Thursday’s Workwear Report: Penny 3/4-Sleeve Open-Front Knit Cardigan

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

This Antonio Melani cardigan looks really cute. I like the double trim, the three-quarter sleeves, and the open front, and it just seems like the kind of thing that’d be very easy to dress up or dress down. It also looks a little bit more polished than the usual open cardigan. It’s $89 at Dillard’s and comes in black, ivory, and navy in sizes XS-L. Penny 3/4 Sleeve Open Front Knit Cardigan

Here’s a more affordable option with six color choices, and here’s a plus-size option with double trim like the one pictured.

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


  1. Kim Wexler's Ponytail? :

    I’ve been watching Better Call Saul and am medium obsessed with Kim’s ponytail. She wears her hair in a perfectly smooth ponytail with one, giant curl at the end. This is either terrible or awesome, and I cannot decide. Please advise.

    • Also, I need advice on whether my water bottle is professional and what kind of tights will keep me warm in the winter.

      Just kidding, but the whole “are ponytails professional” is sort of a cliche topic around here, as with “professional desk accessories” and “fleece tights”.

      It usually come down to:
      – Anna Kendrick was great in Up in the Air. Go for a low pony, but keep it neat.
      – Don’t go for a pony above your ears with lots of ribbons. That implies cheerleader. Pretty doesn’t equal unprofessional. But we work in the real world where people think that. But we should fight to change that. (Argue into oblivion.)

      • Anonymous :

        Not just cliche. This is an exact repetition of a post from . . . I don’t know when exactly. Stealth marketing a TV show here?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          It was a year ago. I found it when I googled for images since I do not watch the show…http://corpor e t t

        • Kim Wexler's Ponytail? :

          Yeah. Nothing so nefarious as all that. This is how my mom fixed my hair when I was seven, so it’s weird to see it on someone who’s meant to be a professional.

        • SO. WHAT. She may not have read that day. She may be a new reader. I just don’t understand why people insist on calling people out for this! If you don’t want to talk about it because you think we’ve already exhausted the topic, scroll past.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I was not attempting to criticize her at all – I was just amused that this exact topic had come up.

        • Or a number of readers have seen the show and admired the ponytail. Highly possible, if it’s as fabulous as you say!

      • Never too many shoes... :

        It was a year ago. I found it when I googled for images since I do not watch the show…

      • anonlawyer :

        she’s not asking if its professional.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      I lean towards awesome. I like that she dresses conservatively and wears her hair back, even though she physically could be Barbie lawyer with s*x-kitten hair. I think it’s supposed to convey that she just cannot be bothered to do something more complicated with her hair because she is so busy, but I know I would struggle to execute this with any kind of expediency. Maybe (we are supposed to think) she just uses one or two giant hot rollers and combs them together with some product. I am annoyed I have forgotten to ask my hair stylist about this. Not that I have the hair to do this, but because she always has good gossip about celebrity hair and insights about execution.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’m on team ponytail and I think her hair looks very professional. I also love that curl at the end but can’t seem to get my own hair to do that.

      The only time I have come close is doing a kmidd ponytail – so you wrap a small section of hair around your hair elastic as well as insert a bobby pin directly under the ponytail which gives it a little more “bounce” the way hers does.

    • I used to have ponytail goals too (I now have super short hair). I had to conclude that what one’s ponytail looks like comes down to hair texture just as much as does the look when wearing it down. In other words, either you naturally have what you want, or you put a lot of time and product into achieving it–and then hope it can withstand the weather.

      I agree that Kim’s look is meant to be very utilitarian. Her work uniform is also very spartan. For all we know, though, the ponytail is a wig or clip-in anyway. Almost all actresses and models wear them.

    • I hate it. I also think she’s a terrible actress (but I adore the show).

      • anon a mouse :

        I find myself staring at her hair whenever I watch the show. And I really did not like the character at the beginning, but I’m coming around on her now.

    • Ponytails are professional. Her ponytail is professional. But it is also dated and is meant to be. I would not do that look today even if my hair was light enough to maintain a ponytail (too much hair weighs ponytails down unless they are very low or very high and tight like for workouts). So if you want to know if it’s professional, yes. If you want to know if it’s stylish, I say no, but your tastes might skew otherwise.

  2. Nylon girl :

    Kat, great pick! I’m ordering.

    • With you on this one :

      I want to order too but does anyone think this will hit below hip length? I really don’t like long cardigans, unless they are a duster type or waterfall.

  3. What to buy with $7 of credit on Amazon’s Prime Now? (Never used it before, so any suggestions on what items are cheaper/more convenient via Prime Now vs. normal Amazon are also welcome.) Thanks!

    • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer!

    • Korean beauty products. These moisturizing masks are great for stress relief:

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 My favorite are Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Masks. Of the various Korean masks I’ve tried, these seem to fit my face the best.

    • will check those out – appreciate the suggestions

  4. Book rec... :

    Many people post here asking for book recs, especially for summer. I’d like to recommend a hoary, olden goldie….
    P G Wodehouse

    His humour will have you in stitches and you can forget the world for a while as you get back to the 20s and 30s…

    • Book rec... :

      I meant golden oldie:)

    • givemyregards :

      I love P G Wodehous! I would also highly recommend the audiobooks of his work because they are read in a dry British voice that makes them even more hilarious.

    • Literally my favorite–both the books and the old-school PBS series. I almost named by dog Aloria Glossop.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      YESSSSSSS. seriously love.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Great choice. If you like Wodehouse, you might also enjoy The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne.

      • Anony Mouse :

        Or Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. It’s interesting to see her take on feminism 70+ years on.

    • If you want the glory of PG Wodehouse and more up-to-date plots, Joe Keenan’s books (particularly first two) are hilarious. Puttin’ on the Ritz is a (very) thinly veiled sendup of the Trumps back when they were merely a cheesy NYC real estate couple, but it’s still satisfying to read today.

  5. I made a dumb mistake with my monthly banking. I calculated the amount to pay my credit cards in full like I always do and the amount I wanted to transfer to my investment account. I wanted to do one transaction one pay period and the second the next. I accidentally scheduled them both for the same pay period and it overdrew my checking account. I was able to quickly remedy it by transferring money from my online savings to a different only checking I have, withdrawing it in cash at the ATM, and depositing it at my regular checking account. Here’s my confusion though. Why did both transfers go through? Why didn’t one get rejected for insufficient funds? I have specifically opted out of overdraft protection because I would rather my card be declined if there is a problem with my account so that I will no and immediately fix it. I don’t normally allow my account to fall below $1000. This happened once before years ago with a student loan payment. I must have double clicked or something and the transaction went through twice dropping me into the negative. Why wouldn’t the second transaction just be rejected? My bank couldn’t really explain it. They just waived the overdraft fee as a courtesy. They also again suggested I turn overdraft protection which would have the exact same result this had. The transfer or purchase would go through and I’d still be charged a fee. I want the opposite to happen. I just want the transfer/purchase to be denied and no fee from my bank. I get that I might have a fee from the company trying to initiate the transfer.

    Now I have $3000 in an investment account that I wanted for the next two weeks and that I was going to deposit with next pay periods money. I can’t quickly get that money back into my checking account. Luckily, I had the money in savings. It concerns me that transfers can go through like this (instead of being rejected) and you can be out your money when you need it most. For example, if someone had large credit card debt they were slowly paying down and accidentally added an extra zero to their payment, their checking account would go negative and the credit card company would just apply the extra big payment to the balance. They wouldn’t just give the money back even if it was paid in error. That person likely wouldn’t have the savings I had to fall back on and would have no money for the next two weeks. To me it would just be a lot safer if the checking account said, nope, not enough money, rejected or nope, not enough money, are you sure? Please confirm. They make me confirm all suspicious transactions that could be fraud. They surely have the ability to implement this.

    • It’s not the bank’s job to evaluate whether or not something should go through. From a practical pov, two transactions may come through from different sources long before they are cleared into your central balance.

      This is one reason why an old-school personal check register is still better than a downloaded record. Many (though not all) people getting by on lower income have learned that out of necessity.

      Fraudulent charges overdrafting you are a whole nother issue, because obviously you don’t know about them. But a record of everything you’ve spent is still an invaluable tool.

    • banks don’t care about how you spend your money or your personal savings or needs for money. They make their money largely on bank fees. So they have no reason to reject something but they benefit from charging an overdraft fee. There may be accounts like secured credit cards or perhaps some banks offer accounts for kids or those with super poor credit where it just denies it if there’s no money in the account. Otherwise, the bank doesn’t want to turn away the opportunity to charge a fee and it isn’t their responsibility to ensure no one makes banking errors, in their mind.

      Glad you had other funds to roll back on!

    • Best I can tell my bank applies credits to the accounts and then applies the debits each day. But I don’t know how they would determine which debits to apply if the account is going to be short- they just apply them all. If you make an error, do you really want the bank deciding to pay your credit card over your electric bill without any input?

    • Good points! Thanks. I also want to clarify that I don’t care so much about getting dinged with the fee, I just didn’t want the funds to move. I wanted them to stay put. But I get the issue and I get why for some people it is better for them to go through. (Like paying the electric bill or the daycare check.)

    • This actually depends on what type of transaction it is. If it’s ACH, that’s different than a charge from a debit/credit card combo, or a withdrawal from your ATM. That may be why it went through. It all depends on the actual back-end of this. I would talk to your bank about putting the kibbosh on all types of overdraft and have a discussion with this with them about that.

    • anon banker :

      Banks don’t reject right away. It “goes through” and makes your account negative, and if there aren’t enough funds in the account by a certain cutoff time it gets returned. If you hadn’t put the money in, it would have gotten returned. You would be charged the insufficient funds fee either way (of course they can waive it later, but it’s automatically charged).

  6. Anonymous :

    I’m not even going to pretend to work this morning. Got my Twitter feed, liveblog and C-span going!

    • I know, I’m so interested to see what’s going to happen!

    • Recommendations for best live blogs to follow?

    • Same! I meant to bring popcorn to work for the occasion but forgot, so coffee will have to do.

      • Toby Ziegler running and saying “Ginger get the popcorn” is the first thing I thought of here.

      • Is this about Comey testifying? I wonder what he is going to say? Will Trump get trumpeted? If this is bad, how will Melania take this?

    • I'm an ostrich :

      I’m going to sound really stupid, so I’m asking here instead of in real life, but what are we expecting to happen today? And what is the hoped for impact?

      • Anonymous :

        Now that the opening remarks are public, I want to see if Comey baits Trump into an impeachable response live and there are details about other meetings that should come out. Plus more color around what we know.

      • Comey is testifying before the Senate. NYT has extensive coverage if you want to get up to speed.

        • Anonymouse :

          I think she asking what its going to come of the Comey hearing (impact on the administration, Trump himself, etc) – not what is going on today.

    • I know I’m a broken record at this point, but I’m so disappointed in the GOP. When all the stories broke in the WaPo, there were plenty of Republicans who said the stories were very concerning if true, but that they couldn’t take any action based on unnamed sources. Now Comey has issued a statement that confirms everything that has been reported in the media and the GOP says it vindicates Trump (see Lindsey Graham, who is one of Trump’s strongest critics within the party saying it was a “very good day for Trump”). Why? Because there are no “new bombshells” in the Comey statement? The point was that the stuff in the media was explosive but unconfirmed and Comey confirmed it. That’s the bombshell. Ugh. I was so excited when Mueller was appointed as special counsel but now I’m back to being super cynical and thinking we’re going to have Trump for 8 years.

    • My hopes aren’t high that Comey will give us anything good. He has had so many options to fix this and has fallen flat every time.

      • Anonymous​ :

        To me, Comey is as slimy as they come – he never seems to be able to decide which side his bread is buttered on. He’s always opted to protect himself rather than do the right thing. Today won’t be any different.

        • Anonymous :

          What do you think he should do? He’s painted Trump in a very negative light. The only thing I can think of that he hasn’t done is say that Trump’s conduct constitutes obstruction of justice and I think it’s fair for Comey to say that’s not his call and it’s his job just to relate facts and his own impressions, not draw legal conclusions.

      • Anonymouse :

        THIS times infinity

  7. Reassure me. I was just told today that I am being offered a new job (internal). I’m pregnant, but it is too early to mention. Proposed start date is about 1 month from now, which means that essentially as soon as I start, I’ll start to show (it’s a second pregnancy, so it’s likely to be noticeable earlier). How much are they going to hate me? Ugh. Maybe I should just stay where I am for the next 7 months and get a new job later.

    • Stop it. No male would turn down a job because of a future paternity leave. If you want the job, stop worrying about something happening simultaneously. Wear looser clothes, scarves, the usual hiding tricks people use until they’re ready to tell, then tell when you have to, after you’re settled into the new job that you earned.

      • I agree she’s entitled to the job, but if it’s a small group that she hopes to work with for a while, it makes sense to think about how transitioning then taking a leave shortly thereafter will affect the group and how it will be managed. She’s not obligated to disclose her pregnancy by any means, but it’s the truth that failing to proactively manage the situation could have a negative impact on the team and/or her career — it all depends on the situation and how easily her leave can be managed around. I think it’s a tougher question than what whether or not she has the right to do it. Also depends how long of a leave she will be taking.

        • I think you’re flat wrong. It’s maternity leave not a bomb threat. This is a routine thing that happens. She’s entitled to the job, qualified, and should take it. End of story.

        • She’s “too early to tell” which means all sorts of things could happen between now and then. If your mom or spouse or whatever got diagnosed with cancer, do you really think you should start turning down opportunities at work because they might pass away and you’ll need an extended leave in the next year? No. Most companies understand employees have a life and a good company, even a small one, can manage around leaves. Especially with a couple month’s heads up. There’s nothing to proactively manage at this point.

        • I strongly disagree with you on this one. If she’s too early to tell, she won’t be going out on leave for at least six months (barring a medical emergency, which could happen to anyone, pregnant or not). Six months isn’t really “shortly thereafter” and it’s plenty of time for her to develop a great reputation and for the company to figure out how to cover her leave. I agree it would be a more complicated situation if she were a month out from adopting a baby and wanting to take leave, because being there for one month and then out on leave would really throw a wrench in things. Six months is totally different.

        • I’m glad to be wrong on this one if everyone sees this differently. I may be overly paranoid on this point.

          • I happen to agree with Blueberry, unfortunately.

            If you want to give your team some heads up, I think the following is the best you could do in these circumstances: you could say that you have nothing to announce at this point but you would like to have a second kid at some point in the future and although it would obviously a long time away, you wanted to mention it because you understand it could be disruptive. This especially if you have a generous maternity leave at your company.

            On the other hand: I don’t know if giving this speech really helps anyone at all, except to make you feel a little less guilty.

          • What? No! This is lying. She knows she knows she is pregnant.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah agreed this is significantly worse than saying nothing!

          • Blueberry :

            Agree. You definitely can’t say that and then show up one month later with a baby bump.

    • They won’t hate you. Life happens. Take the job and act as if it’s perfectly deserved, because it is.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Many years ago my law firm hired a law librarian (do they even have law librarians any more?) who turned out to be pregnant. People were a tiny bit miffed but we all got over it because we liked her and she was the best candidate.

        As others have said, you deserve the job. Take it and hold your head high.

    • If it’s internal and you’re not being hired to fulfill some key super-important deadline that happens at the time you’ll be out, I wouldn’t sweat it. Most of our jobs aren’t that important, thankfully.

    • Same Boat :

      I’m 12 weeks along (2nd pregnancy as well) and entertaining the idea of moving jobs internally with our company – to another country! I also haven’t told anyone yet, although I’m looking “two burritos for lunch” full at this point.

      Girl, go for it. You’ll have many months of learning your job prior to maternity leave, and you’ll have a more interesting job to come back to after leave.

      Also – congrats!!

    • S in Chicago :

      If it eases your mind, think of it like this: Do they want you in the new position for 6 months to a year or are they wanting this to be a foundation a few years down the line? I’m sure they want you to stay if not continue to advance for the longer term, which means they are making the longer-term investment in you and the strengths of having you in that role versus the challenge of you being out temporarily will far outweigh. I don’t even have kids, and this isn’t even a question to me. You’ve earned and will continue to “pay back” the company with your skills during the period before and after you’re out. Now take it without a second thought!

  8. Anonymous :

    Reassure me. I was just told today that I am being offered a new job (internal). I’m pregnant, but it is too early to mention. Proposed start date is about 1 month from now, which means that essentially as soon as I start, I’ll start to show (it’s a second pregnancy, so it’s likely to be noticeable earlier). How much are they going to hate me? Ugh. Maybe I should just stay where I am for the next 7 months and get a new job later.

    • Ugh, this is a tough one. I had been looking to apply for new jobs and even submitted an application after getting pregnant, and I’m not sure how to proceed if I do get an interview. Given that it’s internal, do you have a good sense for how much of a lurch you will leave the new group in when you take your leave? Also given that it’s internal, can you talk through the situation with your potential new boss to figure out how to manage this before you make the move?

      • No it isn’t tough at all. She should take the job and not be apologetic at all and tell when she wants to. They will cover her maternity leave just fine. Like they are required to do.

        Don’t borrow problems.

        • +1 million. If you’d be taking the job and going out on mat leave a month later, I would say you should disclose (although it would also be obvious, in most cases). But if you take the job three months pregnant, you’ll have six months before going out on mat leave. Not unheard of at all for a new hire.

        • + 1. Take the job, tell them very matter of fact that you are excited to be joining and that you’re X months pregnant and will be out starting X month. The end.

          I started a job when I was 5 months pregnant. It happens more often than you would think.

          • Blueberry :

            Yeah, maybe this is the right approach: accept the job and disclose the pregnancy at the same time. They are definitely not going to rescind the offer (or even worse, fire you, given that you’ve accepted) upon finding out that you are pregnant — that would be illegal and terrible. But I think the key is managing this proactively. I’ve started a job while 4 months pregnant, and while I wouldn’t change it and it was certainly my right, I did have to deal with some blowback, and I think my boss never really got over it. (FWIW, I got pregnant after getting the offer and disclosed it ahead of time to my future boss.) Obviously, I don’t think this was fair, but this was my experience. Hopefully OP’s colleagues are more reasonable. Based on this experience, I say the more you can do to get out ahead of the leave issue early, the better. And then do your best to knock it out of the park while you are pregnant and keep everyone assured that you plan on coming back after your leave. Obviously none of these are things men worry about, but this is the state of the world, in my experience, so it’s best to be prepared.

    • This happened to me. Take the job. Life goes on and they’ll manage.

    • My sister is going through a similar situation. In general, I think women are too nice and concerned with other people/companies. It’s business! They’ll manage. No man would ever think about the company and them hating you. You’ll start working, go on maternity leave and then come back. It will be difficult for the company but that’s any company! It’s just how it is.

  9. Anonymous :

    I think I’ve established myself as too much of a “jack of all trades” at work, and while I’m happy to be useful, it’s making me feel kind of resentful of my colleagues who aren’t asked to do deal with these (mostly trivial, but time-consuming) things… But I don’t know how to bow out of some of these roles gracefully, seeing as there isn’t someone else who can do some of these things on staff at the moment. Big sigh.

    • I’m happy to do that for you! Right now, I’m juggling several things and focused on (name the biggest or most important) but I should have time on Thursday to take care of it for you. Otherwise, I think (colleague name) might have some background in that or might be interested in learning, you can check with him/her and s/he might be able to get that done sooner than I can!

      If you say it with a smile, you don’t look mean, and when you point out that you’re busy, not just too lazy to help them, that helps too. If you keep it up or if you just say the 1st sentence and let them either wait or find someone else, over time, your load should lessen!

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Are you my colleague? (who is effectively my boss’s right-hand person and is often asked to take on all kinds of things in a small company, including the tedious scut-work). I try and help, but I don’t have the same (geographical, face to face) access to boss. Big hugs.

  10. Anonymous :

    Hi everyone –

    Thinking about the thread yesterday about starting new habits, new habits to start and tools to actually start them. Question about starting meditation: I’d love to start meditating, but scheduling time for it seems hard. Any thoughts on how often and for how long people should meditate for, to make progress? Online answers seem to vary from daily to weekly, 20 min to an hour, which seems like a wide variation. If anyone here has started a meditation practice, I’d love to hear how you started and incorporated it into your life.


    • headspace dot com has an entire app with reminders and schedules and the whole process!

    • The advice I got is to prioritize regularity over length of time, and I think that’s right. I do 10 minutes daily, or almost daily, and the impact is much higher than when I would just do an hour-long class (or something) once a week or less. Even if you start with 5 minutes, making it realistically fit into your day is the best goal.

      I also think that finding the time when it will actually happen in your daily schedule is more important than finding the “ideal” time of day for meditating. It’s a lot like exercise, come to think of it: figure out what you will actually do, regularly, and do that. Results don’t come from doing some elaborate routine if it only happens occasionally.

      • +1

      • +1. I meditate daily. I think an hour of meditation at a time is really not feasible for most people (at least the sit-down-and-be-quiet kind of meditation. I find running/yoga to be meditative for me).

        I do five to ten minutes daily when I wake up. I try to remember to do the same when I get home from work, as a re-set to my day and a signal that I’m not “on” anymore.

    • 10% Happier!

      • Such a great, quick read!

      • +1 This is how I got started, and I started with 5 minutes a day. Wake up 5 minutes early and get ready for bed 5 minutes early – boom, time for 5 minutes of meditation right when you wake up and right before bed.

    • Platinomad :

      I love the 10% happier app, and have been using it to do around 10 minutes of meditation almost every day for about ten months. Sometimes I will do two or three ten minutes sessions if I want to meditate on something specific (having strong emotions, feeling unfocused, ect). I have found a marked impact on my focus and emotional regulation with just this small time commitment (normally in the morning, over lunch, and/or right before bed). It doesn’t happen over night, but you just start to notice that you are a better person. I also find the experience generally pleasant.

    • Anonymous :

      OP – thanks all! That sounds much more achievable than what I was envisioning, and I love the idea of using an app for reminders, etc.

      • Here is a link to a page on Mindful Meditation. It has some breathing practices that can get you started right away:

        I’ve been meditating for nearly 3 years now, and like the others have said, it has made me less stressed and I handle situations better that used to really stress me.

  11. vacation priorities :

    What’s your priority with choosing where to vacation or travel–seeing new places, or choosing one to go to consistently where you can build a routine and relationships? I’ve been focusing on new places recently, but just got back from a work trip to France. I was a French major, studied abroad in France for a year, and traveled back quite a bit immediately post-college, but it had been at least seven years since the last time I was there. I honestly had forgotten how much I loved it and now all I want to do is go back for a real vacation next summer. But there are still so many places I’d still love to go! I can only afford one international trip a year. First world problems, I know.

    I know there are a lot of women here who love to travel and I’d love to hear how you balance these kinds of competing priorities. Or if it’s even a question you ask yourself.

    • We try to trade off every big vacation. A new location with a lot of exploring and adventuring (we call these “thinking vacations”) versus a location that we’ve either already been to OR is going to be predictable and lazy (all inclusive resorts; we call these “lazy vacations”).

      One summer it was London/Paris/Normandy for 12 days, the next fall it was an all-inclusive in the Bahamas for 4 nights (or Key West, where we’ve been numerous times to see family).

      Keeps things balanced from our perspective.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        This is what we have done, not so much through actual planning as it’s just worked out that way, but it’s what I intend to plan going forward. We usually have one week-long vacation a year, alternating between somewhere where we do siteseeing and somewhere that is lazy, lay-on-the-beach type vacation. In my ideal world, we’d alternate those both in the same year, but the rest of vacation time gets chewed up by travel for weddings and visiting family (which doesn’t really count as a vacation in my book).

        • Agreed. We now live far enough away from family that home for the holidays isn’t expected…so we don’t go unless we really want to (so freeing!). I don’t count those as vacations, but darnit if my PTO policy doesn’t care! Ha!

          We went to a new all inclusive in May and we’re already planning to return over Thanksgiving in 2018…sorry, family! Bikinis, pina coladas, and hotel gardening call!

          • Ooh what’s the new all-inclusive?

          • Well, new to us. We like Melia hotels, and are addicted to The Level, their VIP section. The Melia in Punta Cana has a VIP section that is adults only (and another side that is for families, with fun-looking kid things!), and we spent 5 days doing nothing but the above-listed activities. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS.

            The reviews online are all over the place, but then again, there’s always different expectations, perceptions, etc. I give it 100000 thumbs up.

          • Anonymous :

            ME Cancun is good if you like Melia hotels.

          • ALX emily :

            Thanks for the info! We are mulling our first-ever AI vacation later this year/next year but it will almost definitely be a Hyatt for loyalty program/credit card reasons.

    • Seeing new places, for sure. I have an ever-growing bucket list that is going to take the rest of my life to work through. That’s not to say I never return to the same place if I have friends or family there, but I consider that more of a family visit than vacation (although of course it comes out of my vacation leave at work).

      • I do like occasional lazy vacations, as Pompom puts it. We typically two or three active, adventurous vacations and then a lazy vacation at an all-inclusive or cruise. But we try to still a visit new places even on the lazy vacations.

    • I just go where I feel like! Sometimes that’s something new, sometimes it’s London for the 6th time (a city where I always see something new). Zero interest in repeating the same beach vacation every year.

    • It depends on what else is going on in my life and if I’ve found someplace I want to go back to!

      If work has been crazy or I feel long overdue for a vacation, I usually go to a familiar spot. I am a SCUBA diver so I have a few favorite spots. My SCUBA trips tend to be solo as my father is getting to old to dive with me and my SO is not able to go to many tropical locations because of malaria/dengue fever (long story, anti-malarial drugs are not sufficient). FWIW, SO also has destinations he visits again and again on his own.

      If I’m more relaxed, or if my SO is going with me to a non-diving destination, I am much more likely to try a new place and do complex trips. My SO takes control of logistics for these trips so I’m spoiled and these trips are more sit-back-and-relax for me.

      I really love going back to placed I’ve visited before. It’s great. I vote that you take your next vacation in France.

    • DH and I distinguish “trips”, “breaks”, and “vacations”. Vacations are about relaxation and rejuvenation, and typically involve a beach and room service. We take one week to 11 day vacation every year, as we are both in high pressure jobs and need time to decompress. “Trips” broaden our hozizons and are usually to a large city previously unvisited or an international destination not yet fully explored. We take “trips” as we are able to schedule and pay for them, preferably annually but not necessarily, and lasting from long weekend to 11 days. “Breaks” are short excursions to a known and loved desitination, such as New Orleans. Some years all we get is a vacation, or maybe a vacation and a break.
      That said, I would not hesitate to revisit an international destination that I hadn’t experienced as fully as I would like. I can see where the calculus on that might change for someone who takes satisfaction in checking off the boxes for new places visited.

      • I like this, and the more I think about it, this is close to what we do, too. Those weekend jaunts are great!

    • Senior Attorney :

      We have a great setup that allows us to see new places while still having relationships: We go on a cycling vacation every year with the same tour company and the same core group of travelers. My husband has been with them for more than ten years and I just joined them for the first time last year. At this point they’ve been to all the places the company offers so they pick a new place each year and the company plans an itinerary for them. It’s the best of all worlds!

      Beyond that, we have some favorite places that we like to visit for long weekends, and we also like to get off by ourselves to a new place every year. And we loved London so much last New Year’s that we are considering making that an annual Christmas/New Year’s thing! (Lovely Husband likes to take a vacation every quarter and I am definitely on board with that!)

    • I take 2-3 big vacations and probably 8 weekend trips a year and try to do one trip with just my husband that’s to somewhere entirely new and bit more adventurous. My other trips, whether international or domestic, tend to involve either traveling with friends/family or staying with friends/family for some amount of time. I’m not really a resort person (the sun hates me and I hate it in return) but for my “lazy” vacation, I like to work in a road trip or two because I find those much more relaxing of a vacation.

  12. Small Bedroom :

    I’m currently eyeing an apartment that looks nice overall – great kitchen, living and dining room, and of course an awesome location – but the bedroom is smaller than what I’ve had for the last few years. A part of me wonders if it could be a deal breaker . . . another part of me thinks it could be a fun challenge.

    I’m gonna look at the space soon to really assess things, and I’m thinking of all the things I have in my current room that can go elsewhere, and what I can get rid of, but if anyone here has advice on how to make the most out of a small space, I’d love to read it!

    • there are zillions of websites for organizing and decorating small spaces. Figure out your must have furniture pieces in a bedroom (size of bed, dresser size/numbers, etc.) and figure out if that works in the smaller bedroom. Also, figure out how much time you spend in there, whether you care if there’s only room to walk to the closet or if you need room for yoga or a reading chair or whatnot. Decide if you want to adjust your patterns for the space or if the space would interfere, then make a choice. You can figure out decor from online sources!

    • anon associate :

      apartment therapy dot com has a ton of content about this

      • Small Bedroom :

        Yes! I found that through Lifehacker (and I may have heard the name before, no idea why I haven’t looked at this before), and I like what I see.

    • I spend very little time in my bedroom beyond sleeping so for me this really wouldn’t matter. What would matter is storage space – so if I had great closets, a small bedroom would be fine, and if not, it would be an issue because I wouldn’t have space for my dressers/wardrobe/etc.

      • Small Bedroom :

        That’s what worries me the most, the closet I see in the pictures doesn’t look big, but maybe it’s “bigger on the inside” so to speak. Or maybe there’s a larger closet somewhere in the apartment I can store fancier clothes I don’t wear often. Storage in general may be tricky, I could stand to downsize though.

        • I had an apartment once that I loved that didn’t have much storage space in the bedroom. But I had two giant closets in the living room that I used for my clothes. It did not end up bothering me at all that I had to store my clothes in the living room. I have a friend in the same situation right now. We both agree it seemed like it would be a big deal, but it wasn’t in practice. I’d personally definitely prioritize other living space over the bedroom, but that’s just my preference.

  13. Long shot, but does anyone have a Lands End promo code they’d share? TIA!

    • Wait a day or two and there will be probably be one. They usually run their sales over the weekend.

    • And check your snail mail! I got a little catalog in the mail yesterday and, while I usually throw those away asap, I noticed there was a promo code/pin in there that was better than the one online that day. I already used it (that ivory/black colorblock ponte dress plus the jacket+skirt combo that matches, all for $135!), but see if you have one of those!

    • Ooh the one I used can be used 5x! I used it once so here you go!
      30%off total order (incl sale!)
      Swimmer, 36639914

  14. My position has been eliminated and I will be leaving my current job in a couple months with nothing lined up. My field tends to be very project based, so it’s likely I’m going to be consulting in short term stints for the long term. I will now have two 401(k)s at different companies and I’m wondering what to do with them. I’m thinking I should just roll them into one IRA, probably Vanguard, but I’m wondering if there’s any reason to leave the money in a 401(k)? Assuming all fees are equal, of course.

    • It mostly comes down to fees and investment options. My current retirement plan has lower fees on Vanguard funds than I’d get with a Vanguard IRA, so I’d probably keep that one if I left. Otherwise, it’s probably simpler to have fewer accounts.

    • If you’re someone who would ever consider a backdoor Roth conversion (put after tax dollars into an IRA, roll it into a Roth, watch it grow tax free forever) there are some downsides to having an existing IRA. You take a tax hit on the conversion — either because you convert pre-tax dollars and gains and need to pay taxes on your whole existing IRA or because of some other form that evaluates the tax free nature of the conversion against the balance of your other IRA. I’m not a technician here, but I looked into it a few years ago and decided to leave things be for now and avoid the potential tax issue.

      • You take the tax hit anytime you roll a pretax vehicle into a posttax vehicle – its counted as ordinary income in the year you roll it – so even if you are rolling a 401k into a Roth 401k you will have to take a tax hit.

        If OP wants to do this, my husband did it in the year he got laid off thus minimizing the tax hit. In order to roll into a Roth IRA you have to first roll your 401k into an IRA and then into a Roth IRA.

        If you make over the maximum (~$110k or so for individual filers), you can’t actually invest in a Roth IRA (and even if you can the government will only let you put in $5500 / year) so this can be a sneaky backdoor way to either get one or put more money into it but the downside is the tax man always comes for you.

      • This is the reason that I rolled my old 401k into a new 401k instead of into a t-IRA. I had also previously rolled my t-IRA into my 401k. I use the t-IRA only for backdoor Roth contributions, which we need to make when my husband gets a substantial bonus.

        • Anonymous :

          Right but you shouldn’t have any tax implications going from 401k to IRA. You only have tax implications going from 401k or IRA to Roth 401k or Roth IRA. In some cases it may be worth it to do this, especially if you will accumulate substantial retirement savings and likely be in a higher tax bracket upon retirement rolling to a Roth vehicle and taking the tax hit now is wise. Additionally you will pay capital gains tax on regular 401k / IRA and you will not on a Roth vehicle.

          A tax lawyer I know calls the Roth IRA the government’s best kept secret – he’s unsure how they continue to allow this loophole to exist.

    • I would roll them over to an IRA. This may not apply to you, but one of my past employer’s plan was terminated (company went bankrupt) and I had to take the money out of that plan quickly. It’s easier to have all of your retirement money in one account. Plus, you can still add to this account, which you wouldn’t be able to do to a past employer account (as far as I’m aware – benefits people, correct me if I’m wrong).

      • I rolled 401k into IRA (traditional, not Roth, so no tax implications).

        I opened the IRA with TDAmeritrade and invested the money for the long-term (not actively trading, which I think would be a mistake for me). I’m very happy to be directing my own investments, rather than being forced into the couple dozen funds my employer offers through Fidelity (all of which are oversubscribed and overly invested in things like Facebook and Amazon).

    • I left my 401k at my prior employer because the fees are low and I like the investment options. I don’t plan to reallocate my investments very often, which would be a hassle, so it works for me.

  15. Does anyone have the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Sandal? thoughts? Are there cheaper versions of this sandal out there?

  16. Has anyone bought Mira Bella bath towels and can comment on their quality? We need to replace our towels and Costco has them on sale right now.

  17. Sloan Sabbith :

    Thanks to whoever recommended The Royal We. Loving that it’s a light, quick read and I’ve laughed out loud a few times! Plus it meets one of the prompts for my 2017 reading challenge, which is a huge plus.

    • What reading challenge are you using? I’m using one that was published on Popsugar (and The Royal We met one [two actually I think] of my prompts as well.)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Popsugar as well! Which prompts for you? For me it’s a book with two authors.

        • I used it for the red spine prompt. But I totally give myself permission to move things around if I have to :-)

      • Those prompts sound fun. I’ve always done the Read Harder challenge, but the categories aren’t thrilling me this year (read a book published by a micro press, in other words, one you can’t find on Amazon or at the library….ugh. And so many comics/graphic novels!). Maybe I’ll change it up next year.

        • I don’t know if it’s still active, but there was a book podcast I listened to called Books on the Nightstand that used to do a Book Bingo card over the summer with different topics. You would go in and it would randomly create a bingo card for you based on things they entered in. The podcast ended about a year ago, but I thought they were going to keep the link open.

          If you’re looking for something fun to do with your book reading challenges :-)

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Seattle Public Library is doing a summer book bingo. Although it’s got prize drawings for Seattleites the prompts themselves are good.

          • Bensonrabble :

            Just about to recommend Seattle’s Book Bingo. My book club always does it (Well tries to do it haha)

  18. Online Dating :

    Are your standards higher when evaluating potential online dating matches or do you try to give guys the benefit of the doubt?

    For me, I’ve found myself thinking “If you can’t hold a conversation, present yourself well, or ask any questions of me on an online dating profile, how the he*l do you expect women to think you’ll be able to do so in real life?” I unmatch with anyone who never asks me anything about myself, who obviously hasn’t read my profile (“So have you graduated college?” Yes, it says I’m a lawyer, that implies college graduation…) and guys who make no effort to get to know me before asking to meet. I realize that some people have a hard time with presenting themselves well online and do better in person, but again: if you have all the time in the world to respond to my initial message where I ask you questions or compliment you, and all you come up with is a one word or one sentence answer (essentially expecting me to carry the conversation), bye! Ugh, should I keep trying with these guys or go with the “men are like busses” theory?

    • How many messages do you exchange before agreeing to meet for a date?

      Just one internet stranger’s opinion: I think your criteria of unmatching someone who obviously hasn’t read your profile makes a ton of sense and wouldn’t bother with guys like that either. But OTOH, it sounds like you might be conducting or trying to conduct lengthy conversations over text before agreeing to meet in person if you’re expecting them to ask you a lot of questions about yourself over text. In my experience with online dating I never found that useful. If I was interested, I was interested in talking in person. If over the course of half an hour to an hour I got no questions about myself, then yeah: bye!

    • Read Aziz Ansari’s book, “Modern Romance.” Keep your profile short but sweet and informative enough about you and keep your messaging the same – and try to meet in person as soon as you feel comfortable. Meeting in person is the only way to understand if you like someone. For me and my now husband it worked like this: he messaged me a short message that asked a question about a unique part of my profile and said he thought we’d have a fair amount in common if I’d be interested in talking more, I messaged him back responding to him and giving him my phone number (after deeming him to be normal and intriguing enough to want to learn more from his profile), he called me and we chatted for 20 minutes and I felt comfortable meeting him in person, which we did about 4-5 days later with some texting in between. This worked for me but I think others agree – the sooner you can meet in person (again, you are not required to meet everyone), the better you can understand if you are interested and won’t feel like you wasted time and investment if you waited weeks with multi-page emails in between only to realize you have no in-person chemistry.

      • How long ago did you start dating? I’ve occasionally asked a guy to call me before meeting (instead of texting) and they’ve reacted like I’d asked them to deliver a telegram. It’s kind of too bad – I’m not a huge phone person, but I can get a much better read of whether I might like someone in person from talking to them on the phone vs. having several days’ worth of inane text conversation (“How was your day?” “Fine, and yours?,” rinse, repeat).

        • This was 2.5 years ago and on Match. I didn’t ask him to call me and in fact he was the only online person that ever called me. I was admittedly chicken but definitely excited about meeting him after talking to him. I believe before he called me we had agreed to “meet up for drinks next week” and on the phone, we firmed up a time and date and it was a very fun and brief conversation. I worked in biglaw at the time and he is in finance and knew I worked late. A few days before our first date, he asked if it would be easier to get dinner (since it was going to be late and I’d be coming from work) and in fact it was easier AND I was excited to have dinner with him because I had already talked to him. So not only the only one that ever called me but the only one that asked me to dinner (and that I wanted to go to dinner with). I generally agree with the advice to do some simple but vetting beforehand to see who you’d like to meet up with and meet up sooner rather than later and if you can speak briefly beforehand, even better. If it’s awkward small talk that’s probably an indication, but some people are not phone talkers, so I wouldn’t force it – one of my best friends from HS is awkward on the phone and my husband is on the phone all the time for work so is much more comfortable as am I, so it worked for us.

    • Shopaholic :

      Definitely meet in person as soon as you can. I have often found people that presented themselves well over text weren’t great in person and vice versa. I unmatch with those that seem obviously incompatible but I’d much prefer to have one drink as soon as possible and make a decision rather than spending time texting back and forth and then being disappointed in person.

    • I was pretty ruthless with online dating. Giving people the benefit of a doubt NEVER turned out well for me (wow, do I have some tales…). I live in DC, where there are lots of educated men, so I know I was fortunate to have been as exacting as I was.

      I generally exchanged about a dozen messages total (6 from him, 6 from me) with a guy before offering to meet up. If a guy wanted to talk lots more than that, he was guaranteed, without exception, write it in stone, set it in concrete, to be socially awkward in some way which was a complete dealbreaker for me since I’m a huge extrovert with a very public image/career.

      A dating mantra I learned and often repeated to myself was interested men pursue, disinterested men do not. When men want something, they go after it. If they’re not interested, don’t bother. I sent a million first messages, and if they didn’t respond or just gave me one-liners, I chalked them up as disinterested and moved on. I wanted someone who was interested in me from the start.

      • “Giving people the benefit of a doubt NEVER turned out well for me ”

        HA. This is so true. I would always think to myself, what if this is the guy, and this one little thing that is “off” or not ideal prevents you from talking to him and you miss him entirely?

        Yeah, big fat NAH.

      • Senior Attorney :

        “When men want something, they go after it.”

        Yes to this times a million! When I was dating I phrased it to myself somewhat less elegantly as “I don’t chase boys,” but it’s the same idea. I didn’t want to be with anybody who wasn’t excited to be with me and I’m so glad I held out for somebody who is just that!

      • Ughhh this times a million. This was the biggest lesson Ive learned over the years. When youre in it its easy to give excuses – ‘oh hes really busy’ ‘oh he hasnt been in a relationship in a while’ ‘oh hes just quieter/less alpha’- nope nope nope. If a guy is interested/worth it then he will make sh*t happen.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree that if a guy is interested, you’ll know, but I worry that by refusing the benefit of the doubt you’re missing people who might be great. Maybe they wouldn’t be great for you, though?

        Like I think about my husband, who is very much the yang to my yin, and I know that if we had met online (rather than ‘the old fashioned way’ at a bar) I likely wouldn’t have given him a chance. He doesn’t come across well in writing, the things he would likely list as ‘interests’ would be boring to me, and doesn’t photograph well (though he’s handsomeAF). But IRL, he’s smart and curious and loves to read, he’s kind and fun to be around, and he’s a great partner. And because I met him offline, I’ve learned that a good resume, witty banter, and the ability to write a charming description of oneself is not actually important at all to making someone a good partner to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • Anonymous :

          You’re missing the point and come across as a Smug Married.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think she’s missing the point. She just doesn’t fully agree with the original point posted. Which is fine! Everyone’s approach to dating is different!

          • Anonymous :

            Eh, I just think it’s more like “your values are showing.” If you truly value snappy dating profiles, educational credentials, and good grammar, you should definitely throw people out based on that. But if you value other things that are hard to communicate on a dating app, maybe give people the benefit of the doubt.

            Giving someone the benefit of the doubt doesn’t mean “he texted me an unsolicited d*ck pick but we can still go out” but more like “he might be nice but awkward at texting – we can get a drink so i can suss that out.”

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Sorry, Anonymous at 2:25 was me.

        • @RainbowHair – I would say your story is an argument for continuing to meet people in person, even if you’re also using online dating apps. Aziz Ansari talked about this in “Modern Romance” – it’s a lot easier to figure out quickly if there’s chemistry if you’re meeting someone in person for the first time, instead of going through the (sometimes-draining) exercise of connecting online, going through a painfully awkward text exchange during which it appears you have nothing to talk about, then going on a drinks date that you didn’t want to go on because the guy’s online persona was such a turnoff. (All of which is to say I practiced the “give the benefit of the doubt” strategy for a long time, and I don’t think it applies to online dating).

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I agree with this!

            Chemistry, connection, compatibility — I think beyond some very basic stuff (I’m not looking to hook up with someone who is married or who won’t live with my cat, etc.) it’s hard (or impossible) to tell it from a profile/a few texts. The “benefit of the doubt” I’m referring to is not overlooking incompatibilities, but giving someone a chance to meet you face to face to see if you hit it off.

        • idk if id call you a smug married but I definitely think youre coming across as someone who hasnt online dated. The game is just different. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt from my understanding is letting things go like a little awkwardness, weird hobbies, etc. NOT hings like someone who isnt taking initiative to ask me out (after Ive shown interest), not showing interest in getting to know me, etc. You say your husband wouldve had a boring profile but how do you know that? At this point in my mid 20s most of my friends in LTR met online and their guys are mostly nerdy, shy at first etc but they still took the time to write out a decent (not necessarily super witty/snappy with model looks) profile and attracted the right people from it

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I was an early adopter of online dating, in a way! Shhh, craigslist! And I was pretty good at online dating because I’m good at saying the right things and sussing out what people want to hear and figuring out how to make myself seem attractive. But all of that, of course, is BS… I was playing a dumb game that (I should’ve seen) wasn’t gonna get me anywhere. But I haven’t been on it in years and I can’t claim to be any sort of authority on it, that’s true.

            But again, I think I agree with you — the benefit of the doubt I’m advocating for *is* looking past some dorky hobbies, or forgiving some awkwardness, which the poster I’m responding to has said will “NEVER” (her caps!) work for her and is “a complete dealbreaker.” Again, she doesn’t have to date those guys, but I think she might be missing out on a lot.

        • Wanderlust :

          At the risk of sounding like a smug married, I think Rainbow Hair has a point. From my own anecdotal experience, my husband messaged me on a dating site and I blew him off for a few superficial reasons. I had done a ton of online dating at that point and was just tired of it.

          A few weeks later, we were both at the same event and he recognized me from my profile… so he came over and started talking to me. We’re married now.

    • I gave men the benefit of the doubt and went on tons of bad dates. I will say that if they ask about college it may not be a sign that they didn’t read your profile but instead they are just trying to make conversation and talk about where you went to school. If a guy started talking about gardening, I would unmatch. I also agree to meet after maybe 2 weeks of talking. I liked to meet for a quick drink if possible so I could make an easy exit.

    • I had a two-tiered approach. I gave most people the benefit of the doubt when swiping, but I was VERY picky about who I would meet up with in person. If it wasn’t working at ALL on messenger, unmatch.

    • I had much better luck with very careful vetting online before I’d even engage in a message back & forth. I did OKC, which had profiles and questions. I eventually developed a one minor strike rule – if there was one thing I didn’t like, but it was minor-ish, I’d consider a date. Good thing b/c my husband’s profile identified him as also being a lawyer & I needed to break my “don’t date of my kind” rule. But on the scheme of things, that’s minor. Everything else needed to be totally in line with what I wanted in a partner. I found by being really picky online the quality of my dates was really high, even if there wasn’t a love connection. Every time I let my standard slip, it was a disaster experience.

  19. Good morning/afternoon Hive. My question is directed at the attorneys of this board–were any of you given formal training in law school about interpersonal interactions–how to compartmentalize, not taking things personally or reacting emotionally, etc.? I’m a physician and have been thinking about this a lot recently after witnessing some profoundly unprofessional behaviors at work. I’ve chatted with some of my own colleagues about this and it turns out that, for a field where we interact so intimately with other people, we aren’t given any guidance at all in that arena. I’d love to hear how some other fields have handled that aspect of training.

    • That is a big fat NOPE on getting any kind of training in law school about not taking things personally/compartmentalizing, etc.

      Everything I learned about that I learned in my first few years of practice as a small town criminal lawyer.

    • Marshmallow :

      No formal training on this at all, but it is a skill I honed during more practical classes like legal writing and clinic, especially when working in a group or partner situation. Some professors were better at developing this skill than others. I think there should be more formal training, particularly on how to manage people. From the moment you start working as a lawyer you are managing SOMEONE, starting with staff members and paralegals and working up to more junior attorneys. Some lawyers are great managers and others just have no idea how to manage people effectively.

    • We got some interpersonal training at my law school, primarily around making a client feel comfortable, how to ask questions to understand the whole issue, etc. (And this was only covered in elective courses focused on real people – clinics, etc.) That’s probably akin to what med students might get about bedside manner. We didn’t get training on day-to-day personal issues we experience as lawyers.

      • (I’m the OP)–this is going to sound awful, but I attended a top-ranked American medical school and we were given no training about bedside manner; I kept expecting it and it never happened, though we did have plenty of similar courses to what you describe where we would mock-interview patients.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Yea, given some doctors I’ve met (and, if I’m being honest, some of my friends that are doctors), that’s not at all surprising.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Someone I know is actually working on this in the academic field; all the interpersonal/communicational training that doctors don’t get.

          • This is an emerging area of medical education. The Association of American Medical Colleges is promoting this.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Lol no. The one training we got in “secondary trauma” and “self-care” in a clinic literally focused on how we can’t talk to ANYONE about ANYTHING we do, including our partners or therapists, regardless of how little detail we gave because we would be violating confidentiality. In a clinic where we dealt with child abuse and child welfare, it was pretty much the worst advice ever (plus it’s not what the RPCs really say). We received no training on how to work with difficult clients, interpersonal skills, etc.

    • My school’s legal writing course (which is mandatory for first-year students) involved multiple extended (multi-day) simulated client interactions, which were intended to help you learn about the interpersonal aspects of client relationships (among other things). But the kind of thing you’re describing – the issues lawyers themselves might face, how to maintain professional demeanor, how to take feedback – no, none of that.

    • NOPE. Although many students would have benefitted greatly!

    • Constant Reader :

      The library field has fairly robust tradition of workshops and training on handling difficult or demanding patrons because it is such a feature of the public service jobs, especially at the circulation desk. Doesn’t really matter whether it’s a public library or an academic library, it involves rules about sharing and access, money (fines), and for publics and many public academic institutions, open buildings and a commitment to serve everyone’s needs, including the difficult to serve. A lot of the training does emphasize keeping your cool when people are screaming/off their meds/legitimately angry/puzzled and upset. It tends to intersect with training about patron confidentiality and privacy, which the library profession is very, very serious about — so serious that they were one of the few professions to risk federal prison over some of the Patriot Act (google the Connecticut Four).

      One of the very best professional development events I ever attended was about running effective meetings, including what kind of meeting is it, the role of the Chair (which includes managing personalities and maintaining professional behavior), defining the roles of participants, etc. It was something that was actually used by at least some of the members of my organization to the benefit of everyone.

      • OP again. Thank you and your response blows my mind–I never would have thought that the library profession (which, as I know from a friend in your field, you all have far, far more training than the public typically thinks) would have way more formal training in dealing with people than medicine or the law.

        • I am guessing that a good number of patrons feel that they are better than librarians, and in turn show less restraint in being jerks to them than they do to someone who is a doctor or a lawyer. That’s just a hunch though!

          • Constant Reader :

            Eh — in academia you can get that “faculty vs the rest of you peons” mentality (although many librarians are tenured faculty), but the most volatile interactions can be a result of faculty who didn’t get tenure, grad students who were brutalized by their committee or have to leave the program, students overwhelmed and a book recall is the last straw, etc. In public libraries, there are the rich suburbanites who are quite entitled, versus big urban libraries who have every kind of patron imaginable. Then there are drug issues, mental health issues, and theft issues. But I would say that those who think they are better than library staff are a minority — most patrons are very, very appreciative of their libraries. It’s just that circulation in particular tend to be the shock troops of the public service points, and when things go bad, they go super, super bad.

            OP — you could probably sign up for some library workshops :)

      • Anonymous :

        I concur

    • In law school, we got some indirect training on how to interact with clients in our clinics and ethics classes. Not as much on how to interact with supervisors, colleagues, or opposing counsel. In the CLE classes, my state requires professionalism training (a whole 60 minutes) so we get some material on ineracting with opposing counsel or in-house counsel. I go to continuing ed seminars in the hospital/long term care fields and I am struck by how often they have motivational speakers, leadership training sessions, HR/manager training sessions and the like. These are mostly geared towards administrators and management- not directly to clinical roles so maybe that is why?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a lawyer and no formal training. No offense op but how much formal training is really needed for bedside manner? It’s so individual that I don’t see how a 2 hr lecture helps. What are your colleagues doing that’s so shocking?

      • No offense taken, because I agree with you in that how you conduct yourself towards patients should be fairly obvious. While I can’t cite specific examples without outing myself or violating confidentiality, I will say that the problems seem to be less about bedside manner and more about interacting appropriately with colleagues and other staff (nursing, ancillary staff, etc.) Some days it seems as though there is an unspoken competition to see how much physicians can demean each other and those they perceive themselves to outrank. I don’t know if it’s a lack of training in interpersonal skills or rather narcissism and arrogance; I think it is probably a combo of all those things.

        I will likely be leaving medicine because of this within a year, partially because I just can’t take the lack of collegial behavior. My parents (not that they have any say in this, and neither of whom are in medicine) tell me that this is how every profession is and that I “just need to toughen up”. I countered with noting that people in other fields don’t seem to routinely suffer from a G0d complex that entitles them to treat everyone else like garbage. (Sorry–I didn’t intend to bring my personal issues into this, but some days I just don’t feel like I am mean enough to survive in my own profession and I worry that if I stay I will evolve into a huge jerk.)

        • I’m honestly asking this without any snark intended – but you’re leaving the practice of medicine because of this? I mean, I somewhat get it. I’m an attorney, and I feel frustrated almost daily by the lack of collegiality and frankly courtesy that is lacking in the field, something I think has only worsened in my approximately 15 years of practice. But you must have worked very hard to become a doctor, is there another hospital/practice you can move to? Or change jobs (similar to litigators going in house)? Again, not judging, just curious as to what would prompt you to do this.

          • It’s not just the malignant environment, there are definitely other factors in this decision–I had some significant medical issues myself within the last year which changed how I look at medicine dramatically–I honestly feel as though it has almost killed my compassion, and I have always told myself that if that happened, that would be my cue to leave, since no one deserves that as a patient.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Honestly, OP, having spent years around lawyers (and being one myself), I am not sure your parents are wrong exactly. Maybe it is just litigators though…but that’s what I know.

          • I’m not sure they’re wrong either–it’s part of why this decision has been so difficult to make. I’m good at the appearance of professionalism, but some of what happens at work tears me up inside and I know that’s not a healthy way to live.

        • Mistreatment in medicine, particularly in academic medicine, is a huge problem that is leading to burnout and well being issues among physicians and other providers. Many organizations including National Academies, ACGME, AAMC, AMA, etc are trying to address these issues.

    • None in law school. But my firm does a fair amount of behavioral training as you go up the ranks. Leadership styles and how to interact with people who may process things differently than you, unconscious bias, how to work in a team, etc. that touch on a lot of the things you mention. They focus on short lectures followed by roleplaying and/or we all watch and comment on a role-play. I don’t know how much I’ve learned, but they are certainly a good reminder (e.g., I’m not one to need the soft and squishy handholding, but reminds me that others can be more sensitive).

      • Frozen Peach :

        Did these trainings come pre-canned or did you develop them internally? Very interested….

    • Anonymous :

      None. Absolutely none.

      So, in my final year of law practice before leaving the profession, I took a night class in Interpersonal Communication at the community college. Was that an eye-opener! It came easily for me because I learned many of the skills in my high school and college part-time and summer jobs but never got a formal framework.

      Every class, I kid you not, I learned about a new way that lawyers mess people up. People being: other lawyers (partner/associate interactions are a disaster), secretaries/staff, clients, and their own families. We watched a video of a dysfunctional meeting in Japan and I was able to identify sub-currents that the professor had said were there but was never able to identify herself. I realized that I wasn’t leaving law because I was the problem but because I was done with the toxic environment in law firms.

  20. I was reprimanded at work today for having a heavy workload and seeming stressed. Because my managers keep giving me a lot of work. It’s not the work that stresses me out, it’s my managers. But I get blamed for how they delegate work. I want to go home.

    • are you in a position to delegate that work further?

    • No advice, but sending internet hugs.

    • Anonymous :

      Ask them if you’d like them to tell you when you’re too busy to take on more work. Maybe that is what they’re concerned with – you say yes, even if you don’t need to.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      The next time they add to your workload, can you turn it around back at them and ask, “I’ve got X, Y and Z on my plate, plus new thing A. What do you think I should prioritise?”

      • Anonymous :

        In my experience,this is a very effective way to A. remind a manager about what you’re already working on and B. make them own the problem a little. Because if they’re loading one person down with ALL THE WORKS, that is a problem.

        OP, I’m sorry you’re having a tough day.

  21. Anonymous :

    I need some help focusing. I haven’t been able to accomplish much today. I am super tired (baby up early two days in a row, let husband sleep in today) and also feeling strangely emotional/vulnerable. I also felt sick to my stomach this morning so I didn’t eat much breakfast, and then I overate at lunch. I want to just nap and call the day a wash, but I am under the gun with some things I need to do by mid month. I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed with my workload, because I am behind where I’d like to be and was not very efficient this week due to a lot of out of the office time. Any advice on closing the door on my general sadness/feelings of defeat/giving up and powering through?

    • Anonymous :

      Following. I’ve been feeling this in a deep way for weeks. I feel like I need to quit my job. I just can’t make myself do it anymore. Of course I cannot afford to do that.

    • When I feel like this, I remind myself that it’s only temporary and that I’ll feel better after a good night’s rest. (Trade with your spouse tomorrow.) I promise myself I’ll go to bed early and I just give myself permission to do the best I can for the rest of the day (which may not be great) and I just make sleep a priority. Internet hugs.

    • Ummm are you 100% sure baby #2 is not on the way?

    • I would do two things: (1) go for a 15-minute walk. Even if you don’t feel like you can spare the time, you will feel so, so much better if you do and you’ll be more productive for the rest of the day; and (2) drink a liter of water. Hydration + getting outside will at least raise your energy level and help you get through the day.

    • anon associate :

      I could have written this, word for word, except for the baby. (Well, I’m comfortable calling my 60 year old bossman an infant.)

      The biggest things that help me emotionally are a) reminding myself that it’s temporary, b) knowing I’m emotional because of the stress and that emotions aren’t the be-all-end all of my existence (“you are not inherently depressed and weepy, you just are right now”), c) being really understanding of myself- “of course you’re tired! You’ve been working like crazy! Don’t beat yourself up for being unfocused, you live in a human body with limits.” Break tasks down in to smaller chunks and give permission to pause between each one. Right now, I ONLY have to revise this affidavit. Break. Then, I *only* have to proof read it. Break. Then, all I have to do is incorporate revised affidavit into brief.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks, everyone. And hugs to everyone else in the same position.

      I will try the smaller chunk and pause idea – I really like that. And definitely a walk.

  22. Tiny Firm Benefit Package :

    I received an offer from a very small, <12 people, firm. Very excited about the opportunity and change for my career. However, I have only worked in a medium-ish sized companies (250+ people, multiple offices) so I am used to salary with employee provided medical/dental/401(k)/mass transit/etc benefit package.

    The small company's offering an hourly rate that is calculated from a base salary with additional line items of benefits with equivalent dollar amounts they will pay. That hourly rate is based on anticipated hours billed annually. The offer is very transparent and straightforward for calculations and negotiations. But I fear I might be overlooking something.

    I would love to hear the Hive's experiences with a similar transition…going from straight salary to hourly…where you are providing your own "benefits package"…or just going to a tiny firm in general.

    Non-law; consultant in a specialized field; over 10 years of experience.

    • One large thing to consider is what happens if/when there isn’t work? Are you expected to go home and not get paid? This can have a significant impact on total dollars earned and cash flows, so make sure you understand how they operate.

      Also, what options do you have for benefits – can you go on a spouse’s health plan or do you have to go get your own? Will you be stuck with an IRA for retirement (so minimal possible savings put away each year) or do they have an optional plan you can join (or is the employment arrangement such that you can set up a SEP or Solo 401k (talk to you investment and tax advisor with the offer in hand)?

      Also consider time off – do they have paid holidays or is it true hourly? What happens for maternity leave if that might apply to you, or in case of long term illness (can you get decent disability insurance privately, and does their benefit calc include a realistic amount towards it)?

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