Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Mix It Up Dress (and: Pendleton Sale Alert)

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

Mix It Up DressTo be honest, I’ve never bought a lot of clothes from Pendleton — but the readers have so often sung their praises that I pay attention when they have a big sale. And ladies, the sale is ON. Lots of really cute pieces under $50, including a ton of conservative-but-fun skirts. You can make a few suits for less than $100, as well. I’ll do a quickie deal roundup as an update to this post in a few minutes, but for this morning’s TPS I’m liking this silk charmeuse dress in a floral/black pattern — I love that it’s fully lined and has bust darts. The dress was $178, but is now marked to $44; with promo code FRIENDS it comes down to $35.19. (!!!) Mix It Up Dress

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

Update: Sale roundup below. As always, hover over the pics for info.

pendleton-sale-1.indexed pendleton-sale-2.indexed pendleton-sale-3.indexed pendleton-sale-4.indexed



  1. Anonymous :

    yay the sale is on (!!!!) one of the cities of your readers is on lockdown, but yay sale!!

    • locomotive :

      I think the vast majority of readers are already aware of what is going on in Boston. I am going to MIT for grad school and am nervous and scared and it is not a good situation, but I appreciate having pockets of the internet or my life that are not consumed by this fear and anxiety. I think Kat is certainly aware of the option of posting about the tragedy and situation going on right now, but I for one appreciate being able to focus on something else for a little bit and have an escape. so, thank you Kat.

      • Agreed.

        Also, I for one don’t really appreciate pointless acknowledgements of tragedies. Having Rue La La move it’s flash sale to 3 pm from 11 am on the day after the marathon didn’t really make me go, “wow, way to honor all those people.”

        • They are Headquartered in Boston, they were not able to open. It was not a four hour tribute.

      • I agree. This is NOT a place to post about current event’s. No one is interested in what my view’s are on this or other peeople’s on THIS blog. There are OTHER places, such as CNN or where ever. This is a BLOG about women’s fashion and other WOMEN’s professeional issue’s. That is why I come here first, b/c it is VERY important to me to be fashioneable and to be both fashioneable and professeonal in all of my legal work. YAY KAT!

        What a great find for FRUEGAL FRIDAY’s! I LOVE FRUEGAL FRIDAY’s. I can even wear this to work b/c Frank will have NOTHEING to stare at! I am to meet Philip finaly tonite after work. He is to meet me here (b/c I want him to see I am an attorney at law, and he can even see my BAR admit on the wall — FIRST DEPARTMENT APELLANTE DIVISION — YAY—My dad is alway’s impresed when he see’s that. He say’s his investment paid off!

        We are goieng to walk up town until we see a place to eat we like. I will steer him past MORTON’s b/c I feel like a steak! Otherwise, we can do ITALIAN or something good on the upper east SIDE, but I will NOT bring him back to my apartement, yet. I do NOT want a grabber. FOOEY! There HAS to be some mystery otherwise he will loose interest. We will see!

        • Ellen, stop now, before you let this man defile you! Ellenwatch is asleep at the switch, and I have not been at my computer all week.

    • You also don’t know if this was written earlier and scheduled to post.

      • +1. It’s likely Kat is not updating this in real time, and honestly, in spite of the fact that I occasionally do learn of breaking news here in the comments, it’s not actually a news blog.

        But since you posted under “Anonymous,” I suspect you had no real purpose in commenting in the first place, so I don’t know why I’m bothering to engage.

        • Whenever there are tragedies — Newtown, Sandy, this horrible Boston stuff — I never know what to say. Of course my heart goes out to the victims and their families. Of course I break down and sob reading the news occasionally too; of course I don’t like letting my son out of my sight when these things happen. The Brooklyn Bridge is right outside our windows — not a terror target at all. It all just seems off topic for the blog, and ultimately I’d rather say nothing than say the wrong thing.

          (Also, I hate when bloggers and celebrities start tweeting and Facebooking their “thoughts” on tragedies — I just think, like, who CARES what you think about this? What are you adding to the conversation? It always seems insincere at best, delusional/full of hubris at worst.)

          • Anon in NYC :

            I think this is a great response, Kat.

          • I have to emerge from my IT-imposed exile from this site and post on my crippled not-smartphone.

            Kat, I really appreciate what you do here and how receptive you are to well-intentioned constructive criticism. But I don’t think that Anonymous post was constructive at all.

            I love what this site offers (career advice, the kind support and collective wisdom of its members, and its fun, fashiony distractions. ) Keep on truckin’!

          • +1 to Susedna’s comment

          • agree with all of the above.

          • Kat, thanks for providing this little community. It has been a much needed distraction for numerous bad days and weeks. Many, many thanks.

          • I just think there is a difference when a large number of your readers are currently on lock down, unable to leave their homes. I was suprised that you didn’t mention you were thinking of us. But obviously everyone feels differently about that, and has made that very clear, in a very rude way. Some of you may not understand how scary this is for me. I came on here to talk about it with other people going through it because I am currenly isolated, away from my family, not able to get near them. Sorry I reacted so harshy but I was honestly shocked it wasn’t mentioned. Very rarely is a big city completely shut down because of a madman running around trying to blow it up. Sorry for “playing”

          • @ anonymous :

            I’m sorry you are feeling scared and isolated. But the city is shut down so they can catch this guy and no one will get caught in the cross fire. Not because you’re in danger at home. It’s obviously disconcerting but it shouldn’t cause anyone panic. Be well.

          • Anon, I don’t think people have reacted ‘rudely’ at all (we seem to throw that word around whenever we are not in the majority. Many of the comments responding to yours have been measured, calm in tone and are just pointing out rational reasons why they do not feel what you are feeling and are providing a different opinion.

          • So talk about it. People are talking about it here. Do you want a separate post that says “Boston r e t t e s and well-wishers here”? I think I prefer the discussions to happen how they are happening.

            I don’t understand how scary it is for you because I am not in Boston right now and I am not you, with your unique set of experience and perspectives, but I do feel for you and all the others on lockdown, including good friends and family. I have felt the frustration of being in a meeting where it’s business as usual when all you want to do is check the news and talk to your affected family, but I do not think this is that kind of environment. There is a vibrant community here, it’s not business as usual just because there’s a normal TPS post this morning.

          • But the city is shut down so they can catch this guy and no one will get caught in the cross fire.

            Actually I am in very real danger. The bomb they suspect that is in the house one street over- I am in the potential blast radius. swat everywhere. I am waiting to be evacuated as we speak. And yes, people have been rude. Kat said “thanks for playing!” and the person “really” was very rude.

          • Now you’ll definitely be in my thoughts… Be safe, anon. Post back later to let us know how you’re doing.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Anonymous (and everyone) — I hope you are all staying safe. This is a fraught and terrifying event, and we are all processing and experiencing it differently. No one is right, or wrong – we are all just trying to figure out what’s best. I hope everyone is staying indoors and safe.

            In a scary situation like this, we are all still in the initial moments of dealing with this event. The dust will settle and I hope no one beats themself up for their reaction – either as not caring enough, or as too upset. There is no “right” way to deal with or wrap your head around what is functionally an act of terror. We just have to hope that we, our loved ones, and all the strangers and people of Boston and the surrounding area are safe, and hope that we can all make it through this whole event with no more death or destruction. Stay strong.

          • Blonde Lawyer :


            I’m thinking of you. The chaos is more terrifying than the actual danger. I’m sure you are hearing constant sirens which is also traumatizing. I’m a state away now. It took me a day or two after Monday to feel normal at work. I’m back to feeling anxious again though I really have no reason where I am to feel unsafe. Anxious for everyone else maybe? Who knows. If you can get official messages without watching constant news updates I’d try to disconnect for a bit. That is what I had to do after Monday. No images, no recaps. Please check back in when you are somewhere safe.

          • Anon – As someone who was in the radius of 9/11 I really feel what you are are going through. Just stay as calm as you can and as centered as you can and you can sort out the fear and trauma and anger later (maybe with counseling, which I found helpful). It is totally different to be in the middle of an emergency and be watching from afar and I wouldn’t try to affect the reactions of the outside world too much, just try to care for yourself and those around you. Stay safe.

          • I don’t think the commenters have been rude at all. It’s Anonymous’ snarky post that was rude. This is a very supportive community; lots of kudos, hugs and words of wisdow get sent out daily. We also check up on each other. But this blog is about fashion and life as a professional woman, not about tragedies. You object to a post today but should posts have been suspended yesterday too after many people were hurt in West, TX?

          • Great reply, Kat.

    • Well, what does it say about you that ran straight to a fashion blog upon learning of those horrible events? What are you even doing here if you don’t think it’s appropriate?

      • Silvercurls :

        Please, let’s be gentle in our wording. (As for what it says about me: As per the British slogan, created but not used during WWII, I’m keeping calm and carrying on. I’m also appreciating an amazing sale.)

        • Sometimes, it’s not actually productive to be gentle to people who are being jerky.

          Sometimes, they need to be called out hard. Gentle nudging presupposes that they’re reasonable and wanting to have a productive dialogue. Don’t give jerks more legitimacy than they deserve.

          • Why am I jerk? Because I feel differently than you? Why the f*ck am I not legititimate? Because I thought Kat should let us know she is thinking of us, when she has done that for many other situations. I totally accept her reasoning below, but I come on here and its just so “yaay sale” that I found it very jarring. I think you are the jerk, your posts are much ruder than mine was.

          • hellskitchen :

            Anonymous, did you post similarly during other terrorist incidents around the world before this? There are readers on this site from all over the world. There was a blast in Bangalore, India 2 days ago – why did you not upbraid Kat for failing to mention that? Why did *you* not post something about how people there were in your thoughts? Probably because they weren’t in your thoughts, right?

          • Anonymous, chill out.

            Really. I feel for you, and I can’t imagine how scary it is for you right now, but you could have approached this in a mature way by posting to ask NICELY that Kat acknowledge the lockdown situation. Instead, you chose to snark at the site owner and then act wounded and angry when people call you on it.

            It’s very telling how people react (differently) in crisis.

          • Another Anonymous :

            Anonymous: I know you were scared and upset when you posted all these comments, so I will cut you some slack. But very honestly, when I was reading your comments, I felt everything you said boiled down to “it’s all about ME! Me, me, me! Someone acknowledge ME and how I feel!” I would have more sympathy if you had come on and asked if Kat could post something about honoring first responders or praying for the city or something. But getting hurt because a blogger doesn’t “ask how you are feeling” seems childish and petty to me, sorry. I understand it was scary and you were scared. But think about how scared you would have been if your partner or family member were one of the SWAT guys chasing the bomber. My dear, believe me. It could ALWAYS be worse.

      • I wanted to hear from other r3tt3s, because I am stuck in the house on lockdown. And Kat does not have timed posts, she frequently adds a sentence or two about current events. And you have to comment as anon now it doesn’t save my user name

        • True that Kat has commented on current events (like Sandy) which affect her personally but I think its a bit much to ask that she make a comment about every major world event.

        • I’m curious how you know she doesn’t have at least _some_ timed posts? Maybe sometimes she does have timed or queued posts, and sometimes she doesn’t. Your statement seems a bit categorical, as if you knew what Kat did all the time.

          • She always tells us when she is doing timed posts. Ive been reading this site for years.

          • Actually 80% of the posts are timed. But thanks for playing! OK, getting out of the comments now and back to work.

        • You don’t have to type as Anon. You could type your username every time. I do it, as do many other posters. It’s not that difficult.

        • locomotive :

          Anon, calm down. There is an entire city of us who are stuck in lockdown. I’m next to the MIT campus. You are not the only one (just look out your windows, everyone out there is also locked down) and being upset and angry will not fix things or make you feel better. Yes, it is scary, but you are under no immediate danger (no more than any one of the other hundreds of thousands of people in this city). Take a nap, take a deep breath, and just sit tight.

  2. Boston r e t t e s: stay safe. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    • Absolutely. All of you stay safe. Everything is so uncertain right now.

      • About half of my family is in the lockdown area and it took me a while to hear from everyone. I also have a younger sister in Boston proper who’s always been kind of a free spirit when it comes to obeying safety guidelines. I woke up to the news and sent a few texts of the apesh!t persuasion but have now confirmed they are all ok. Trying not to be too tense throughout today, especially since there’s no knowing when this will be over.

    • Another Anonymous :

      Dear Boston r e t t e s (and this entire blog community),

      My nephews’ choir recorded “What a Wonderful World” as a tribute to the people of Boston following Monday’s events. I have found great solace in their angelic voices and in thinking of the countless selfless acts of heroism that we have seen. Perhaps it will also comfort you. Here’s the link:

      Wishing you all well!

  3. Former Parisian :

    I supposee the lockdown is a perfect opportunity for a bit of online shopping… In all seriousness, my thoughts are with everyone in Boston; can’t imagine what you guys are going through, it’s like a war zone out there. Stay safe.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      It does feel that way – like living in 24 or Homeland or a thriller movie. Stay safe and well everyone. Don’t take any chances – stay inside.

      I hope everyone is okay. The street outside my house is weirdly quiet.

    • I know this is said in jest – but seriously – I kind of need things silly to distract me today from the fact that my whole region is on lockdown. And there is a ton of awful stuff going down. And its been a terrible week.

      On-line shopping and awesome sales seem like just that sort of thing.

      • also on lockdown :

        +100 certainly a justifiable way to ease the nerves!!

      • This, exactly. It’s been a long week – by last night I was ready to crawl into bed and stay there forever. Having a place like this to come to helps.

  4. Wedding ettiquete :

    ‘r ettes, would love your advice. Is this dress (Anthropologie Maitland lace dress: ) too white to wear to a wedding? I’ll probably wear it with black accessories (belt, necklace) unless you have any better ideas!

    For reference, the wedding will be at noon in a church, with a reception at a nice-ish brewery/restaurant after.

    I had bought a fun springy dress to wear, but the weather plans to be cold and rainy, ugh!

    • Beautiful dress! I think you’d be OK because of the black underlay, but I’m curious to see what others say. If you know the bride, her personality may also be your guide as to whether she’d take offense. If it were me, I wouldn’t care.

    • I think I would wear a black cover (sweater or jacket) in the church, then take it off for the reception.

      • I think it’s a really pretty dress. And opting for a darker-colored cover-up/cardigan/wrap might be the thing to insure that you’re not wearing something too white or too lacy overall.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I personally would not wear it. If I were the bride, I wouldn’t care if someone wore this (tbh, I didn’t even really notice what anyone wore at my wedding), but as a guest I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing that much white (especially white lace).

      • I agree with this 100%. I would not care about this as the bride, but I would not feel comfortable wearing it as a guest. I do like the dress, though.

        • this actually looks a lot like my own wedding dress but my underlay color is pink instead of black

    • I think it’s fine and does not look bridal at all.

    • Anne Shirley :

      For what it’s worth, I misread your post and thought you were the bride. And thought that dress was a lovely choice for your own daytime wedding.

    • i dont even look at that as a white dress — its not too white at all!

    • I think if you are concerned, don’t get it. You don’t want to be second-guessing yourself and uncomfortable that day. I recently wore a white dress with big black splotches to a wedding, and I was a bit uncomfortable, even though I think it was all in my head and noone else even gave it a second thought.

  5. Silvercurls, paging OP from yesterday's thread re combining "unmatched" black separates :

    Paging the OP: With the FRIENDS promo code a Carlton black jacket and skirt plus shipping are approx. $81.00. Perhaps this falls within your budget…(no snark here–I’m on a budget too!).
    Possible alternatives:
    1) Find one garment (either w/ obvious pattern or a tweedy or heather fabric) to make a “suit” with something you already own.
    2) Order with one or two friends so as to reduce the per-person shipping costs (although you’ll have to deal with the logistics of redistributing the package contents from the one address to which it’s shipped).

  6. So, what is my size -- not a LSAT Q, but close :

    I love Pendleton! I have had items that I have had altered and are divine (2009 purchases — size 8, but bust was HUGE).

    Today, I am:
    J Crew 4 (#2 pencil)
    Talbots 6
    Banana 10 short (in pants — too much junk in the trunk for an 8 to fit in the seat, but the waist always needs to be taken in)

    And I’m 5-4; 125 pounds; 30D; 30″ waist; 40″ hips

    What is my Pendleton size in 2013? NEED TO ORDER!

    • Silvercurls :

      I just called Pendleton with the same question. Between my measurements and “I wear a size X in brands ABC and DEF” information they were able to guide me in the right direction.
      I used the phone # 877-996-6599 (appears while you’re making a purchase). You could also find the link on their site to email their customer service dept. No idea re how long they take to reply to email.

    • I find the sizing true to size, same as jcrew for me (10). But sounds like maybe you size up in pants? I can’t buy pendleton pants at all, always too short and with not enough room to let them out. I love their skirts though (which tend to a bit longer) and blazers. This is a great sale. Btw, I have the Broadway Blend Pleat Skirt (bought it on sale, but for twice what it is going for now) and it is a really beautiful piece of clothing.

      • Thanks, ladies! I may go home and tapemeasure my parts and give them a call (plus, have awesome ponte knit suit from them that I recall is a 6, at least on the jacket part). It is like having 2 or 3 bodies to dress. I checked JCrew and my measurements, I am a 10 there, but the clerks laughed when I returned my 6 and 8 No. 2 pencils and said that at most I was a 4 there (but I couldn’t get a Lady Day coat to fit over winter clothes the right way, even going up to a 10). I get being 1 or 2 sizes, but 4?!? Keeps my UPS guy busy!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I wear the same size skirt in Loft, Talbots, Banana Republic, Boden and Pendelton.

  7. That dress is adorable. $178 is out of my budget, but I’d snap it up in a second for $35. I feel like you could mix up the way you wear it too, working with the different colours in the top.

  8. I feel so sick over what’s happening in Massachusetts right now. And in Texas.

    And the response in New York is overwhelming. You can’t blink without seeing an officer armed with big guns, literally. And the other day in the elevator, one of my sister’s medical students turns to her and says, “You know it was one of those Muslims that did it in Boston, right? You know it, right?”

    Not going to feel safe for a very long time.

    • Going anon for this but–

      A couple days ago, I was sitting on the T. An old man sat next to me and said, “Aren’t you nervous? Being out?”

      I asked him, “Because of the bombings?” “Because people might think you did it.”

      I asked him why they would think that and he said, “well you know, you middle easterners. Who knows?Arabs. It could be some kind of conspiracy. If I were you I’d stay inside.” I honestly had no idea what to say to him. I’m Indian, but even if I were middle eastern.

      Also, almost all of the initial “suspects” wrongfully identified by the media/Twitter/Reddit (including poor Sunil Tripathi and the Saudi student) have been brownskinned. It’s honestly incredibly depressing.

      • *even if I were Middle Eastern, it wouldn’t be okay.

        • Famouscait :

          My reply would be, “It’s ignorant people like yourself you are alarming to me. You sir, should be the one to stay inside.”

          • Courage and safety, right? But as I wind through our various transit systems, I keep looking over my shoulders, wondering who’s going to push me into an oncoming train. Because that’s actually happened.

            So, I don’t know.

          • Someone tried to push you into a train?? that is so so so awful I am so sorry

          • hellskitchen :

            Oh my gosh Ru – your story about being pushed in front of a train makes my skin crawl. Stay safe lady. And props to you for not letting ignorant racists control your life.

          • AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH NO NO NO, I was referring to the man who was pushed in front of an oncoming 7 train in Queens a few months ago, just because he “looked like a terrorist”. I *definitely* “look like a terrorist” for people looking to blow off steam.

            There are some narrow subway platforms out there. Be safe people, be safe.

          • hellskitchen :

            Phew, good to know. And yeah I remember the Queens incident. I have become so careful on subway platforms now – no more daydreaming or getting lost in my iPod.

          • Ru – I don’t “look” like anything that would elicit an idiotic racist response from a stranger, but I don’t take chances with my personal safety. I always wait for the train by standing with my back against the back wall of the platform. I move towards the car once the train has stopped.

            I also stand with my back to a wall when waiting for someone to join me at a particular location (ie street corner, at a museum, etc. etc). Removing the ability for someone to come up behind you with a malicious intent (pushing you forward, pulling you backward, putting a weapon to you) is a small but important way of keeping yourself as safe as you can, no matter the circumstances.

          • I think Ru is referring to an incident in NYC this past December where a disturbed woman pushed an Indian man in front of a subway because she was out to get “hindus and muslims for the WTC attacks.”

            Already, I read about a Sikh man who was attacked in an Applebee’s parking lot in the Bronx by some guys the night of the bombing for just looking the way he did to a bunch of violent morons. It’s horrible. But everytime I think of how awful humanity can be, I also try to remind myself of all the people who run into danger to help strangers at times like this. If you haven’t seen it already, Patton Oswald had a very eloquent piece about all this actually. At a sad time like now, it’s worth googling.

          • Well that was by an insane person. Still of course always be careful- but that was by an insane person, not racism

          • @ CC – an “insane” person can be racially motivated. Read her remarks.

            The fact that she was clearly disturbed doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m surprised that (or if) it provides you any comfort. And quite frankly anyone who does something violent because of another person’s race/religion/gender/national origin/etc. is clearly disturbed in my book but that fact hardly alleviates my worry for those who find themselves the target of such senseless, stupid rage.

          • I do think there is a difference. She could just have easily pushed someone because she thought they were an alien. She was doing it out of a (truly messed up) fear. I am glad she was charged with a hate crime but think its very different than a traditional hate crime. Based on my experience with psychophrenics, I think there is a huge distinction when you talk about saying someone pushed someone in front of train because they look like a terrorist. She pushed someone in front of a train because she has no grip on reality and whats real in her life. but it does not lessen the horrible nature of the crime obviously.

      • Your last paragraph especially really gets me. I’ve seen all the amateur detective work on-line and its all been pointing out (wrongfully) brown skinned men. Makes me so sad and mad.

        • momentsofabsurdity :


        • Forget amateur detectives and just google the front page of yesterday’s NY Post. I get that it’s the Post but they have been shockingly irresponsible throughout this whole incident.

      • That is gross. I’m so so sorry it happened to you.

      • Hate to say it, but he sort of has a point. There was a South Asian guy beaten up in the Bronx because somebody thought he looked like an Arab. I remember hanging with some Libyan friends after the OK City bombing. Nothing happened to them, but they were hearing from friends around the country about incidents–hijabs pulled off, rude comments, that sort of thing. And the Sikh dude in AZ. Wishing you the best!

        • Similar things have happened in Boston – reports of a Palestinian woman and her infant attacked by a man in Malden. But I refuse to adjust my life to make it easier for incredibly racist people to feel comfortable. I can’t spend my life hiding from people who might want to hurt me just because of the way I look.

          • hellskitchen :

            “I refuse to adjust my life to make it easier for incredibly racist people to feel comfortable.”

            Well said.

          • That’s the kind of courage I try to teach my son. It’s hard not make sure he doesn’t think I’m saying it’s OK for people to look askance at him because of his skin color.

      • Wow, you handled that quite well. I would have been incensed. It is terrible. This sounds awful, but I am almost relieved that the guys behind this aren’t brown skinned. Might cause people to rethink things. I did wonder if the FBI would have released the photos if they were browned skinned. I like to think that our law enforcement has some sensitivity to this issue, but I am an optimist.

      • A friend of mine panicked after the first explosion because he didn’t know whether to run or stay put. If he ran, he was afraid someone would target him for being Middle Eastern. If he stayed, he was afraid of another blast.

        It’s just so, so terribly sad that in the midst of danger he had to do a mental calculation like that.

      • R in Boston :

        Female newscaster on one of the local boston stations this morning said something along the lines of “but he didn’t even look like a terrorist! how are we supposed to know?” Ugh. She also basically said she hoped he got shot rather than being taken into custody, at which point the saner hosts stepped in and made her stop talking.

        • “He didn’t even look like a terrorist”? What the heck is that supposed to mean? What do terrorists look like? Sheesh, people can be so ignorant.

        • What station/when?

          • R in Boston :

            I think Channel 4, sometime around 7:45 or 8:00? Newscasters were just voice over live footage, so I don’t know her name/what she looked like.

    • Well, his uncle says he is Muslim. Not that it makes what that guy said obviously, and not that he did it because he was Muslim.

      • The older was Muslim – he was interviewed by BU a few years ago and said so (obviously not in connection to this). Obviously, though, we wouldn’t even be having the conversation “It’s probably one of those Christians” or “It’s probably one of those WASPs” even if he were a member of those groups.

        • Actually I head a lot of comments that ppl thought it was a white male- like Adam Lanza.

          • Right. But after the Newtown massacre, nobody was attacking random white people because “you’re one of them”

          • Well because the guy was dead.. I mean that doesn’t excuse these rude awful assholes at all, but there is a big difference between how it feels when the person is dead and when they are at large somewhere.

          • How? The attackers don’t say they think the person they’re attacking did the terrorist act. They just look like the people who did (in the attackers eyes)

      • They’re also Chechnyan and the issues in that region go *way* beyond religion, though that’s certainly part of it. But none of that’s the point. The point is the fact that all these assumptions were made before anything was known about these men. Before we knew anything about them. Frankly, we still don’t know what twisted version of whatever ideology caused them to do this.

    • Oh, Ru, I’m so sorry. Some people are so awful. I’d just say that there are all those people out there you pass everyday who don’t say anything to you because, um, you’re just another person going about your business. The awful people will show their awfulness, but there are many more of us who are like, duh, of COURSE 99.9% of Muslims are just normal people just like 99.9% of Christians are, despite lunatics like Westboro Baptist. We’re just not going to come up to you and say it because it seems so obvious. Hang in there.

    • Ru, I’ve just been asked to write a guest post on an education blog about the backlash against Muslims. Could you please write to me at the same handle, hotmail? Thanks!

      • Hey saacnmama, I’ve been following your posts of late, and I think it’s great that you’re working on this project. (Saw your post about teaching your son how to handle racism/presumptions – I think you’re a very loving and conscientious parent!)

        • Thanks :)
          I’ve just learned that I have “followers” on Facebook, where I post links to race/religious bias a lot. That kind of skeeved me out, before I realized it’s a compliment. I’m watching how I post pix of my son now–must always be to friends, not public!

    • Silvercurls :

      I’m really sorry to hear that you had to deal with this bigotry and stupidity. I was hoping that our society had learned something since the last go-round of ignorant people blaming anyone who looks remotely “foreign” for whatever bad is currently happening.

      Ironic that the Boston Marathon suspects finally turn out to be two white guys with baseball caps–not that this information is going to penetrate the armor of anybody whose thinking switches from “brown skin = terrorist” to “Chechen = probably Muslim = probably terrorist.” The Oklahoma City bomber was a white guy. So was the Unabomber. If we want to go way, way back in the day, so were Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. (Yes, I had to look up “who shot Abraham Lincoln” on Google.)

      How can we help? Do you want people to write to blogs or editors of newspapers to say hey, we want to go on record as not. leaping. to. stupid. conclusions? What about writing to the religious leaders of mosques or Sikh temples? What about non-Muslim women wore headscarves in public as a show of solidarity? I don’t want to be condescending by saying “well, of course, you people are law-abiding” (isn’t the assumption that everyone IS law-abiding unless proved otherwise?!) or disrespectful by turning the serious religious tradition of hijab (head covering) into a shallow, short-term gesture.

      • Thank you for asking these questions. This is such a complex matter but if it were up to me, I think we as Americans need to examine our racism. Seriously. Non-white people are “terrorists”. White people are “bombers” or “gunmen” or “troubled” or “mentally ill” or a whole host of other things. I just can’t fathom why we have a vast vocabulary of terms to excuse inexplicable terrorist behavior.

        I am lucky enough not to have suffered directly from any of these terror events but the lasting impacts will follow me forever. If people really want to help, they should talk. Talk A LOT about why people from different ethnic, religious, politic, social and economic backgrounds are treated with such a different yardstick from the mainstream. Talk to each other, family members, cashiers, coworkers, bloggers, newspapers, children, everyone. This is a racist country and we allow our media to be racist. US. WE ALLOW THIS.

        Perhaps it’s my scientific background that leads me to think that all things should be measured from the same scale. Or my American upbringing that thinks that all people should be treated equal. I’m not quite sure.

        • I just need to say- terrorists are people who attack America, the nation. Bomber, gunmen, troubled, mentally ill means they were trying to attack people, not an attack on the nation. Thats why Obama did not classify it as terrorism right away. The Oklahoma bombing was terrorism- by a white guy.

          • hellskitchen :

            I am asking this because I am genuinely curious – how do they distinguish when it’s an attack on a nation v/s attack on people? Is it about the number of people killed? Or the target e.g. a public event or building that holds some significance v/s say a public space like a mall?

          • Usually a combination of that- what the attack looks like- and also the facts that arise later, like what were they targeting? What was the motivation? tSomething like the cinema shooting or newton, they were attacking people. In other events, they find stuff like “America must burn” notes. In this case, they have found connections to terrorism and political motivations. Terrorism has to have political motivations.

          • While I appreciate the political and legal definition of “terror”, I am supremely uncomfortable with the way it paints certain crimes. I would absolutely say that the deaths of children in Newton is an act of terror. Didn’t it incite fear? Aren’t these crimes about attention, anarchy, jolting the status quo? The government draws its power from the people, no? Why isn’t an attack on people an attack on the nation? Why are we all so comfortable the definitions given to us? Why are we such stagnant thinkers?

            I appreciate these conversations, I really do. These are difficult times and I am grateful that we have this forum.

          • Why are we so comfortable with the definitions of words? I don’t think that its being a stagnant thinker to use words correctly. You are saying that it is racist that non whites get classified as terrorists. We are telling you that they are classified as terrorists because of their crimes, not skin color, and that whites have been called terrorists. Sure you can make the argument that in the future all violent crimes should be called terrorism but you cant say its racism when people are using a defined words. Arent all words “given to us?” I don’t just start calling a car a boat, it would be confusing..

          • hellskitchen :

            Got it – thanks, that’s a helpful explanation

          • hellskitchen :

            I am not sure whether I’d call the Newtown incident an act of terror even though it did incite fear. But I would probably call the Gabby Giffords shooting in AZ an act of terrorism because it did have political motivations… but perhaps I am wrong? I agree with cathy that it should be based on the nature of the crime but it’s hard to figure out what’s what. And the classification of a crime does have important legal implications so it’s imp to get it right

          • And, also I must say that there is a distinction in how we reflect on something like a Newtown, movie theater bombing, Columbine, DC Shooter, etc. and something that looks more like the traditionally used definition of “terrorism” such as 9/11 or Boston (as they appear to have similarities).

            For example, it is one kind of troubling that a young American male had apparently undetected/untreated mental illness and violent tendencies but was able to commit such a horrific act on children. He obviously was targeting a school – why? The facts of the crimes and the persons who commit them speak to how we should view potential future preventative measures and/or reflect on society’s role in creating situations in which a Newton shooter might build such propensities yet fall through the cracks of detection.

            With a Boston shooter or other terrorist-labeled crimes, we view them in a different way. The origin of such crimes are different. They are generally committed by people (I think all males in recent memory) who have a detectable hatred towards America and/or some particular aspect of our society. Often they are immigrants or citizens of other countries or (in the case of McVeigh) were intimately involved in militant groups directed towards the hatred of America.

            So I say all of that to say that I think it entirely unfair to label someone a “stagnant thinker” simply because they do not agree that there is inherent racism in the terms you have defined above. Each has given a logical non-race-based argument for their position, and I have now added my voice to the pot.

            Please note that this does not in any way condone what happened to you but is just to point out that there can be unfairness that goes both ways. Just because someone labeled you does not give you permission to label someone who sees distinctions in the terms you have articulated as you did.

          • Anonymous :

            @Ru you are saying we are stagnant thinkers because we use words with definitions? I know that sounds snarky but I think I am missing something in your post.

          • Anonymous :

            please don’t feed the ru.

          • I just think the term “terrorism” is not inclusive enough. Language is a powerful, extremely powerful tool. Many of you are lawyers, much more skilled with words than I am. You are trained to use words as weapons. These words…they have serious repercussions with their consistent applications. I’m making many of you uncomfortable, I understand. You’re used to thinking a certain way. That’s okay. Just makes harder for people like me.

          • Anonymous :

            Haha. good thing I read your blog. People she is purposely trying to be obtuse- she said so on her blog. Despite her oh I love these convos, she is just being a jerk.

          • Dude what are you talking about? You said you think its racist. We are telling you its not, its based on the type of crime. You can’t just say people who adhere to definitions are not thinking criticially. I can’t say hey ru I think you are a jerk. Oh by jerk I mean beautiful, you just don’t think as well as I do. Words have meanings. You can’t say people are being racists by using words the way they are meant to be used. There is nothing uncomfortable about that. You just didn’t know something, so people taught you something. That’s not being uncomfortable.

          • From Ru’s tumblr hijabeng:

            I am such a pot-stirrer

            Being the antagonist on Corporette.

            And one of the responses on Ru’s tumblr:

            They make it so easy. And tempting.

            Please take note, Corporettes. Don’t waste your time and concern responding to someone who is just deliberately generating controversy.

          • Joanna Toews :

            @Pest, What, and Anonymous at 4:00pm:

            I find it very interesting that you think Ru’s being a troll. This is a forum dominated by lawyers; words and definitions are routinely explored. Your objections to exploring the racist undertones to recent media reports say a lot more about you than they do about her.

        • +1.

          We also allow this country to discriminate not just based on race and ethnicity, but gender, sexual preference etc.

          How many hate crimes are committed because a person is gay? a ton.

          the fact is we want to think we’re a welcoming nation and everything is now okay, that we’ve broken barriers when in fact I think we’re still just as backwards as we were when my relatives came to this country post ww2.

        • I also think that the law enforcement community as a whole draws the distinction between “terrorist” and “something else” (i.e. mentally ill, delusional, madman, gunman, etc.) as someone who entered the country with the intent to harm its people or the government. My husband is law enforcement and this is the official policy of his agency when drawing the distinction. Perhaps the media picks this up from law enforcement lingo.

        • Whoa- terrorism has nothing to do with skin color. As it happens, the most recent terrorism suspects (before today) have been non white, but that is not why they are terrorist! They are terrorists because of their actions. Terrorists absolutely can have been classified as white. There are plenty of issues of racism to examine in this whole situation, but calling these guys terrorists is not one of them. People are “mentally ill” when they are mentally ill, not because they are white.

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you, and Anonymous’ situation above, and everyone else who encounters such ignorance.

    • I was really hoping that the bombers were not Muslim because of such prejudices. Even though at least one of the bombers spent most of his life here, I’m sure people will focus on the place of his birth.

      • On the bright side, they are literally Caucasian….

        • How despicable a comment. I hope it was in jest. If we are going to eschew racism in the consideration and labeling of terrorism, there should not be a “bright side” to any particular offender’s race or ethnic background.

          • Silvercurls :

            I assumed that Anne is speaking sarcastically. As in “well, at least we got to skewer ONE basic unthinking assumption [that white people never commit crimes]!”

            And hey, folks, I don’t agree with that assumption. I’m just reporting on it.

          • I thought she meant because Chechnya is in the Caucasus region.

          • King Kong :

            It refer to geography, not race.

        • So were the 9/11 bombers. Caucasian is broader than white.

        • A lot of people assume that all extremist muslims are arabic, and that’s just not true. I think now people will be more aware of that.

      • Bonnie, I think people will and should examine closely what extremist ideology motivated these individuals and anyone else who was involved in the attack at the Marathon.

        • I hope you’re right Pest. At least one politician has already brought up this incident when discussing immigration reform.

  9. Has anyone worked with A D o m i n i c k events in the DC area? (trying to avoid moderation). Would love to hear recommendations, especially about value for that price. Thanks all,

  10. Telecommute :

    I’d love to hear experiences of anyone that telecommutes, especially if its not a common arrangement in your company. How/why did you start telecommuting? And has it affected your advancement within your company or the quality of work you receive? I’d also love to hear the perspective of those of you with co-workers that telecommute. Thanks!

    • I telecommute almost every day. It’s extremely common in my company. I started off at one of our offices in the Midwest, and rarely telecommuted because my manager/team was in that office, even though the business clients weren’t. I was promoted to a new division and now my manager/team/clients are all over the country, none even close to my location. At first I continued to go into the office most days, but after my manager explicitly gave me permission to telecommute whenever I want it gradually dwindled to working from home most days.

      I don’t think it has affected my advancement/quality of work since I’m essentially doing the same thing I would be doing in the office (communicating via phone/email). I do think it would be different if I actually lived near my team, or near another office with more senior attorneys. Imo, there is very little benefit in going into my office when most of the attorneys don’t work in my division, are junior to me and know even less about the law and our company than I do. I would go into the office more often if I could have regular interactions with my manager or other more senior attorneys, because I do think that lacking this interaction is impairing my development/growth as an attorney.

    • I did for a little while and it was a completely new arrangement in my company. I think the reasons it worked for me were: (1) I had been working there, at a fairly senior level, for over a year before I proposed it; (2) it wasn’t going to be a choice for my employer — I was moving away and so if they wanted to keep me, they had to let me telework; (3) I drafted a comprehensive proposal for my boss, including researching how to get the equipment I needed, how I would stay in touch, how often I would come back, and how I would keep her informed of what I was working on; (4) about 80% of my job was research and writing, another 10% was done by phone, and so we were really only talking about that last 10% or so that would have to change (i.e., I would be phoning into meetings instead of being there face-to-face); (5) it was temporary (10 months).

      Based on my experience, I think if your company doesn’t currently have teleworkers, it might be a hard sell if it’s for a reason that other workers have, too (e.g., you have small children). The company may be willing to be flexible with one employee but much less willing to create a broad telework program. You also want to make sure you’re a star. If you have any performance issues at all, I think it’ll be a tough sell. You want to make sure the work really is conducive to telework. And, maybe most importantly, you want to present your boss with a plan. This should include information on how the boss will be able to oversee your work, and how you’ll ensure you stay connected to co-workers.

      My plan was based heavily on a similar arrangement a friend of mine had with her employer. Because I was able to tell my boss how it had worked for someone else, she felt much more comfortable with it. Remember that the boss who okay’s your telework will after to answer for that “okay” if you wind up having any issues. You want to make sure that boss can present the arrangement as a reasonable one if s/he is ever questioned on it.

      Finally, I think you should be ready to offer some benefit to the employer. For example, offer to work later, or take point on weekend work. It might not be something you need to use, but this way you present it to the employer as getting something they want instead of just giving you a favor.

    • I telecommute from another part of the country. My coworkers remain in our office, as do my staff and supervisors. I’m the only one in my office with this arrangement, which evolved because I was working on a big case when my husband was transferred. It’s worked out pretty well, though I miss working in an office with my coworkers, and I lack face time with the higher-ups and the many opportunities that come with being at the home office. Is there anything in particular you want to know?

    • I have telecommuted twice for two different companies. The first situation was similar to TBK’s. I had already worked for the company for about a year, I was moving across the country, and I was leaving for grad school about 6 months after the move. My work was almost 100% self-directed. We had maybe one meeting a week, and I called in for that one. I was the only person on my team who telecommuted. It was terrible. I was so isolated, and I hated it.

      After going to grad school, I now work for another company and have worked from home for almost 4 years in my current job. Almost all of my team is remote, and we travel often. I spend 50%+ of my time on conference calls with clients, so that wouldn’t change even if I were in the office. In this case, I love working from home. I interact with people constantly, I do interesting work, and I have the freedom to do a quick load of laundry, empty the dishwasher or go for a quick jog between meetings. It is great, and I don’t know how I’ll ever go back to an office now.

      • I work from home and from a local satellite office. My boss is on the west coast in our HQ, the rest of my team is spread all over the country (at variousl satellite offices and/or work remotely). Because EVERYONE is spread out (office or at home), this arrangement is fine with me. I also do a lot of client work, which involves both human interaction as well as travel. So I probably see my clients and/or someone from my team 5 days/month. For the rest of the time, I can work at home, which has been great.

    • Telecommute :

      Thanks for all the helpful comments! I’m considering asking to telecommute so I can accompany my husband when he relocates (temporarily) for a job, but I’m concerned about how it may impact my progression if I’m not in the office very frequently. I appreciate the advice!

  11. Full coverage foundation? :

    Looking for recommendations for a new foundation, since my favorite (Lancome Teint Idole Ultra, Bisque 2(C)) has been discontinued. The replacement has SPF 15 (I prefer sunscreen in my moisturizer), and a texture I don’t particularly like. So I am on the hunt!

    I do like moderate to full coverage, and I have combination skin that tends to get oily as the day goes on, especially in summer humidity.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I suggested this guy yesterday in another make-up request – by gossmakeupartist on youtube does a really great job doing reviews on foundations. He generally prefers cream based makeups and full coverage stuff, so you may be able to get some really great suggestions there.

    • Anonymous :

      I would try findation dot com. You can check for available color matches in other brands and then try a review site, like makeupalley dot com for reviews on how the wear time is, the finish, etc.

  12. Hug’s to every one good, and we should just say FOOEY to everyone bad, and move on. Now that that is done, we can move on to thing’s we can deal with. Thank’s to KAT for sponsoreing this important forum.

  13. The sale is awesome, but I just lost the seasonless wool dress and 2 skirts while it was in my shopping cart, this stuff is running out fast.

    • Could have been me, sorry! I scored a Carlton jacket and matching skirt for something like $80 (together)! Hoping that it fits – can anyone comment on Pendelton sizing? I followed the size chart which put me in a 2 in skirts instead of my normal 4.

  14. Holy shit. I’m watching this press conference by the uncle and the media’s behavior is disgusting. The poor man is trying to say that he knows nothing and they’re basically attacking it.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’ve been incredibly disappointed with the behavior of the media through this whole debacle. Very few have acted the way a reputable news organization really ought to.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I had smoke coming out of my ears watching the media “tweet” exact police locations. One local reporter actually put out “I overheard police say they are now going to xyz street in x town.” Great job media, just give the bad guys a heads up so they can ambush the police. They were posting pictures of swat on roofs. You see that camo? That means they don’t want to be seen! They have done so much that compromises the safety of law enforcement and by extension, the community.

      One was posting “media told to get back and lay on ground.” It is just so bizarre that in that moment, she would stop to tweet it. I know that is her job, but still.

      • I’m honestly surprised the media is trying to tag along on the whole search. I understand that the coverage is enticing (I’m sure it’s great for ratings to have a play-by-play), but it’s just so irresponsible to be broadcasting the locations of officers (not to mention the safety risks for the reporters themselves). I suppose I’m feeding into it by having the TV on right now, but the whole thing makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

        • This is why I’ve turned mine off. I want to know, but at the same time I am so sick of the way the media behaves.

          • Me too. I check in every few hours to see if there are any significant (real, confirmed) developments, but I don’t need a play-by-play.

            Also – the last time I checked the news (maybe 30 minutes ago) one of the updates was along the lines of “bomb sniffing dog on scene; appears to be yellow lab”.

            WHEW. I don’t know how people could have gone about their days if they didn’t know the breed of the bomb sniffing dog. I know I couldn’t have.

      • hellskitchen :

        YES!! +100000. I can’t believe the media is using “we are doing our job” to post and tweet such sensitive info. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have this much freedom of press or at least that it could be revoked in what is obviously a situation of emergency.

    • Another news source had cornered a woman they say is the suspects’ sister in her apartment — she was talking through a crack in the door and said she was “not okay.” Guys, leave the poor woman alone! Her brother is dead, the other is on the run, and both of them have done an enormously evil thing.

      • I heard about this, and ugh, you know, for all that I pretty much disagree with 99% of what Karl Marx said, he had the winning phrase: “Man’s inhumanity to man” that describes some of bad behaviors that humans are capable of.

        I have to keep reminding myself that there’s also the flipside– the truly good, kind, and heroic things people do for each other.

    • I completely agree. Asking him how he feels about America? How is that appropriate or relevant? It’s disgusting.

      • Honestly, that is what made me so mad. He came out and was clearly upset by what happened and was trying to do the right thing, which is to say a) I’m so sad this happened b) I have no knowledge of it/the suspects (who happen to be related) c) I denouce this action and turn yourself in. Asking someone all sorts of inappropriate questions because their relative is an a**hat, just makes you a slightly lesser a&&hat.

        Thank you for indulging my gripes.

  15. Saw a girl trying this dress on in Bloomingdales yesterday and it looked amazing! A fun color, but work appropriate. I think with black pumps and a black blazer it seems like it could be the best outfit for going from work to drinks or an event after hours. Now I’m just hoping it goes on sale further…

    • Cute dress.

      Did you by any chance try the jeans machine at Bloomingdales? I just read that some of their stores (59th street flagship among others) have this jeans scanner that scans your body and then tells you the perfect pair of jeans for you to try and the size you’ll need. Supposed to be both accurate and amazing. Because I hate trying on pants and jeans with a passion, I am really really hoping this is a legitimate thing. Anyone try this and can confirm?

      • Yeah, I’m interested in this, too.

        Imagine– using invasive airport technology for the greater good of finding jeans that fit. :-)

      • I’ll try this! As you can imagine, I have unique fit issues.

      • Hollis Doyle :

        This sounds amazing. I can’t imagine the time and frustration this would save if it actually works. Please, someone try it out and report back.

      • I’ve tried the body scanner. it was so cool! They send you a link with all of your measurements after, which I saved–it’s very handy to know that my “weird” measurements like shoulder to wrist or shoulder to waist are X.

        Using it to buy jeans was a complete and utter bust. I need Tall jeans, and they really didn’t carry them at the Stanford Bloomie’s, so they brought me a bunch of “capri” jeans, but that wasn’t what I was in the market for.

        Also, seeing the actual view of my body (like the TSA scanner view) was both odd and fascinating. It showed my crazy short torso/long limbs in a way I’ve never seen in real life (360 view). Cool.

  16. Blonde Lawyer :

    I’m intrigued by press and comments on articles lambasting the lock down as a police state and martial law. Generally, I am of the “safety first” mindset and think I’d rather have some businesses losing a day of profits than tons of people in the streets getting hurt. The commenters thought the gov’t crossed the line by shutting down all taxi services. I understand that law enforcement are sworn to uphold the constitution yet they also have to keep the public safe and catch bad guys. Does anyone think the multi-city “stay in your house with the doors locked” – all businesses remain closed lock-down is overstepping and violating people’s rights?

    I don’t currently, though I’m sure lots of information will come out in the future that may change my opinion. I just think it raises interesting issues to debate. Thoughts?

    • Definitely crossed my mind when I saw the news of Boston being shut down and searching house to house this morning. I don’t even think I’ve ever heard of martial law being invoked in my lifetime. But if they were shutting down transit in order to prevent him from being able to leave the city, it sort of reminds me of the public safety exceptions we studied in crim pro–and those hypotheticals of “what if there was someone with a bomb…….” that we always thought were so far fetched.

      One of the reporters on CNN this morning in Watertown was saying that it was mostly a ghosttown, but with some people running “in blankets to Dunkin Donuts” and then back to their houses. New England.

      • My friend posted “Of course Dunks isn’t closed. There are police officers from every town in the Metro Boston area in here. They’re doing their part for the NATION.”

    • I cringed when I heard reports of a “police state” environment. For what it’s worth, my office has been inaccessible since Monday due to the crime scene, so perhaps staying at home and working remotely doesn’t seem out of the ordinary at this point.

      I think that the purpose of the warnings to stay inside is fundamentally the safety of bystanders. As the shootout last night evidenced, the suspect is dangerous and armed. The last thing that Boston needs right now is further casualties from a standoff. Unfortunately, people aren’t good at following these instructions, so shutting down public transportation and stopping taxis is the only way to ensure a high level of compliance. Sure, it’s a day of lost profits, but the risk of someone inadvertently getting hurt is the key factor in my opinion. I think people would be far more outraged if the situation were reversed and officials did not do enough to keep people out of danger.

  17. Anon for this :

    Regular poster – anon for this. I’ve decided to join an after-work community organization, like a sports team (it’s not sports – but let’s use that metaphor). I used to be really good at this sport, and I’m used to always being first string. I tried out for this team and was put at the very bottom of the barrel. It’s like a punch in the gut. I can’t figure out if I’m just not as good any more (possible, it’s been years since I’ve played said sport and even more years since I was in top condition), or if my team is just very political, and being a newbie I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I also know – because I’ve seen how other players play, that they’re really not fantastic either. So I can’t figure out if I’m that much worse compared to them, either. This feeling sucks and makes me not want to play at all. Not sure how I can get back on board with the team spirit after this but I don’t really see quitting as an option – partially because I’ve put time and money into this, and told lots of people I was doing this. I was previously very excited about this – even if I wasn’t first string, I thought I was okay with being in the middle of the bunch. But bottom?? I just don’t know. Encouragement?

    • Hmmm – are you in Toronto?

      In any event, try to shake it off. Your position on the team may have very little to do with you, and lots to do with other things, totally outside your control (like politics, people who’ve veen around for a while getting first string positions, etc.). It’s not about you or your abilities. It’s like when you don’t get a job that you’re qualified for – maybe they gave it to an internal candidate, maybe you remind them of their last girlfriend and they couldn’t stand the look of you. Again – nothing to do with you.

      Try to have fun with it?

    • In volunteer organizations many people back out quickly because it turns out to be more of a committment than anticipated. For that reason, newbies are often started at the bottom, where the impact of high turnover is minimized. Don’t take it personally!

      • Senior Attorney :


        It may well be that the culture of the organization is that everybody starts out at the bottom and then moves up as they demonstrate their commitment and skill. I suspect if you hang in there for a while you will end up at the proper level within a reasonable amount of time!

    • I guess it depends on why you joined. If getting to play is what you really want to do, then being on the bottom doesn’t matter as long as you get to play. Over time, you’ll naturally move up.

    • Really depends on the activity. If this is something like bowling or, say, square dancing, your individual performance will be on display and you will claim your rightful place on the totem pole. Just do your best and enjoy the activity for its own sake.

    • Or is it possible that most of the first-string positions were already filled with returning participants and that only the bottom ranks had openings for someone joining when you did? Regardless of the skill level of an incoming participant, most volunteer organizations have too many political/financial/friend entanglements to bump someone from an already assigned position.

      Be a rockstar for this season and see what happens. I have definitely been in similar situations–in organizations that were well-run and meritocratic, I moved up the ranks pretty quickly when I proved that I was willing to put in the necessary time and talent, and those are the organizations in which I’m still a major participant. In other organizations, I stuck it out for a year–because I always want to fulfill my initial commitments–but left because it was clear that I was only accepted for numbers/my dues contribution/politics and not because they actually valued my personal contributions to the group.

      Also: I’ve definitely had experiences with volunteer organizations that pitch themselves as being really high-achieving and really top-notch, but simply . . . aren’t. It may be that the group you’ve joined is intended more for community building and fun than it is for top performance, so the not-superb people who are currently playing first-string may not really care that they’re not as good as they could be (or as good as you could be)–they’re getting something else out of the organization.

    • OP for this comment :

      Thanks for the comments. Definitely helped me cool off a bit and get some perspective. I knew I might have to put in some time in the ranks, but I genuinely thought I would at least be in the middle 50% as opposed to the way bottom. Huge blow to my ego. But I’m gonna stick with it and give it a shot and we’ll see what happens in a year or so…. But again, thanks. I love this community.

  18. Yesterday I overheard two colleagues chatting about some of our other staff. One colleague referred to two members of our staff (by name) as “those little moles,” then repeated the phrase as he expanded: “those little moles who can’t handle natural life or people.” The second colleague urged the speaker to keep his voice down in case either person was passing, but didn’t challenge the characterization in any way.

    I’m very troubled by this–I’m just appalled, honestly, that I work with adults who think it’s okay to talk about other human beings like this. Is there any appropriate way to handle this? For what it’s worth, the second colleague is one of my immediate supervisor, so I can’t confront him, but I’m also very close with my other immediate supervisor (who also manages the speaker). Also, in case it matters, both people in the conversation are men, both people being discussed are women.

    • I’d just stay out of it. Not much you can do, just watch what you say around these gossipers.

    • Seems like run-of-the mill behavior of jerks. Are you especially sensitive? I mean, there are lot of people who say unpleasant things or mean things about others; you seem inordinately surprised by that. It’s not particularly shocking to describe someone who is perceived to be anti-social as a “mole” even if it’s kinda mean.

    • What are the repercussions of you calling out your immediate supervisor for speaking about people in such a gross manner? Is it really that big a deal to say, “Did you REALLY just call those people ‘those little moles’???????” In front of witnesses, of course.

      • Yeah, no witnesses, and I wasn’t a party to the conversation. If this were happening in a more public forum, I totally would say something.

        To Kris, it just seems especially jerky. I wish there were a top-down way to handle jerks–I’m not sure there is, but I posted in case there was a strategy I hadn’t thought of.

        • I think you just need to let this one go. I’ve called a coworker an a hole behind his back before. Was it professional? no. But at the same time I didn’t need to be “dealt with” I was blowing off steam to my friend. You can’t demand someone never talk about someone behind there back. At the most what your supervisor would do would tell them to be more careful about who can hear them I think.

      • I don’t know, I think this just makes you look like you’re bringing the drama. Sounds like the supervisors were just letting off steam, and calling someone a “mole” behind their back isn’t harassment. I’d stay out of it.

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