How to Handle Awkward Questions at the Office

Question mark., originally uploaded to Flickr by SegozymeHow do you handle questions about Ramadan at work? I think this is a great topic because awkward questions arise in a lot of different situations, whether the question stems from a religious practice (Ramadan, observing the Sabbath, ashes on Ash Wednesday), a medical issue (allergies, Celiac disease, etc), or a personal preference (e.g., a new diet). Reader D is new at her office and observing Ramadan, a month without food or water during daylight hours. Here’s her question:

Ramadan has just started and I am a practicing Muslim (but people would not guess based on my appearance, so I am told) and I am working in a law office. I really like the job and I am pretty new, and everyday attorneys are asking if I’d like to join for lunch or coffee and I say no thank you, I really appreciate it etc. What gets trickier is at lunch-ins where there is a surplus of food and people give me looks about not eating (Ramadan rapid weight loss does not help the suggestion of other issues), but I really don’t want to tell them that I am observing the month of Ramadan (yes an entire month without food or water during daylight hours). Any suggestions on how I can field these situations which will be coming up every day for the next 20+ days? I only ask because I have had a pretty rough experience in the past when people have ‘figured out’ I am fasting- and I just don’t think religion is a relevant topic in the work place, as long as it does not affect my performance, and it has not.

I’m curious to hear what the readers say here. (Pictured: Question mark., originally uploaded to Flickr by Segozyme.) For my $.02, I think this is how you should handle it: [Read more…]

How Not to Gain Weight Over the Summer Recruiting Season

healthy office eating

2016 Update: We still stand by the below advice — but if you’d like to check out our more recent discussion on how not to gain weight as a summer associate, you can check it out here. 

Summer is nearly upon us!  As law school, business school, and college  interns flood the workforce, calendars fill with networking lunches, team building meetings, and “get to know your coworkers” cocktail parties —  all with lots of food (and alcohol).  Reader A is particularly worried about the summer associate life in BigLaw:

I’m about to start a job as a summer associate at a Big Law firm. I’ve been told to expect daily lunches out, and been warned about the corresponding weight gain that usually happens. I’m particularly sensitive about not wanting to be the High Maintenance Associate–if I’m daily asking for “dressing on the side,” will I come off as obnoxious? Any tips for navigating the summer? Thanks.

This is a great question, because the summer can be a really difficult time for both those being recruited and those doing the recruiting.  We’ve talked about business lunch etiquette before, and we’ve also talked about trying to diet while working a corporate gig — but now let’s talk maintenance.  (Pictured:  Salad Lunch, originally uploaded to Flickr by 427.) Some tips: [Read more…]

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

– You’re welcome, hubs:  Jezebel notes that the husbands of educated women live longer.  (Pictured:  Graduation Cap Cupcake, originally uploaded to Flickr by clevercupcakes.)

The NYT talks about the recession and the gender gap.

Above the Law gives us an update on that female lawyer’s photo that we posted about last week. (Hint: it’s even worse than you thought!)

Lifehacker advises how to find the best credit card based on your lifestyle, and rounds up the best online free weight management tools.

– Jauntsetter offers some great advice on booking a trip (part 1 and part 2); meanwhile the WSJ has some tips on getting a free upgrade on your next flight.  (Update: Sorry about the incorrect link; it’s been fixed!)

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

bodysuit– We’ve feared this for quite some time: the bodysuit is back. [Refinery 29] We like them when worn with a high-waisted skirt or pants, but otherwise: blech. At least the one pictured at left comes with a twinset. (from Opening Ceremony, $185.)

– The boyfriend suit is also back. If they start telling us to wear a bodysuit with them, we think our heads will explode. [NYT]

– The Chicago Tribune has tips on how to store your winter clothes. [ChiTrib] Like them, we suggest laundering your winter gear before you store it (removing all plastic before you put it in the closet).

– Oooh, handy: seven questions to help you pick a financial advisor. [WSJ]

– Why that big meal makes you hungry (or, more evidence against bread and potatoes). [WSJ]


10 Things About… Trying to Diet While Working a Corporate Gig

N.B.: I still stand by this advice on how to diet while working a corporate job (and links have been updated as of 2016), but you can also check out our 2016 discussion on how not to gain weight during the summer recruiting season

Amazingly, everyone I know right now is either trying to get their eating under control (the Fourth of July was apparently a very happy one for everyone!) or outright diet. This can seem like a nearly impossible task if you’ve got cocktail parties, catered dinners, and three-course lunches on a daily basis — especially since so many diet programs require you to cook (or at least eat specific foods that can take a ton of time to prepare). What’s a working girl to do? Here are my tips…

[Read more…]

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