there are all sorts of reasons why a person may delay a start date by a not-unreasonable amount of time.

      I don’t think you need to disclose the recovery right now. If you get an offer and want to accept and it will affect your start date, that’s the time to disclose.

      • JobSearcher :

        Fantastic to hear you all agree and it’s what I was hoping!

        Thanks. Honestly, I don’t think it’d affect start date by even a month, likely much much less, so I hopefully wouldn’t have an issue there!

  26. This might be a dumb question, but how thick should a yoga mat be? I started going to a new studio and the floors are so. hard. I couldn’t do some of the poses because it hurt my knees too much. I’m not sure how thick my current mat is; I thought it was standard. I now realize that Amazon has mats up to half an inch thick, but that seems like a LOT. Has anyone else had this issue? What mat worked for you?

    • I don’t know what the answer is but I have tried the thicker mats and stopped because they stretched too much when doing poses where you split your legs in bikram. I found them to be unstable.

    • I prefer a thinner mat for slipping reasons but use a blanket under my knees for any pose that spends more than a few sec on my knees.

    • If certain poses hurt your knees, fold your mat under your knees or use a prop like a blanket for cushion. Ask your yoga teacher if you’re not sure how to use the props and for other tips – it could also be that your alignment is off so you’re putting more pressure on your knees that you should be. To quickly fold a section of a mat, lay the mat out and pick up a middle section, pull it up, bend it back, and lay the doubled up section down so that there is a 3 layer thickness in the section you folded. I would not get a super thick mat because that is going to be unstable. A nicer quality mat like a Manduka may help.

    • I have a hard (haha) time with certain yoga poses due my knees as well. My yoga studio offers cut up pieces of mat that I stick under my own mat, in the approximate spot where I anticipate my knees will hit the ground. This helps double up the cushion. I have also folded over my mat in order to provide extra cushion. Or how about a folded blanket? I have found that thicker mats are not as sticky and seem to break down faster so I try to accommodate elsewhere.

    • Those half -inch thick mats aren’t for yoga. They’ll stretch under you when you go into poses like downward facing dog and it makes you unstable when they do that. For a thicker mat, lots of people seem to like the manduka ones, which are pretty thick for yoga mats, but I’m not a huge fan of the way they feel. I use a Gurus cork mat and it’s super, super cushiony, but not especially thick. You can order them online.

    • Firmness matters a lot. I have a Manduka that is no thicker than the cheap Gaiam mat I used to have but much firmer, and the Manduka cushions a lot better. With the cheap mats, you just sink right through to the floor.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I was in an exercise class that took place in the parking lot, and I used a camping mat (like you get to go under your sleeping bag). It was the envy of everyone there–nice and thick without being squashy enough to mess up my balance, and it didn’t stretch at all.

  27. Legal Eagle :

    The daughter of a big name partner in the firm is a first-year associate in my practice group, and she’s working directly under me for a couple of files (i.e. she does the grunt work for me, and I clear her drafts).

    To put it simply, I’m not sure if she has the aptitude nor attitude for practising law, her work has been rather abysmal and she hasn’t been pulling her weight for the matters we’re working on together. Quite apart from her obvious carelessness and lack of attention to detail (inter alia), she’s been latching onto privileges that other associates don’t get to go (e.g. a partners-only networking event that her dad invite her to attend as well)

    Even if I could manage most of the legal work on my own, I need to know that I can rely on the junior to do a thorough job on document review or – heck – even proofread accurately. Big name partner is, well, a big name, so I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve been close to losing my temper with her because it’s so frustrating but I can’t! Ugh.

    • Yeah you need to handle this case as if you have no junior. If that’s not possible, get a 2nd junior staffed on under the guise of – this is too much for one newcomer to handle and then use that 2nd junior as your go to. You know your firm but I would NOT be critizing a major partners daughter – no other partner will side with you even if they agree internally and it will come back to hurt you bc you are “just” another associate, not a member of the fam.

    • She’s a first year. Your job is to teach her.

      • Legal Eagle :

        I know I’m supposed to guide her, but how do you teach someone to be more conscientious / have better time management? I’ve also tried being the nurturing and kind senior associate but that didn’t work.

        • You can definitely teach attention to detail. I know when I was a first year I got some senior associates telling me quite bluntly how important details are and how I need to proofread everything multiple times before I sent it to them, etc. I don’t think I was terrible to begin with, but it certainly made me more detail-oriented and made my work product better.

        • Those aren’t uncommon things to have to teach new people. Browse through the AAM archives.

        • Anonymous :

          Those are literally what you have to teach. Set interim deadlines, ask for updates, talk about progress, send things back with “please give this another review, I’m seeing a lot of typos.”

        • Anonymous :

          You’ve been incredibly lucky if you’ve only ever worked with first years who didn’t need to learn how to be conscientious and manage multiple cases/projects. These are very standard things to have to teach, even to smart and hard-working people who did well in law school.

          • Agree with all of this about the need to train her, but will add that you need to drop the “latching onto privileges” bit. If senior partner/dad invited her to attend, then she has been invited. It might not be right and it might not be fair, but that is on him and not on her. Resenting her because she is getting that advantage is not helpful and expecting her to turn Dad down is asking a bit much of a newbie.

            Someone should point out to him that inviting her to partner-only events is inappropriate and will make it harder for her to mesh with people on her level, but that needs to come from another partner. And frankly, being the boss’ daughter means that she it is unlikely that her cohorts would discuss things honestly in front of her anyway.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            at SMC-SD, right! What is she supposed to do? Decline her dad’s invitation? No. No. No.

        • Anonymous :

          And you teach it by
          1) Bringing it to her awareness so she’s conscious of it being a thing that needs to happen,
          2) Showing/explaining why it’s a thing that needs to happen,
          3) And modeling a couple of methods to help her make it happen (based on tools available at the firm).

          Break it down really basic. Might have to repeat it a few times over the course of a year, or add in caveats about when to deviate based on what parameters.

          • One more thing – some people want drafts at an early stage to see whether the junior person is on the right track and some people want them to be close to final form. I worked for both as a newbie and it was very frustrating because they wanted very different things. Do you want it to be ready to file without needing revision/final editing and proofing or do you want it at an earlier stage? Make it super clear.

            If you want it close to finished, sent it back the very first typo and let her know that you do not have time to review things that are not ready to go and she needs to pretend that this is going straight to the court/client without review.

    • Treat her like you would treat anyone else; if you have to reprimand her, keep documentation of the specifics of the issue. Be clear about your expectations and whether they are being met. Stop worrying about what networking events she’s going to.

      You’re not doing your reputation any good by wilting like a hothouse flower when faced with managing a partner’s daughter. If I heard that someone at my company was shouldering extra work because they were too afraid to say something to a junior employee, I would lose a lot of respect for that person. You think the partner would be impressed if they found out you weren’t helping his daughter improve but rather just doing the work yourself?

  28. I need to knit a hat for my MIL going through chemo. I haven’t knitted since high school, and even then I never graduated above simple scarves with craft store yarn. I offered while visiting for the holidays and she got really excited so I need to follow through.

    Does anyone have a suggestion of a hat pattern that’s not too complicated? Or if it’s complicated, lumpy enough that it will hide mistakes? :) Also, any suggestions for soft yarn that I can buy online? I’m car-less in the DC area so my yarn options are pretty much nonexistent. I normally buy yarn by squeezing all of the options in the store but I can’t do that online. Not sure how to tell what’s soft online. TIA!

    • givemyregards :

      Debrosse kits on Etsy! They’ll send you the yarn, needles, and a simple pattern. I think they have pompoms on the top but you could easily leave it off. If you want to order just yarn online, I would call a knitting store that has online order and ask them for a recommendation (purl soho comes to mind, and they have free patterns online, but I’m sure there are others that may be cheaper).

    • I highly recommend youtube videos for this. I just crocheted a hat and several other items after not doing anything for years and used Little Monkeys Crochet.

    • You could always knit it flat and then sew a seam up the side – if you google for knit flat hat, you should find something.

    • I don’t knit so I can’t help with that part of your question, but there is a nice yarn store that is walking distance from the Bethesda metro called Second Story Knits. They have high-quality yarns and have always been very friendly when I’ve gone in. They could probably help you pick out a pattern and answer any basic questions you have too.

    • knots of love has a list of approved yarn for knitting things for cancer and neonatal patients. (as well as patterns, some are easier than others.)

    • Do you have needles? If so, I would use malabrigo rios or Madelinetosh superwash so that you can throw in the washer. A simple hat only requires one skein and maybe size 7 needles (I usually knit it in the round because i hate sewing/seaming and also avoids purling which takes me longer than knitting. Fibrespace is nice (Alexandria) but doesn’t ship. Purl soho and Brooklyn General both ship and are amazing.

      Purl soho also has a bunch of free hat patterns

    • Why not just buy one from an Etsy seller? Tons of people on there sells knit hats – seems a lot more efficient and easier!

    • There are lots of free simple patterns online for chemo caps. You want something easy, and with no lacy or lumpy parts. Seamless (knit in the round) is good, because chemo patients’ heads can get very sensitive. Also, look for a soft cotton yarn, because wool can be itchy, even for people who usually like wool. You also will have less knitting to do if you go with a thicker yarn, so look for a pattern for worsted weight or higher.

      Some good yarns include Blue Sky Cotton (organic) or Berroco Modern Cotton.

    • You can get circular needles, then all you have to do is knit until it’s the right size. The bottom will roll up, but you won’t have to switch between knitting and purling.

      I’d go to a yarn store for the yarn, then you can feel how soft it is, and they can point you to the right needles for the right yarn.

      • Anonymous :

        But then when you shape the top you have to switch to double points, which are fiddly, or have a very gathered top.

        • A good thing to remember about double pointed needles is that even though they look kind of scary, you’re still only knitting on two needles at a time.

    • Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria has lots of yarns and a variety of classes and free knitting help in the store. It’s 4 blocks from King Street Metro.

    • There are special yarns and patterns for chemo hats – the fibers need to be very soft and usually the hat is not a tight fit like a beanie.

      Do you have a local yarn store? (Not a Michaels). The staff there will hook you up and it’s great to support a small business. Local yarn shops are an endangered species!

      Google chemo hat knitting pattern for ideas.

  29. BensonRabble :

    Hi all! I know in past years there was discussion around the Whole30; sorry if I missed it this year. I think there was talk about a group on the Whole30 Forums?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I don’t think there was one but I’ll share my experience. It is the most time consuming, restrictive plan I have ever experienced (and I’ve been on a diet since 1987). Whole30 is not good if you have a history of eating disorders. Hello me! I did not read into the plan enough to see all the warnings about this. It triggered a lot of bad stuff in me. I never got the “tiger blood”. I didn’t sleep better or have clearer skin. I cried. A lot.

      Whole30 is great if you have health issues and are trying to figure out how food effects you. I found exercise to be nearly impossible because I was so lethargic all the time. I have known many people who have successfully completed the 30 days and reaped all the benefits. But not one single person was able to maintain the weight loss.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      In moderation; as usual. Check back later.

    • Anonymous :

      Crash diets don’t work. No matter how trendy their name. Aim for sustainable change.

      Focus on eating appropriate portion sizes of balanced meals. Don’t deny yourself the occasional treat. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

      • Sloan Sabbith :


        I asked my dietitian about Whole30, and she STRONGLY recommended against it. With the chronic illness I have, there’s a really strong focus on maintaining a healthy view on food. We have to eat much more than regular people, and so it can lead to thinking that food is an obligation/something miserable we have to force ourselves to do/something “bad”, rather than fuel and something to enjoy.

        To my dietitian, Whole30 is the same way- so many foods are thought of as “bad,” or “forbidden.” It makes eating something forced (not because you don’t want to eat, but because your options are so limited) and not enjoyable, and it’s not sustainable long-term. “Resetting your relationship with food” is something that should happen as you eat healthier gradually and figure out what works for you, not by removing the vast majority of things from your diet.

        Sure, there’s food you should eat in moderation, and some things can definitely affect how you feel, but food, in and of itself, isn’t “bad,” and diets like Whole30 perpetuate this idea that “clean eating” or whatever is the “right” way to have a relationship with food. The right way to have a relationship with food is to eat food that fuels you in moderation. Not by taking everything out of your diet.

    • in favor of whole30 :

      I had a reasonably good experience with Whole30. I also thought it was a vastly better experience than a medically indicated elimination diet, even though it was comparable. On the other hand, I had already done the medical elimination diet, so maybe the worst one is whichever one you do first?

      I have some chronic illnesses, and I can say that the “moderation in all things” mantra truly does not apply when the effects of eating certain foods are so extreme. There are definitely foods that are bad *for me*, and I am not even slightly tempted to eat something that will make me feel awful or even just look bloated.

      On the other hand, after the Whole30, I had more confidence in some of the foods that the Whole30 diet eliminated but which clearly didn’t bother me at all upon reintroduction. Maybe that’s why I liked it more than the medical elimination diet–instead of a diagnostic process, it was more about what I could be sure wasn’t a problem.

  30. Shopping SOS :

    Spill situation means that I have a time-sensitive shopping need.

    I need a purse that’s:

    1) Available via Amazon prime
    2) $100ish price point
    3) Has lots of internal pockets
    4) Isn’t covered in tassels and fringe and metal and designer logos– I really just want a basic everyday purse.

    • I’ve had good luck with Fossil. There are usually tons on Prime, sometimes quite cheap, and many fit into the “basic everyday” category. However, I’m not a regular purse carrier, so I can’t say too much about their durability.

    • I think “lots of internal pockets” is harder to find with leather bags, but your mileage may vary. This Fossil bag has three interior pockets:

      If you’re okay with nylon, Travelon bags have a ton of internal organization:

    • The Sak is a good brand which could work for you. Also Hobo, but that might come in above $100.

  31. Fishie with crucial Gap Bi-stretch pants question :

    I bought the Gap bi-stretch ankle pants to wear as a staple. The problem is that if I wear knee high stockings underneath, they stick to the pants like crazy and make them hang weird. My solution today is to wear my blondo booties with no socks (they are lined) but I have some cute loafers to wear with these too. What is the bi-stretch sock solution? Crew socks? I hate those, they always fall down!

    • If static guard doesn’t work, try rubbing the knee his with a small amount of moisturizer or liquid soap, which does a good job of getting rid of static cling (and can be reapplied as needed).

    • Wear compression knee-highs?

    • Anonymous :

      Merino socks

    • Anonymous :

      Fishie–how are the Gap Bi-stretch pants? Are they warm? Looking for a new staple…

      • They’re OK. I don’t spend much time in them outdoors, but I don’t think you could wear tights underneath. It would be unbearable. They are fine for business casual but I defer to my Old Navy pixies for casual wear. They have a more jeans-like cut. I think I might hate the fabric.

      • Anonymous :

        Mine bag out in the knees really quickly. I’ve stopped wearing them.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I like mine, and find that you can wear thin tights underneath.

        Fishie, for your problem, try running a dryer sheet along the socks and the inside of the pants before you put them on. Alternatively, maybe more satiny/less grippy socks?

  32. I’m new to my job. Because I have a different background than my predecessor, I’m taking on some responsibilities he didn’t do and I was told by my predecessor (and to a vague extent during my interview w/ New Boss) that my boss’ admin would take on some of the more administrative things my predecessor did. But when I talk to Boss’ admin about these things, she doesn’t seem to know anything about it and just forwards any emails she receives to me. What do I do?

    Thinking I can talk to boss and say I don’t mind taking these things on, but wondering if he wants me to given that I’m taking on XYZ things predecessor didn’t do and we had talked about me not doing everything he did. On the other hand, admin has been here forever and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers / the tasks so far aren’t that hard…

  33. PSA / To the poster who commented last month about AT&T security / someone trying to order new iPhone Xs on your account – it happened to me over the break!

    After waiting on hold for 90 minutes (yes, really), I got the charges for 2 new iPhones reversed. The agent said it was caused by a virus on my phone – iPhone viruses are super rare, I don’t have the AT&T app on my phone, and I’ve never logged into my AT&T account from my phone, so I really doubt it. The problem is no doubt that their requirements for online account passwords are too simple/cannot be made complex and it’s easy to hack in.

    Also telling – when I first reached an agent, she said, “You’re the second person today I’ve talked to who had that happen.” And when I finally reached an agent in the fraud department, after she asked for my name, she said, “Let me guess: someone has ordered iPhones on your account without your permission?” So it’s definitely a problem they know about.

    Anyways, this really is a thing, so watch your email for confirmation orders (that’s how I spotted mine).

    • Thank you everyone who has posted about this! I had been using a lazy, weak password, and I changed it with my password manager as soon as I read about this. I will continue to keep an eye on my email.

  34. Joining a Board :

    Am a freelancer and new to my city. Was talking about branching out with a friend from out of state and about now networking feels inauthentic to me since it always feels like “I may seem nice and interested but I’m preparing to ask you for something” and he suggested I find a board to serve on since I have multiple degrees (NAL) and do a lot of volunteer work. The ones I am finding online have a give/get requirement and I can’t afford that and don’t want to fundraise (I make under 50k/yr, though hoping to increase a la the initial reason I was chatting with my friend). Advice?

    • Wait, so you do want to network to get new leads? I don’t think joining a board is what you want. You shouldn’t sign up for a board commitment if all you really want out of it is more freelancing work.

    • I have no experience serving on a board, but why not network? If you are a freelancer, you probably should be putting yourself out there, just as other business owners do regularly. Maybe you just need to find the right networking group. I like panel discussions or conferences where I can keep learning about my profession. Perhaps you could get involved in a group like that and actually give a presentation – that would put you out there as an expert and help you win new business. Don’t think of it as networking. Think of it as meeting interesting people and letting others get to know you more.

    • If you’d like to get more comfortable with networking, I really liked the 20 Minute Networking Meeting book by Marcia Ballinger. People respond really well to her approach.

  35. Freezing anon :

    What do you all think about repeating an interview suit for the same place? I have a final interview next week with a law firm, and thanks to steroids to treat pneumonia only one of my suits fit. It just happens to be the navy one I wore 6 weeks ago when I first interviewed with them. I’m off the medicine now & starting to lose weight again so I don’t want to invest a lot in a new suit, but I’m worried about them remembering what I wore & judging me (even if I pair it with a different shirt). Am I over-thinking this or should I just bite the bullet and buy a new one? The office is fairly casual day to day, so I don’t have expectations I’ll need more than one suit in this size going forward.

  36. Senior Attorney :

    Anybody doing any shopping or eating or drinking or any other kind of fasts in January?

    I’m doing a Whole30 and also a buy-nothing (except the necessary consumables) January. It’s kind of shocking how easy it is to just buy stuff online so I am trying to step way back and get a grip. I thought it would be fun to make a list of “things I wanted to buy in January” and look back at the end of the month and see how many I even remember, much less still want. So far it’s got one item, which is a book somebody mentioned upthread here.

    Also shooting for at least two Orange Theory workouts per week in addition to Trainer Dave twice a week.

    What are you all doing for self-discipline in January? Or do you reject the whole idea of New Year’s self-improvement?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I wasn’t, but the shopping fast is not a bad idea. I’m planning on loosely doing the Bon Appetit Winter Food Lover’s Cleanse, and embracing the low-alcohol weekends/dry weeknights aspect of it. I’m buying a pass to my local yoga studio, which effectively forces me to attend classes at least twice a week.

    • Shopping fast for me! No clothes, no household goods (like decor items), nothing from Amazon. Inspired by a number of sources, including Ann Patchett’s NYT essay, Cait Flanders’ blog and shopping ban, and the Frugalwoods blog’s uber frugal month. I don’t know if I’ll continue the “fast” past January, but I’d like to seriously reset my spending habits.

    • My goal is no shopping for 2018 except for groceries, household items that are a necessity (e.g., TP), house repairs, car repairs, and items that the pets need. No new shoes, no new clothes, no new home decor items, no new tech gadgets, etc. I have plenty of stuff, more than a single person needs, to be sure. I have some clothes that were given to me which need to be altered and I have given myself an allowance for that. My other allowances are a set number of running races, which were predetermined in 2017. My plan is to save, save, save, and put some more money towards retirement.

      I also am back to running after taking a couple months off. I have been good about getting to the gym, but I want to be consistent about getting miles in to further my race goals for the year.

      I also am limiting myself to one alcoholic drink per day, although my plan is to have plenty of days without any at all. My favorite new substitute is sparkling water with bitters and pink grapefruit white balsamic vinegar. It’s soooo good.

      I also moved from vegetarian to vegan, which takes some self discipline as I am having to constantly read labels and be vigilant about it while shopping and eating out. I am very routine based and have had to alter my normal lunch items, etc. In my first week of grocery shopping, it also caused me to not buy as much junk food as non-dairy ice cream is much more expensive than regular store brand ice cream!!

    • I’m not a fan of New Year’s for trying to break bad habits – but the objection is specific to me (as in, I think it’s an effective approach for a lot of people, just not for me so much). I do like New Year’s as a trigger for starting new projects, and my project for the year is coming up with at least one new go-to recipe in a different category in each month of the year. For January, I’m learning to cook beef (I was a vegetarian for years and also don’t love beef, so I’ve never learned to cook it – so this will push my culinary limits). February is going to be casseroles. The plan is to have a cookbook by the end of the year.

      I also decided that I’m going to review every book I read on Goodreads, to get me back doing some non-legal writing.

    • Anonymous :

      I am starting an eight-week Les Mills GRIT course (3 HIIT sessions per week at 0-dark-30 a.m.).

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      No clothes, and no new books until I’ve read 10 books on my TBR stack (huge motivation to get my a** in gear reading there, because I want to buy the next Outlander book…) No “Ooh, I need that!” on Amazon.

      And, doing every single one of my nebulizer/vest treatments every day. All year. Half an hour, morning and night. We…will see how this goes.

    • I’m off sugar, having a buy-as-little-as-I-can month, and cutting back on my alcohol consumption (I’m usually in the 10-15 drinks a week range).

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m thinking I will probably stay off sugar for the whole year if I can.

        There’s so little upside to sugar, you know?

  37. What brand of fleece-lined tights do you like? Bonus if I can get them on Amazon. One of my new years’ resolutions uis to wear all the dresses that are languishing in my closet but holy cold arctic chill, Batman!

  38. Anonymous :

    I got a 14-day trial for Noom. Has anyone tried it and liked it/hated it? I have about 12 lbs to lose.

    • Anonymous :

      I signed up for Noom for a few months last year. As part of the initial set-up I had a twenty minute phone conversation with my coach where I got to know her, got to talk about my goals and my concerns. A week later my group was assigned to a different coach, with assurances that she had “been told everything.” This wasn’t a particularly encouraging start.

      My group had several other attorneys in it. I enjoyed the do-on-your-own exercises, and I really, really liked the diet tracker. I ultimately stopped using it because the group exercises (post in the group about x) were getting really tiring, because I felt pressure to cheer everybody else on and comment meaningfully on all their posts and be a voice for body positivity/gentleness but in the most upbeat sort of way, and it was taking toooons of time (more time than I spent interacting with my actual friends on Facebook and Instagram). If I hadn’t felt so responsible for others and bothered by the body-hate talk I probably could have stuck with it longer. Still looking for a group-based wellness and fitness journey that has no moralizing about “good” foods or “good” bodies, although to be fair Noom was probably much closer than any of the others I’ve tried.

  39. Anonymous :

    I’d like a pretty way to organize my makeup (I have a lot of it) on the window sill in my bathroom (medicine cabinet is already full, and under sink area is used to store larger items). Right now i have one of those clear acrylic storage units, but (a) it isn’t pretty and (b) it doesn’t hold everything. I’m thinking about some combination of pretty trays and baskets, but would appreciate any suggestions and especially specific product recommendations. TIA!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Would a low shelf under the sill work to increase the storage space? Like the Ikea Bekvam? For dumb reasons I had one lying around and we painted it glossy white and stuck it on the wall in the bathroom and it’s been a great spot to put bottles and such of things that don’t get used all the time (the all-the-times are on the counter) but should still be in reach. Depending on the depth, you could do a tiered solution, kind of like a cake plate thingie, but obviously smaller and makeup appropriate.

      • Anonymous :

        ahh unfortunately the space between the wall and the edge of the sill is very shallow, and there isn’t much space in the bathroom to begin with, so that won’t work :(

  40. I keep my makeup in 2 big makeup bags (bought at Sephora) – one contains all products used everyday (and also travels with me) and all other items are in my bag no.2. This is super practical for me as I do not enjoy picking each and every dose, tube, stand when I am wiping dust in the room.

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