Thursday’s TPS Report: Cotton-silk Perfect Shirt in Raj Paisley

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

Cotton-silk Perfect Shirt in Raj PaisleyI may be in the minority, but I like paisley — it’s at once an intricate pattern and an abstract inkblot, and you can get some great ideas for color combinations. This cotton-silk shirt from J.Crew is no different — the pattern was apparently “tweaked” from the print on a bandana purchased in India. I think the mix of pink, red, and blue would look great with gray trouser pants. The blouse is $88 at J.Crew. Cotton-silk Perfect Shirt in Raj Paisley

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  1. I want to like this but can’t get past the print creating a bullseye on the model’s chest. Is it just me?

    • Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t unsee it. But this color combo would look nice with navy, too.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Same here.

        Is paisley ‘on trend’ this spring? I’m seeing it everywhere in similar colors as this one.

        • I like this J-Crew paisley shirt better.

        • Well, my comment is awaiting moderation, but I like the J-crew Tabitha Peacock Paisley better.

        • I think once the trendlet goes away, this will look very out of place.

          I rather like the colors, though, but yeah, the bullseye looks bad. And, enough with the half-tuck already.

          • I don’t like paisley, but I think it’s classic enough that it will never look out of place.

        • OMG. I posted twice that I like the j-crew Tabitha Peac*ck Paisley better and it got moderated TWICE because of Peac*ck. This is getting out of hand. Seriously, the mod-bot needs to be able to read a little bit more for context!

    • Thanks, now I just want to grab her b**bs. CANNOT UNSEE.

    • Glad to know I’m not alone. And it’s too bad, b/c I like paisley.

    • That was my first thought too… really unfortunate placement of the pattern, which I otherwise like!

      • You know, even after zooming the placement of the pattern just doesn’t look problematic to me. It’s like the so-many women’s shirts this season that have two breast pockets. To me, it’s only weird if I decide it’s weird.

      • I am so surprised to see all the paisley-hate. I love paisley with a serious passion. I would do my whole life in paisley if I could. And I don’t think it will look out of place once the “trend” goes away at all. It’s like polka dots – it’s a classic.

        Great pick, Kat, even if — apparently — we are in the minority. And I don’t see the boob thing at all. I mean, yes, the model has boobs. But that would be the case regardless. Sometimes I think we overthink these things.

        • I don’t hate paisley! I like it, its just that two of the major paisley patterns on this land right on her two boobs, making me want to grab them. Or else…that’s the lesbian inside of me trying to get out. Could be that. ;-)

          • Perhaps I am being a bit defensive..? Where paisley is concerned, the mama grizzly tendencies in me tend to come out ;)

        • I love paisley too, and am not seeing the look-at-my-b**bs thing. So I like it!

        • MissJackson :

          +1, AIMS. I love paisley all the time, and I can’t fathom it looking out of place (especially in a shirt with these somewhat muted colors)! It’s sort of a classic prep style — which I happen to vear toward.

          I also don’t see the pattern placement as problematic.

        • I love me some paisley. It’s conservative and psychedelic at the same time, and I think does a nice job of being both masculine and feminine.

        • I love this, too. Might have to order it!

          • I am usually lukewarm about paisley but this works for me. I see it under a navy cashmere V Neck. Not sure if I will still like it in six months time though…could be my trend radar making me like it.

        • Love paisley, especially when the color combination is so great like this! The shirt is so fresh and pretty!!!!

        • I love it too, AIMS, and this shirt is going on my list!

        • I really like paisley, too. Unless it’s Ian Paisley.

        • this shirt would be AWESOME with some pale pink jeans/pants/pencil skirt. i will be buying it once it hits clearance.

    • Yes, it highlights her boobies. FOOEY!

    • If you click through, it turns out that the two big paisleys are not, in fact, over each b**b, but offset, so that one is over one b**b and one is down slightly. They look pretty much parallel in the first picture — I guess because of the way the model is standing/slouching. That would annoy me more than one bulls-eye on each b**b! I am weird.

      I like the cut and the fabric mix of this shirt, though, so I wish they’d offer it in a different print. The “cerise ikat” is better but is probably too orange for my coloring . . . .

  2. anontoday :

    Wish you hadn’t pointed that out, now it’s all I see! I still love it though and if I wasn’t on a shopping ban, I would definitely pick this up!

    On an unrelated note, I found out a classmate took his life and it’s really bumming me out. Just wanted to say to all Corporettes who might be struggling, PLEASE reach out. There are dozens of people who would have dropped everything for this person, but it’s so hard to know that when you are depressed and not thinking clearly.

    • I’m so sorry. Take care of yourself and your community, and thanks for the PSA.

    • Francie N. :

      anontoday, I am very sorry about the loss of your friend, My sympathies to you and your friends family. Thanks for the PSA.

  3. I normally hate paisley but find myself liking this. Except that the placement of prints is rather unfortunate.

  4. Who on earth thought of this half-tuck trend, and even worse what is up with every.single.blogger.and.stylist copying it? It’s not even casual cool, let alone fashionable.

    • the only reason I don’t mind on store websites is because it lets me see the length of the top. As an actual “look” though – eh – I agree.

    • I actually don’t hate it. As someone without much shape of her own, but who also looks awful with shirts fully tucked (short waist or something like that), it sort of works for me. I wouldn’t wear it to work; in fact, I’m not sure I’ve worn it at all since a brief period when it was in during the late 90’s, but I don’t dislike it.

      • Haha, yes, I can’t get past the fact that it was a trend when I was in middle school to wear your tshirt half tucked, preferably with a pair of umbros or – wait for it – boxer shorts with the fly sewn shut. Shudder.

        • We must be about the same age!

        • Thank you, God, for making me wear a school uniform.

          • We used to wear Umbros under our school uniform jumpers! Oh, how cool we thought we were…

          • @Coalea – me too, but no one could see them. Thank goodness for that, and also that facebook didn’t yet exist.

        • Oh dear, I’d forgotten all about this. Now I’m having 8th-grade flashbacks!

        • PharmaGirl :

          Eek! You just reminded me of the boxer shorts as clothing trend in high school! I can’t believe my mother not only sewed the fly shut but allowed me to leave the house wearing boxers! Most of the time I wore them over dance clothes on the way to class but still, boxer shorts!!

          • SaltyDawg :

            (long time lurker here) Hilarious! I remember this vividly … in the PNW we added a sweatshirt on the waist as a nod to the Grunge look a la Kurt Cobain. I, too, rocked a pair of plaid boxers over my leo on the way to dance. Ah, the early to mid 90s.

    • Wait. This is an actual trend? I thought it was just something they did in ads. If I saw someone walking down the street with a half tucked shirt, I would definitely have to resist the urge to help them tuck one side in or pull the other side out.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Ditto! I have not witnessed this trend in action. I thought it was just a J Crew styling technique, akin to shoving blazer sleeves up to the elbows or wearing 4 bright layers with 3 necklaces.

  5. I love this print, but button-downs just never work with my Busty Apple proportions. Even those specially fitted shirts like Carissa Rose are only designed for people with a certain waist-to-bust ratio that doesn’t work for me. First world problems, I know, but it’s really annoying.

  6. Weightloss/tailoring threadjack-
    I’ve been on WW for some months now and am down 20 lbs, which is half way to my goal weight. I’m the to point that some of my clothes are becoming noticeably baggy. I’ve bought a handful of separates to help my transition into smaller sizes, but I’m wondering what to do about my suits (a few of which I really like). How far down can a suit be tailored? Right now I’m down about 1-2 sizes and expect to go down another 1-2 sizes when I reach my goal. Also, how much should I expect to have an entire suit (jacket, suit, and pants) taken in? Or am I better off chucking them and buying new stuff?

    • 1 1/2 Sizes Down :

      I lost about 1 1/2 sizes three years ago. Eventually, most of my suits had to go. The shoulders are just never right. Skirts can be saved fairly easily (mostly waistband adjustment). Pants depend. Dresses require a lot of tailoring around the bust/shoulder/neck to save.

      My transition was to take the waistbands in on two skirts and two pairs of pants and to wear them with sweater sets.

    • I don’t know the asnwer to your q, but congrats on the weight loss!

    • SoCal Gator :

      I went through that last year. I started my weight loss program in April. By July, I had lost 35 pounds and nothing fit. However, the suits I bought then ended up being way too big by the time I was done, which ended up to be 70 pounds. I did take in some of the suits which were snug when I bought them. Many were too big to take in. You can easily go down a couple of sizes in pants. Jackets are trickier. If the shoulders still fit, they can be taken in up to 2 sizes but it’s very expensive and they never look perfect. It also depends on the jacket.

      If I had to do it over again I would have waited before making any suit investments and bought some inexpensive separates to get by. If you have to get a suit, just get an inexpensive one that you won’t mind ditching later if it cannot be taken in. Also, I did not realize I would lose as much as I did so it is hard to plan. I went from a size 16 to a size 2. Who knew that would happen? You may not know where you will end up..

      And congratulations on your weight loss to date!

      • If you don’t mind sharing, what did you do to lose weight? That sounds like quite a bit and is awesome! Congrats!

        • SoCal Gator :

          Thanks. I did a medically supervised very low calorie weight loss program using products from HMR. The first part of the program is largely liquid and you live on about 800 calories a day. That jump starts rapid weight loss and you transition into fruits and veggies and about 1200 calories. Then you transition into a maintenance phase but I kept losing weight then also. I have maintained my current weight for four months now and see no reason that will change. If you google HMR they have a website and links to a program near you. It’s an excellent and healthy way to lose a substantial amount of weight.

          • Just out of curiousity, why did you not do surgery?

          • SoCal Gator :

            There are way too many serious side effects from the surgery. What they don’t tell you is that for the rest of your life you will have intestinal issues which can become very serious later in life. My assistant had bariatric weight loss surgery and she has had so many serious health problems since and more surgeries were needed. I would never consider using surgery with those risks to accomplish what I can achieve through simple diet and exercise. And many people gain it back if they do not permanently modify their behaviors. It takes hard work over time and a permanent change In your relationship with food and exercise. While surgery may be the correct option under some circumstances, that was not the case for me.

          • Thanks so much for sharing! This is probably a dumb question, so I apologize in advance. Did you feel like you were hungry all the time and if so, did it impact your work?

          • I also want to know about the hunger issue!

          • I did something very similar — I did OptiFast for 2 months, which involves drinking a shake every 3 hours (5/day) for 800 calories a day. I didn’t have a problem with hunger because I was strict about making sure I drank one every 3 hours. If I never let myself get hungry, I didn’t have a problem feeling satisfied. I also drank about 4-5 liters of water a day. I lost 25 pounds, which was my goal, between October and December. In December I went off to Eastern Europe for 2 weeks and ate whatever I wanted (lots of beer, sausage, potatoes, desserts, etc.) and gained a whopping 2 pounds, which I lost within a couple of days of being home. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been doing a modified version of the diet, which includes adding in solid foods for about 1000-1200 calories a day (except for when I cheat, which is often, by going out to eat or drinking — I also don’t stick to the diet on weekends any longer). Despite all the cheating I’ve been doing, I haven’t gained a single pound back, so I really think my metabolism changed. I definitely recommend it!

          • SoCal Gator :

            Let me second what Aria said. You have to eat every 2-3 hours. Tat keeps you from being hungry. The first 2 weeks take some adjustment since you are not chewing anything but after that, it was so easy. I never felt hungry. The HMR motto is that you have to have a minimum of 5 shakes a day but have as many as up you need to feel full. And they mean it. I fell in love with the protein shakes so much that I still have one for breakfast every day, not for weight loss any more, but because of the extreme energy that it gives me and they taste great. You can also check out the HMR FB page which is chock full of info and a great supportive community. I complemented the program with MyFitnessPal, which I still use. This just changed my life completely! It also solved my blood pressure problems and my cholesterol went down 100 points.

    • Another Sarah :

      I think the “rule” is that if there’s more than a 2-size difference between you and the piece of clothing, you’re better off just buying a new size and getting that tailored. Taking in something any more than a couple sizes messes up the proportions and structure of the garment, especially if there are darts and “curves” to the garment. I agree that skirts are easy, since it’s just a waistband adjustment and a couple darts. But jackets, dresses, and pants are a different story.

    • Congrats! I think your skirts will be more flexible in terms of tailoring – see as an example. I’ve had pants taken in 1-2 sizes before, but not 3-4.

      The jacket will definitely be the hardest and most expensive to have tailored – depending on pockets and seaming, they unfortunately may not be able to be taken in (or cost prohibitive). But good problem to have, no?

    • It depends on how much seam allowance there is in the suit – some brands, like Brooks Brothers, are designed to go in or out 2″ per seam, so you can essentially take in 4″ total without ruining the lines of the suit. A smaller seam allowance will limit how much you can alter easily without having to redraft the seams. Your tailor should be able to tell you the limits of the seams and how far you can go – it will be different for every suit.

      Congratulations on your weight loss!

    • Related threadjack… does anyone know a really good tailor in NYC? I bought a Theory dress that’s a little big and I don’t trust my regular dry cleaner/tailor with it.

      • I go to:

        Dejavu (they’re a clothing store, but I suspect 50% of the biz if tailoring)
        309 E 9th St
        (betw 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)

        (212) 260-3905

        They have an UES location now, but I’ve never been to that one, as it’s too far out of my way to be convenient.

        • “is tailoring,” not “if tailoring.”
          (I blame smudgey glasses and extreme myopia — see the myopia topic if you’re curious how bad my eyes are.)

        • Awesome, thanks!!

    • Good for you — I am impressed. Lots of folks have already said that it’s easier to tailor pants and skirts than jackets, so I am going to throw this out there. I just bought a Calvin Klein suit from the Macy’s website that was nicer than I expected it to be. It’s separates — jacket is 90 bucks, skirts or pants are 50ish. If you think you will be changing sizes in the future, maybe get the jacket and pants and/or skirt in your current size for now, and then you can have the bottoms altered in the future and just buy a new 90 dollar jacket in the smaller size. It’s one of those “everyday values” that Macy’s does, so I don’t think it will disappear at the end of the season.

      By the standards of this site, this is a pretty cheap suit but the fabric was quite nice. (I used a coupon, of course, and bought it in charcoal in petite.) Search the macy’s site for Calvin Klein Jacket, Long Sleeve Two Button (Web ID: 479675). I would also recommend this for anyone who needs a suit just for interviewing, although it might be too heavy for summer.

      • Good tip!

        I also lost a bit of weight. Almost a size so far, but want to lose one more size in total. I did have a few clothes from when I was a bit thinner in a smaller size, that I use now. I also add a belt to dresses.

        I bought a linen skirt suit and pinstripe trousers on sale from last years collection for very little. Both are a bit on the tight side now, but at least can be worn for the whole season. Even if I end up another size smaller, I can take in the skirt and trousers a bit.

        I figure I’ll have lost enough weight in september and can then have a new wool suit made in my final size.

  7. I’ve decided that I could really use some new short-sleeved shirts (my office is HOT). Anyone seen any good ones lately? Not looking for anything fancy – basic shirt, any style, short sleeves (cap sleeves are OK, but I try to avoid sleeveless), doesn’t require tucking, works under a suit but also without a blazer, that sort of thing. I’m not picky about fabrics. I hate to spent too much (and I generally define “too much” as something like over $40 for basic tops) and I’d really prefer shopping at a brick & morter store (and no Nordstroms! We don’t have them here, and I get so jealous when you guys go on about it!). I think I’ll hit the mall tomorrow.

    • I just ordered a bunch of cotton-modal scoopneck tees from Lands End. (My office is also HOT. Am sitting here sweating with my shoes off right now.) They are good on their own or under a suit, and they cost like $15 each. I also saw some short-sleeved, lightweight sweaters on Lands End’s site that would be a great option, too.

      • link?

        • Didn’t include it to avoid moderation, but if you go to the Lands End site, the scoopneck tees are item number 39993-1AJ9 (they have crewneck ones too, 39609-7AJ8). They have a few styles of short sleeved sweaters, with item numbers 41130-3AJ8, 41130-3AJ8, and 42056-7AJ2 (also in plus sizes).

      • I think I have several of those same tees. Comfy and versatile, although not exciting by any stretch of the imagination.

    • JCPenney! Also, I really like their new price policy. Having those fake markups just so you can score a “deal” with coupons was so annoying. Everything is very reasonably priced and they’ve really stepped up their game.

      • I’m curious to see the responses to this. It seems like my normal go-to stores (BR, AT, Loft, etc.) only have sleeveless tops right now.

      • Anon-who-loves-cookies :

        Agreed! I went to JCP a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. While I was there I picked up two shirts for under my suit or alone ($12 each!). I’m actually planning on checking the store again this weekend.

      • Another agreed. I’ve received their emails/mail catalogs for a while because of some shopping I’ve done for my elderly mom. Their new approach has really upped their brand. I recently bought several casual sweaters on one of their “1st and 3rd” Friday sales – basic cotton lightweight cardigans ($12 each) and long sleeved cable knit crew and v-necks ($7 apiece- yeah it’s kind of crazy). They are actually pretty nice! Not wear 5 years nice, but they will at least make it through a season or two and give me some color respite from my usual work-at-home wardrobe. It was also a bonus because they have tall sizes (which start at medium unfortunately; could use a small but at that price so what?) I ordered a couple dresses that should arrive this week; will post on their quality.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I just ordered a plain white short sleeve collared blouse from Ann Taylor. Did not see it in the store — only online. It was called Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt Style #:274087. Used the code SPRING30 and got 30% off.

    • Can’t get any of my replies to your post to show up at all, grrr. Stupid code.

      AT Loft has a shirt, google for: Banded Hem Necklace Tee. The detailing about the neckline that makes it look dressier than just a plain tee-shirt. Not sure if there is enough sleeve for your office or not. 30% off right now.

    • Someone here recommeneded the Luxe Touch T’s at Banana Republic and I LOVE THEM. ( They are in great colors, look incredibly fashionable yet professional and they wash up great. I am living in these under my suits year round. I noticed while looking for the link that they also have sleeveless, but I am like you and prefer a sleeve.

      Happy Shopping.

      • Love these shirts. I found a couple similar long-sleeved ones at a BR outlet last year, too.

    • Ugh, I hate you, posting too quicking error! Trying again….

      I tend to run hot, so I’m always on the look out for short sleeve work tops. I will be watching this space for ideas! One recent purcahse that has worked out well is a short-sleeve cashmere sweater I got on sale from Ann Taylor. Even though it’s a sweater, I have found it to be lightweight and comfortable. I got it in the hot pink color and have received a lot of compliments on it too.

    • I just ordered a bunch of tshirts from Target. They have a ton online (fewer in the store, but still some). They’re nothing special at all, just your basic indistinguishable tshirt, and they are less than $10 each, come in tons of colors, multiple styles etc. I wear them under suits or with a cardigan, etc. They work just fine in my suits-at-the-office workplace, and I can also dress them down on the weekend. I ordered like 6 and got free shipping.

      • I got both of these and found them to be perfectly office acceptable:|pdp|13759569|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency

    • I’ve been really happy with the “Sutton cowl tee” from Gap. Drape neck jersey (100% rayon) and short sleeves (not cap). It’s now $21.21 (from $24.95) and I’m planning to pick up two more in different colors. (I machine wash it on cold and hang dry and that’s been fine.)

  8. Wow. That’s gorgeous. And cotton-silk is one of the best fabric combinations possible, to my way of thinking.

    • AnonInfinity :

      This. is. so. true.

    • Oh, I so agree. I sew a lot of my own clothes, and cotton silk blends are my fave — the sheen of silk, but the ease of working with cotton. Love.

  9. Diana Barry :

    I love this! Maybe the b**b pattern would be less obvious if you wore it over another shirt?

    PSA to ladies in their first pregnancy who are still wearing their non-maternity clothes, like the woman in the Yigal Azrouel dress from the WSJ slideshow yesterday: You may think that this dress is jersey, it will stretch back, etc. It will NOT – after your pregnancy you will discover that it is all stretched out! Just buy some maternity clothes, it’s not the end of the world.
    XOXO, Diana Barry

    • Good advice. I’ve never thought about that.

    • OMG so true. I lost a down winter coat that way. Not attractive.

    • Yes, I lost a cashmere turtleneck that way. Ouch.

    • Maple League Admin formerly Anon Canadian :

      Thanks! I was just thinking yesterday that I could get away with wearing some of my normal tops for a while, but I guess that’s not a real option.

    • And honestly, non-maternity dresses don’t look as nice. They are usually pulling akwardly (especially in the back), and the hem isn’t always horizontal anymore – it rises in the front. You may think it looks fine, but unless you have a 360 mirror, beware.

      And maternity clothes are SO comfortable, too!

    • Hmm… I respectfully disagree. I switched to maternity pants and bottoms very early (~10 weeks) into my pregnancy, but I was able to stay in my non-maternity tops and dresses for a long, long time. There is one jersey dress and one Target sweater dress (yes! a sweater dress! from Target!) I wore until late in my pregnancy, that promptly shrank back and now fit my pre-pregnancy figure perfectly fine (and my friend was shocked that it was the same dress I was wearing in some pregnant photos). Agree with CKB about the hem not being horizontal, but like everything else in pregnancy, ymmv!

  10. Muddy Buddy :

    I’m very happy to report that my gentle badgering about a housekeeper has finally paid off. My husband agreed to try one (after his sister suggested it even though I’ve been talking about it for months, but that’s another post), and we had our first cleaning yesterday. Walking into a clean house after work was just so amazing. I think the house is cleaner than it’s ever been before. And the housekeeper put many things away into logical places that I never would have thought of before. SO AMAZING.

    • It really makes more of a difference than you can imagine. Somehow, it feels like a real accomplishment to me to walk into a clean house, even though I obviously had nothing to do with it (except leaving cash). It’s just the best feeling!

      This makes me think of Jerry leaving cash for his maid/girlfriend on the dresser, and then saying, “What exactly am I paying you for???” He he.

    • found a peanut :

      The logical places thing is unique. My housekeeper and I like to play scavenger hunt, whereby she hides my things and I spend all week trying to find them.

      • Muddy Buddy :

        I’ve heard this can be a problem. I think the key is that I generally use all flat surfaces as my storage space, forgetting that closets and cabinets exist and have a purpose. Therefore, placing any object in any closet or cabinet is more logical than my former system.

        I stood in front of my coat closet for a good 2-3 minutes marveling at the fact that they thought to put my coats in there (they were formerly draped on the back of the dining chairs).

      • Same here. If I have somewhere to be on Thursday nights, I always give myself an extra half hour to get ready because that’s the day the cleaning ladies visit. Never know where my stuff’s gonna be.

      • All of your comments are making me think that I spend too much time tidying up before the cleaning lady comes…

        • Muddy Buddy :

          I spent no time tidying, making the effect of walking into a newly sparkling home even more dramatic.

        • I mean, I always throw dirty clothes, underwear, etc. in the laundry basket before the cleaning ladies come because nobody should have to deal with that stuff. If I have time the night/morning before, I generally try to put kitchen stuff away, but that’s because I can never. freaking. find. it. when the cleaning ladies decide where it should go. Mine don’t go for logical. I once lost a cutting board for six months. If I don’t have time to put away the dishes in my drying rack, I’ll leave a note out that asks the ladies to please *not* put them away. As for the rest of my stuff–toiletries, makeup and makeup brushes, books, papers, clean clothes, all the other clutter–I tend not to worry about it.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes! I judge my cleaning people by how well they remember that I told them when they started, NEVER PUT MY STUFF AWAY. Just pick it up, clean underneath, and put it back! I can never find it if they put things away!!

          • At least your cleaning ladies try to put stuff away. If I accidentally leave something out, they just cleaning around it. They’re terrible in general but I’m so lazy about finding someone new…

          • Seattleite :

            Herbie, I’m dying to know where you finally found your cutting board.

        • My neighbor growing up did this. I never understood it. Of course, she would require the family to dust and vacuum and all so the cleaners didn’t know they were messy people. I can understand tidying laundry and stuff you don’t want to not know where it is.

          • I don’t “clean” before mine comes but I do clear papers off the table (usually student papers that I’m grading plus reading materials and newspapers) and tidy up random kitchen things that are out of place so she can clean all the surfaces. I don’t clean the sink but I load the dishwasher and run it. I also run a load of towels in the washing machine, so she’ll dry and then hang them or fold and put away. She will also fold any laundry that has come out of the dryer and not been folded yet. She did my laundry once and that was a disaster so I always have a full washing machine so she can’t start a new load.

    • Anon in ATX :

      I’m curious how you found your housekeeper? Did you go with a service or an individual? I would love to do this but I have this general impression that services are never worth it.

      • Muddy Buddy :

        I asked everyone I know who has a housekeeper if they would recommend that person and whether the person was full. Basically everyone who said, “OMG I LOVE MY HOUSEKEEPER SHE IS THE GREATEST PERSON EVER” was full. I’ve been asking around for months. Literally.

        I finally found the one that I’m using through a friend of a friend who made an off-hand comment about her housekeeper at brunch, who I called immediately after we left the brunch.

        Honestly, I did not do a service based completely on the impression I have of them from the book “Nickeled and Dimed.” There was a whole chapter about a national service and how shoddy its cleaning practices are.

      • I asked my neighbors who cleans their apartments. I ended up having a bad experience with that service after a few months (basically, they sucked at cleaning), and so I asked coworkers instead and found out that half of my coworkers all shared a cleaning lady. Now she cleans mine too.

        In my experience an individual has been better, but it makes me a little nervous that she doesn’t have insurance or bonding and she’s in my house with my breakable stuff. But she’s very honest and I like her, and she does a great job.

      • If you have a local realtor, ask them. They use cleaning services all the time, and will probably have someone to recommend. (Same for contractors, plumbers, etc.)

  11. For those who dislike the b++b pattern on this shirt, check out the ar$e pattern on these JCrew paisley pants!

  12. I do like this shirt but it isn’t me.

    Threadjack. I need a rec. for a great divorce attorney in Boston. Would also appreciate any advice going in. Thanks.

    • I haven’t used her personally, but I’ve heard good things about Marcia Mavrides at Mavrides Law. But the type of lawyer you need is largely going to depend on how complicated your divorce is going to be (net worth, kids, existence of property, etc.)

    • Don’t forget to deal with the issue of any retirement savings or retirement plans. Too many people I know have had to do settlements with their exes when they went to retire. I had a lot more retirement savings than my ex did (he bounced around from job to job and I have a retirement plan with my employer) but my attorney put it in the agreement that we both relinquished rights to the other’s retirement. That way it looked even, although it wasn’t in reality.

    • Diana Barry :

      Jennifer Clark @ Casner + Edwards. She is great.

    • Unsolicited :

      If you have kids, make sure your divorce order includes a “parenting plan” (says what the kids’ custodial schedule is, where they are for holidays, whether each parent has a “right of first refusal” if the other will be out of town, vacation time, process to ask for exceptions, if the kids are young whether it will change when they are older). Also, see if you can agree on education costs, through college, in the order. You will avoid a lot of problems later if you can be specific now. Ask me how I know…

      • This is good to think about. Thanks for bringing this up. I’m wondering what happens if parties disagree about education. For example, I tend to favor more ‘enriching’ and costly summer programs while my spouse would be happy to let the kids sit in front of the tv at his mom’s place. Also, I make twice as much money (but work way harder) so maybe I would just end up paying anyway.

        • Unsolicited :

          I can tell you from the stepmom’s perspective what happens when the parents disagree and the one who prefers less demanding programming is “high conflict:” the other parent wages a years-long campaign to brainwash the kid into thinking that it is normal to do the less demanding activity and that my husband is being difficult and too demanding and is setting the child up for disappointment/failure by suggesting more enriching alternatives. This started in middle school when the issue was an art camp that basically constituted day care versus some more enriching alternatives and continues today when the issue is going to community college versus applying to a range of appropriate colleges.

          If it were solely a dispute between the parents, that would be one thing (and I think you’re probably correct that the answer would be that you would just end up sending the kid(s) to the more enriching program and paying more as the higher earner). The problem comes when the kid, after years of hearing how the less demanding approach is “normal” and the more enriching approach is “wrong,” refuses to even discuss or try the more enriching approach. Sorry to be such a downer.

          Now that I realize you have kids, I will make another suggestion: talk to a college financial consultant (I can recommend one if you want) about financial aid if you think that even might be an issue. You and your former husband will have to coordinate completing the FAFSA form (only one of you does it, but there is some strategy about which one) and you both will have to complete financial aid forms at each school in addition to the FAFSA. I so wish that my husband’s divorce order said something about “we will cooperate with each other with respect to seeking and obtaining financial aid for kid(s) and will start to discuss this no later than (date=year kid is a sophomore in high school, so that you can strategize to best advantage).” Also, if you remarry (or if he does), no matter what any pre-nup may say, the federal government will consider the assets and income of the new step-parent in deciding how much financial aid the kid is or is not eligible for. In other words, the new step-parent might unwittingly decimate the kids’ eligibility for financial aid, but not be prepared to pay the tuition. Our solution: we are cohabitating until my stepkids are through college. (I know, I call him my husband, he is not, so kill me.)

          • Unsolicited :

            Here is a link to a brochure about parenting plans that is useful:


    • just Karen :

      I don’t know anyone in the Boston area, but I would HIGHLY recommend that unless your spouse has a history of manipulation/lying/abuse, you look into a Collaborative Divorce, especially if you have kids. It is a much healthier way to go about things in the long run and in the end really helps the healing begin. Divorce trials hurt everyone involved. To do a true collaborative divorce, both attorneys need to be trained. I’m in Oklahoma, but I’d be happy to give you more info if you’re interested.

      • Unsolicited :

        This might work in some instances. If there is even a HINT of a history of conflict/drama/emotional decision-making/stonewalling etc., please make sure you get your own attorney and so does the other side. Even if you do a collaborative divorce (or any other kind of “mediated” approach), please do yourself and any future partner you may have a favor: do NOT sign anything until your own attorney, one with whom you have created an attorney-client relationship, carefully reviews it and tells you about it.

        • just Karen :

          absolutely – a true collaborative divorce will involve EACH party having their own attorney to protect their interests – but keeps the game-playing out of the equation.

    • Thanks!

    • Not sure if you want Boston or just the general area, but Paul M. Cronan is great. He’s detailed, personable, and really great in cases with children.

  13. Like the shirt and the colors. Agree with the pairing with cut-off blue jeans. With something more formal it would look like you took yourself too seriously.

    • Really? I was actually thinking it would look really refreshing with a nice blue pantsuit. Sort of youthful and modern without looking overly stuffy and conservative.

      • hellskitchen :

        i am with you all the way on paisley love. It can dress up a pair of jeans AND liven up a pantsuit!

      • Agree. I was just thinking how awesome this would be with a sharp navy suit. Also maybe some chunky gold jewelry.

      • Agree, AIMS. Love the shirt, might purchase today.

      • Btw, I am wearing the preppiest outfit ever imagined today – which I picked up at BB after going in to peek at the seersucker dress (didn’t see it there!). I inexplicably love it. It involves argyle.

    • i have lots of these patterned silk/cotton jcrew button downs.

      they are truly the PERFECT shirt for the summer time, throw them on with flats and jeans over the weekend, tuck them into a crisp pencil skirt or under a suit during the week. they are so ridiculously breathable and do not wrinkle and on vacation you can hand wash and hang to dry.

      while i would need to see this pattern irl to really decide, generally, i recommend them very very highly. i’ve been collecting a few patterns every summer. my fav is a micro geometric green/yellow pattern that i bought during a fall season, it looks great with a navy suit and i’ve gotten lots of compliments on the pairing, but it is equally perfect for weekends. bonus points for rolled cuffs.

      • long time lurker :

        Question about the fit of these jcrew shirts: how are they for those of us who are rather busty? I’m a tall 34D and occasionally have button-down gapping problems, other times, since I’m 5′ 11, I’m usually buying a larger size so it evens out.

        • I have a bunch of them and also love them . I am busty, but small. I don’t find that they gap, so long as you go up in size (not up a whole size, but if you are between sizes, go with the larger). I think they run 0,2,4,6 etc., so you have more sizing options.

        • Seattleite :

          Have you tried toupee tape? I have gappage problems, too, but toupee tape changed my life. Bonus – it can go through the wash, and it has never marred even my finest, most picky fabrics.

          • That is so innovative and awesome.

            Plus, how fun would it be for me, with my full head of hair, to buy all this toupee tape? LOL.

        • I’m a busty small girl. The size 2 fits perfectly in the shoulders but is right at the if-my-chest-were-any-bigger-it-might-gap threshold. the 4 also works in the shoulders and has a more comfy casual vibe. I tend to buy size 2s for the ones i want to wear for work and play and size 4s for ones that are only for casual wear (i have a great tiedye version of one of these shirts that obviously has no place in the office)

  14. I rescind my earlier recommendation of Hour Eyes at 18th and K (in DC). I recently got new glasses from them, but I noticed that they were giving me slight double vision and making me a bit dizzy. I went back and asked them about it, and they brought out this pupil-measuring thingy (which they had not used the first time) and noted that the glasses were calibrated for someone with wider eyes than me. Luckily, they said they’d fix it for free, but it will take two to three weeks. After our recent contact-care discussion, I’d rather not be entirely without glasses for that long! But oh well. Live and learn.

    • If you’re over that way and you ever want a good opthomologist for something other than just a normal check up, I really liked Reginald Barnes. He’s over in Foggy Bottom.

  15. Boden coupon code :

    Anyone have a current one?

    • W02A will give you 15% off and free shipping, but they’re running a sale on certain items right now, and I don’t believe this code will apply to sale items.

      • Oops – I just tried the code on the site, looks like they’re not taking it w/ the sale.

  16. I know people on here have, in the past, asked about sheer pantyhose recommendations. I’m still trying out things through trial and error. But a few weeks ago I bought a couple pairs of Hanes Silk Reflections Ultra Sheer (in natural for me) pantyhose at Marshalls (they were priced down to $4 a pop) and they are great. They are almost completely sheer and neither pair has run yet, which is verging on a miracle since I might be the klutziest person in the world. They have very little shine to them, but just a touch. You can tell they are there, but its nothing obnoxious.

    Overall, I give them an A. A+ depending on how long they last.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I love Hanes Silk Reflections! I haven’t tried the “Ultra Sheer” type yet, but even with the regular ones I get comments about how natural they look.

    • Thanks for the rec. Wolford makes great sheer hose, but they’re really expensive!

      • I adored my pair of Wolfords…but they can’t be part of my every day life. :-P

    • Can't Wait to Quit :

      Hanes Silk Reflections are very nice and very sturdy. I don’t wear stockings often, but bought a black pair for a funeral. I bought a second pair as a backup in case of runs, and have never needed them.

    • OneHanesPlace :

      Second. I buy them in bulk online at onehanesplaceDOT com.

  17. tit$ mcgee :

    So speaking of b00bs,, i’m having a minor lumpectomycoming up and I was told to wear really supportive bra for a week. Anyone have any recommendations for the most supportive bra ever? I’m a d verging on c if that makes a difference. Tia!

    • Sports bra?

    • No supportive bra rec from me, but sending supportive vibes in your direction. Good luck and I hope you pamper yourself a bit afterwards, dearie.

    • LOVE your handle. We use Anchorman references as our names when we go bowling and mine is always Tits McGee. I actually just bought a bra from Fredricks online. I don’t know about the quality yet. It is the only place I could find a low cut one for larger sizes. Surprisingly, they had a couple full coverage, thick strapped, pretty bras for under $40. Even if you wear a low band size, search for the “full figure” bras and you will find them.

      Also, what about nursing/maternity bras? They seem to be all about comfort.

    • LOVE your handle. We use Anchorman references as our names when we go bowling and mine is always T!ts McGee. I actually just bought a bra from Fredricks online. I don’t know about the quality yet. It is the only place I could find a low cut one for larger sizes. Surprisingly, they had a couple full coverage, thick strapped, pretty bras for under $40. Even if you wear a low band size, search for the “full figure” bras and you will find them.
      Also, what about nursing/maternity bras? They seem to be all about comfort.

      (Reposted to get out of moderation.)

    • I had a lumpectomy 3 years ago… my prayers are with you. My treatment was quick … I hope the same for you.

      I went to Wal-mart (I hear the gasp from the other readers) and bought some front closing sports bras for like $12 a piece. T-shirt material. I too am a D cup. They worked great.

      I went on to have mammosite – a interior form of radiation and I continued to use those during those couple of weeks. I can’t stress strong enough that you will want something that closes in the front. Since those bras were so cheap I bought 3 and glad I did. Nice to always have a clean one. Since they changed my bandages during the treatment, I wore one there and then changed into a clean one after they cleaned me up. Also… they were very comfortable to sleep in which is recommended.

      • Maine Associate :

        Good luck. After my breast reduction I wore the same thing for several weeks.

    • I like the Moxie sports bra from UnderArmour. It separates the girls so you don’t get that unib00b look and it is comfy and supportive (comes in D sizes too). UA also has another style that zips in the front.

    • When my mom went through this she relied on Moving Comfort sports bras with adjustable straps. The adjustability means you can make it supportive but not too squashy depending on how swollen/sensitive you are. And when you are healed, they are great sports bras in general!

      Good luck!

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I’m a 32DDD and when I had I breast tumor removed. I had to seriously tape my breasts down for 8-12 weeks after the surgery because of the pain. So get a supportive bra – but don’t worry about using masses of bandages and tape too!

      Also, my chest was seriously black, then brown, then yellow for like 3 months. But i don’t know how serious your procedure is (depends how much they have to move the tissue surrounding the lump.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      My close friend had this. Not the same size as you but she wore two sports bras after for a few weeks.

  18. How do you deal with grief at work? I miscarried two weeks ago and just cannot concentrate on work. Especially not with all these pregnant women around.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. I have a friend who experienced this, and she gave herself permission to periodically go to the ladies room and have a good cry. She did this fairly often until it got better.

      You have my sympathy, even if I don’t have any real advice here. Different strokes for different folks, but is there someone you love who knows about this that you can send text messages to throughout the day to get a little boost?

    • I think honestly the bathroom cry may be the only way to go. That and, if you have a good “work friend” telling them about it. Having at least one person know what you’re going through can be invaluable — even if you just say “This is what I’m dealing with. I don’t really want to talk about it, I just needed you to know.”

      And if you have the vacation time, maybe take a few days off with your SO and go somewhere nice and just be?

      • Oh, and this is going to sound extremely, extremely shallow considering the gravity of the loss you’ve experienced. But I’ve bookmarked yesterdays Morning thread for bad days. And I look at cute overload and attack of the cute. And I watch the Kristen Bell interview with Ellen where she talks about sloths. I know its not going to make the Big Bad Thing go away, but at least it makes me smile.

        • Yes, sometimes, exposure to fun, happy things can help. YMMV, of course, but I recommend the (2011) Muppet Movie.

          And instead of sloths, they have Snowths. That “Mahna Mahna” tune always makes me smile, even if I feel wretched.

        • TCFKAG – can you post the link? I saw it yesterday but can’t seem to find it anymore.

          • I THINK the link you mean is this one:


            Though funnily enough, that is none of the things I was talking about (I was just talking about the whole thread in general — the talk about the list was hysterically funny and fun to me.) But that link is also awesome.

          • TCFKAG – I didn’t see whatever post you are discussing, but that post just gave me a bright minute in a series of really bad days. Thanks.

          • In yesterday’s morning thread, everybody shared who would be on their “list” — trust me….there was a lot of really hot man and woman candy being mentioned. If you need some cheering up, I suggest reading it and then googling.

          • OMG, I am not even halfway through that link and I am DYING.

          • I printed the Britney pic and have it on my desk. I also made the Hillary pic my desktop wallpaper. Love it.

    • Been there. Be gentle with yourself. To the extent possible, come in late, leave early, and take long lunches. Work from home. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to do that (for me, a week or two), and then force yourself to concentrate in small amounts. I’m big on to-do lists anyway, but make lists of things that you MUST accomplish that day (work or home related) to distract yourself. Start small and work your way back up.

      I didn’t tell anyone at the office — I find being at work sometimes makes it easier for me to hold it together because I don’t want to be seen as a basket case. If there was someone who knew, I’m afraid I would have broken down everytime I saw her (much like talking to my mom — I’ll be doing great, but talking to my mom means automatic sob-fest).

      Beyond that — know that it will get better. You will always think of that baby, but it will get easier. Life is still good, and happy. You will come out of this stronger and with a greater perspective about life. Everyone has a “thing” and this is yours right now. But it’s not permanent.

      • This is great advice. Big internet ((HUGS)) coming your way. I too have been there, and its’ hard. Make sure you give yourself permission to grieve, and not get frustrated with yourself whe you feel sad. It’s normal. But it does definitely get better with time.

    • This may sound ludicrous, but I look at pictures of kittens and puppies until the sadness passes. I’ve experienced having to go to work shortly after the death of a loved one, and it sucks. The best option would be to take some time off, but if that isn’t an option, Daily Puppy, Zooborns, Cats in Sinks, Cute Overload, etc.

    • This may not be helpful at all… but the sentiment helps me.

      My husband says that a miscarriage means that it was not the right baby for us. While undoubtedly, we would have loved the baby regardless. A miscarriage is natures way of terminating a pregnancy with a baby that would have likely had lots of health problems. A miscarriage is just natures way of making sure that we eventually get the “right” baby for us….

      (Note, my husband is a doctor, who has many of his patients die or end up severely disabled. So, he is very practical about life and death issues.)

      I am sorry for your loss. You should give yourself permission to grieve, and if you have an office with a door, feel free to close the door while you work. And I sincerely hope that in the near future you get the baby that is perfect for you and your husband.

      • I will also add that many people say this and sometimes it’s untrue and makes people feel bad. And if my doctor told me this I’d tell him to go suck an egg and I’d find a new doctor.

        I had four miscarriages and it turns out that I have a gene mutation that likely caused them (MTHFR – I don’t absorb folate correctly). It’s probable that my four lost babies were perfectly healthy. I hate that it took me so long to figure out what was going on. Then again, if things had happened differently I wouldn’t have my two wonderful children, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        OP, I’m sorry, it sucks. It’s hard not to let it consume you mentally, and even worse if you have lingering physical effects to remind you. If you can take a little time off it may help, if only to wallow for a bit, or do the opposite if that’s what works for you.

        • This. As someone with a condition that causes a high rate of second-trimester miscarriages of perfectly healthy babies, sometimes people say things and don’t understand how much it hurts when you know the condition is with you and not the baby.

          • Ughhh… This is exactly why I indicated that I prefaced that it may not be helpful to the OP, but it was helpful to me.

            In the event that a woman has a condition that prevents her from having a normal pregnancy, that is in no way her fault. I really was not trying to imply that was in the case.

            Regardless, the sentiment is that I was trying to convey was that sometimes even things that we want really badly are not meant to be, but in the end, we often get something better than we could have imagined. If the OP wants a baby, I hope she eventually gets an amazing baby.

            However, in the mean time, she should be sad and angry and all the other things that accompany a time of grief.

    • Diana Barry :

      So sorry for your loss. Take time out of the office if you need to – a few days away may help.

    • Try the website “animalsbeingd*cks” dot com (fill in the asterisk). It won’t ease the pain, but it might be a good boost or at the very least hold off some tears.

    • Westsidebee :

      Hugs. Know that you’re not alone. I’ve also been through this, and I did not tell anyone at work. For me, it was easier that everyone treated me normally and had no idea what was going on. I was afraid if anyone came by with sympathetic hugs or glances, I would immediately start sobbing. So at work I just kind of pretended to be normal. Also agree with the to do list, and focusing on things in small quantities — do what you absolutely must get done that day, and then take small bites of the rest.

      This is grief — and everyone deals with grief differently. You’ll figure it out. I’m sorry that you have to. But again, you’re not alone.

    • Been there, recently.

      Maybe this is ridiculously an*l, but I sort of used the pomodoro method for my grief. Like, okay, I’ll go see this patient, then I’ll zone out for five minutes and obsess on it.

      I actually didn’t have a ton of grief (which led to guilt, as though I was a bad person for not feeling worse) but I was totally totally off my game for a week or so — my documentation fell behind, etc, so even though I wasn’t feeling it, I was definitely different for going through it.

      Most of all, give yourself space, in my opinion. I made a rule at some point in my life that I could cry in my car (this was when my job s*cked). It was my safe space.


    • Thanks all. You’re great. I didn’t even think about the fact that the elevated hormones were probably making the situation worse. Until those even out and the physical part ends, I’m going to take your advice. I went on a walk with a friend during lunch and it was a nice distraction. And the sites you recommended are great for a laugh.

  19. That’s a lot of pattern on the shirt.

    Threadjack: my long-distance boyfriend has announced that he’s tired of being a long-distance bf. He says he loves me and wants to marry me, but only if I’ll move. Now. I’m in DC; he’s in a major midwestern city (and his kids live there, so he won’t consider leaving for several years).

    I’m not unwilling, in theory. Problem is, I have a six-month project at work that’s just about to start, and I’ve invested a lot of personal and professional capital in making this project happen. I’m going to be working with another company on this project, and people from that company have told me that this project is an audition for a job with them. Not just a job, though–The Dream Job.

    Which do I choose? FWIW, I’m 32 and I do want kids. The bf is great; we get along well. But the Dream Job…

    Thanks, ladies. I don’t even know what to think.

    • i feel your pain and am so sorry that you’re faced with this tough dilemma. but if he’s the one for you, wouldn’t he understand that this is the DREAM job for you? six months isn’t a long time, can’t you explain that you need six months for this project that you invested so much into? (whether it leads to another opportunity, personally i would wait to see…) it seems like long distance has been working for you guys otherwise, i feel like this might be an opportunity to have it all (long distance + dream job opportunity), but I don’t understand why he can’t see that?

    • I think this is a question none of us can possible answer for you, other than to tell you that we feel your pain. You’re in the ultimate rock and hard place situation. (Though I will say that ultimatums suck b*lls.)

      Because even if you told him, “well, its only a six month job” — the truth is its really a forever “dream job.” You have to decide for YOU whether its more important to move for the right man or stay for the right job. I think the jobs come and go and that dream jobs are rarely what they appear on paper. But I also think that relationships aren’t a guarantee of happiness either and women (and of course its always women) shouldn’t always be expected to sacrifice career goals to obtain personal ones.

      So…we can’t answer this for you. We can only give you sympathy.

    • Is it a dream job if it comes without the boyfriend?

      If I were you, I’d tell your boyfriend that you want six months to make this project happen, but that you’ll start applying for jobs in his city and see whether you can find a Dream Job there. Basically, ask for a little time.

    • Been there -- almost did that :

      Similar situation almost happened to me (BF was here, but wanted to move back to be near kid, I really like my job,also want kids) –I won’t TJ your TJ with details, but if you want to discuss over email, let me know.

      So it’s not just a 6-month project, but the potential for a permanent job? I think it’s worth staying for the project at least.

      Does he want to have more kids?

      Have you ever lived in the same city?

      What are your job options in the major midwestern city?

      Do you like the city?

      Good luck — my sympathies — what really got me through trying to figure out what to do is my mom’s advice that things have a way of working out — maybe not right now, but they will.

      • lurky the OP :

        Did your bf move back, and did you go with him? Just curious.

        He’s open to more kids, and we’ve never dated while living in the same city. He actually just moved back to the Midwest from DC last summer, which was right before we started dating, and says that he wouldn’t have moved back if he had known me back then (easy to say…). His city is fine, and it’s an easier place to live than DC in many ways, but my job options are definitely more limited there, so much so that I’d have to take a big hit on salary/title or start a new career path entirely.

        • Been there -- almost did that :

          He hasn’t moved back — he has applied to jobs out there (closer to his kid, but still a few hours away), but now it looks like kid and ex are moving out here and would be closer than they would be if he moved back there. So it may be a moot point.

          I hadn’t decided what I was going to do. I was leaning towards going, and really hoping I could work remotely. I was 90% sure I wanted to do it, but really concerned about the career hit and what would happen if our relationship did go horribly wrong.

          And I just read your follow-up below — not giving you the 6-months to figure things out is a big red flag in my book. One thing that made it possible for me to consider the move is that BF really did understand how hard it would be for me to give up what I’ve worked very hard for here.

    • Oh wow, this is tough. I agree with everyone who said ask for more times to explore your options. It is my personal belief that in these types of situations, you usually already know what you are going to do, consciously or not, and you are just having difficulty coming to terms with it. It sounds very corny, but I have found it helpful in the past to “try on” a decision for a day. It takes some mental gymnastics/role play, but can be useful. Basically, pretend you have decided to move and marry bf. Walk around for a day or two with the mindset that the decision to move has been made and is final. How does it feel? Then try it the other way- pretend you’ve decided that you can’t do it and you need to see where this project and potential dream job take you. How does that feel? One of them will feel more right than the other, and that’s your answer. Basically, it’s a technique to cut through all the crap (what society/your mom/your 10 year plan tells you you should do) and get down to your gut instinct. Again, it sounds really corny, but it has helped me in the past with tough decisions.

      • I don’t see how this is corny at all. It’s totally logical, and I want to try it out myself. Thank you.

        • Agreed. This is great solution for situations where, as my best friend says, “you’ve made your decision but you’re not comfortable with it yet.”

        • Totally agree – I use this technique for making lots of decisions where there’s not a huge consequence of picking one vs. the other (ooh, which island should we try for vacation this year?), but I can absolutely see the value for serious decisions.

          And, to echo FWIW below, how do YOU feel about marrying this man? I know you focused on the positives of Dream Job rather than background into your relationship, but the difference in tone when describing your options was quite striking.

      • Not corny at all. It’s the “big decision” version of flipping a coin just to see how you would feel about the option it lands on… which I do basically every time I need to pick a place for dinner. If it’s between thai food or greek food, and the coin lands on greek and I feel disappointed, I knew that thai was the right decision all along.
        I’ve never tried this for “big life decisions” but I think I will next time. It suits me decision-making style. :)

    • Oil in Houston :

      I’m going to play the devil’s advocate… you talk about the dream job but if this was the dream boyfriend would you be hesitating as much? I’ve said no to numerous jobs to work on my relationship with non-husband, including one I loved, but to me (33 yr-old btw), priorities were clear. So I guess my question is – maybe they are for you too, you just feel too selfish for saying it? (and you shouldn’t be! we all have to make choices!)

      • Agreed. I’ll also add that, from your post, you sound *much* more excited about the (potential) job than the man.

        • Totes McGotes :

          Yeah, the phrase “he’s great, we get along” really stuck out to me.

          • MaggieLizer :

            Also “He says he loves me and wants to marry me”. Do you love him and want to marry him? If the answer isn’t an unqualified yes, then it doesn’t seem like the relationship is worth the professional sacrifice, imho.

    • From the tone, I think you know what you want to do already.

      I’m going to repeat the advice of a friend (from something long ago forgotten, but the advice has stuck): if you are even asking this instead of trying to move things around to make it (the relationship/move) work, your heart probably wants the other option more.

      I personally would go with the career, but I tend to be more career than marriage oriented at this point in my life.

      • lurky the OP :

        Thanks, everyone. To those who said that I should ask for six months to make the project happen, I should have been more clear–I did ask, and he said no. I offered to do some insane commuting schedule where I technically live with him and fly to DC for 3-4 days/week. He also said no to that. Not very flexible, that one.

        And yes, to everyone else: I suspect I do know what I want to do already, and it’s probably the job over the man. I do love him, and I’d happily marry him if he lived here, and I’d even consider moving if he’d give me the time, but the way he’s going about it–pushy and with ultimatums–makes me worried that this might be only the first ultimatum out of many.

        Thanks again to all for the input, and KK, I like your decision-making strategy. *sigh* Dating is so depressing.

        • MaggieLizer :

          @ depressing dating – it’s really tough to get back out there, but once you do you might find it’s actually kind of fun to meet different people and try different places that you might not have thought to try. And there are lots of us single gals here to commiserate with! Good luck in making this difficult decision.

        • I’m late to the party, but I think that in general, what you know in your heart of hearts is probably the right choice. And it seems you’ve made it.

  20. evaluating others :

    I have a question about evaluating paralegals and support staff – how honest should you be? I work with a paralegal who has pretty much done things that I’ve asked her to do, but she has kind of an whiny attitude. I’ve heard her complaining very loudly quite a few times about things that are pretty standard and part of her job. I want to have a good working relationship with her going forward so I don’t want to be too harsh, but I can’t honestly give her a positive review because I think a lot of her behavior around the office is really unprofessional. I’m also new to my firm and fairly junior and she’s been here a long time (definitely longer than I’ve been practicing law), so I feel like maybe I’m overstepping my boundaries a little bit by giving her a negative review. Advice?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think you should tell someone how their performance can improve when they’re making mistakes, but I would not give an experienced paralegal this kind of feedback.

      I’m also a junior associate, and most of the paralegals and assistants here are much older and more experienced than me. My former assistant whined A LOT, but she was d*mn good at her job. She was just blowing off steam when she would whine, but she always got my stuff done and done correctly. And her complaints were directly about the work I’d give her. We got/get along very well (I had to change assistants because my former assistant was overloaded with busy attys and I was the most junior).

      Another dynamic to think about is that your paralegal has been working for more senior people than you for a long time. If they haven’t complained about it to her, then it probably isn’t affecting her actual job performance. At least at my firm, I know that the senior attorneys are not afraid to address real performance issues (as opposed to irritating personal traits) with support staff.

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. Even if your evaluation form specifically asks you to rate her “attitude,” I would be generous and focus on her attitude when you are actually working with her on a project – not on what you hear when she is blowing off steam.

        • I was a paralegal after college, and looking back on it I recognize that I did an amazing job for ridiculously low pay. I did not feel entitled to complain on the job, but one caveat in line with the above comments: if this kind of blowing off steam is happening at 3 am, or during a multi-week trip during which you see this assistant constantly, please take that into consideration.

          When support staff don’t have any off-time, their “real” feelings may sometimes come through during on-time. I think for the most part it cannot be helped when they are overstretched with no time to decompress. I’m sure I had some unsavory facial expressions, and I cried in front of my attorneys more than once. It’s because I was not able to take it home, because I couldn’t go home.

    • Here’s the key: she’s done what you asked her to do. And she’s not complaining to you. So back off on using this in the formal evaluation process. I think it will backfire.

      When I was fresh out of college, I was an assistant. The job involved a hell of a lot of scutwork, and I did it all. When I had my review, my boss said that I did good work, but that on occasion, I looked disappointed or acted annoyed by certain projects and that she wanted me to be more cheerful about the work.

      I was outraged. I felt like I was doing good work, working really hard, and that under those circumstances, I was entitled to have a personal opinion about the lousiness of the work from time to time. In retrospect, I see her point more clearly, but at the time, it was infuriating and made me less inclined to do good work for her. When you’re in a support position, your boss is entitled to good work, produced accurately and efficiently, without backtalk. Your boss is not entitled to your opinions, thoughts, or feelings, and your boss is not entitled to control what you say to others about the work.

      Besides, it seems to me like the basis of being a paralegal or associate is complaining. What would we talk about if we can’t complain about our work?

      • I’m a little torn about this one. Early on in my career I got similar feedback (great work, but put a smile on your face). On the one hand, I agree with anon above that your employer does not have the right to regulate your thoughts, feelings, etc. However, as I moved on to a management role, I was able to see how employees’ attitudes are contagious. There is something to be said for a “no whining” policy (even if it’s not being directed to you), since the negativity can quickly spread and lower overall morale.

        • I hate when support staff whines. WE have a client. You are not doing me a FAVOR! You are doing a job for the CLIENT. Stop complaining. When you guilt me over assigning work to you for the CLIENT, then I won’t give it to you anymore. I will do it myself and I will hate you.

          • You realize that when you do it yourself, they win, right? It’s hardly an incentive to stop complaining.

          • Yeah, sorry, but passive aggressively bottling up your resentment toward your support staff and secretly hating them for complaining is just as toxic as their whining was in the first place.

          • Bluejay: of course they win. When you work for the government, the lazy slackers win. It is not as though their supervisor will deal with them appropriately. They will whine and I will do the job for our client.

          • Plus, it really isn’t a secret that I hate them.

        • Attitude is very contagious! So true. One of my co-workers whined all the time. She acted like she was about to start a mutiny against all the management and tried to get us to gossip with her whenever possible. No one ever stepped in to stop it. Since she quit, I have been twice as happy and less stressed about life in general. I had no idea at the time that she was tainting my view so much.

    • I think the key part of your question is that you say her behavior around the office is really unprofessional. I agree with those who say that employees have a right not to like their work so long as they do it well, but you don’t have a right to vent about it in the office. I supervised a temporary attorney once who was the biggest whiner ever, and he was completely unprofessional about it – complaining to me that work assigned by a different attorney was boring and he just wanted to get it done as quickly as possible, complaining to other junior staff that he hated certain projects, etc. Suffice it to say that he did not get a permanent job offer. The last thing we needed was someone spreading negativity all around the office.

    • Maybe frame it differently – say something like ‘I really appreciate it when you show enthusiasm for the work, because it improves morale and makes everyone work together better’. Hopefully, this would encourage a more positive outlook (in public) without specifically calling her out for venting a little. As a caveat I should add that I’ve had to deal with this problem so I have no actual experience with this idea.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’d let it slide. I had to give a paralegal a very poor review because she did some pretty egregious things (like repeatedly making incorrect changes to a brief I had already signed without telling me; I only caught it because I saw the secretary entering the changes when I thought it had already been filed), and HR came to my office to “talk” about the review. Fortunately HR gave me a chance to explain, and when I told her in full detail what had happened, she was like, yep, your review was 100% warranted, but it was still a big shock to get that call. FWIW, I had focused on ways the paralegal could improve her performance and left out anything subjective, like her poor attitude.

    • My golden rule of reviews is to never, ever spring negative feedback on someone for the first time at a formal review, esp. in written form. Bring up the “attitude” issue at or around the time the problem arises. Give the feedback orally, and directly to her. Be straightforward, not sarcastic or snide. Only if you’ve discussed it with her more than once should you consider putting it in a formal, written review. Give her a shot to correct it before it becomes a part of the dreaded “permanent record”. This is particularly so if this is something intangible/subjective like attitude.

    • Seattleite :

      This isn’t specific to the ‘review’ issue, but generally I have found that complainers have “words of affirmation” as their love language, and complaining is their not-skillful way of asking for praise and affirmation. In this case, “I know this is a PITA to do. You do great work and I appreciate your attention to detail,” might do much to slow her down.

    • karenpadi :

      I think it’s important to be honest about the behavior that’s bothering you. Everyone occasionally complains about their job and occasionally makes a mistake or has a deadline pop-up.

      I work with a paralegal who is awesome with a capitol A at her job. But…we started off on a really bad foot for a stupid reason (I wished her “Happy Holidays” she said she preferred “Merry Christmas”–I was offended that she assumed I celebrate Christmas, she was offended that I didn’t acknowledge Christmas). So we had a few miscommunications about deadlines and expectations. It got so bad that I was hand-docketing reminders to myself to follow-up with her to make sure things went out on time.

      In her review, I did include 3 of the most egregious violations and posited that I thought she might be overloaded. There was the Friday before the 4th “drop-dead deadline” that turned out to be a 0ne month reminder, the instructions that I had sent to her in time but another counsel had to take an extension because she hadn’t yet sent them out, and a group of instances within a week of each other where a deadline was only docketed the day before it was due.

      In her review, I re-iterated that she is a hard worker and is very knowledgeable. I brought up these specific instances (including matter numbers and dates). I wrote that I assumed that these were a result of her having too much work on her plate and that we should consider distributing some of her work or finding some way to help her prioritize her work.

      My relationship with her is vastly improved. I don’t know if it’s because of that review or if my constant following up with her forced her to let bygones be bygones. And we don’t exchange holiday greetings anymore–it’s “please” and “thank you” year-round.

  21. Corporette babymamma :

    Hi Sigh, so sorry for your loss. I miscarried about two weeks ago as well and it was really, really hard at first. Lots of tears and just generally feeling down. But, as my hormone levels are dropping steadily, I am feeling SO much better. Before, I would start bawling if I saw a baby or had to talk to anyone about my miscarriage. But now, I can talk about it semi-calmly. I just really think that it takes time to heal. Are your HCG levels pretty low, or still high? I’m almost down to zero.

    What helped me is opening up to a few friends and talking through this with them. Everyone is different so that may not help you, but it was a relief to talk to friends and explain what I was going through. My husband, while a wonderful person, didn’t really understand how to help me. So I hope you can find a friend or family member who you trust to talk about this with. And if you’re finding it hard to concentrate at work, maybe it would help to tell your boss so that he/she understands what you’re dealing with? I had to tell the partner on my case because I was missing work due to dr’s appts. and she has been nothing but wonderful and understanding.

    Sending you hugs.

    • To add on, I found talking to my friends who had been through it was the best. They “got” all my feelings and were able to be as supportive as I needed. So reach out, if you can.

  22. Stephanie Plum :

    Corporettes, I’m a junior-ish associate (think 2-3 yrs) and have decided I need to make a lateral move. Workload is way down at my firm and what work there is is being “steered” to a select few favorite associates. I sense I’m being frozen out, and I suspect they’ll try to terminate me for “performance reasons” (ie not making my hours) instead of just a layoff. I’m really nervous about polishing up my resume and putting myself out there in interviews. As well, I’m scared of landing at a new firm and being in over my head or finding out it’s a sweatshop. Silly, I know, as it really seems like this is what I need to do, and I’m not sure I would want to be a partner at current firm anyway– but any encouraging words to get me past the negative self-talk from others who’ve been there?

    • I too am junior and have to make a lateral move, likely to a firm. I have the same concerns. Wise colleagues gave me the advice to 1) ask around about the reputation of my future colleagues before I move; and 2) if it’s awful, stay a respectable amount of time, learns lots, then it’s ok to move on.

    • karenpadi :

      Reach out to your network. Firms have reputations and people love to gossip. Listen to what they say (but we all have to eat, so if you have to be in a sweatshop for a year or so, so be it). If you know the gossip, you’ll know what you’re getting into.

      On the hiring side, the best candidates are usually hired via word of mouth-this is why networking is so important. You can really stretch a network–I’m taking someone out to lunch today who I’ve never met before. She cold-called me and said “I work at firm X and I heard you used to work here, can we meet for lunch?”

  23. Any coupon codes out there for Nordstrom right now? Thanks!

    • Batgirl, I’m not sure that Nordstrom ever does that. Occasionally, I’ll see something for a makeup gift with purchase and they always have their buy more and save deal on bath towels. But, usually it’s just the free shipping, anniversary sales, and seasonal sales.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Yep, no such thing. That’s not how Nordstrom rolls. Retailmenot dot com usually has all the coupons out there, so it’s always good to check (for stores other than Nordie’s).

  24. considerate bf :

    With all the inconsiderate bf stuff lately, I have a question about my very, very thoughtful BF. He is great about checking in with me and making me feel special. He does nice things large and small (making the bed, bringing me flowers). He always on time, calls me on the rare times he is running late, is quick to pay for our times out together and brings me lovely, thoughtful gifts. BUT: he leaves little things around my apartment all the time. Socks here, beer can there. WHat’s funny is that he is great about doing a sink full of dishes or sweeping the floor unasked (we don’t live together, but spend a lot of time at my place and host dinners and stuff there together). he just can’t seem to remember the tiny day-to-day things. Advice?

    • Count your blessings and leave him alone about the little stuff. The man doesn’t need to be perfect, and he already sounds pretty damn good.

    • Also. Does he have an equally considerate and devastatingly handsome brother? Preferably with a 6-pack and a wicked sense of humor? k thx

      • considerate bf :

        I do completely realize how awesome he is: he is the first person I have ever really adored the way I adore him. (He is also smart and funny. In shape but no 6 pack. His equally awesome brother is of the man-loving-persuasion :( But we both work long hours and the trail of trash around the house is sometimes just annoying as heck. I need to be more zen about it.

    • Pick your battles? Pick up the socks if you’re heading upstairs and the beer can if you’re heading towards the recycling. Maybe mention it once or twice, but don’t turn it into a nuclear war.

      Try to think about it this way — if he’s better at “big picture” chores like doing the dishes or sweeping the floor and you’re better at “detail oriented” chores like socks and beer cans, maybe just split it like that and actually talk about it. Because some of us (ahem….not naming names….ME) are just not good at noticing the details of clutter around the house. It doesn’t bother us the way it bothers other people. But I do all the dog care and take out the trash and deal with calling all the bill people because my husband hates the phone…so you have to find the split that works for you in your relationship.

    • Just pick it up yourself if you don’t like where he’s left something. Everyone has habits that get on other people’s nerves – I’m sure you do something that annoys him too, and he’s gracious enough not to harp on it.

    • I agree that you should probably let this go. But as someone who hates letting things go…. what about setting up some catch all baskets around the apartment? E.g., one big wicker something for socks, etc., and a cute small wastepaper basket for the beer cans, etc. This way it will be easier for him to throw stuff in there instead of on the floor, and if he doesn’t take the hint, it’s easier for you to do it & deal with later, too.

      • See, I’d just throw everything into one basket. Socks with beer cans with newpapers with shoes with iPhone. I don’t think doing the dishes or sweeping the floor totally negates the requirement that people pick up after themselves. I don’t know quite how to say it, but I think if I lived with someone who left their stuff everywhere it would drive me crazy because it would sort of put me in the role of “mom,” plus I don’t want to have to think about where your stuff should go – are the socks dirty? do they go in the laundry? back in the drawer? should the iPhone be by the door? on the table? in the man-bag? So it would all go in one basket for the owner to sort through and put away.

        And yeah, it’s a little passive-aggressive to put garbage with good stuff, but I guess I just feel very strongly about not leaving too much clutter lying around common areas.

        • I throw everything that is on the floor in the laundry basket. Which drives my SO crazy because he usually puts stuff on the floor because it’s “not quite dirty” and he “might” wear it again later. But this is not my problem. The way I see it is if it’s on the floor, it’s dirty. Everything else that’s not garbage goes into a “you sort it” catch all basket (which has paisley print on it, btw!), and garbage goes into garbage/recycling.

          I am not saying that the OP’s bf’s good deeds mean he gets a pass to litter all over the apartment but I think having beer cans dripping on clothes would just drive me (and the OP) even crazier.

      • My boyfriend could say the same about me (well, heehee, hopefully he’d say all the compliments as well=)). My family jokes that my grip reflex relaxes, and I leave stuff lying around everywhere at arms reach, but I have no idea where I’ve left something. I just plain don’t see the stuff 99% of the time. Then, I flip on my “see stuff” eyes, and I’m horrified. But, basically, I don’t think you’re going to have much luck in changing him since he probably really doesn’t notice. I agree with AIMS suggestion about putting lots of wastebaskets, that’s something I’ve found helps me. You might also try to start little rituals of tidying time; for example, I now try to make sure the table is clear before I leave for work, and after dinner. During those times I can turn on my “see stuff” eyes. My boyfriend has taken the approach of deciding it’s cute, which I’m exceedingly grateful for. I know that he picks up stuff after me, and try to make it up to him in other ways.

    • Anon in ATX :

      When I first moved in with my now husband I struggled with this alot! Lots of angry feelings and resentment. I have come to realize that if it is important to you, then you should do it. If not, let it go completely. For instance, I don’t like the way my husband loads the dishwasher. But instead of “correcting” him (b/c there is no real right or wrong) I let it go because I would rather he do it than me. If it was important enough, I would just take it on myself. No more hard feelings on my part & husband doesn’t feel like he’s always being critiqued.

      • agreeagreeagree. DH is an awful dishawasher loader. but i care more about clean dishes than about how they get that way. and i never have time to do it myself anyway, so why complain?

    • Check out Dan Savage’s advice on The Price of Admission:

    • THIS sounds like my relationship exactly.
      We live together. He leaves socks (WHY the socks?!) and random soda bottles around, and constantly forgot to put food containers away after cooking.
      Once I realized that reminding him about the little things didn’t work, and that I was trying wayy too hard to change him and getting stressed about this stupid thing, we compromised.
      I’d pick up the small constant things, and he’d do the bigger one-time things. Like laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning the kitchen/bathroom. (the bathroom probably doesn’t get cleaned as much as it should, but I’m totally fine with that)

    • leave him alone and love him all the same!!
      my hubs has awful habits like that. but he also, just like your guy, does a sink loads of dishes at 7am, vacuums, makes the bed, does all our laundry, and countless other things that i simply would be lost without. i know he does the dishes and makes the bed for my benefit, those things drive me nuts and i don’t always (in fact, never) have time to do them myself. but all the same, he leaves recyclables all over the apartment, likes collecting piles of pocket junk on every clear surface, and has our apt littered with more remote controls and wires than i know what to do with. eventually, you learn to love the whole package and really see the bigger picture. you’re absolutely right that being a little zen about it is the way to deal with it. frankly, if you start complaining it will haunt you and possibly damage your great sounding relationship. all that said, there’s no harm in his knowing some of your housekeeping likes (you have a method to your recycling madness, you like the bed made a certain way, things like that), just don’t be a strict enforcer of the worst kind!

  25. SV in House :

    TJ — my 7 year old came into my room with a hair elastic around her wrist this morning. Very advanced trolling!

  26. Any creative suggestions on yummy Passover snacks? I keep kosher-for-Passover every year, so I have the basics down, but I’m always looking for new ideas because my staple of cheese melted on matzo starts to get pretty old after day 3 or so.

    • Not sure if this counts as a snack as much as a treat, but I just made the raspberry macaroons from Smitten Kitchen last night, and they are awesome…they certainly put the canned stuff to shame.

      I usually eat so much avocado during Passover that I get sick of it (on scrambled eggs or on matzah). Salads. Fruit. Baked potatoes, squash (especially spaghetti squash, eaten like spaghetti), sweet potatoes. I have found KP Terra Chips before.

      • I like matzo pizza for a little more flavor than just matzo and cheese. Also, for breakfast there was a really good matzo granola recipe I made last year that I can try to find. I found out last year that quinoa is a totally acceptable food (since it is not a grain) and plan on eating some quinoa pasta or quinoa as a rice replacement this time around. I have also used quinoa to make a rice pudding type dessert that was really good.

        @Rosie I’m glad those macaroons are good-I was thinking of making them tomorrow!

        • If you make them, be careful with the size. I ended up only getting 35 or so out of the recipe, and SK says 50ish. I definitely drizzled chocolate over them, too.

          Another thing I used to make is this raw fruit pie for breakfast from a PETA cookbook (not saying anything about PETA, just happened to get their cookbook from the library). You basically put almonds and dates or raisins in the food processor and pressed that mixture into a pie pan as the crust. Then you fill it with chopped fruit, I think it included pineapple, bananas, and strawberries. Then you blend bananas and strawberries and pour that mixture over the chopped fruit. I think I stopped making it because it was way too much sugar for first thing in the morning.

    • Apples and cheese; apples and peanut butter, apples and hummus; apples and you name it.
      If you get sick of apples, pears and mango also work well for this purpose.

      I am also a big fan of hummus or babaganush (nondairy) for snacking purposes, and will dip anything from carrots to peppers to cherry tomatoes inside.

      Also, roasted chickpeas – amazing!

      • Not a snack, but a meal suggestion: If you eat garbanzo beans, this is amazing! If not, eat it in when Passover is over. I’ve probably made this 3 or 4 times in the last 2 months and I love it both over the sweet potato suggested and with quinoa and brown rice.

      • Those roasted chickpeas look great! And I like how simple the recipe is. Of course, being in Maryland, I will have to use Old Bay seasoning.

        Not sure if it’s kosher for Passover, but lately I have been adding a bit of dry onion soup mix (the kind you use to make sour cream and onion dip) to potatoes to give them more flavor with a little less butter. I was just reminded of this because of the use of the spice bland for the chickpeas.

        *Your daily non sequitur*

    • Also from Smitten Kitchen:

      I’m not Jewish so I make it with Saltines. I’m making it this Saturday. My family loves it.

      • Okay, I need tips for this. I tried making it twice and only ended up wasting a ton of butter. And I bake fairly often, so I’m not completely clueless in the kitchen. But the first time I ended up with a glass-like substance when the caramel cooled, the second time I ended up with sugary tar. What gives?

        • Seattleite :

          Sounds like you’re not cooking the caramel mixture correctly. When dealing with candy, three minutes mean three minutes, not two-and-a-half minutes or three-and-a-half minutes. If you’re precise on time and it’s still wrong, then it’s probably cooking at too high temperature.

        • My best guess is that for your first attempt you cooked the sugar too too long and the second attempt you might not have mixed continuously enough. It’s too bad she didn’t include temps or at least candy “stages” (soft ball/hard ball) which is a better guideline than cook times. Joyofbaking dot com slash candy slash caramels dot html has a great caramel troubleshooter.

          • I’ll check that out. Maybe I need to use a candy thermometer – I have successfully made pralines (well, they would not fool someone from New Orleans, but they are pretty good) using a candy thermometer. Sounds like it’s also time to get some new batteries for my lab timer that counts down seconds!

          • I don’t use a candy thermometer.

            To avoid a mess, though, I put tinfoil on the baking sheet and then I spray the foil with cooking spray.

          • Bunkster, have you tried the new non-stick foil? When I make my sister-in-law’s addictive Chex mix, I wrap the pan and my big spoon in it. When I’m done, I just take off the foil and everything is clean.

      • I made these at Christmas and couldn’t stop eating them. So good!

  27. Salary help? :

    I really love this top and will probably buy it when it goes on sale. I’ve been on an ethnic-inspired kick, and it’s nice to find stuff I can wear to work without looking too hippie-ish.

    Now, onto my threadjack! I’m clerking and my position will be ending soon. I’ve been applying for every job I can (not many openings out there), and finally got an offer from a great nonprofit. The salary is not good, but I think I’d like everything else about the job. I’d like to try to negotiate for something better, but I’m not sure what to do if they won’t budge. Do I take it because, hey, the economy is terrible and a low-paying job is better than not having a job at all? Or do I decline the offer and hope that something better comes along (I don’t think this is likely, but I do have some time left in my clerkship, and I don’t want to throw in the job-hunting towel too early)? I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as any negotiating tips you might be willing to share.

    • Former MidLevel :

      If you would like the job and like the organization, I would seriously consider taking it, even if there is no room to negotiate on salary. Not because the job market is bad (which of course it is) but because it sounds like the job could be a good fit for you.

    • In general, I think that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. But as someone mentioned a few weeks back, it may be easier for a nonprofit to negotiate perks (vacation, flex time, etc.) rather than an increased salary.

      The job market is really tough right now, but I do think it is important to like your job. If salary is the only thing giving you pause about the position, I would take it. Either you love it and decide you can live with the salary, or it doesn’t end up working for you and you start looking again. I think people look more favorably upon job applicants who are employed, but YMMV.

    • no longer "job hunting" :

      Take it! You think you’ll like everything about it except the salary. Money is not the key to happiness, and enjoying your time is worth so much more in the long run. You will live longer because you will not spend your career doing things that make you miserable.

  28. Important announcement: I believe I am on record somewhere here as saying that I can’t see myself ever wearing blue nailpolish. Well, I would like to rescind that statement and state that I am now on Team Blue. The turning point? Chanel’s Blue Boy. Thank you, ladies, for broadening my nail polish experience and thereby making me a better person. :-)

  29. Silly - but real - question :

    I’m an attorney finishing up a 2-year clerkship with a wonderful judge, and about to begin working for a small-medium firm. Here, I don’t have an administrative assistant or paralegal – I have duties, and I do them. The judge has an administrative assistant who is in a separate office, and we rarely see each other. There’s no animosity or anything, and I’ve been told my situation is unique among clerkships. Here is my question (that I’m so glad to ask on the internet):

    What does a paralegal do for an attorney? When I begin working at Little Firm, I will share a paralegal with two other attorneys. Can someone give me an idea of what types of things a paralegal (or other support staff) do for their attorneys? And also, anything that I definitely should NOT expect support staff to do? I want to be efficient and spend as much of my time on billable work as I can, especially because I am beginning this position pregnant, but I don’t want to overly delegate, either.


    • Former MidLevel :

      That’s not silly. There is a wide variation in how firms (and individual attorneys) use paralegals. Is there is someone you feel like you can ask at the firm when you get there – e.g., a more senior associate?

      At my firm, which was Chicago BigLaw, the paralegals handled filing documents with the court, including arranging for the delivery of courtesy copies where required. They also maintained the case files and did a wide variety of other tasks, depending on the partner who was heading up a particular case. On the other hand, our assistants did things like answer phones, format documents, proofread, etc.

      • By ‘manage case files’ – what exactly do you mean? And I’m also wondering – who manages calendars with deadlines for filings, appointments, etc? And do you have access to that?

        • Former MidLevel :

          At my firm, the paralegals had physical possession and control of the case files that contained the originals of all documents, etc. In some cases, we had electronic “lockers” that the paralegals managed, too. (This was in litigation, by the way.) Sometimes, the locker would include a shared case calendar with deadlines, but you should always be on top of the deadlines in your cases. I kept track of my case deadlines, appointments, etc. on the calendar in my firm email program.

        • AnonInfinity :

          The assistants at my firm do the type of file management that Former MidLevel is talking about (showing that it really is different everywhere).

          Calendaring deadlines at my firm is done by the assistant who manages the physical file, but the assistant only calendars deadlines that the attorneys tell her to calendar. That assistant puts the deadlines, meetings, etc., for the case into the calendars for all attorneys on the case. If it’s a CLE or something similar that only applies to me, either my assistant or I will put it on my calendar.

      • Diana Barry :

        Our assistants open our matter numbers and make up the physical files – the good ones file the stuff I give them in the file, the bad ones you have to do it yourself. They type forms that need typing. Some assistants will do cover letters – my cover letters are usually long/explanatory, so I do them myself. The thing I ask my assistant to do most often (if I am working at home) is find a file, scan a few documents in the file, and send me the pdfs in an email.

        I don’t ask my assistant to do much – ex. I do my own time (easier for me to use the program etc), my own letters, etc.

        Our corporate/estate paralegal prepares court accounts, files annual reports and other corporate docs, goes to secretary of state’s office etc. etc.

    • AnonInfinity :

      This is not a silly question at all. It’s something I’m still getting the hang of (I’ve been practicing for all of eight months). I think they’re different at different places, but here’s how it goes at my firm, generally:

      Assistants — Type/format letters, enter time (from my chicken-scratch handwritten list), file pleadings and motions electronically, mail things, make binders when the material doesn’t really require discretion (print off all the attachments on this email and make a binder, for example), entering handwritten corrections into the computer version on documents. Basically, things that can be done relatively quickly and without much discretion.

      Paralegals — Tasks that will take longer but that you don’t need a law degree for. Organizing and compiling exhibits, researching opposing counsel, finding cases published by a certain judge, organizing and summarizing medical/other types of records, compiling documents for discovery responses, making binders of things that will take longer or with more discretion, double checking my deadline calculations, plus many of the things assistants do.

      The lines get blurred together when we’re talking about assistants who have been legal secretaries since before I was born — a lot of those people do the tasks I listed under the paralegal heading.

      I’ve heard tales of paralegals doing the first draft of discovery or other pleadings at other firms, but ours here don’t do that.

      There are a few paralegals that I am friendly with, so if I’m not sure, I’ll sometimes call one of them up and ask, “Is this a task a paralegal normally does or an assistant normally does?”

      • Agree with this. I’ll also add that if you are going to be actually trying cases, paralegals at my firm take care of getting most of the “stuff” ready – files to have at counsel table labeled and neatly organized, exhibits numbered and organized and ready to just hand over during testimony, exhibits simply ready to go and looking as good as possible – photos printed and demonstratives made up, and they create powerpoints for the attorneys that use powerpoint in openings/closings.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      My rule of thumb is if both my paralegal and I can do it, she does it. If I get caught up (which is never) I can always go and get something back.

      Litigation Section of ABA has a podcast about this called working with your first assistant or something. I found it helpful.

  30. Anon for this :

    Just have to rant to someone. Co-worker has left her phone in her office. It has now rung 9 times in 10 minutes. I assume it’s her teenage son (he does this with some frequency). Is it too hard to shut your ringer off when you’re going to be away from your desk for an extended period? Really?

    • A coworker who used to sit in a cube near mine did this. He set different ringtones for different callers and there was a particularly loud, insistent one that he set for when his wife called. (Hmm….)

      I got him to stop by (half-)joking with him: “X, if you don’t put your phone on silent when you’re going to be away from your desk for awhile, I’ll answer it in a breathy voice the next time your wife calls and you’ll really be in the doghouse!”

      A male coworker chimed in saying that he’d also answer the phone the next time in a breathy voice and that’d guarantee a divorce. LOL.

      So, X silenced his phone but we all laughed about it.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      I accidentally left my phone in my office once and when I returned a co-worker said, “we turned your phone to silent while you were away.” I was really embarrassed and not offended.

  31. How to search :

    Hey ladies, I know this has been posted before (and if I knew how to search for it I would!) but how do I do a google search to look for comments in the threads? Thanks in advance!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Just type into google “ SEARCH TERMS”, replacing search terms with whatever you’re looking for and no quotation marks, obviously.

    • PittsburghAnon :

      google ‘ mysearchterm here’

    • Can't Find :

      In Google, if you use “Advanced Search” and type Corporette as the website and your search terms in the search box, it should work. It never works for me. Just this morning I was looking for the thread from a couple days ago about the woman who has financed repairs to her BF’s home. I put Corporette in the website box and “cohab home repair equity” in the search box, and it did not come up.

      • Well, that’s not gonna work. Because “cohab” and “equity” weren’t part of the post. Try different words or phrases, like “pay half of the mortgage” or something like that.

        • Can't Find :

          I thought they were part of one of the replies. Does it not search replies? That would explain a lot!

    • How to search :

      Awesome, thanks guys!!!

  32. Muddy Buddy’s comment above (about the joys of coming home to a clean house) tips me over the edge – it’s time to hire a cleaner! Does anyone have any recommendations for housecleaners in or near Columbia, MD?

  33. Good news :

    I just accepted an offer on my dream job you guys! Its a step up in $, responsibility and title in a cool industry. So excited! And I’m going to visit family this weekend too. Yay!

  34. Francie N. :

    Thanks to all the great reviews of The Hunger Games Trilogy, I have burned through Books 1 and 2 and am looking forward to reading the third tonight.

  35. I like paisley, but the pattern is too big here. Plus, there’s the dreaded bull’s eye effect.

  36. Count me among the paisley lovers! I wore a paisley skirt today.

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