Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Pleat Hem Shift Dress

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

Pleat Hem Shift DressIt’s hard to find a shift dress that isn’t totally frumptastic or way too mini for work, IMHO — so I was kind of excited to see this knit dress from Michael Michael Kors. I like the kicky little pleat hem, the short sleeves, and concealed zipper. It’s $125 at Bloomingdale’s, where it’s a best seller; it’s available in sizes XS-L and plus sizes. (Lord & Taylor also has the dress in regular sizes; Nordstrom has it in plus sizes.) Pleat Hem Shift Dress

Psst: This Ralph Lauren dress is adorable and on sale — but only available in petite sizes.

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  1. Anonymous :

    This Lauren dress is so cute! If only had the legs for this.

    • Whether you have legs or not, you are still a candidate for this dress. Don’t put yourself down over A DRESS.

      • +10000000000

      • Rainbow Hair :

        A thing that’s lovely is that now, whenever Godzilla the character pops up in my life, I get to think of the awesome self-love Godzilla on this board. I already loved Godzilla the Monster, so this is just really nice icing on the cake.

  2. Query for the overachievers: What is your process for setting personal goals? How do you set “outside the box” or outside of your comfort zone goals? Where do you go to get the mental space to think about this sort of thing? How often do you check in on your personal goals? I feel like I am sort of floating through life (not underachieving), but perhaps not being as “strategic” about my life as I should be.

    Any and all advice and tips appreciated. For clarification, I don’t mean work goals–I mean true personal goals. Thanks!

    • I started reading Designing Your Life after seeing it recommended here. I’m finding it really insightful. It takes an engineering design perspective the answering the kinds of questions you’re talking about that appeals to me more than most of the other self-help/life planning books I’ve come across.

    • Anon for this :

      I have a bi-weekly call with a life coach who doesn’t know much about my industry. She helps me assess my achievements and set goals under a new lens. I also keep a journal that I consult to see how far I’ve come and to document my insecurities. I am also a big fan of daydreaming and manifesting things into my life. I train my mind to not worry about the intermediate steps, and I figure them out as I go.

    • Food for thought: You used the word “should.” Who’s telling you you should be more strategic with your life? “Should” can be a four letter word. Are you happy? Fulfilled? What’s really driving you to achieve X? Do you want X? Will you ultimately care years from now if you have X? Imagine your obituary if you continue on your current life’s path – does it say what you *want* it to say or what you think it *should* say? It’s ok to opt out of all of life’s shoulds.

    • I’ve really liked the PowerSheets 6-month goal planner. The exercises in the front of the book were really helpful in articulating my priorities and goals, and then it walked through steps to make progress toward those goals, including creating action plans by week and by month. Some personal goals that I never thought possible, are suddenly coming into focus because I see the path to get there. Interestingly, I’ve also been able to let go of some other goals that I realized I don’t actually want enough to execute the required action plan.

      It was given to me by a Christian relative, and there are some religious references sprinkled through the book, but it would be easy to ignore those and still get the same value from the book.

      Also, they sell a set of stickers for the planner which just make me happy. So that might be biasing my review a tiny bit. Hooray for stickers!

      • 1) I freaking love stickers, so that’s a selling point for me too :)
        2) What kinds of personal goals are you setting, if you don’t mind sharing? In theory these things sound really great to me and then I sit down and think about what I want and have a hard time coming up with things.

        • One of the reasons I love the workbook so much is that it specifically addresses that void when you sit down to think of a goal and have a hard time. It even helps you break through whatever box you may be putting yourself in unconsciously.

          I wanted to avoid the “lose weight and save money” generic goals, although there are elements there – I want to be completely current on all my doctor appts by the end of the year, and I want to have 33% of my kitchen remodel saved by the end of this year. I was feeling stuck in my job, so last year my goal was to work on a promotion or job change, this year (since it already happened) my goal is to figure out a 5 year career plan based on my new role. I was feeling lonely and miss that feeling of a close friend (thanks to young kids I have a much different social life) so I have some goals around feeling better by myself but also putting myself out there. And I want to continue to learn, so I have a goal around reading books and current events.

          I’ve let go of some goals to buy a bigger house, get an advanced degree, journal regularly, or even get caught up on baby books. They’re not how I want to spend my free time, and that’s not what I want my life to look like in 5 years. It was incredibly freeing to give myself permission to accept my current state of imperfection in those areas and stop trying to chase “optimization” in every area, as someone said below.

    • On strategy :

      I get really wrapped up in this stuff sometimes (and loved Designing Your Life!) but then read an NYTimes article a few weeks ago about how optimization is a big trend in marketing (to certain economic classes, of course). We’re becoming socially conditioned to want to optimize everything now – our experiences, our diet, our fitness, our relationships, our vacations, our careers – and to feel less than if we think we’re failing to optimize our life. But it also gives the false impression that there’s a perfect to be reached (or that anything less is literally sub-optimal), and if you think about it too much it can veer into a Black Mirror episode.

      Anyway, I’m trying to be more careful now about the feeling of wanting a strategy, or a plan to achieve goals, and where exactly that desire comes from. How much of it is what I really want, is how much of it is thinking I should really want it, and if I can just develop some kind of strategy I’ll get there? This probably isn’t helpful, just some food for thought.

      • +1,000 for me. I had this discussion with my therapist over several weeks. I am always striving to be better and improve myself, which means I am not comfortable being me in my current state/accepting myself as good enough as I am. That’s not to say that striving to be better is a bad thing, it’s not. It’s the ALWAYS striving to be better and to improve in everything that can be detrimental. I have worked on being in the moment and also being less worried about using [X event/experience, etc.] as a growth tool. If there are times I want to work on improving? Great, but it shouldn’t be every time and in every thing. I am generally a very content person, but this was tripping me up in two aspects of my life. It’s been very helpful for me to work on the personal acceptance part of this.

      • This is a really good point. Do you have a link to the article?

      • Also interested in a link to the article if you have it; thanks!

  3. Sassyfras :

    That Ralph Lauren dress is adorable! Picked it up, thanks for the great recommendation.

  4. Fluffy book recommendations? :

    Can anyone recommend novels that are light and fun, but not idiotic? Bonus for being available as a (well-done) audio book. I’m listening to the audio book of The Royal We, by the Fug Girls right now and enjoying it a lot – the narrator does all the accents, and it’s great. I also liked Crazy Rich Asians, Start-Up by Doree Shafrir, and Maria Semple’s last two books. Nothing that will make me cry!

    • Anonymous :

      Sophie Kinsella fits the bill. I much prefer her standalone novels to the Shopaholic series (the heroine in Shopaholic is so stupid it lowers your IQ just reading them). I also love Liane Moriarty’s books although they are mysteries with sometimes sad elements, but they are fast and fun reads.

      • Ha, I feel the same way about the Shopaholic series! The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies from Liane Moriarty are my favorites.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I dunno if I would call Big Little Lies “light and fun,” but it’s definitely good and not idiotic.

        • Fluffy book recommendations? :

          I enjoyed Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot, although I read Big Little Lies back when I had greater tolerance for darker plots. I will definitely look for The Husband’s Secret.

      • The heroine in Shopaholic makes me crazy. I also recall finding the storytelling to be anxiety producing in that she describes things defensively, if that makes sense. Rather than saying, ‘Heroine did X,’ — X is described through the main character’s thought process as “I mean, it’s not as if I could do Y, and Z is insane, and I’m so afraid of doing A, so I had to do X!”

        Are her other books similar? I want to shake her every time she goes through a misguided analysis!

      • I read the most recent Sophie Kinsella and I almost put it down because the characters were so frustrating! She actually made you feel like anxiety that the main character was feeling. Once things started to resolve, though, I liked her soooo much better.

    • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, How to Be a Grown-Up, China Rich Girlfriend (but don’t do the audio book, the narrator’s voice is irritating)

    • cat socks :

      Not sure if these fit the bill, but I like books by Sophie Kinsella. Not the Shopaholic series, but others – I liked Finding Audrey and My Not So Perfect Life.

    • Anything by JoJo Moyes sounds like it’ll fit the bill! She’s best known for the “Me Before You” series — but I also liked “The Last Letter From your Lover”

    • The Austen Project series where modern authors adapt Jane Austen books might fit. I’ve read Joanna Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility and Eligible (Curtis Sittenfeld’s Pride and Prejudice).

    • Shopaholic :

      I love books by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Sometimes they make me cry but that may be more because I’m a sap.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        +1 These are so great when you need some fluff in between more serious books, or something quick to read on a plane or weekend trip. The plots lines are…silly…but the writing is pretty good!

    • Second Elinor Oliphant. So good! Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance was lovely magical realism, Young Jane Young.

    • Sourdough!

    • There are a series of books (YOLO Juliet is one) that update Shakespeare plays as exchanges of texts / emojis. They are awesome and fluffy.

      Got them for my kids and had forgotten how racy Shakespeare can be. #momfail

    • Crazy Rich Asians has two great sequels if you haven’t read those. Also seconding Sourdough, Eligible and anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid (sometimes they can be a little sad).

      You could also check out:
      – Small Admissions
      – The Hopefuls
      – The Knockoff
      – Hello Sunshine
      – If you like young adult books, Dumplin’, Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda or the Upside of Unrequited
      – Anything by Marian Keyes (Sushi for Beginners and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married are my favorites)
      – Anything by Maeve Binche (they may be occasionally sad, but not crying level – Light a Penny Candle and Tara Road are my favorites)
      – Plus some of the classic books of this type if you haven’t read them – The Devil Wears Prada, the Nanny Diaries, Bridget Jones, etc.

    • Tacking on this, does anyone have any books that fit the bill here but that include a horse element? I like books with equestrian subplots.

      • Two sets of recommendations, both British: Fiona Walker’s books about Tash French (start with French Relations) and early Jilly Cooper – so gloriously trashy.

    • For a genre change, I thought The Man Who Folded Himself was a riot. Really fun take on time travel, and a quick read.

      • Fluffy book recommendations? :

        Speaking of time travel, for anyone looking for a fluffy book with a literary theme (plus time/world travel), I highly recommend the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

    • my 50-something year old male boss recommended Outlander on audio book after I had read all of them, and I’m loving them on audiobook. I can listen on my commute but also listen to fall asleep at night.

      • Fluffy book recommendations? :

        I know a lot of people who love these books, but my understanding is that there some violence towards women? Do you think it would be upsetting for someone who is sensitive to that?

        • There’s violence towards everyone – including women. Yes, it would be upsetting if you’re sensitive to that.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I really enjoyed Sarong Party Girls, by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, which got blurbs comparing it to Crazy Rich Asians. It ends up being not entirely light, but in a satisfying way, not a dark way.

    • Fluffy book recommendations? :

      Thank you so much everyone! I am going to have to transcribe all these comments into a “To Read” list. For many reasons I’m feeling very sensitive to depressing themes right now, so these will be great escapes! (Seriously, though, why must every literary book involve something awful happening to a child?)

      • Try Katie Fforde! Cozy little English books where the main character is creative in some way (a gardener, or an editor, or an auctioneer) and finds a happily ever after. Nothing more terrifying than worrying about money ever happens.

      • Spoiler: Eleanor Oliphant is not the book for you, then.

    • The Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid is hilarious if you like romances. I really like that her characters are all career-minded, smart women who don’t have to sacrifice that part of themselves for love. Also a great portrayal of female friendship. There’s a related series called the Winston Brothers which is also very entertaining.

    • Late to this thread, but try “The Rosie Project,” Graeme Simpson. Really fun and a great audiobook narrator

  5. Anonymous :

    I confess this is an odd post. Someone here posted about a year ago describing her experience with depression as words of encouragement. Thank you. I still read those words when I need a reminder that things have, and will, continue to get better.

    • Could you link to it. I could use some encouragement now!

      • I’m on my phone and hope the link works… if not it was in the 1/30/17 splurge post. It’s true. It’s tough when you’re in the thick of it but so worth the battle! Keep fighting for yourself! I’m rooting for you.

      • My reply is stuck in moderation (or lost due to user error). It was on January 30 of last year.

    • That is really sweet to hear. I hope you are getting some help and are being kind to yourself. Hugs.

  6. Does anyone have a going rate for what a table/sponsorship would be for a small non-profit conference? 100 participants. Education field.

    • probably need location or COL to estimate this

    • MCOL city. Location is a prestige museum.

    • I’d take the individual ticket cost and give a slight discount. If its $75 pp, I’d do a table of 10 at $650.

    • In my MCOL city, events like this are almost always $100/seat, so $1000/table of ten; sometimes for sponsors who buy the entire table, they do the table for $850 or so. It’s so consistent that DH and I refer to it as “Two hundred dollar date night” when we have one to go to.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Are meals included, and is the speaker an attraction?

    • I’m in the Bay Area. I’ve attended $100 to $250 per seat non profit fund raisers. I’ve also seen tables go for more than the per seat price x number of chairs. Usually it’s board members who will buy a table. Then the table will have signage showing the board member’s company’s name, and I guess that’s worth something advertising-wise.

      There are also sponsorship opportunities, like today’s coffee break is sponsored by ABC, Inc and then the little cocktail napkins may say ABC, Inc along with the non profit name.

    • Rural New England health care non-profit does $500/table for a table of 8 I believe.

  7. Can people really track you down if you view something they put on their FB business page? Maybe if you click on their website or something? I don’t get how FB insights/Google Analytics/whatever work. Pretty sure someone found out I viewed their video on there and it creeps me out.

    • you can download an extension like ghostery or use an incognito/private window if you’re worried about this!

      • Yeah, I know this now. But still, it seems like you can only fool FB for so long with these things and you start getting those sidebars with stuff for sale in your area and such.

        • I don’t know but FB is creeping me the F out. I had deleted it but needed to re-install for some charity work I do. It’s how the organization communicates with its volunteers. Recently, an old boyfriend from 20 years ago found a gift certificate my mom had given him and texted me it laughing that he should see if the store would still honor it. The next day when I logged into FB for my charity thing it suggested old boyfriend’s sister as someone I might know.

          • The FB app spies on everything you do with your phone.



    • I run the FB page for my church’s thrift shop. I can see how many new and existing visitors the page has had, and when I place an ad, I can see viewers’ demographics (women, aged 35-65, X town), but there’s no way for me to see enough info to narrow it down to a specific person.

      For the church website, Google Analytics shows me what search terms people are using to find our page and how many new and existing visitors we get and where their IP address is from, but nothing identifiable.

    • marketing manager :

      No – page owners can’t see any specifics on a person who only views something and doesn’t comment, rate, etc.

      The ads you see are based on your behavior – so if you look at a post on slow cooker recipes you could start seeing slow cooker ads or sponsored posts. The slow coooker companies don’t get any identifying information on you.

      • I’m pretty sure that the new Facebook Insights gives age ranges, city, device…all sorts of info for someone who views posts. Also what they viewed, how long, how many times they have visited…IF the page has over 100 or something likes. Google Analytics and other similar programs give even more. If you live in a small town and they only know one person from there, I suppose they can assume it is you. Or, if you click on the website link from there, the website itself may give away your IP. These people are computer dorks so they may even have some shady ways of finding things out. I should know better….

    • I don’t know why my responses are all getting stuck in moderation. The a p p you mention monitors everything you do on your phone, including t e x t m e s s a g e s and the m i c r o p h o n e.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I don’t thiiiink the mic thing is true. Yet.

      • Green Hat :

        Omg, no. FB cannot monitor your texts! Unless you mean messages sent on FB messenger. There is literally no mechanism for it to do that.

        • Sadly you’re just wrong. I work in government and we’ve been given multiple trainings from cybersecurity experts on these issues. Many apps, including fb, include in the toscthat you give them access to everything on your phone. You basicallybhave to enable all that access for the app to work. If you just go to on your phone it doesn’t do it, it’s the *app*.

  8. Favorite healthy recipes? Currently in the process of trying to eat better/cleaner, and looking for inspiration. Bonus points if there’s a link to a website so I can import the recipe to my meal planning app.

    • SkinnyTaste has a lot of options and plays well with my recipe app (Paprika). Also, she lists the WW points and nutrition info for all of the recipes.

    • I get eating better, but what is eating clean? I don’t think that spaghetti bolongse made from scratch counts and envision something bland like poached white fish with lemon and some rice?

      I feel like it’s shorthand for something that I can’t quite put my finger on.

      Is it like a Whole 30 / paleo thing?

      • Shorthand for anorexia? J/K

        • Shorthand for at best a weird moralistic relationship with food and definitely could include disordered eating…

          Just eat food, guys. Don’t make it into a virtue or purity or “clean” thing. Eat foods that are good for you and foods you enjoy.

          • Fluffy book recommendations? :

            +one million Food isn’t clean or dirty or good or bad.

          • so long as it's food :

            I cannot trust food this much. Our food would still be full of partially hydrogenated oils and transfatty acids if no one worried about what we eat. Europe is currently looking at inorganic phosphate additives as factors in cardiovascular disease. I am happy to eat actual food, but I prefer not to be experimented on when it comes to ingredients that are added to improve subjective visual aesthetics, shelf life, and so on. There are countries that ban many fewer ingredients than the US, and there are countries that ban more. To me, “clean eating” means staying out of it and eating things that are agreed upon, with good evidence, to be food.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I mean… it can be taken to unhealthy places…

      • Eating clean is just eating mainly whole, unprocessed foods or minimally processed foods. Your spaghetti bolognese from scratch is probably clean if you use whole-grain noodles or spiralized zucchini.

        • So white rice is clean? In which case, sign me up for the clean chicken tikka misala (organic and from scratch).

          • Brown rice is clean. White rice is processed.

          • Brown rice is processed somewhat, no?

            What about basmati or jasmine rice?

          • ^this really depends. There is no One List of “clean foods” — many consider white rice “clean.” YMMV.

        • do people really eat spiralized stuff? and does it really substitute for pasta? I suspect that people buy it and serve it b/c they should and just throw it out as uneaten / not really good / only good if you throw on a ton of cheese. I see it in the store and am curious but think that it will be like New Coke and it will just be wasted $.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I use spiralized zucchini for spaghetti in recipes sometimes. No, it doesn’t taste like pasta, but it is pretty good. I’ll also sub sliced zucchini for pasta in lasagna. Again, it’s clear you’re not eating real lasagna, but still good and makes me more likely to eat vegetables than if I just baked some zucchini or something.

          • We eat zoodles/riced cauliflower/spaghetti squash whenever we’d normally have pasta or rice, so that’s a couple times a week for us. (We still use rice in homemade soups.)

            And Birdseye had introduced new veggie pastas – we loved the marinara one – the plain one is on the menu for tonight. They’re frozen and steam-in-bag and only 150 calories (3 WW pts) for 1.25 cups.

          • I have made spiralized zucchini – I didn’t buy it already spiralkzed. I have an inexpensive little oxo manual spiralizer. For me, I didn’t find it a great pasta substitute but it was pretty good as it’s own thing. Zucchini spirals topped with pesto were really really good, and it wouldn’t have been as good if the zucchini were just sliced.

          • I served spaghetti squash last night with some marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella mixed in. No one was fooled into thinking it was pasta, but it did get eaten. I served it with some roasted broccoli and some leftover sliced steak. We make zucchini noodles also and use those as slightly more interesting veggie option or past stand-in. Spiralized sweet potato is good too. And sometimes we have real pasta. For me, it’s more about getting more veggies on the plate rather than a “carbs are the devil” mindset.

          • Yeah, it’s actually pretty good. I love stuff like spiralized zucchini with pesto and cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, spiralized sweet potatoes with peanut sauce and snap peas, and spiralized daikon with a chili sauce and tofu.

          • Isn’t tofu processed a lot though?

            That’s my beef with a lot of energy bars — processed, in a wrapper, then in a box, etc.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I like spiralized zukes, but you can’t go into it expecting them to be spaghetti. It’s just a fun way to eat vegetables. It pairs well with tomato sauces, because zucchini pairs well with vegetables, and tastes good.

            I also like using spaghetti squash as a “crust” for quiche – obviously it’s not pastry crust, but it holds the quiche together, and spaghetti squash goes great with eggs and quiche filling. I also made an amaaaazing spaghetti squash carbonara – obviously it’s not going to be healthy because there’s still cream and bacon in it, but it was delicious, and hey, vegetables.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Um… spiralized zucchini is great if you deep-fry it…

          • I actually really like spiralized zucchini. I don’t like spaghetti squash and in general, won’t make a lot of healthy substitutions. I am the kind of person that would rather just not eat the rice than have cauliflower rice. I have essentially 98% given up noodles at home in favor of zucchini noodles. I find its better with white or butter sauces than reds, but I’ll still eat it with red sauces.

          • Yup, I actually really like spiralized zucchini, cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, sweet potato ribbons, etc. I’m not a big pasta person, so it’s not so much a substitute for pasta as it is a way to eat more delicious veggies, especially when there is some sort of sauce that needs soaking up.

          • I mix half of the Trader Joe’s spiralized carrots with the Green Giant Cauliflower Medley stuff to make “fried rice”. I just add extra ginger, garlic, and coconut aminos (soy sauce sub) to flavor the extra bulk. I love it…and I don’t have to chop much.

      • It means no/few processed foods.

        OP, I second the rec for SkinnyTaste. I’ve never made anything bad from her website! (She also has cookbooks if you dislike fooling with electronics while cooking.)

      • Would this count:

        smashed sweet potatoes with butter, bourbon, and vanilla

        Having a dinner party and would love for it to be familiar delicious foods that I can say “don’t worry — it’s officially eating clean”?

        Main course will be ribs or roasted chicken with rosemary. One side will be cucumber/vinegar salad concoction.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Sadly the bourbon makes the potatoes not “clean.”

          They sound delicious, though.

          • Is wine clean then? Any alcohol?

            I mean, bourbon isn’t the same as a white russian. And how is vanilla clean? It’s practically a liqueur.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            It’s somewhat arbitrary. I’ve seen hard liquors excluded from “clean” diets but wine included, or only alcohols not derived from corn/wheat/potatoes. I’m not a clean eater by any means.

      • Clean or not clean:

        roasted potatoes (roasted in EVOO) with onions and garlic and kalamata olives

        • Clean in my books. There’s not a definitive guide or rule here. I always interpreted clean eating as eating most whole foods – as in unprocessed foods – in a balanced way so not overdoing it or being overly restrictive/prescriptive. Basically shop the perimeter at the grocery store and avoid the frozen/prepackaged stuff.

      • POPCORN is clean. Butter is clean (obs can vary). Salt.

        You’re welcome.

    • Korean Ground Beef, which I eat it over riced cauliflower. Obviously, more inspired-by than an authentic Korean dish but it’s flavorful, easy and high protein.

    • Sweet potato and black bean tacos with avocado salsa are my latest obsession. I just microwave the sweet potatoes and fork out the inside into a tortilla, top with black beans and avocado salsa (avocado, tomato, red onion, garlic, salt, lime)

      • This sounds delicious!

        • If you like the above idea, you’ll love Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burritos – roasted veggies and so delicious!

    • anon a mouse :

      Sheet pan dinners are great for this. Meat + veg, drizzled with a little olive oil and some spices. If you google “best sheet pan dinners” there are a lot of sites that have done roundups.

    • Tell me more about this meal planning app!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      All this talk of ~*clean*~ food reminds me of the galentine I got from a friend…

      Our love is like a honey-baked ham: pink, salty, and unclean in the eyes of the lord.

    • If you have a NYT subscription, everything in Martha Rose Shulman’s Recipes for Health column. I think there is a cookbook, too.

    • Thank you everyone!! I’m definitely taking all of these suggestions and putting them into practice.

    • Anything with Trader Joe’s green goddess dressing on it. It’s sooo good.

  9. For those of you that enjoy vicarious shopping, I am looking for a few plus sized pencil skirts for spring. The catch is that I’m looking for skirts in colors, but not neon/bright colors. I already have all the neutrals. I need a length of 25” or longer as I’m tall.

    My color preferences fall in the blue, greenish and purple/plum categories.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    • A couple from Talbots:

    • A couple from Macys that are both on sale:

    • Legally Brunette :

      I would look at Boden. They have beautiful colors (some bright, but others not) and their tall sizes are usually 25 inches long.

    • J Crew Factory has a great cotton pencil skirt in pretty colours and goes up to size 20.

    • Pure Cashmere also has some really long, very nice pencil skirts, and they are quite long. I’m tall too (all legs) and I like their length, even though they are not specifically tall.

    • Threadjack to say if you know of pencil skirts that ARE in neon/bright colors, send me links!

      • I’m the OP. I don’t know if you’re looking for plus sized but Eloquii has a pencil skirt in a bunch of bright colors.

    • Thanks for all these! I ordered the solid blue skirt from Talbots.

  10. political advice? :

    I was “hired” as a (volunteer) communications director in a political campaign. My party has some resources I’m going to avail myself of, but I’m wondering if any ‘rettes have any book, website, podcast, etc recs to help me succeed in the role. I have communications chops, but my political experience is limited to watching the West Wing.

    • Awesome! I’ve worked on and ran a number of campaigns, both free and paid, and I love it. I think everyone should get involved in at least 1 local campaign.

      I’d google “strategic communications” to start. You need a basic plan. Don’t go overboard thinking a plan needs to be detailed with timelines and dates, as dates may change, but you need a general trajectory so you can properly make communications materials and get them printed and delivered.

      Example: Identify 3 key messages the candidate will focus on. Brainstorm ways to convey these messages to different audiences you need to win (a particular ward? Seniors? Soccer moms? Whatever). Have the candidate memorize talking points on these messages.

      Have the candidate practice pivoting (again, google) back to these points. Record the camera on your cell phone and play it back. Its really invaluable to see someone on camera and practice mannerisms, facial expressions, eye contact, attire, etc. Don’t have the first time on camera be when the local media records you!

      Compile a media contact list-basic excel sheet with reporter contact info to send out press releases, tweet at, etc.

      Make sure there’s a clear chain of command. Who will respond to the media? Who has the final say so, you or the campaign manager?

      • political advice? :

        This is very helpful. Thank you.

        • I apologize for the typos (record the CANDIDATE using the camera on your cell phone) and for not seeing you have comms experience. Typing on my phone/reading too fast!

    • If your candidate is eligible, get tapped in to the Run for Something network. They were the most helpful of any organization, and I know I’ve seen discussions on communications in our Slack channels.

    • Similarly if your candidate is eligible, Emily’s List does trainings – there’s a webinar in a few weeks about messaging.

    • Apologies if this is something you already know, but I’ve seen this happen a lot in campaigns: Make sure you run new messages/ads/etc past people who are outside of your circle or you might miss really essential things. And good luck!!

  11. Ugh -- 40s edition :

    I weighed X this fall and weigh X now.

    The pants that I bought in size Y this fall are a shocking hot mess in the seat / thigh area (and they were already curvy cut). Now wearing Y+2 pants AND gone up an underwear size (in the pricey ones; the others I’ve just accepted that I did an incredible hulk on the leg openings, which are sort of in tatters).


    My size in tops is still the same. :(

    • Story of my life sister. 48 here.

      Now my pear shape is out of control. My lower half is 4 sizes larger than my top. I can only wear sacks.

      Why couldn’t Mother Nature be kind and throw some of that into my b00bs…

      • I lament this all the time. Through the last nine months, I’ve lost 15 pounds. So my generous lower half is looking goooood, but my b o o b s have disappeared … and trust, they weren’t big to begin with.

      • Ugh, ditto, except that I’m an apple, so my bust and stomach are what are what’s growing.

        I’ve been lifting weights, and have gotten really strong, which I’m super happy about… but overall I’m just getting bulkier and bulkier, because I have lost zero weight while building muscle. When I was younger, I would have also lost weight in this process, but apparently nearing 40 that just isn’t the case for me anymore. Upside, I basically one-handed the water bottle onto the cooler at work, which impressed the young dudes who report to me.

    • This is my future. I turned 36 last year, and holy moly, the metabolism slow down is REAL. Really real. Even losing 5 lbs is a big challenge now.

      • Yeah, 36 is when the party ended for me. Five pounds is a huge challenge. I measure and track everything I eat now. But that doesn’t keep everything from settling in my hip area.

      • 35 and my a$$ is exploding in size. I lost a ton of fat there (and nowhere else) during pregnancy and it has at least doubled from pre-pregnancy now, 2 years later. I keep telling myself this is the healthy fat!! (because diet and exercise have done nothing).

    • OMG. I just turned 38 and the same problem! I was wondering why in the hell my pants were fitting different in the rear and seat. I lost a lot of weight and my shirts fit, but my darn hips…I hope exercise helps!

    • I am just becoming a t-rex, I guess? Sans tail.

    • Not trying to diagnose, but you might want to read up on lipedema (spelled lipoedema in the UK). It’s a not very well understood adipose fat disorder that is estimated to affect ~ 11% of women. I have it, but had never heard of it until a woman at the gym broached the topic with me and I started googling and then went to my GP who diagnosed me. Still trying to figure out how to handle it, but knowing is the first step…

      • Pretty sure that this isn’t me.

        I am smallish, but shifting slowly into a triangle. I think it is being 47 and sedentary.

    • If you’re interested, you could work with a personal trainer to focus in on your glutes and thighs. The additional muscle will help sculpt what nature is trying to throw back there. Since you’re not concerned about weight, it’s easy for a trainer to focus on shape.

  12. Legally Brunette :

    I have been tasked with planning a family reunion for about 15 people, half of whom are kids between the ages of 3 – 10, over Thanksgiving break. One of the families is coming from Calgary, the others are on the east coast. The consensus seems to be Florida (everyone wants somewhere warm).

    Where in Florida? Main considerations are within an hour of an international airport, great beach but other stuff to do because not everyone is a beach person, and vegetarian friendly (everyone is vegetarian in our group). I realize that’s broad criteria, but does anyone have any ideas?

    Or other locations besides Florida I should consider?


    • I’d go to Miami if budget weren’t a factor. Great food and lots to do.

    • I went to a family reunion in Myrtle Beach over Thanksgiving and love it. The golfers golfed. There were some more folks shows to see. TONS of restaurants. Beach walking and heated pools. The kids loved going in hot tubs at night. And OMG it was so inexpensive.

    • I think Clearwater fits your criteria. The Tampa airport is very close, and it has plenty for the kids to do.

      • Agreed with Clearwater- it’s very family friendly, and only 20-25 minutes from the Tampa airport. There’s a small aquarium, dolphin and other boat tours, plenty of restaurants, and good beaches. Make sure you look at the hotel closely, though, as many don’t have a private beach and only have a pool overlooking the water.

        One place I’d recommend for a group is the Sheraton on Sand Key- it has a big beach front area. It’s across the causeway from downtown Clearwater, but there is a trolley to easily get into town, and the hotel is also within walking distance of several restaurants and adjoins a beachfront park.

    • St. Pete- you can stay downtown where there is lots of great food (including several vegan restaurants) and culture or at the beach just 10 minutes away. A little something for everyone.

    • Do you want ocean with waves or without? The Gulf beaches will have warmer water and few waves (unless there is a storm). Beaches on the Atlantic side will have colder water and more waves.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Somewhere near Tampa/St. Pete. But I am not a fan of Miami and would much rather spend non-beach time in the Tampa area. It’s more laid back than Miami. Most of the places you would actually want to spend time in Florida are within an hour of a major airport, so that criteria won’t help you narrow it down as much as you might think.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Amelia Island near Jacksonville.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I like Amelia, but we go to the Georgia coast just a bit north of Amelia every Thanksgiving and it is not as reliably warm enough to swim in the ocean at Thanksgiving compared to further south in Florida (at least not warm enough from my Southern perspective). It may very well be, but weather at Thanksgiving can vary pretty wildly.

    • This is what orlando was made for- theme parks, interesting lakes, pretty scenery and easy to get to with all the hotels you can shake a stick at.

    • Anonymous :

      Naples beach and golf resort hotel.

  13. So worried about my 8-year-old pup. She’s been a little lethargic lately (not wanting to go down stairs etc), and we just started her on a joint supplement last weekend. Suddenly yesterday, she basically is refusing to get up, is super stiff and won’t walk/go out. We’re having to drag her outside to go to the bathroom.

    The vet thinks the extreme lethargy is an arthritis flare-up because of the weather. He said to bring her in 2 days if she’s no better. She’s eating and drinking, w normal bathroom, no vomiting etc. But I didn’t realize arthritis could appear so suddenly in dogs!

    She is my darling, we have been through so much together. I’m pregnant and was so excited for her to know my baby. She loves babies! Please somebody chime in that their dog suffered a bad arthritis bout but got the right drugs and feels better. I’m so scared.

    • Dogs are good at tolerating and hiding pain. For joints, we give our senior dogs PolyChews at the advice of ortho. vet who treated my dog’s knee. Our older dog (13) also takes Rimadyl 2x daily for chronic arthritis pain and stiffness and has done so for probably 2 years now.

    • We found a liquid glucosamine supplement to be a game-changer for my elderly, arthritic dog. We poured it on her food. It worked way better than the pills.

      Happy to chat more about my experience with this if it’s helpful!

    • My dog had arthritis for years and still had plenty of life left in him. We gave him joint supplements all the time, and ascriptin when he was feeling bad (which he let us know by basically being a groaning drama queen whenever we asked him to move off his bed). The big change was that he could no longer hop into our car and had to be semi-lifted in. Other than just lazing around on days when it was bad, he had his normal, fun, goofy personality most days and still loved to go to the park and on walks (though not as long) when he wasn’t having a bad day.

      If this came on suddenly it could be a strain of some sort. Not my dog but my cat jumped from too high a height – second story windowsill- and was stiff and sore and didn’t want to move much for several days, but nothing was broken. He is fine now.

    • Delta Dawn :

      My childhood dog had arthritis for years, but she lived with it for a long time. She had some medicine (I don’t know what it was, as my mom took care of her), and while she was kind of creaky at getting around, she was a happy dog even for the years she had arthritis. She lived to be 13, and I recall the arthritis lasting the last four or five years of her life. So she was probably about your pup’s age when we started treating her for it. I know I couldn’t realistically expect her or any doggie to live much past 13 years anyway, so I think it didn’t affect her longevity to speak of. I won’t say she got back to feeling 100% better after the medicine, but she was getting older and slower regardless of the arthritis, in my opinion. Not to say it always works out the same, but it worked out alright for my pup back then.

    • Arthritis is manageable. If your vet hasn’t already discussed it, ask for Gabapentin and Rimadyl. They work best when used in conjunction, as the Gabapentin works best on pain and Rimadyl helps with inflammation. These can dramatically improve your dog’s mobility and comfort. You can also look into acupuncture, laser therapy, chiropractic, and physical therapy treatments if they are available locally. We are utilizing all of these for our giant breed dog.

    • Our 9 year old dog had an arthritis flare up over Christmas when we traveled some where cold. Poor boy. The vet is helping us manage it (+1 to liquid glucosamine, not powder or pills) and he seems completely back to normal now – romping around the yard like a puppy. Don’t lose heart but do get her some help!

    • I had a lab puppy that stopped playing at 8 weeks due to hip dysplasia, so not exactly the same issue. Almost as soon as we got him on Rimadyl and food laced with glucosamine he started to perk back up. He was never a super active dog, but he got around great. We ended up having to put him down because of cancer, not because he was in pain because of his hips. I also might suggest a heating pad or a dog pillow that reflects heat. I made the dog one of those knotted fleece blankets and my parents swore up and down he would never use it. Turned out he wanted to be tucked in every night in the winter. The heat seemed to make his hips feel better.

    • When my beloved dog developed arthritis, we did everything we could to ease his pain, including liquid glucosamine, acupuncture at the vet’s office, and making sure he was warm with blankets in his bed, coats for winter walks, and extra cuddles. We also raised his food and water bowls so he wouldn’t have to bend down to reach them. Nothing was perfect, but it all helped. The acupuncture would make a difference for about 2 weeks.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Has she been tested for Lyme? We were told for several years that one of my childhood dogs just had severe arthritis. Turns out it was actually Lyme disease. I have no idea how it wasn’t caught- we are anal about taking our pets to the vet and will spend any sum of $$$ on their health and well-being. It was a very tough ending for our little man :(

    • Shenandoah :

      In addition to glucosamine, maybe chat with your vet about putting her on Previcox. I use the equine version for my horse and know of several other horseowners who use it and have found success with arthritic horses or horses who have some level of joint pain/inflammation issues.

    • I highly recommend Adequan injections. Both my (elderly, arthritic) dog and horse get these, and they really make a difference. Pricy but much more effective than glucosamine supplements (the dog gets those too). I wish there was a human version for days when I feel old and creaky.

      I also manage pain with canine massages, chiropractic work and water treadmill workouts / PT. My dog can’t take most pain meds due to liver failure, but otherwise I would have her on rimadyl at this stage in her life.

    • So sorry to hear your pup isn’t feeling well. If it’s arthritis, the vet should also make sure you have pain meds at home for use whenever she’s having a bad day. My dogs are on joint supplements, including glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM plus others, like green lipped mussel, tumeric, etc. But sometimes, one of them has a bad day and rather than seeing them suffer through it, I can give them a small dose of Tramadol. Rimadyl can be effective but many vets have a concern with long term use. I’d encourage you to consider Lyme, and also to have her back checked to make sure there aren’t any disc problems going on. Back problems are something you want to catch as soon as possible so they don’t get worse. If your “regular” vet isn’t as helpful as you’d like, look for a holistic vet who can consider alternatives such as chiro or laser. We’re doing cold laser for one of my pups and it’s been really helpful. Good luck, I hope she’s feeling better soon.

  14. VolunteerAppreciation :

    I manage a committee of about 16 volunteers for a nonprofit organization. I’m not staff, just a lead volunteer. The organization has a small amount ($200) set aside for the year for appreciation activities/gifts for these volunteers. Any ideas for small appreciation gifts or fun items that might be nice to receive as a volunteer? The only restriction is it can’t be spent on food.

    • Tote bag or mug with the nonprofit logo. I loved getting stuff like that.

      • Different Anon. Any good online resources to get these made?

        • I use 4 imprint and have been very happy with their prices & services for things like this.

        • Cafe press could work for you for tote bags. I am also a fan right now of the pens that are also a flashlight and a stylus for my iPad. I hear those cost about $8 apiece but have not priced them out myself. No mugs, please, we all have too many.

          Is there something you can give related to the work of your nonprofit? Or a print of your building or town?

          I have a similar number of volunteers at the soup kitchen dinner at my church each week. At Christmas I wrote them each a thank-you that said something about their role, how it helped, and (when possible) something about how they do it. We combined it with cookies baked by the priest and other deacon (I realize food is on your no list.)

      • Anonymous :

        I feel like everyone has too many mugs and tote bags. My favorite logo’d swag to get are those portable cell phone batteries (as long as they hold a decent amount of charge; they really vary).

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Anypromo dot com. Everything from mugs to mini notebooks to spatulas to sunglasses.

    • A cute bulb in a pot, add water and grow (think amaryllis or other spring bulbs)
      Nice pens, stationary
      good hand cream
      a recent book in your field/related to the project

      • Just as another voice, I wouldn’t want any of these things.

        I think coffee mugs are the way to go.

    • Anonymous :

      Spatula with the logo. Everyone has a bunch of totes and mugs. Spatulas are useful and uncommon as these kinds of gifts go. Plus you can say something about how the mix of volunteers made for a perfect sauce etc.

    • Movie tickets or something experiential but usable at the volunteers’ discretion.

      Even for organizations I love, I cannot bear another branded schwag item. Every last piece gets donated, mugs included. The one piece I’ve kept around? A branded Totes umbrella. So handy to have!

      • Anonymous :

        Oooh umbrella is the first suggestion here that I’d love to get. Never too many of those!

  15. Business travel life pro tips :

    Any business travel life pro tips?

    Mine is that if I’m going to wear tights on the trip, bring at least two pairs because without a doubt right before the most important meeting of the trip you’ll discover a run in them. I am writing this from backstage at an industry event, where I am wearing my back-up pair that luckily I brought!

    • I prefer traveling in pants when possible because I have ended up sitting on the floor at a super crowded airport gate many times. I always bring an extra pair of underwear even for a day trip and in my laptop bag I keep a pair of fuzzy black socks to slip over tights/hose/bare feet if the plane is cold.

    • I bring 2 of everything that could possibly get ruined. Stockings, Tights, blouses, shoes, etc. If they do, I have a backup and do not have to go to Talbots at the last minute to replace things like this.

    • Anon Work Traveler :

      Double buy everything. Two mascaras, two hair straighteners, two phone chargers…. I keep one set always packed along with the other travel stuff (tiny cork screw with no knife, sewing kit, sleep mask, washable slippers, etc.). Life’s too short for packing and unpacking. Stuff stays in the suitcase except for favorite clothes and shoes I’m not going to double buy. But there’s very little that I won’t double buy to make my life efficient.

      • I do this as well

      • Yes I wrote about the toiletries bag below. I also keep a hair straightener, electric toothbrush and charger, slippers etc in my suitcase at all times.

      • Agreed, I hate having to bring my regular stuff on a trip (toiletries, hair stuff, etc). I have travel sized EVERYTHING including a flat iron and makeup brushes.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Wow first read through I thought you meant you *brought* two mascaras, hair straighteners, etc., on every trip, and my mind was blown.

        I need to buy (“need” sure) a little flat iron — any favorites that don’t cost $a million?

        • I have this one. Love it.

      • Where can I get travel sized mousse?

    • Wear compression knee socks on the plane to help prevent swollen feet and ankles once you get there.

      If you travel a lot, keep your toiletries bag packed. Always be on the lookout for travel sizes of products you use. On the last day of your trip, write yourself a note as you are packing about which toiletry items you need to replace or refill and stick it in your toiletry bag.

      Hang up your clothes as soon as you reach your destination. Don’t live out of your suitcase in a hotel room. I use the drawers too. It will make your clothes look nicer and your mornings easier.

      Don’t try to work on the plane. It’s too cramped and someone is always reclining their seat into your laptop. Treat yourself to a gin and tonic and a movie. I like to download amazon prime movies onto my iPad the night before I travel so I’m not reliant on whatever they’re showing on the plane.

      • KateMiddletown :

        What are your favorite compression socks?

      • KateMiddletown :

        Also, you can download Amazon Prime movies? I’m intrigued.

        • Yes, you have to get the amazon video app. And then you can’t buy the movie from within the app – you have to got to the amazon website. But once you own the movie (or have just selected it for free if it’s prime), you can download it within the video app. It’s great for travel. That’s how I watched most of the Best Picture nominated movies.

          • Anonymous :

            Netflix will allow you to download some content to your device also. The selection of movies and shows isn’t huge but it’s nice enough. I download to both apps when I travel.

    • + buy double everything in mini sizes, I also keep samples of my fav products for a treat to use on the road
      – keep extra external battery pack in laptop bag
      – pack warm pajamas for cold hotel rooms (I always have a problem with this)
      – pack clothes in a similar color palette
      – I like to do face masks , hair treatments as a way to relax so I always keep samples in my carryon bag
      – vitamin c to eat on the plane

    • S in Chicago :

      I always pack a pair of flip flops for conferences. Life-saver for the way home if you get blisters on the back of your feet from too much walking. I’ll wear them in the shower if the hotel isn’t as nice as hoped. And they’re a good substitute for slippers when hanging in your room.

    • I pack a few sandwich bags with single servings of meal replacement powder (soylent or huel), and a shaker cup. That way, if I have an exhausting conference day packed with meetings, I can pop back to my room, quickly drink a shake, and lay down for half an hour instead of scrounging a mediocre lunch, waiting in line, etc. Or I’ll have a shake for breakfast so I can relax a bit longer in the room while still having something healthy. The ones I use are full meal replacements, not reduced calorie weight loss stuff, so no problems going hungry. And I only do it once per day, but it’s been a huge time- and energy-saver for me.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I can’t do meal replacement things, but I do *love* when I remember to pilfer a granola bar from my daughter’s lunch snacks and throw it in my purse. If I’m somewhere for more than a few nights I try to run to a drugstore or something to get some food for my room so I don’t have to face strangers at breakfast time. (And on girls trips I try to get fun but sort of junky hotel room food, like chocolate covered coffee beans and pop tarts!)

      • I take iced coffee packets with me when I travel, and an empty travel mug, so that no matter the coffee situation when I get there I can at least self-medicate with that first cup in the morning. All I need is water.

        I really do need coffee to get to the point in the day where I can even remotely consider going out to look for coffee, so this is a lifesaver.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Definitely double-buy everything for toiletries. I tend to get only travel sizes in case it’s a carry-on only kind of trip.

      I am also a fan of the pouch method – toiletries in a pouch, hair stuff in a pouch, cables in a pouch etc. Packing cubes/envelopes are another good thing because I’m often in a different hotel each night of a trip. I can just pull out the relevant pouches/cubes and not worry about leaving things behind in the hotel.

      Take a scarf – it’s a blanket, it’s a hat, it’s a cold weather scarf, it’s an accessory – mine goes in … a pouch.

      Take slippers or fuzzy socks or something for the hotel room.

      • Your comments about the scarf reminded me of Linus and his blanket from one of the movies… Christmas? Great pumpkin?… where he shows how it can be a bunch of different things.

        That said, I totally agree. I like a wide pashmina type shawl/scarf that can be scrunched into a scarf but can also be worn around the shoulders or across the lap on a chilly airplane.

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          Linus gets me. :) Mine is also a wide pashmina style and I used it as a lap blanket just last week.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Great tips have already been shared, but I’ll add: buy a cheap satin robe if you don’t already have something. It packs up very small, and light, and it’s great for lounging in your hotel room, and/or to put on after a shower. Also, I bought a pair of sneakers that are good enough for both hotel gym workouts and for day-3 of my client visits, when I transition from sheath dresses to pants (and I also wear them to/from the airport.) I pack my heels and slippers for the hotel in my suitcase. I wear only black and very, very dark grey, so all of my clothes coordinate. :)

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Bring my own robe! GENIUS!

        I always shower as soon as I get into a hotel room (to steam off my clothes and to wash the airplane off me) and then put lotion on (a luxury I never have time for at home) so my own satin robe would be the perfect addition!

  16. Advice for bringing home a new puppy? Best resources? Thank you!

    • Read “The Other End of the Leash.” Awesome book.

      • AustralianCattleDog :

        +1 Changed how I managed my dog’s behavior and made me a much happier dog owner. Also recommend some kind of training class.

      • Would this also be a good book for someone who will adopt a rescue dog, and is a first time dog owner?

        Looking for a family member….

        • For rescue and older dogs I recommend Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home

        • AustralianCattleDog :

          Mine is a rescue and I was a first time dog-owner. I needed help setting limits and training him. Basically, I kept thinking “he’s a dog, he’s not that smart/self-controlled/etc”. Needless to say, my clever pup had ME trained in no time. The book helped me turn the tables on him. :)

    • Also recommend Cesar Milan’s How to Raise a Perfect Puppy and the Puppy Book from Monks of New Skete. Cesar’s book really delves into certain dog behaviors (digging, potty training) that other books just sort of gloss over, and gives you actionable ways to work with your dog’s natural instincts. Sometimes I find him controversial, but his book was A+.

      Don’t buy all the things until you meet your pup and see what kind of toys he or she likes and chewing style he or she has. My dog’s favorite toys were a half gallon milk jug with a handle she could carry around proudly, stuffed animals that were hollow that you put a water bottle into that “crunched”, tennis balls, and a soccer ball she could wrestle with. Be very careful to make sure she is attended the first time you give her any chew toys in case she is a powerful chewer–puppies don’t always know not to swallow stuff they shouldn’t.

      Bully sticks are gross in theory but amazing if you need to keep your puppy occupied. Look for odor free ones. Costco has cheap ones that are very good.

      Take all the pix and get your dog an instagram account–I learned a lot there and also from FB groups for my breed.

      Consider pet insurance–vet bills are really expensive nowadays and preexisting conditions aren’t covered by insurance, so if you get insurance at puppyhood, you will be able to deal if, God forbid, your dog gets hit by a car, swallows a sock, is attacked in the dog park, etc.

      Beware of parvo. Ask your vet how to proceed re this.

      Figure out what you are going to do with walking or daytime care–crating, cordoning off in a safe room, etc.

      Remember that the more stuff you do with your dog, the more your dog will be socialized and calm in many situations. GL!

    • Anonymous :

      The Genius of Dogs: your dog is smarter than you think, by Brian Hare

      Also, kennel training

      The minute you get home with your pup – put him quietly into his new kennel without making a big deal about it. Do not squeal or make excited new puppy mom noises (it’s hard!!). Allow pup to check out new kennel by itself for 10 minutes (stay out of the room or area). When the 10 minutes is up, take pup immediately outside without fanfare to go potty. Then, bring it in A and have fun.

      Don’t ever make a big deal about putting pup in kennel.
      Don’t make a big deal about pup the minute you walk in the door.
      Don’t feed pup the minute you walk in the door.

      Pup will grow up to love it’s kennel, and not go crazy the moment you get home from a long day.

      It’s hard, really hard when they are little and cute – but so worth it later.

    • Anonymous :

      “the Puppy Primer”

  17. Retirement Party :

    Anyone been to a fun retirement party? Any ideas for fun activities? Any terrible ideas to stay away from?

    • I would stay away from activities, though maybe a book for people to sign might be nice if it’s a big gathering.
      All the good retirement parties I’ve attended just had good food and good speeches that didn’t go too long. The former is easier than the latter.

      • Not retirement party specific, but if you’re the one planning, and you now that X person and Y person would probably like to give a speech, try to ask them to plan/think about it a bit in advance. In my personal experience, people just generally give better speeches when they are thought about more than 5 seconds in advance.

  18. Anon Work Traveler :

    Double buy everything. Two mascaras, two hair straighteners, two phone chargers…. I keep one set always packed along with the other travel stuff (tiny cork screw with no knife, sewing kit, sleep mask, washable slippers, etc.). Life’s too short for packing and unpacking. Stuff stays in the suitcase except for favorite clothes and shoes I’m not going to double buy. But there’s very little that I won’t double buy to make my life efficient.

  19. Performance review :

    My performance review rating was favorable, but the write-up has some factual inaccuracies and statements that could be misinterpreted. For example, things that I actually did are described as things I didn’t do, and positive developmental goals for next year are characterized as deficiencies. Employees are given space to respond to the write-up, which I have never done before. Is it a good idea or a terrible idea to include a response that clarifies and contextualizes the misleading statements? The performance review will be taken into consideration when I am up for promotion two years from now.

    • In my office that would be seen as defensive. If it’s actually factually wrong, I’d be more likely to just talk to my reviewer and say “hey is this right? If not can you correct it?”

      • Performance review :

        Defensive is what I feared. The reviewer dumped the form on my desk on his way out the door the day he retired, so no opportunity for corrections.

        • If there is truly no option for corrections, then keep any response very factual. Like “Review noted slow response to client in XYZ matter with most emails not being replied to within 24 hours. A review of correspondence on this file indicates that 86 email replies were sent within 24 hours and 3 were not. “

        • If there is truly no option for corrections, then keep any response very factual. Like “Review noted slow response to client in XYZ matter with most emails not being replied to within 24 hours. A review of correspondence on this file indicates that 86 email replies were sent within 24 hours and 3 were not. “

        • push back. You don’t want your next year’s reviewer starting off with an incorrect assumption.

        • Could your new manager or someone in HR correct it if you can provide examples/proof (or it is obvious that it was a typo/mistake)?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I would absolutely write a response, particularly if you can’t ask the reviewer to correct it. You can phrase it to be as not defensive as possible, but this is your career and I’d want future decisions made with accurate information.

    • I would discuss this with your supervisor. There has to be a way to make corrections without it being defensive.

      • This, for sure. I don’t think there is a way to make it not defensive if you don’t give them a heads up about it, but if you go talk to them first, they’ll tell you how they want you to address it.

    • Er, why not just say that?

      “The following items are listed incorrectly and do not correspond with the review. Normally, I would have discussed with my manager so s/he could make the changes, but s/he did this write-up on her/his last day at our company.
      *X, Y, and Z were incorrectly listed under tasks I had not performed, rather than those I had performed.
      *My developmental goals were (list all), while my deficiences were (list all). In the written review, they are scrambled.”

      • +1 This is what I would do. I’d do it before talking to anyone, so you know there’s a record in place even if the preferred way of handling it is to just leave it alone. Then I’d go to current manager or HR and say “FYI I did this thing since there were some errors in the writeup of my review. Let me know if you want me to handle differently.”

  20. Recommendations for a three day trip to Charleston, SC? We’ve been a few times, but always looking for new ideas. We’re on a mini-babymoon so alcohol-center activities are sadly out…but bring on the biscuits! :)

    • The duck confit and bacon club sandwich at The Tattooed Moose is to die for. Best sandwich ever.

    • I just got back from the Food and Wine Festival last weekend! It was my first visit, so ymmv, especially because I spent most of my time at the festival, but I really enjoyed dinner at Husk (they had a nice spicy gingerale!) and going on a walking tour so I could learn more about the history and architecture. The biscuits at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit are delicious, and the first Friday of the month all the art galleries stay open until 8 and have snacks and music and artists hanging around to answer questions. The chicken and waffle at Poogan’s Porch was a little too much food for me, but very tasty.

    • A few of my favorite things if not imbibing:

      -the Glass Onion for po boys
      -Charleston Tea Plantation/Angel Oak/Wadmalaw Island
      -Middleton Place
      -Husk or McCrady’s or both
      -Cru Cafe for lunch
      -Hominy Grill for biscuits and gravy
      -late night walks south of Broad
      -cooking class at Charleston Cooks
      -Bowen’s Island to sit on the back porch and watch the dolphins swim by

    • Thanks, all!

  21. No Problem :

    My mom wants to buy me something to celebrate a recent promotion, and she said maybe something like a Kate Spade bag (current favorite brand for both of us). I don’t really need another bag at the moment and don’t have my eye on anything in particular. What else might I suggest in the $300-500 range? I already have a nice watch, coats for every season/occasion, and purses/bags in many colors. She has bought me jewelry in the past for milestone events (sweet 16, grad school graduation), but I’m not sure I’m in the market for anything specific that would fall in that budget. We’ll be going shopping together in a major city with tons of options ranging from outlets to luxury brands.

  22. ankle pant problems :

    So I bought a new pair of dress pants, which happen to be ankle length, and I’m reminded why I always pass right by this style. They look really cute with heels and loafers, but it’s friggin cold today and that was not going to happen. I put on ankle boots, which I thought were working, but it feels sooo awkward. I don’t feel like it looks intentional. Is this something I just need to get used to, or am I doing this all wrong? Maybe not enough skin is showing to look intentional. I’m 5’9″ so the fear of wearing flood pants is real.

    • Housecounsel :

      This is a major struggle for me every day and I am only 5’7″. Really hope someone has good advice.

    • I’m 5’11” with disproportionately long legs, and I love it when ankle pants are in, because I can never find pants long enough anyway.

      But I just don’t wear them in chilly or rainy weather. I wear skirts with tights and my trusty aquatalia ankle boots when it’s yucky out. Full disclosure, it does not snow where I live (Bay Area)

      • ankle pant problems :

        I think you’re right. I need to save this style for spring/summer when I don’t mind wearing less shoe.

    • I wear high snow boots to commute in, and then change to other shoes in my office. So I get the look of exposed skin but during my commute my ankles are fully protected.

    • In my opinion (and work setting), booties work well with ankle pants when the shaft of the bootie is narrow and the pants reach the top of the bootie without being too long….. or too short. I usually wear pants the same color as my booties with a matching sock underneath. So lots of black in my wardrobe.

      I think for many of us, the flash of skin between a too short ankle pant and a short style bootie is not a great look. For the fashion runways and fashion blogs, but not for most of us at work.

      So I love ankle pants in the winter, because I can wear them with winter worthy booties every day and my pants don’t get wet. I don’t have a job with an office/place where I can change shoes, and am walking between buildings all day long.

      • ankle pant problems :

        Huh. That’s exactly the length/style of my pants and booties, and it still feels really off. I like the look on others, though.

    • Don’t wear them in the winter?

  23. Housecounsel :

    How about a pair of spectacular boots? I have a pair of Tory Burch riding boots that are five years old and still look fantastic (I do have them “serviced” every year).

  24. The anonymous post above re: a post about depression a year ago has me wondering. There have been a few people from the Corporette comments section that I’ve really enjoyed who have come and gone. One had a blog I loved to read, maybe two or three years ago? Going through a divorce, lived in a one-bedroom apartment with two daughters? Anyone know what happened to her? There was also a commenter coming back from alocoholism–would love to hear that she’s doing well now.

    • Someone posted that her mother (who immigrated from another country) moved in with her and her husband and it was threatening to tear their marriage apart. I really want to know if things worked out for them.

    • Speaking of former posters, I always enjoyed Bunkster’s book recommendations. If anyone has a link to her current list, I’d love to know it.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I wonder about the blogger, too. “Don’t Blame the Kids” or something like that. Particularly since she lived in DC, where I lived at the time.

      • Elizabeth Bright :

        That’s me! How funny. I’m still around, but I don’t blog anymore due to a creepy situation. I read here and post anonymously. I still live in a tiny DC condo, but will move to a bigger space next month, still in DC. Still a lawyer. Started dating, after swearing I wouldn’t, lol. The kids are getting older, and their dad is getting more involved. All it took was filing for child support, who knew?

        Oh! And I signed a four-book deal. The second book came out a few weeks ago. I write historical romance, which…Yeah. I didn’t see that coming.

        So, I’m good. I’m really, really good. And I’ll keep posting here, but you won’t know it’s me. ;)

    • There are a few people I wonder about. Sometimes I don’t even realize someone’s disappeared until a post like this and then I think ‘where’s X?’ I always hope that maybe it was just a name change.

    • I’ve always wondered who SFBay Associate came back as. I liked her Nordstrom reviews.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      And what happened with wildkitten’s dog-custody battle?

    • I still wonder about K…in transition and hope things are well for her.

      • I think some of the comments here were too harsh, sometimes even calling her tr0ll. This happened to me a couple times and it wasn’t fun. Thinking how much negativity she got… As much as this community can be amazingly supportive, there are times when I feel bad for the poster

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      And KT with the lizard stories!

  25. I had a phone interview in mid-Jan. and followed up with a thank you email. During the interview, the woman mentioned their process is slow and I may not hear anything for several weeks. She responded to my email with similar language-that the process to determine in person interview candidates would take several weeks. Its now been…6 weeks? I haven’ theard anything. Should I follow up, or just let it go and assume I’m not in the running?I’m also curious if I should ask for feedback, particularly as this position is a slight transition in fields?

    • For further context, the closing date was Dec. 15. The job is still posted on their website with the same closing date.

    • I’d say let it go and move on and then be pleasantly surprised if you hear from them again.

  26. Considering a Part-time In-House Position :

    Looking for advice or suggestions on considerations for moving to a part-time in-house position. I’m an on-track for partner 7th year associate at a relatively large law firm in a smaller market. I’m also the mom of two small children (under age four). I have been looking to move in-house for some time, but most of the positions have involved significant travel which I’m not interested in at this point.

    I received a call from a company regarding a part-time in house position that is a great fit with my practice area and doesn’t require travel. It’s a 24-hour/week position with hourly pay and the annualized amount seems fairly attractive. I haven’t considered a part-time arrangement in the past, and beyond knowing that I can go on my husband’s health insurance and do not need that benefit from an employer, I don’t know what else I don’t know to ask about potential drawbacks and concerns. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Do you want to work part time? You shouldn’t go into a part-time position if you don’t want to work part time. It does you no service to have lesser pay just to get a foot in the door to in-house. You should wait until a full time position comes along. Have they made any mention of the position turning full time?

      • Considering a Part-time In-House Position :

        I wasn’t looking for a part-time position, but now that the possibility is there, the idea of working 3 days a week and spending 2 with the kids while they’re little does sound appealing. They haven’t mentioned it turning full-time – I’m going in to meet with the GC (there are currently two in-house attorneys, the GC and a full time corporate counsel) next week and hope to get some more idea of the workload and their intentions for the position.

    • Get clarity on what they mean by part time. Is it a true 24 hour/week schedule with set hours, or does it average 24 hours/week? We do it both ways at my firm–and in some situations part time is more of cycle with full time hours then more days off (think of almost interval training when running).

    • Anonymous :

      When I worked part-time (as in house counsel) I found it challenging not to have as big a stake/say in decisions because I was not physically present for meetings, etc. In some ways it was freeing, but I ultimately increased my hours because I wanted a bigger role.

      When you meet with the GC and the corporate counsel, try to understand whether you would have ownership over a particular area or whether you’d be overflow. The latter situation could be unfulfilling and potentially more unpredictable schedule-wise.

      Also, part-time will come with a large pay cut. If you’re looking to make up that cut by eliminating childcare spending on your days off, you’re going to have no flexibility to join important meetings that take place on your “day off” (which will be scheduled by your business client in most instances). Make sure that works for this role and for your own ambitions.

      All in all, this could be an amazing opportunity for you to get in house and make your schedule a little more sane while your kids are little.

  27. Any tips for responding to my best friend, who is in the middle of yet another diet/lifestyle change? It is literally the only topic she will talk about for hours on end if I let her (and we have done this for years. and years. and years). She is well aware (“I know I’m obsessing!”) but then doesn’t stop. I feel like it’s harder to figure out what to say when she’s already aware of the basic fact that she talks about this nonstop – there’s no “Hey, you probably didn’t realize, but…”

    • I meant to add that she also says “I know I’ll get to a place where I think about it less” so I start to assume relief is right around the corner and then it isn’t…

    • “Ok that’s enough diet talk for tonight! Arie is literal scum am I right?”

      Just tell her to stop.

      • I would so love to do the direct approach, but traditionally, she responds with a snooty “fine, I guess I can’t talk to you about this. See you around.”, which I find so rude and annoying. I guess I’m looking for a more compassionate response (since she truly is struggling with obesity – if this were for vanity weight, I’d have taken the direct approach long ago), but that is also firm.

        • I mean, that’s your goal. “Nope, I just can’t listen to hours and hours of obsessing about this. Honestly, I’m worn out. I want the be supportive, but I can’t do this.”

        • Can you try “That sounds really tough (or whatever)” to offer some sympathy and let her know you feel for her and then redirect to anything else?

          • That might be the ticket, actually – a word of sympathy without a “what are you going to do next?” or something that invites more conversation.

        • You can’t have it both ways. You can’t get her to stop and not temporarily hurt her feelings.

    • Is it time…. to have a conversation with her from a position of concern?

      As it seems like she may need a professional to talk to, perhaps to help break this cycle?

      I would only broach it if you are willing to take the backlash, and a time where she is not talking about this, if possible.

      I had a friend like this. It stemmed from uncontrollable anxiety. It took a lot of work on my part, but she finally got hooked in with a therapist/doctor again that was helpful. But her anxiety was becoming explosive to me, and pushing my own anxiety out of control. So unfortunately I did a bad thing in the end and essentially stopped responding to her endless calls. I didn’t handle it well, but she burned me out.

      • Unfortunately, she does have major anxiety issues, which are certainly playing a role here. I’m not sure it’s the right time for me to take a stand on it, though, since I feel like I’m able to separate my own anxiety at this point (I just get annoyed with the diet talk) and because she had a major death in the family in the last few years, so I don’t want to pull out my support entirely. She has really struggled with persistent grief after the death and has tried therapy and is going to a grief group, so I think she is taking steps, but in the meantime, she does have a lot of anxiety coming through.

        • I think you’re making this way too big. Just tell her “ok enough diet talk for tonight” and redirect. If she’s rude about that, she’s a rude person.

          • +1

            Do you genuinely like her as a person? Sometimes we keep friends around out of habit when we’ve really outgrown each other. You’re an outlet for her, and I have a feeling that if you left, she’d find someone else to vent to.

          • Diet talk :

            Yeah, I know I’m probably overthinking it, but I tried to put myself in her shoes and I’m seeking the most compassionate way to handle this problem, which has gone on for so long with no protest from me that I think it would feel a little out of the blue to just shut her down (especially given the grieving factor). I do like her as a person, but I fully recognize that we have different interests at this point and I’m spending more time cultivating my other relationships. I’m not willing or interested in throwing it away since we have been best friends since birth and there is good along with the bad.

          • Anonymous :

            Omg. Saying you need to move on from a topic in one phone call is the gentlest possible step and not remotely the same as throwing away the friendship. This is how you start drawing boundaries.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            When I hear that you feel like you can’t ask for a topic change without getting a big, upset reaction, I think one of two things: you’re not giving her credit, and she’d actually handle it just fine; or you two aren’t in a good place to be talk-all-the-time friends right now.

            Take diet out of it. Imagine I’m talking to my friend about topic A, and she says, “oof, I hear you, but I really don’t want to talk about A stuff any more. I’m happy to support you with Thing if you need it, but all this A talk is making me sad/stressed/anxious/whatever” and then I cut her off or stomped out… *I’m* being a jerk, not her.

        • I see. It sounds like she needs medication, along with therapy.

          My friend basically made every excuse to avoid medication, which is what led me break our friendship. Her mode of treatment of venting to me was unsustainable.

          Sorry it’s so hard.

  28. Telling work pregnant :

    Im a senior associate at a mid-size firm and I’m almost 14 weeks pregnant with my second (due early September) I started this job 10 months ago and I think it’s going well. I’m debating when to tell work about the pregnancy. I think I’m showing and part of me wants to tell sooner to just be done with it and not have to hide it anymore. But I’m also worried that once I tell I won’t be taken seriously and will be taken off my cases and not given other significant work. I have one matter that we just learned is scheduled for trial in October, so I obviously won’t be able (or frankly willing) to work on the trial. I’m the only associate on the case and do all the day to day work/case management. We are currently in discovery. If you were the partner would you be mad if I delayed telling about the pregnancy in light of the trial?

    Also, It’s kind of an old school place. Majority men and no other working mothers. There hasn’t been anyone pregnant or on maternity leave since I’ve been here and the only people with little kids are men (mostly w stay at home wives).

    I’d really appreciate any insight into how I should handle this. I don’t want to screw anyone but I also don’t want to impact my work flow sooner than necessary.

    • Do you want to work at this firm long-term? In that case, tell them NOW. Because yes – if I were the partner on that case I would be furious that you allowed yourself to be staffed on a case going to trial when you knew you were going to be out.

      For context, I am the senior handling attorney on a bunch of cases (usually second chairing the trial) and have been in a situation where a junior attorney did not tell me about a pregnancy until really late in the game. It caused a lot of problems – not the least of which is that we had to write off the hours of the person I had to bring up to speed to assist. Waiting until 12 weeks I can understand, even if I don’t love it. Waiting longer than that when you are the primary day-to-day can leave a lot of resentment and questions about your commitment to the firm and your clients.

      • I think your attitude about this is unfair. You (presumably) don’t know anything about the person’s health situation or whether they may have had prior losses that motivated their decision to wait. Assuming she didn’t wait until she was 8 months pregnant or something, you still should have had months to adjust your team.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, 14 weeks is technically the end of the first trimester. So if you’re going to take this position based on the idea that people wait until the end of the first trimester, at least be medically accurate about it.

      • You don’t “love” waiting until 12 weeks? What would you prefer? I can’t imagine you want to know about every early miscarriage your co-workers may have either.

      • Anon at 12:29 :

        My point is that the poster is already 14 weeks and planning on waiting longer. While she waits she is involved in a case that is going to trial in seven months. She will be leaving on maternity leave in 5-6 months. If she is not going to be there for the trial, I think there is a pretty good chance that the people she works with are going to be upset that she did not tell them – especially a bunch of men with stay at home wives. They need to know so that they can give thought to who is going to be assisting with the trial, final pretrial discovery, and trial prep. That may not be what OP wants to hear, but if a fellow woman with two kids feels that way, I can only imagine what her partners are going to think.

        If she was 10 weeks and wondering whether to wait until 14 my advice would be different.

        • I doubt her male coworkers will take the time to calculate whether she is 14 weeks vs 16 weeks.

        • Anonymous :

          They can figure out their trial strategy just as easily in a week or two. I hope you never have to go through infertility. My sister is on her sixth pregnancy and just recently disclosed at 16 weeks. She has one living child. Her work only knows about one of her other 4 pregnancies. Being able to wait a week or two extra at work would make a huge difference to her. It may be the difference between getting test results back or having an extra ultrasound to reassure her that she’s not having another 13th week mc.

          I get that you had a tough situation with a trial that one time but you are being incredibly unempathetic to anyone who dare wait longer than your prescribed mandatory 12 week disclosure.

        • Lyra Silvertongue :

          WOW. I’m 13 weeks right now and nowhere near ready to announce. I had a prior loss last year on Labor Day, and then needed two procedures in the subsequent months to fix complications from that miscarriage. This pregnancy has been full of complications as well, and with frequent hemorrhaging, I am not ready to announce nor should I be pressured to.

          A couple of weeks now does not make a significant difference to a trial scheduled for October.

          Since you stated your preference and that you don’t “love” waiting until 12 weeks, should I detail all the things I too don’t love? I don’t love miscarrying- the physical contractions, the heartache, the unending sense of loss and that I’m missing a piece of myself. I don’t love the complications I suffered after it; as if losing the baby was not bad enough, my pain and symptoms after it were blown off by the health care system and I became infected and had those extra surgical procedures, more salt on an already raw wound. I don’t love the constant anxiety I have during this pregnancy, wondering every day if this baby is going to make it or if I will lose my child again, and with him/her another piece of my heart and another set of dreams for the future. I don’t love the loss of my naive joy; I will never again know what it is to be blissfully happy about a pregnancy, that sense of optimism was shattered in the ER last year. And I certainly don’t love people who pontificate as you did about what an expectant mother should or shouldn’t do.

    • Tell them when you’re ready. They’ll have months of notice, and a few weeks isn’t going to make a big difference (unless there’s a particular reason specific to your circumstance/case that it would.)

      You should obviously try to minimize the inconvenience of your pregnancy on your job, but as long as you do that, disclosing now or in 2-3 weeks isn’t going to make a difference.

    • Telling work pregnant :

      Thanks for the advice. I had an ultrasound this week and everything was fine. No more tests until 20 weeks and I’m not planning on trying to wait that long. I guess there really isn’t a good reason to wait much longer aside from my own anxiety about telling them. I had my last daughter at a firm where many women had babies and parental leave was used often and supported. This is not seem that kind of place and I’m worried the response is going to be more along the lines of this is what you get when you hire women especially in light of missing the trial.

  29. Patty Mayonnaise :

    Anyone have a rec for longer, fitted tees? I’m long waisted with big boobs, so anything hats not fitted makes it look like I’m wearing a sack and anything on the shorter side is almost a crop top. I LOVED the Whbm seamless tees, but it looks like they don’t make them anymore.

    • I got some nice t-shirts from Banana Republic a few years ago. Thick cotton, they’ve held up very well.

    • Old Navy’s Luxe tees are surprisingly great.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Miriam Baker. Here’s a recent review of one of her tops:

  30. Baconpancakes :

    My boss confronted me with the (true) rumors that I was thinking of changing departments, and asked what she could do differently to retain me. This office has terrible retention rates, largely because of poor management. In a second discussion, I answers I provided included: stop giving me pop quizzes on topics I haven’t encountered yet, give positive feedback coupled with negative feedback instead of just negative feedback, and occasionally try to give me tasks I have done before so I can feel a little success before throwing me new tasks where the only way to learn is to make mistakes (this is legitimately the training style).

    She was receptive but dubious. Has anyone seen this kind of interaction end up happily? Or should I start looking? Once the boss has this in their head, am I basically written off?

    • I’m really surprised you told your boss those things. That’s basically just asking to be coddled and have your job made easier. Yes, look now. But also reconsider what is appropriate to share with your boss.

      • Yeah some of these suggestions (“occasionally try to give me tasks I have done before so I can feel a little success before throwing me new tasks where the only way to learn is to make mistakes”) seem weird. Like I assume the tasks you are given are the tasks that the company/your manager needs you to get done (unless you feel she is doing this intentionally to mess with you?) Also sometimes there may only be negative feedback.

    • If you have a boss who’s so clueless that you had to tell them not to give just negative feedback and not to give pop quizzes (what on earth?), I don’t see this turning around on any sort of manageable timeline. Maybe after a couple years, if she really cares and studies, she can learn to be a good manager, but you can’t do a 180* overnight.

    • Anon for this :

      Look elsewhere. They know you’re thinking of leaving, they’re just keeping you long enough to find a replacement. Better leave when it suits your plan not theirs.

    • I’m going to try to put this less rudely than others, but I’ve been in your shoes and I would keep looking. My boss was receptive to my honest, though critical feedback (you do not answer my emails, you talk over me in meetings giving other departments wrong information, etc). I gave her feedback for two years before starting to look elsehwere. I think she really wanted to change, but had neither the resources nor support from above. I even went over her head (against my mentor’s advice) and was met with “I understand you’re unhappy but moving you to a different department would cripple this one.” I ended up leaving the company. This situation sucks and I hope yours turns out well. Leaving the company was actually really good for my career (and my wallet, it turns out). Good luck.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Thanks. It’s difficult to find positions in my field in my smallish town, and moving won’t be feasible for another few years, so I’m looking at another department. Annoyingly, my current department is the only one that does exactly what I do (which I like a lot) within 100 miles, so leaving will mean giving up work I like.

        I believe my boss does legitimately want to retain me – she just approved a week-long training conference, and she just thanked me for having concrete things to change that she had “never considered.” We’re currently down 2 positions out of 12, and we’ve had 50% turnover in the past year.

        I do understand some people can thrive just fine without some positive feedback, but I’m not one of them. I either need project success or some kind of positive feedback, neither of which I’m getting.

        It was in my long-term plan to leave the department in 3 or 4 years, but I’ve been here about 1 year, so felt it was imprudent to leave before that.

    • You seriously told your boss to give you positive feedback? You told her to make sure you feel successful before she asks you to do something new? I just cannot imagine telling any boss to fluff my self esteem before asking me to do my job. Are these the reasons you are already looking? Because a job with a cheerleader boss is hard to come by.

      • Feedback should be balanced and reflect the quality of work done. If you only ever hear negative feedback, but do great work, you will end up leaving. This is literally a documented issue that good managers are aware of.

    • I think it depends on whether your boss actually wants to change things or not. I worked for a very demanding, micro-managing boss who was very smart but a terrible manager. After a ton of turnover on her team, she realized she had a problem. She also was highly regarded by senior management, who invested in a coach for her and genuinely solicited feedback on how to improve the morale on the team. That was about 4 years ago and now her team is the one that is sought out for good developmental assignments. Yes, this is an exception rather than the rule.

      If you think there is actual commitment to change, then you should frame your answers less in emotional responses and more with concrete suggestions and how they tie to your career goals. It would be easy for a bad manager to dismiss your feedback as millennial whining (she only wants easy assignments and lots of praise) when I don’t think that’s what you are saying. Add in specific requests like training on new areas before your competency is tested.

    • Bacon, I have to say that I cringed when I read this. It’s just classic Millenial (even if you aren’t a Millenial). I think if you have another opportunity you need to turn it into how you can be most productive in meeting the company’s goals. You can give all this feedback in an oblique way that doesn’t come across as “I’m special and need to be made to feel special.”

      • a millenial who agrees :


        I think the part about “so I can feel a little success” is where I cringed. Positive feedback is good for communicating what is actually wanted of you. Experiencing success is good so that you can build habits and skills. It doesn’t really make sense to ask for things for the “perks” they afford to you (such as feelings). You need to ask for what will help you meet *shared* goals.

        Yes, good managers take feelings into account, but this isn’t egregiously hostile stuff you are describing. She might do specific concrete actions more when asked, but she isn’t going to transform into a good manager because of feedback.

      • Ugh, I’m so over the millennial-hating. So what if she is a millennial? News flash: millennials the current workforce and the future workforce. Stop resenting them and update managerial styles. Her desire to “feel” success is totally legitimate, too. Employees need to feel some confidence and sense of accomplishment if you expect them to do challenging work. Asking for positive feedback and opportunities to be successful is not egregious, either.

        • This makes it sound like the work is just made up, like homework. Maybe the actual work that actually needs to get done doesn’t present an opportunity for easy success. In this case, the employee may need training, support, clear communication, oversight, or any number of things, but this isn’t college, and work isn’t an assignment that can just be made easier.

  31. Paging the Candidate! :

    Paging the reader who was running in a crowded primary this week – how did it go??

  32. Changing jobs to relocate :

    Is it “acceptable” to leave a job earlier than you otherwise would in order to relocate for personal reasons? My post-law school resume is: 1 year judicial clerkship, 2 years in civil legal services, 18 months at a small firm – all in the same city I went to law school. I’m starting to think about moving back to the city where I grew up/where my family is, but I don’t want my resume to look like I always get antsy after 2 years in a job. What’s the consensus on this? Thanks!

    • I think leaving a position to move closer to your family is totally acceptable and would be well received by whoever you interview with.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I think this is fine.

      Curious, what is “civil legal services?” Never heard that phrase before.

    • I think the people interviewing you in your home city will be receptive to the explanation that you want to move back, but you need to be willing to stay in whatever next job you take for at least 3 years.

    • I mean, that’s what I would think if i were interviewing you after all these short stints. As a manager, I invest a lot of time and effort in bringing people up to speed and honestly, they’re just starting to be useful after a year or two. If I though you’d only stay a year or 18 months, I would definitely pass on hiring you.

      • To be fair to OP, though, “all these short stints” include a 1-year judicial clerkship, which is intended to be a 1-year job. It’s not unusual to want to work in Legal Aid and then find out it’s not for you after a couple of years.

        So OP, if you’re moving for personal reasons, look at jobs where you’d be doing the same type of work you’re doing now. If you did clerkship, legal aid, family law at small firm, and now you want to do civil litigation, I’d be concerned that you’re still figuring out what you want to do, or you don’t like practicing law that much, etc. If you’re interviewing for the same type of work, you can more easily sell, “I’ve found my niche and love my job, but it’s important to me to live in this community where I grew up.”

        • Thank you for this. Yes, I’d be looking for a job in the same practice area that I’m currently in.

  33. I have a pair of the Cole Haan Air Melanie rain boots in purple (I call them Purple Rain), and I love them, but after 8 years they need to be replaced. My favorite thing about them is that they have full length zips along the side, which I prefer over pulling them on.

    Does anyone know of similar rain boots, with zips rather than pull-on style?

  34. I am a midlevel who recently started working with the senior associate from hell. She doesn’t communicate what she wants and when you ask questions she condescends and acts like you are an idiot (just for asking when is this due, for instance). She also has completely unrealistic expectations, but feels because she is senior it is her god goven right to make you unhappy (i am not joking, she literally says things to thus effect). Just the thought of working with her again (we once did a minor project but I had a competing case with another partner and was able to escape) makes me want to quit my job and/or jump out a window. Is there anything I can do other than quit? my concern is that it will take 6 months to find a new place and I still have to deal with her.

    • lawsuited :

      Your reaction to this senior associate it really extreme. Is there harassment or abuse going on? If so, talk to another associate you trust about how best to escalate it in your firm. If not, then I think it might be helpful for you to talk to a therapist about your extreme feelings of avoidance (jumping out a window, wanting to quit your job rather than potentially interact with her for the time it takes to find a new job) and how you can manage those feelings. My general feeling is that it would be a shame for you to make any big career decisions, much less compromise your career, because of an unpleasant senior associate.

    • Um, yes, you have options. I’d start with working on your own reactions to her. Everybody has to work with difficult people. Most people don’t quit because of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been in your position before, and working with a therapist (along with some anti-anxiety meds) really helped me modulate my reactions to super unpleasant work situations and navigate them appropriately. I don’t think you’re wrong to have the reactions you’re having, but retaining a neutral support structure can really help you deal with it as pragmatically as possible until the situation either resolves itself or you find a new one.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Hugs. I am sorry you’re being a bit dismissed by the commenters above. I’ve worked with bad people before. Gaslighty, manipulative, absolutely crazy-making. That, combined with no time to take care of myself (or sleep) made it pretty darn difficult to get through the day. So I feel you. My thought is that (within limits, like being able to take care of yourself etc.) quitting because you hate your job is not totally nuts. We only get one shot at life.

      That being said, I don’t think that the suggestion that you work with someone to develop coping skills is bad either. You do, presumably, need to make a living, so if you can stick this out for a bit, all the better. Maybe your therapist will tell you, “OMG this woman is a literal monster” and you’ll feel validated. Maybe she’ll say, “let’s work on what you could do to get less wrapped up in Senior Associate’s games” and you’ll feel empowered. It’s worth exploring. Basically everything Anon at 2:18 said.

      • +1. I’ve worked with someone who was exactly like OP described–condescending, unpleasant about everything, uncommunicative, gas-lighting, quick to throw you under the bus for sh*t you didn’t do, wanted to take my name off a 30-page brief I drafted. She was several years senior to me, but she was the same way with people who were her level or just one year below. I got moved down the hall to the office next to hers, and my anxiety just hearing her voice through the wall all day went through the roof.

  35. Aggressive Talker :

    We recently hired a third person in my workgroup. My colleague and I have had an excellent working relationship as a duo, but I’m having some trouble adjusting to the communication style of our new peer and I’m wondering if there’s a way to give feedback without being adversarial.

    My new peer tends to talk aggressively – leaning forward, hand gestures into my personal space, loud tone. While I know it’s not a personal attack, I find myself just backing away and closing off from this person as a result of the communication style (not the content). I have a pretty assertive work personality myself, so I don’t think I’m being extra sensitive.

    Any advice or script on how to articulate to this person how we might talk more constructively with each other? I’d like to fix this if I can, but I’m not sure that “tough it out” is going to work given how closely we work together.

    • If someone hand features into your personal space, put your hands on theirs and gently push down and back. Do not feel the need to explain.

    • No advice but an anecdote from my college days. There was a student who was very loud and in my face each time we met during our TV station meeting. I always assumed he was rude which is a bit weird because otherwise he’s nice. One day he randomly said: “Oh and by the way, if I speak loudly it’s because I can’t hear from my left ear”. He never wore any device so I had no way of knowing, but since then I was glad I never confronted him.

      • My mother has a friend that I’ve always found annoyingly loud and invasive of personal space. Just recently my mom told me that this friend is deaf (and always has been) in one ear. Which, presumably, is why she shouts and leans in way closer than I would like. I guess I’ve never let on that this woman annoys me which is why mom never felt the need to explain this, but I sure feel much friendlier towards her knowing this information.

  36. Lana Del Raygun :

    I … may have just teared up at my desk when I saw the Chloe Kim Barbie doll.

    I get that Mattel is a voraciously profit-driven capitalist entity. I really do. But I’m so glad that the market now demands things like this, and that I can buy my niece an aspirationally beautiful Asian-American doll, or one with an Afro or an imposing unibrow or a crazy-thick pair of glasses.


  37. Recs please! Heading to Santa Fe for a few nights in April, and trying to decide where to stay. Near the Plaza? Near the Railroad/Arts district? Outside of town? Does having a pool matter in April, or will it be too cold? Same for balconies/patios – lost cause in April? We’ll be doing lots of exploring in the area, and are hoping to be pretty active as opposed to seeking R&R, but I’d still like to have a nice home base to return to.

    • ROSEWOOD! We stayed there for our honeymoon. Loved every minute. Still want to go back.

    • Anonymous :

      I would stay near the Plaza, just because it is walkable to everything. Depending on your budget, La Fonda is a pretty hotel in the middle of everything. The Eldorado is also a nice hotel. April will likely be too cold for an outdoor pool to be of much use, although the weather in Santa Fe is unpredictable. You just never know. Balconies and patios can certainly be enjoyed around that time of year. The Drury Hotel has a very nice rooftop deck and bar. Bring a sweater or a wrap, as it can get chilly in the evenings. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, there is a very nice artisan and farmer’s market in the Railyard area, although it will probably be smaller in April than in the summer months.

    • A friend of mine owns and runs the Inn on the Paseo. It’s adorable and the food is to die for!

  38. Anon - considering in-house :

    Any tips for thinking about career options after Biglaw?

    I’m partway through an interview process at a PE portfolio company and am currently a Biglaw midlevel. I like the work I do in Biglaw, and going in-house would change the substance of my work considerably. Should I stick around and try to go in-house in my current practice area? I know I do not want to make partner at my current firm but get good feedback about the quality of my work (so would consider lateraling to another firm for better people and work/life balance).

    I asked this question yesterday and got a variety of answers – better to leave now, before you get too senior, are you sure you want to leave and go in house (better to stay and figure that out first), this is a stupid question, etc. Any advice is appreciated! TIA.

    • Anonymous :

      I saw your post yesterday and was interested in the responses because I am in a similar position. For what it’s worth, I was very stressed about what to do, decided to stay put, and am happy with that decision. Current plan is to wait until I have my first kid (likely 2 year time horizon) and see how I feel. Here’s what I thought about:

      – I currently don’t have anything else I would do with my free time. My husband works a lot and that’s not subject to change for a while, I don’t have hobbies beyond hanging out with friends/family and exercising, all of which I am able to slot in somewhat now (maybe not as much as I like, but enough).

      – Financial benefit. Our firm has a great maternity leave policy plus a I’ll have the law firm salary for a few more years.

      – The age old advice – “don’t lean out before you need to.” Yes, I work a lot. But I get good work that I love, good feedback, and have great teachers/mentors and people who care about me as a person and my training as a lawyer. I don’t necessarily need to work fewer hours at this moment, so why risk taking a new job that could be a step down in responsibility, training, etc. until I want to/need to? This one would obviously depend on what exactly the job being offered to you is/what it would be like from a professional development perspective.

      – If I end up not making partner, or I decide I don’t want to be partner, I don’t think my exit options will be materially impacted. I’m not in lit and do something specialized where people tend to leave law firms much later than other areas for various reasons, so this one may or may not apply to you.

      Good luck!

  39. Do you all have a net worth (or savings) number or some other financial marker where you’ll feel like you can “relax” — take on a job you like better even if there’s a pay cut; start a business or explore some option like that instead of full time employment in your current industry?

    I feel like I’ve gotten to a good level (despite living in NYC and DC) but to hear NYC/DC friends, a million is nothing, you should have $2m; if you have $2m (including retirement and everything – not cash), well then you better be aiming for $5m. Not that it matters what they think (and I didn’t bring it up – these are there general views on money); all I can think – there are plenty of concrete companies and trucking companies and small businesses like that and I’m sure their owners didn’t waltz in with $1m to start the business. Curious about others views on money and risk taking.

    • I think it depends on how long you want the money to last. If I wanted the money to support me now, I would probably want 50x annual expenses. For retirement, I’m comfortable with something lower (30x?) because (1) I expect to have a pension around 20% of income and (2) my down the line expenses are more predictable at that point. Another thing is that our health expenses are very hard to forecast so I am super risk averse in this regard.

      I definitely think the FIRE idea of 25x is too low for me, but 25x is comfortable for many folks.

    • I would be happy with a 1 bedroom apartment paid fully (no mortgage), and monthly living expenses to cover 5 years. Once I reach that, I’ll probably have a different outlook on life and less of an urge to save and progress in my career

  40. Anyone have insight into ExecuNet? At first I thought it was a recruiting firm but that does not seem to be the case. Is this a reputable group?

  41. Salary increase :

    At the end of last year, I was promised a substantial raise (about 20%). My department budgeted for it, and the money is in the budget. The CEO of the corporation has to sign off on it (CEO already approved the budget with it in there, but has to actually give the go-ahead for me to receive it from HR), but has yet to do so. About a month ago, I was confronted by CEO about problems CEO has with my boss- not me. Now I believe that my salary increase is essentially being held hostage from me, about things I don’t make decisions about. Any advice?

    • Anonymous :

      This seems very odd. How big is your company? Your CEO shouldn’t be going to your boss’s subordinates to badmouth him/her; it’s totally unprofessional. I don’t want to alarm you and I’m not saying you are in danger, but in your position I’d probably start putting feelers out for other jobs, just because when weird office politics start involving senior management behaving erratically and/or reneging on substantial promises, there’s usually something bigger going on.

  42. It’s pretty large and financially stable. I think that CEO is jealous of recent success by my boss and is feeling vulnerable and I’m caught in the crossfire. It makes me hesitant to leave because I could be in a great position if my boss is elevated.

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