Coffee Break: Medium Deerskin Leather Hobo Bag

Bottega Veneta is on my bucket list — I’ve been admiring these bags for so long that maybe I’ll have to pull the trigger next time, for a birthday or something like that. I love that they’re known for not having big logos on their bags or huge plates or anything like that — they’re just well-made, stylish, beautiful bags. This one is $2,050 at Neiman Marcus (in five colors), and you can always look at The RealReal and similar sites to see if there are any pre-owned options for sale. Medium Deerskin Leather Hobo Bag

A few options that are more affordable are here, here, and here.

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  1. Bottega bags :

    1. I have no idea how to pronouce this brand. I was hooked on phonics and have read about the brand in the WSJ. But the crowd I run with at most buys Chloe (which I can pronounce but wouldn’t have guessed as a kid; thanks to the Kardashians, we all know how to say that name now).

    2. Where/when do you use this? It doesn’t seem sharp enough for Important Meetings with External Clients. It seems slouchy and fun — like what I’d throw in the seat next to me when I take my roadster up to Bodega Bay or in something like To Catch a Thief (sorry for the Hitchc*ck refrences, but that sort of glamor vibe that my life really needs). IMO it would just not work with my current laptop + redweld tote.

    • Bow-TAY-guh Venn-ET-uh would be my guess, but I’m schlepping my work stuff in a pretty pedestrian bag these days! For the longest time as a child, I was pretty sure “physician” was pronounced “Fizz-EH-cuhn.” So.

      • Anonymous :

        Same, if the first syllable is “bow” as in “bow and arrow” (not bow of a boat).

        • Yes (thought of that after the fact!)

          Boh, like Natty-Boh beer.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Ask me about my husband’s stick-and-poke natty boh tattoo. I mean, you don’t have to, I just told you the whole story.

            I’m definitely more Natty Boh than Bottega Veneta.

      • I think I agree with this pronunciation. Margie has this bag, and that is how SHE pronunces it. Personaly, I wanted one, but the manageing partner said he would NOT reimburse me for it, and that I should find a schlub like him to marry who is dumb enough (like he was) to allow his wife to buy it on his dime! He is SO funny! I do NOT make enough money to afford this and my dad would literaly SKEWER me if he saw that I spent this much on a hobo bag! FOOEY b/c I think I could look cute carrying this bag!

        Anyway, I wanted to ask the NYC HIVE if they are aware of some kind of FREE event goeing on this weekend downtown (Wall Street/Battary Park), where there will be a live bands and free food? I wanted to get Myrna to go b/c it is near where she works and she works weekends for the investement bank (including this week). I would like to go but do NOT have a date, and figured that if she could just go out for a couple of hours and meet me near WALL Street or Bowling Green, that we could see what was goeing on and mabye meet some decent guys. If anyone is aware of this event, PLEASE answer! Thanks in Advance (TIA)!!!! YAY!!!!!!

      • My boss corrected me when I said bow-TAY-guh vin-EEE-tuh. It’s VIN-uh-tuh for the last syllable.

        Yes, my boss corrected me. We don’t work in fashion. My boss is a straight white guy. Go figure.

    • I would carry it to my business casual office, if I could remotely afford it, which I cannot.

    • The name Chloe was popular long before the Kardashians arrived on the scene.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I read that and thought “what!?” Chloe became a pretty popular name in the late 1980s when the Kardashians were in elementary school and nobody had heard of them yet.

      • Bottega bags :

        I don’t disagree, but I’ve heard “Sha-low” or “Shlo” (said by someone who thought that KLO-e was the unsophisticated American pronunciation of something where the CH should be pronounced as an S, like Charlotte (sort of)).

        As a kid, Chianti was a head-scratcher. And don’t get me started on the pronunciation of: daughter, laughter, enough, etc. Words are better read sometimes than spoken :)

        And I’ve also heard “LouiS VEE-ton”.

        • Oh, I recall someone saying “Channel” and….I kid you not, “Gucky” for Chanel and Gucci.

          These was the same person who fawned over every last branded thing, and over-used the adjective “classy.”

          • Bottega bags :

            There was a horrible movie in the 90s where someone botched Versace. Somehow I know that one (and it’s Italian like Bottega).

          • um. That horrible movie was Showgirls. It’s an all-time classic.

          • That was Showgirls. “Ver-SAYCH”.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve heard Guh-vin-chee for Givenchy.

          • lol wait how is it pronounced?

          • Not nearly as high fashion, but I had to gently correct a friend who kept talking about this great pair of “AGG-ners” she got on sale.

            She was talking about shoes. Etienne Aigner. ay-tee-EN ON-yay, even though Aigner isn’t actually French (who knew?!)

            The rabbit hole leads here

          • Anonymous :

            It’s French.

          • I meant he–the person–was not French. He was from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Slovakia).

            I hadn’t realized he was dead!

          • …and now I realize you are replying to the Givenchy question. Sorry!

          • PrettyPrimadonna :

            Pompom…. I am guilty of this. As a kid, I had a pair of AGG-ners. Who knew it was pronounced ON-yay! *embarassed*

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Dude, I was saying “GIVE-un-chee” in my head until last year, when I heard someone say it on a red-carpet interview. I think it’s “zjee-von-SHAY.”

          • GEE-vahn-CHEE, I think.

            Ages ago my mom and her female colleagues received givenchy cologne from their boss as Christmas gifts. They could not figure out how to pronounce it (pre-internet) so one lady said “give an inch” and they all cracked up and called it that from then on.

            I’m sure it was expensive but my memory of it was that it stunk.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        Yup. My mom wanted to name me Chloe.

  2. For all of the people who have recently asked how they can give their unsolicited opinions on others’ appearances, this week’s NYT Social Q’s column is a must read:

    TL;DR: Don’t give people your unsolicited opinions on their appearance, even if you are BFFs.

  3. I work in higher ed. After over a year in a toxic work environment (and almost as long job searching), a position has opened up that I’m super excited about. It’s basically the same job I had before this one, but at my current institution. Already applied and contacted a colleague who works in that office (turns out they’re the person leaving). Any suggestions on how to not obsess while waiting to hear about an interview? I hate my current workplace SO much and need out for the sake of my mental health.

    • Also in higher ed, also hate my current toxic environment as does almost everyone else I know in higher ed. Why is it always so toxic?

      • One theory I have is that it’s because we pretend not to be a business when higher ed is most definitely a business.
        There are rare instances of sanity, though. My last job was one of them. I would go back in a heartbeat, but due to budget cuts my position won’t be replaced until next spring at the earliest (almost 2 years after I left).

        • This, plus “we’re all here for the students!” who are frequently ungrateful jerks.

          Whoops, did I say that?!

          • I agree with both of the above. I’ll also add that the stereotype that academics are snobby, elitist and out of touch has more than a smidgen of truth to it. I’ve found that the more prestigious the school, the worse it is. Glad I’m not in that culture anymore.

          • Anonymous :

            Also: many fragile egos! Also: the intense emphasis on individualism (making sure your research is Original and protecting yourself from potentially encroaching scholars), which is so strongly emphasized in academic training and tends to produce scholar-administrators who are at the very least unpracticed in, and often deeply unsuited for, the collaborative work necessary for successful operation of an institution. Also: many of these fragile-egoed individualists resent tasks/responsibilities that are not of their own devising and/or are not related to their scholarly goals. It tends to lead to trickle-down nastiness.

            Signed, a frustrated 2nd generation academic married to another academic. (I should also add the caveat that I come from the humanities side of things; perhaps science folks are better at collaboration? In any case, I don’t mean to offend any fellow academics! )

        • Lol my husband is in academia and he complains of an opposite situation: University wants to conduct itself as a business and boost enrollment and online classes when the field he teaches hardly has any jobs for graduates. To the point where almost every time we go out we run into one of his unemployed/underemployed former students. Awkward.

      • I think it is because academia is run by academics and not administrators. People who started in often solitary, research-based careers who like teaching and learning are suddenly thrust into positions where they are administering at very high levels and they don’t necessarily have training or knowledge to be there, other than being good at their first job – teaching and research and writing.

        • Also, there’s a tendency for the academics to look down on the support staff. Not having a PhD in Robin Hood Studies doesn’t mean I’m not an intelligent person.
          (The University of Nottingham in the UK actually did used to offer an MA in Robin Hood Studies.)

          • A former PhD holding boss who would swear he was the chillest, least judgmental, farm boy from North Dakota come up good (not like all these coastal snobs at our then-institution, amirite) told me that I could only afford one degree in education before I’d be unemployable, and that I should go back to my undergrad major for a PhD if I wanted anyone to take me seriously ever again. I’ve never been so pleased to tell someone I was quitting in my life.

            I think higher ed has its issues, just like every industry in the world. I don’t know if it’s my specific corner, but on the whole I love the people in my field. I have a great boss and mostly wonderful coworkers. The students at my current school are overall wonderful young people interested in cool things, with the usual sprinkling of knuckleheads. There’s no perfect recipe for a perfect organization, so at least I get up in the morning and don’t have to go to work with the sole aim of enriching some rich shareholders’ investment accounts.

        • Anony Mouse :

          Plus, there’s an emerging group of people who get master’s and EdDs and PhDs in Higher Ed Leadership and Administration. A lot of academics see those vocationally-focused degrees as lesser compared to “serious” subjects (i.e. their field of research).

          • Lol see post above. Also holler a big old f*ck you to the faculty members who treat me like their secretary, if this is the higher ed stitch and bitch corner. News flash, I am not their secretary nor is the phrase “[your department] administrative coordinator” to be found in my title or job description.

            At least the parents at my current school are mostly engaged at a developmentally appropriate level, aka, they are not involved 98% of the time. The phone calls I got at my lady job…

          • acontrarian :

            As a person with academic Ph.D and a public policy background, I think that the Ph.D/Ed.d administrative class is one of the major problems of modern university life.

            There is no doubt a difference between a “trade” degree and a traditional academic discipline.

            Academics can be snobby and pretentious for no good reason. I don’t think this is one of those cases.

      • Macademia :

        I am sorry I missed this thread yesterday! I work in higher ed too, as one of the hordes of administrators who lead academic programs but who aren’t faculty members. At times the environment has been toxic but I am in a good patch right now. I agree with the observation that one factor is that higher ed likes to think it isn’t a business, at my place that leads to the self-perception that our institution is “relational”. For some reason the higher-ups don’t realize another word for that is “clubby”.

        Remember “Home Improvement”? There is a scene where Patricia Richardson is excited about her studies and is considering higher ed. Tim Allen is dismissive but then makes the golden observation–“If you want to work with a bunch of nuts, go work in macademia!” Hence my username.

  4. Twitter fail :

    I can’t figure out this one thing on Twitter (not a social media person as you can tell)…when I see a post that shows a bunch of replies, how do I read the replies? If I click the little speech bubble, it just gives me a blank form to post my own reply. I swear I used to be able to read the replies?

    Conversely, if I see a tweet from someone in response to another tweet, how do I find the original thing they are responding to?


    • You have to kind of tap on the tweet, without hitting the reply or retweet icons and it will bring up that tweet and all of the replies.

  5. I have been given a $200 Sephora gift card. I am mid-40’s and have no skincare routine at all other than sunscreen and moisturizer each morning. I’d like to use this money to get something started. My skin is combination. Where do I start? What should I be doing in the am? pm? What products do you absolutely love?

    • Anonymous :

      Unfortunately locking down the perfect-for-you skincare routine is a LOT of trial and error, but with Sephora you can get your money back in 30 days. Also, be warned that good quality products will cost more than $200!

      You should be washing your face morning and night, using moisturizer morning and night, and using sunscreen in the morning. You should also add some serums. Vitamin C serum is great for AM. and with your age & combination skin I would use a PM serum with some acids or retinol to exfoliate.

      Read up on beautypedia first!

      • “Also, be warned that good quality products will cost more than $200!”

        I’m sorry, what? There are lots of great products out there for a lot less than that. Women on a budget have access to great products; don’t try to convince them otherwise. We talk about them all.the.time. here.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I think she meant buying a bunch of products would cost more than $200 given that the OP says she basically has no products or routine and is starting from scratch.

        • Ugh. Unfortunately, they don’t carry Paula’s Choice – I just started a skincare regimen with them in my late 30s, and it has made an AMAZING difference in my skin. And the whole group of products was less than $200.

    • Anonymous :

      If I had that much money, I would definitely buy the Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum, which runs slightly over $100. But beyond that one, a lot of my fav skin stuff isn’t super expensive. And I’ve figured all of mine out from a lot of trial and error. As above says, do some reading up based on your skin type and how deep into a regimen you want to go (I have 7 products I use in the am – which is more than most, but not as many as some people). You may also want to consider buying a gadget with that much money…

      • Never too many shoes... :

        My mother is a Skinceuticals devotee. After reading a bunch of articles, I bought the Timeless vitamin C serum and she tried it for a week. She pronounced it “almost as good” which is good enough for me, and it costs $25. For someone who is just starting out in skincare, I would definitely try this first and see if you even like a serum.

      • I actually like Drunk Elephant’s Vit C better than Skinceuticals (former devotee of CE Ferulic)–the packaging reduces air exposure so it lasts longer than the eye dropper -like thing and it seems just the same but cheaper.

        • Shopaholic :

          I love Drunk Elephant products. Their moisturizer is actually one of my favourites (and I’m obsessed with the way it dispenses)

    • Anonymous :

      Sephora has a few Q&A tools you can use to find recommended products. I would do that if you’ve never had a skin care routine, then read the reviews.

      I’d definitely get yourself spf in the morning, a good serum w/ Vitamin C, and night cream.

      Here is one of the Q&A tools but I feel like I’ve done others there.

    • Anonymous :

      Caroline Hirons has a lot of suggestions/reviews on how to build a skincare routine. She recommends spending the most money on your serums & treatments and less on cleansers & moisturizers (she describes them as your “rain coat”…necessary, but shouldn’t be the nicest thing you’re wearing in most cases).

      I’d get a toner with some kind of acid in it and then get a good serum/night treatment with vit. c or retinol in it since you don’t use either, currently. If you’re working on prevention that would be a good place to start. If you have specific concerns (dehydration, oiliness, uneven skin tone, acne, etc.) check her website to see what products she recommends.

    • Delta Dawn :

      My dermatologist recommends this regimen: Morning– cleanse, antioxidant, brightener, moisturizer, sunscreen. Evening– cleanse, antioxidant, brightener, retinol, moisturizer. She says spend more on antioxidants/brighteners and less on cleansers/moisturizers (like the poster above).

      So, at Sephora, you could get a nice antioxidant serum (ferulic acid is a good ingredient, but there are lots of others); Dr. Dennis Gross has some good options. You could get a “spendy” brightener (usually something with Vitamin C), like Ole Henrikksen Truth Serum ($48). And then you could pick some less expensive cleanser/moisturizer.

      A more simplified approach might be to pick one brand and try the skincare within that brand– I like Ole Henrikksen for that. They have great moisturizers of varying thickness.

      • Thanks for the recommendations! I appreciate the specific routines, products and outside references. It seems overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. Now I have a basic direction. Thank you.

      • anonymama :

        Be aware that if you aren’t used to doing much to your skin, a bunch of serums may irritate it. I was in a similar boat to you and started using a serum but my skin gets a bit red and irritated if I use it more than 3-4 times a week.

    • love LOVE LOVE tarte BB cream/primer. Not the heavy foundation one, the BB cream primer one. Its in a white tube with a bamboo-looking cap.

      Its easy to put on (put it on like a moisturizer with your fingers- no brushes or sponges required), super easy to use, and makes my skin look flawless. Plus it has spf.

  6. JuniorMinion :

    Random strength training question – I’ve got powerblock dumbbells and have been a devoted fitnessblender user for a year now. Are there benefits to incorporating barbell / squat rack work into my routine?

    • I’d think it depends on how heavy you want to lift and what exercises you want to do. I like barbell squats because they are easier to get the weight loaded onto my shoulders and I don’t have to worry about my grip wearing out before my legs do.

    • Anonymous :

      How do you like your current routine? Are you doing strength training? Incorporating heavier weights will help with functional strength and you may like the body composition results over time.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I like my current routine but I am kind of feeling like my body composition is plateauing (and ive been playing around with food / macros as well). I do strength training just with dumbbells so that kind of naturally limits deadlifts / squats in terms of both form and weight. I am starting to feel like with dumbbells my arms might be the limitation to some of the lower body movements.

  7. Target tips? :

    I’m on a grad school budget and my weight is fluctuating (thanks, all-nighters). Most of the professional skirts/pants I had before school no longer fit me appropriately, and I finally am willing to accept it after the recent post here about “smiling” skirts. I don’t want to splurge yet on nice professional clothes for my professional, post-school career because of the weight fluctuations, but I’d like to have something nice for presentations, internships, etc for the next 1-2 years.

    Does anyone know of decent workwear brands sold at Target? I don’t have access to all the major stores in my town, but want to try things on before I buy. Could do Nordstrom or another place with free shipping online, though. Thanks!

    • I really like the Merona brand suiting and wear their pencil skirts and jackets together and as separates all the time. Although I haven’t always found the best selection of this stuff in stores, especially around this time of year when so much of the floor space is taken up by bathing suits.

      If you want to try Nordstrom, check out Halogen.

      • I recently bought some Merona cardigans and have been pleased with the quality, especially for the price point. It’s on my list to check out their other business casual clothes next time I need something, for sure.

        • Anony Mouse :

          I’m sad Merona is being phased out. Right now I’m wearing a Merona cardigan (cotton-nylon blend) that’s 10 years old and still looks great. Granted, the quality now isn’t what it used to be….

      • Anonymous :

        Second the Merona brand suiting! It’s really high quality for the price if you’re looking to build a new work wardrobe from scratch on a smaller budget. You may also want to check out Banana Republic, their sale section can have some really good deals on work clothes sometimes and they do free shipping over $50 and free returns by mail.

    • A Budget Minded Shopper :

      Do you have a Penny’s? Check out the Liz brand and Worthington.

    • I buy many workwear items on eBay. I stick to brands I know (the usual suspects – BR, JCrew, etc) and can usually find dresses/pants at significant discounts. It’s also good for stalking higher priced brands (theory, Vince, joie) but I don’t have as much experience with their sizing/fit for me.

    • Wrap dresses all the way! Check out Nordstrom (Maggy London), Boden, Target. They’re very forgiving and look professional.

  8. Any easy guides to starting weight machines at the gym? I would like to start incorporating some weights and right now I just do cardio. I’m new to the gym and am kind of afraid of looking foolish.

    • I think the easiest thing to do would be to meet with a trainer at least once or twice who could walk you through how to use the machines and avoid injury.

      • +1 You can also google “beginner weightlifting workouts” that might direct you to some helpful websites for learning about it. But meeting with a professional is probably your best bet. Be forewarned -if you go to a big box gym they will try to get you to sign up them regularly.

      • Diane Lockhart :

        You could try to see if any friends are experienced weight lifters and would be willing to become a workout buddy. I have a friend that I met in yoga classes who runs and swims but she mentioned that she wanted to start lifting weights but didn’t know where to start. I have been working out with weights for years and have had many sessions with licensed trainers (which I continue to do once a week).

        We now meet every Friday night (when the weights area is less crowded) and work out together lifting weights. I am showing her the ropes, starting with more simple moves with free weights, machines and other equipment (like TRX) and making sure we emphasize proper form. Over time we are moving gradually to more complex moves. My own trainer has helped me figure out some good ideas for my workouts with my friend.

        My friend and I both really enjoy it and it motivates me to get another weight session in every week. I know some other friends at another gym who do the same thing. A good work out buddy is a treasure!

    • Anonymous :

      Way to get going! Most gyms have a free orientation for new members, where a staff trainer will show you how to use the machines. See if you can get this, and they might also throw in a consultation and/or strength routine for free. If not, the intro meeting or two with a trainer would be enough to get you oriented to a basic strength training plan, and some assistance with form. It is 100% worth the cost, because you are less likely to risk injury and you’ll feel great having the confidence to know a routine!

      Another tip that I always use when I’m in the weight room: Think of every muscle group as needing a “push” movement and a “pull.” You can do it all in a number of ways. If you do push ups or chest press, also do chest pulls or row machine, for example.

      • I learned this way of thinking of strength training (push and pull) on the bodyweight fitness subreddit and it was such a lightbulb moment.

    • It helps me to split the days into body parts, usually back/bis, chest/tris, and legs. Then you have a goal for the day. It helps me feel like I’m not just wandering around. Then I look up youtube videos of routines for those body parts and pick a bunch of exercises I think I might like. Try em out and see which ones you like best.

    • + 1 to everything the anonymous poster wrote at 3:19.

      I’d look into Strong Lifts/some kind of compound lifting routine over isolation exercises. You will likely have muscular imbalances (everyone does) that could benefit from full-body strengthening. You don’t want to favor your stronger side/muscles before you have the correct support system. This is why push/pull is important. I’d also recommend using a trainer for 2-3 sessions to make sure you’re using proper form.

      From there, Youtube, Popsugar Fitness, BBG Stronger/Sweat with Kayla Stronger, and other online resources can help you build routines. Also, some gyms have lifting classes for moderate/lighter weights like Body Pump or similar classes.

    • I really like BBG Stronger/Sweat with Kayla.

  9. Random question: does a person’s handwriting affect your opinion of them? I’m thinking of that round, bubble-like style that I associate with my middle school era. When I see interns use it, I internally wince because it’s this tiny thing that I connect with immaturity/youngness, but that may be my own hang-up or specific to me. (I would never use that as a negative in assessing job performance or say anything about.) Am I wrong to consider this one if those soft signs of presentation or poise?

    • I would really urge you not to think about it that way, given that handwriting instruction has really decreased in schools and handwriting is significantly less important in the workplace than it was in the past. It doesn’t make sense for someone to spend time on developing “mature” handwriting given how unimportant it is in the professional world.

    • Yes, I think you’re wrong. I’m surprised you’re even seeing that much handwriting from people to judge it, but I wouldn’t blame somebody for the handwriting seeming “immature.” I wonder with the advent of technology whether these people learned to write when they were young, but then never really “grew up” their writing style because they were typing/texting all the time.

      Of course, if they’re dotting their i’s with hearts or something, all bets are off.

    • Anonymous :

      I write out notes and things a lot more than many people my age do (mid 30s–hand-wrote the bar exam). I hand-write thank you notes for a charity I am passionate about. I’ve been told my handwriting is very neat and easy to read.

      Here’s the thing: I purposefully print with big, wide bubbly letters. People my age just don’t easily read handwriting. My younger brother has a hard time reading my grandmother’s beautiful writing. I volunteer with young people and write out inventory so they can restock. If I don’t use bubbly letters, they can’t read it. My secretary never had a hard time with my normal scribble but the other, younger secretaries do.

      People just can’t read handwriting that well anymore.

      • Anonymous :

        that is so sad.

      • This. I deliberately switched from writing in a cursive script that had garnered compliments from admirers of handwriting to big, round-letter italics, because most people find the latter more legible.

        I can think of some people who have frustrated me by habitually resorting to rushed, illegible script. I was getting the message, “it’s for me to scrawl out my commands, and for my minions to decipher what they say.” (NB. They sent this message in other ways as well.) Where illegible or inaccessible writing is a sign of status, I would rather forego the status! But you are probably right that clear, accessible middle-school style writing is considered childish or girly vs. an elegant genteel script or vs. indecipherable chicken scratch.

    • Yes. But also, it depends.

      My handwriting is terrible, unless I’m writing a personal note to someone, in which case I take the time to make sure it’s neat. My notes to self are barely legible, even to me sometimes. So, if the context in which you’re seeing this handwriting is that you’re looking at a person’s notes-to-self, stop judging. If they hand wrote something for an exhibit you’re using at trial and it was illegible so you had to have it redone, judge away. Handwriting only matters to me for presentation purposes if there’s actually, you know, presentation that requires poise.

      • My mom (late 60’s) has handwriting like that. For her, it’s a very unnatural looking penmanship that was the result of being forced to write right-handed when she is actually a lefty.
        tl;dr, bubbly handwriting doesn’t phase me.

    • nasty woman :

      I think there’s an element of gender bias here. I, too, sometimes default to thinking of that type of writing as immature/silly, but I think that’s because we associate it with teenage girls. It reminds me of gel pens and slambooks or whatever the f we spent our time doing in math class. But the thing is, that type of writing is legible (usually). There’s nothing inherently immature or silly about the look of writing itself (unless of course it IS done in a gold glitter gel pen and there are hearts over the i’s) -it’s just that we associate it with girlhood. Thus, I consciously try not to judge.

      Teenage boys can also have gawdawful handwriting, but it usually doesn’t look like bubbles. It’s usually just illegible. But that’s why it’s called out- not because we think it’s silly. #aregelpensprofessional?

      • Yeah, tbh I think I judge male handwriting more harshly, especially when adult men have the handwriting of middle school boys.

    • Yes. I once worked with an attorney who gave me a color-coded notebook page (in pink sparkle and purple gel pens) written in what I consider “sorority handwriting.” I was a wonder there were not small hearts to dot the “i”s. Anyway, I wouldn’t have judged if it had been, say, just purple ink. But the combo of the writing, sparkle and ink choice was just–way too dreamy middle schooler. And I say this someone who really loves purple ink in the office (although I don’t use it). I used to work for a crazy baller partner who only used purple ink and purple tape flags, and it was an adorable quirk.

      • This will totally out me if I’m not already outed by how much I talk about my life, but I use flair pens in the office and match them to my outfits. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous.

  10. Any suggestions for how to deal with a (very busy and overloaded) boss who changes their mind repeatedly and scolds me publicly in the process?

    I don’t mean “do 12 point font. No, do 11 point.”
    I mean telling me in a team meeting, “put together a report on A, B, C in the next 2 weeks and spend under $10K.” Then 2 weeks later — in another team meting — “Why did you put together a report on A, B, C, and why did you spend $8K? You should have done a report on D and spend $2K.”

    It has happened enough times that colleagues have started addressing it in meetings on my behalf. (As in, Boss says “That’s not what I asked,” other people my level are now saying “That is actually what you asked.”)

    I have started sending emails after the team meetings saying, “Just want to confirm I’m to do this task within that budget.” Even so, it just happened again today — in a team meeting in front of coworkers, I got asked why I did a project, and told I shouldn’t have. I have asked for one-on-one meetings before the team meetings to go over my assignments so this at least won’t happen publicly, coworkers have assured me I am doing what I am told and the boss is changing her mind. Similar things are happening with other people too, but not to this extent.

    Any suggestions? It is driving me crazy because I feel like I’m wasting time, I’m being undercut and embarrassed, and am seriously considering looking for a new job, but I like the coworkers and before this started (about 6 months ago), loved my boss.

    • hmmm, could this be a health issue your boss has?

    • Anonymous :

      If your boss is otherwise nice, can you ask them for a solution? “Hey Boss, I notice that sometimes we seem to have a disconnect on project requirements. I want to make sure that I’m doing exactly what is needed. What is the best way to do track this?” and maybe create some central repository that tracks that stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to look for a new job asap. You can document all you want, but I doubt it will make a difference. The boss doesn’t like you for some reason and it won’t stop.

    • New job. I’ve been in this situation, it doesn’t get better unless you can get out from under this person. Even then, moral/reputation damage is difficult to come back from. Until then, all you can do is document. Not only in emails to boss, but keep a running diary of your interactions/assignments. Seriously. (If he’s going after you on font size, then you’ll never capture anything, but still, do it anyway.) This person is reaching for excuses to tear you down, meaning you are in a danger zone. At least your colleagues are sticking up for you. Do everything you can to keep them as allies and find powerful people who can be your allies.

      Do you know why your boss has changed? How does boss react to others?

      • Thank you all. There have been some similar things with other people, but I’ve been the biggest target.
        I do wonder if there is a health issue because this has been a recent development.

        I’m going to ask (privately) if there is something we can do to avoid this from happening but I think the advice to start looking may be the thing I should start doing as a back up. Boo, but I think this is what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  11. I currently have 2 children. My husband and I work full-time and don’t have family in the area. We are debating whether to have a third kid. Everyone I know that has kids and works full-time only has 1 or 2 kids. The only people I know that have 3 children are those that have a stay at home parent.

    For those here that have 3 kids and both parents work full-time, was it a big adjustment from 2 to 3? Or was the harder adjustment from 1 kid to 2 kids? Did you feel like you still had time for all of your kids and for “me” time? What surprised you the most about having 3 kids instead of 2?

    • Diana Barry :

      We have 3 and are basically FT (I am 80%). I found going from 0 to 1 the hardest. 1 to 2 was fine and 2 to 3 was a breeze. Now that they are getting older (oldest is 9) it is a bit harder, but as the kids got more demanding we increased our nanny time so that we could still do hobbies/have date nights etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel like there were a couple threads about this exact question recently. I can’t find them with a quick search, but if you spend some time digging I bet you can find them, and they had a lot of thoughtful responses.

    • Away Game :

      Well, my 2nd and 2 rd were twins, so we didn’t have the option of adjusting gradually. With just one kid, it’s easy for parents to trade off who has a “break.” That gets harder when you have two or three, so I agree the hardest adjustment is to the first and then to having “more than one.” Our age gap is less than 20 months, and less than one minute, so we did not have the issue of one kid playing with Legos while the last one tried to eat the Legos. Ours are in late elementary/early middle school at this stage. The issues we’ve had with three kids are mostly logistics, and not that complicated. Sedans are not designed to properly hold 3 car seats across the back row, so we have a car with a third row. Restaurants tend to seat in even numbers; table for 4 is easier than 5 (which is really for 6). Hotel rooms are easy to set up with 4, but don’t always fit the 5th (depends on rollaway bed spaces, hotel policy, etc). When you want one-on-one kid time, the other parent has the other two, so you need to plan more. Generally we do have 2 who get along better at any given time, but not always the same two, interestingly – that has varied based on age and interests. There is a real odd-man-out rotation going that has to be managed, even if it’s not a deliberate exclusion or freezing out from the two who are doing X together. Bottom line: not as much of an adjustment, but some things to consider.

  12. Just got really frustrating news from my boss that basically amounts to my life is going to s*ck for a few weeks. Currently trying not to cry in my cubicle. Why isn’t today Friday already???

  13. Anxious Annie :

    Of course I have been crazy busy for the last month except for the day I’m supposed to get my review (today). And of course they’re running behind schedule.

    Nervous because I know I’m not the star of my class. Just hoping to be middle of the road but my “pre-review” 6 months ago was a bit ominous – “below the middle, you’ve learned a lot and improved greatly but if you don’t keep learning it’ll be an issue.” Very uncomfortable glass half empty feeling.

    I’m updating my resume this weekend and about to start looking for other jobs – I don’t like it here.

    • Do not worry, Annie! You will be fine b/c you have the POWER of the HIVE behind you!

    • Wildkitten :

      How’d it go? If you don’t want to stay there you don’t need to be top of your class. Middle is enough to find someone to give you a good reference for what you find next.

  14. Wildkitten :

    I have a brand new, tags on, in plastic, Lo & Sons TT. Black and lavender and gold. I’d sell it for $100 plus shipping. It’s $156 on sale online. Wildkitten r 3 t t 3 @

  15. Interesting name for a bag so expensive!

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