Thursday’s Workwear Report: Tie Neck Sleeveless Blouse

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

This very highly rated georgette blouse has 20 reviews and almost 5 stars. I tend to go back and forth on tie neck blouses, but this one, with its wavy pattern and green color, is kind of cute (here are the other colorways), and I like that it comes in regular and petite sizes up to XXL (which is a size 18). It’s machine washable and line dry, and whether you end up tucking it in or leaving it out, I think it would look great. It’s $59 at Nordstrom. Tie Neck Sleeveless Blouse

Two plus-size examples are here and here.

Update: Note that some colorways are marked down to $41 in the big winter sale at Nordstrom.

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



  1. Liquid foundation brush :

    Just started using a brush to apply liquid foundation. Can you share any tips? Also, do you clean the brush daily?

    • lawsuited :

      I used to use a brush to apply foundation, but I now swear by my beauty blender so my tip is to try a beauty blender as well and see which you prefer! I washed my brush every 1-2 days, and I wash my beauty blender once a week.

      • I also use a beauty blender, depending on the foundation/how my skin is reacting.

        OP: I love my beauty blender. But in an effort to save $$ I tried the Real Techniques sponge that is supposed to be like the beauty blender. I did not like it. It wasn’t as flexible as the beauty blender, absorbed more of my foundation, and was harder to clean. If you’re going the beauty sponge route, I really think the beauty blender is worth the $20.

        • lawsuited :

          +1 I’ve tried about 6 beauty blender dupes and ended up throwing them each of them in the trash after a few uses. By contrast, I’ve had my current beauty blender for almost a year. When I got rid of my last beauty blender (also had it for around a year and got rid of it because I ripped it not because it stopped working) I cut it open to see whether makeup had gotten trapped inside the sponge, but it was completely clean so I think weekly cleanings are effective.

      • I have a beauty blender but I think it eats up too much of my product. Most of the BB cream ends up in the blender and not on my face. I highly prefer the brush.

        • Interesting. I find the opposite, but I use my beauty blender damp, which may help it not absorb too much product?

    • What kind of brush are you using? I go back and forth between a stippling brush and an oval artiste brush knockoff for applying foundation.

      I apply a little bit to the back of my hand, dot it over my face, and then use the brush to blend into my skin, using stippling/patting motions for the stippling brush, an circular light pressure rubbing with the artiste brush.

      I do clean my brush every day. I use a little bit of a spray cleaner. It takes about 20 seconds.

    • Marshmallow :

      I rarely wear full foundation, but I like to use a brush to apply it in the first instance, then bounce a damp BB all over my face to blend it out. For medium coverage, you can paint it on with one of those flat paintbrush-looking ones. You will probably get some brush strokes, which the BB will help smooth out. For heavier coverage, use a dense brush with a flat top (think Bart’s head) like a small kabuki brush.

      • Marshmallow :

        Oh yes, and you must clean the brush every day. Sephora’s spray cleaner is nice, and you can use a mild soap every week or so to really get everything out.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I just started doing this, too! I use a two-ended brush – both sides are sort of flat and oval and different sizes. I use a painting motion and wash it every day.

    • I clean the brush every week. I don’t use a lot of product. I use a really big fluffy but dense brush.

    • this is my brush

      I wipe it on a tissue after I use it. Once a week I get the bristles thoroughly wet in a cup, then swish them on some dawn dish liquid on my hand, then run water over the bristles and my hand while I’m still making the swishing motion. It gets really clean this way.

  2. Peloton bike :

    Do you have one? How does it work? Considering getting one but have never seen it in person and do not live near a showroom. It has basically a computer attached that connects to online classes? The website isn’t that helpful and I’m suspicious of blogger reviews who of course all love it.

    • Not sure if you’ve seen Hitha on the Go’s recent review, but it wasn’t sponsored, and based on her IG, she actually uses it frequently.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’m an avid Crossfitter but wanted to work on my endurance, without running (because eww), so I bought a Peloton bike. I’m obsessed. I absolutely love it! Here’s how it works:

      You buy the bike and they come an install it. The monitor/computer is hooked up to your wi-fi. You can take live classes or on-demand classes. I usually do on-demand because of my schedule. They have 20, 30, 45, or 60 minute classes. You can pick your class by length, trainer, music, type of ride (tabata, metric, endurance, etc). You wear a heart rate monitor to track your progress and see how you rank on the leader board. If you’re so inclined, you can add followers for the social aspect.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        The bike is $2500, including installation, and the monthly membership is $39.

        They have recently added “beyond the ride” workouts. Things like yoga and HITT for when you want to do something different.

    • Looking forward to it. :

      I just bought one, hasn’t arrived, but I’m happy to hear the positive reviews. I used to go to spinning, but had a kid and life got into the way. I’ve tried excercise videos, but never really got into them — I’m looking forward to the feedback/metric tracking, as I think that will force me to be competitive with myself.

      It was $3,500 all in — delivery, insurance (which I wasn’t sure about), shoes, and a two year subscription, which includes 3 additional months. If you know someone with the bike already, you can list them as a reference when you purchace and you both get another two months.

    • I use my Black Belt spinning bike and access the Peloton rides through the Ipad app. I considered getting the Peloton bike, but my app is only $10 a month (or maybe it is $15 a month). I love spinning on my own schedule. The downside is that I don’t have the exact Peloton resistance numbers or output that the instructors call for, so it is on me to make sure that I don’t slack on resistance or output.

    • And there you have it :

      I called them when I first learned about it and confirmed you can use whatever bike you want and still have access to the classes online or through their app. Much cheaper. I had even considered using a regular bike propped on a stand just to try it out to see if I liked it, but then no resistance adjustments would be available.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I don’t what you mean by stand, but assuming the bike isn’t a single speed, and you put it on a trainer, you can adjust the resistance by gearing up or down.

        I like the CycleOps trainers. If you already have a bike, it is a cheap alternative since a trainer is a couple hundred bucks. Or you can get a cheap road bike and use that, and then you also have the option to ride outside as well.

        • Anonymous :

          Awesome. I was intrigued by the Peloton but I already have a pretty nice (expensive) road bike (we ride outside a lot in the spring, summer and fall) and a bike trainer, so I’ll just get the app. Thanks for the info!!

  3. My boyfriend’s friend invited my boyfriend and me to stay at his parents’ beautiful beach house with him for a weekend. How would you say thank you? Just taking him out to dinner?

    I don’t know him well. He’s about 30 and I’m sure he’s not interested in a standard hostess gift.

    • Bottle of whiskey or scotch? That is my go-to for guy gifts.

    • Maybe bring a 6 pack of his favorite craft beer or some edible you know he would like “for the house”. And take him out to dinner.

      Honestly, his Parents probably deserve the hostess gift…..! But if you do it know them, that wouldn’t be appropriate.

      • Thanks! And yeah, I’ve never met them and they won’t be there…but agreed that they are probably the ones who deserve it!

    • lawsuited :

      Offer to cook X meals, bring groceries and wine, bring your own sheets, clean up the kitchen and otherwise be helpful around the house and you’ll get another invite. I don’t care for hostess gifts but I love when the people I invite to our lake house help out and aren’t a ton of extra work for me.

      • Anonymous :

        I would not bring sheets. That’s weird and unnecessary.

        • lawsuited :

          My suggestion was to offer to bring sheets – it may well be unnecessary, but it’s polite to ask whether you need to bring anything.

          • It’s still weird to specify sheets. Just ask generally if there’s anything you need to bring.

      • He invited boyfriend plus guest. Boyfriend should offer to do all this stuff. OP should just bring a couple 6 packs of beer and pay for a dinner out. Do not become the mommy cooking and cleaning up after the boys.

        • +1. Please, PLEASE do not go that far above and beyond. You are a guest, not the maid they hired for the weekend. Bring a six-pack of beer, maybe make a pot of coffee in the morning, but that’s it.

        • lawsuited :

          +1 I definitely intended that both you and your boyfriend would do these things together.

          • Yup, we’ll be doing it together…he is just also clueless about what we should do/give. Thanks everyone.

          • It is NOT your issue to have to placate your boyfreind’s freind or shower him with gifts. For all you know, the freind just wants your boyfriend to have a good time out there and you will be doieng plenty by entertaining him (or both of them). No need to do more. FOOEY on men that expect us women to do things for them just b/c they invite us out to their weekend place.

        • I agree that BF should take care of this. Disagree that OP should pay for dinner out, that’s on BF too, and I’m not sure that’s even necessary. I mean it’s the guy’s parents’ beach house, it’s not like he’s out any money.

          OP should bring enough alcohol to cover her own consumption and then some and if she can throw in a snack or dessert then great. BF should offer to at least start a load of laundry for your sheets/towels before you leave, but if he doesn’t think of it I would offer to do that too.

      • What?? My husband’s family has a vacation home to which we invite friends frequently. If any of our guests brought groceries and sheets, I’d think they were weird. Actually, I’d be borderline offended–you think our sheets aren’t clean or we don’t know how to host people?

        Bring booze and pick up the check dinner one night if you all go out–we appreciate it when our friends do those things to thank us. But honestly, we invite people to the family vacation home because we want to spend time with them/share with them one of our favorite places. Don’t stress too much about this.

        • I think it depends on how the beach house is used. If it is strictly a vacation property, I would not offer to bring linens. If it is a rental, I would bring my own sheets just to make it easier to pack up and get out without having to do laundry the last morning.

          But this is coming from a person who tends to take a collapsible crate full of things including a good chef’s knife and cutting board, Dutch oven, and beach towels, because growing up we didn’t keep good stuff in our beach house which was primarily used as a rental. I get that different people vacation all sorts of ways.

        • lawsuited :

          I meant to *offer* to make a meal, bring groceries, clean up the kitchen, etc.

          • Ginger tea :

            This is a great suggestion. My BF and I just stayed at his friend’s parents’ (somewhat secluded) house in the mountains and offered to cook dinner. His friend + wife enthusiastically said yes and seemed to really enjoy the meal – I don’t think they cook at home much so it may have been a treat.

      • Someone brought their own sheets once when they stayed at my condo for a while- friends of my boyfriends (I wasn’t staying there and they stayed there for about a week). I thought it was really weird, and it made me wonder what they thought was wrong with my sheets.

    • If the parents will be there, bring a little something for BF’s friend and another little something for the parents. Maybe booze/beer for him, wine/chocolates for them. If they are not going to be there and this is straight up friends fun weekend, bring a case of beer. And really, whoever said it’s really your BFs job to do all this is right although I am usually the host/ess gift bringer when we go somewhere with husband’s friends or family but my husband is now in the habit of always bringing beer or a gift when he stays with a friend.

    • Is it just you and BF for the weekend, or will his parents be there too?

      If it is just you and BF, then handle dinner, drinks, groceries etc. the way you normally would for a date or trip. Be prepared to clean the house and wash sheets and towels (together) before you leave at the end of the weekend. This is expected in our family unless the people using the vacation home pay for a cleaning service to come after their stay.

      It would also be very lovely of you to write a nice thank-you note to his parents after your stay.

  4. Anonymous :

    I’ve been called an entitled millennial several times on this site. When I ask questions here, I really do appreciate everyone’s answers. All of you give me perspective and insight to the corporate world that I would otherwise have to learn the hard way.

    Thank you Kat for making this community.

    *I am happy to be a millennial. I hope that my generation brings the change to the corporate world that is so desperately needed.

    • I think many people just use the term “millennial” these days when they are simply referring to younger folks who show common traits that EVERY young generation gets criticized for. Making huge generalizations, those may include being naive, less world-wise, sometimes more self absorbed, sometimes more entitled etc….

      It is just lazy to use sweeping statements about millennials, in my opinion.

      But we/you also need to lighten up a little.

    • People who say “sounds like a millennial” are being intellectually lazy. It’s easier to name-call than to listen to a new point of view. The millennials I know (and I am one) have unbelievable passion, work ethic, and less tolerance for bad policies staying as they are. If it makes me entitled to rail against unfair workplace law (lack of maternity leave, for example), then call me entitled all the live long day.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah I’ve never heard anyone on this site be called entitled for wanting paid maternity leave.

        • anon for this :

          Yeah also because that’s a thing that older women/generations want, too. We all know paid maternity leave is this s i t i e ‘s holy grail. This is only example I can think of off the top of my head, but people get jumped on a lot when they say they want to work from home and it’s not allowed.

          I’m one of those millennials with a lot of passion and a strong work ethic and what is, quite frankly, am amazing attitude at work. This all to the detriment of my personal life in many ways. I’m acutely aware that I’m not hanging out in Croatia fully funded by my parents and thinking I deserve to be an NYT travel blogger. Or that I’m not even going home with enough time to eat a healthy dinner and get enough sleep. It irks me to no end to listen to people stereotype millenials, especially when many of the people I work for became lawyers in the good years when all you had to do to get hired at a big firm was to have a pulse and a JD, and to make partner all you had to do was bill. And clients didn’t fuss over that like they do now. If people want to snark at young people on the internet, that’s fine. Have fun. But what alarms me about it is wondering whether my supervisors also hold the same beliefs (I know some former supervisors do), which can actually harm me.

          • The thing about the supervisor? That’s real. One of the times I’ve been angriest in my entire life was at a work event. It was an 8 hour continuing education thing put on by the public accounting firm where I worked. The morning session was all technical stuff and the afternoon sessions were on a variety of topics. One of them was one of those “the multi-generational workforce” talks. The woman giving the talk was a boomer and spent the entire time railing on how entitled and lazy millennials were. There was lots of crowd participation too. It became a real pile-on. The millennials in the room sat there in stunned and angry silence. The partner in charge of my department thought it was great and so hilarious. I was so angry I could barely breathe.

            If you want to call some young people lazy and entitled, okay, but don’t insult the people in the room who are making $60,000 a year working every day straight between the end of January and mid-April, plus copious amounts of overtime, weekend work, and 24 hour availability by cell during other parts of the year. Insult someone living in a yurt on their parent’s dime. Not someone damaging their relationships and their health and spending a fortune on additional childcare so they can bill more hours for you. When I turned in my resignation a couple of years later, this same partner was really blindsided. He couldn’t understand why young people kept quitting. I didn’t want to quit, but I felt like he would never trust me or anyone in my generation to be able to step up to the plate, so why bother busting my ass for him? I would probably still be there, toughing it out and climbing the ladder if I had felt like there was any support or encouragement from above.

          • Although a hair too old to be a millenial, there is something I do at work. If there is a lecture or group discussion and the speaker brings up the “participation trophy” issue, I address it. I explain that nobody valued it, and in my individual sport, 3rd place, 8th place, or even 11th place out of 22 had more value than the participation trobies.

          • I feel like the participation trophy thing says a lot more about the generation who thought it was a good idea to do this than it does about those that were too young to have an opinion about it.

          • solidarity esquire-sisters :

            “It irks me to no end to listen to people stereotype millennials, especially when many of the people I work for became lawyers in the good years when all you had to do to get hired at a big firm was to have a pulse and a JD, and to make partner all you had to do was bill. ”

            I have struggled to get legal every job I’ve held, humping pavement to interviews and impressing these jerks. I HATE listening to them talk about how they fell into opportunities and everything was just soooooo fortuitous in their career paths.

          • FYI this is a very young behavior. Every generation thinks the generation before them had it easy. It’s really going to piss you off when the next generation says this about you.

            I’m a Gen Xer and I have worked my a55 off. And I’ve done it dealing with a lot more outright sexism and old boys behavior than you will ever experience.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            And you sound like you have a very large chip on your shoulder.

          • Anonattorney :

            “I feel like the participation trophy thing says a lot more about the generation who thought it was a good idea to do this than it does about those that were too young to have an opinion about it.”

            hahahahahaha!!! +1000

          • Anon at 10:57

            THANK YOU.

            My mother was super into displaying all of her children’s trophies and showing them to people who came over. They were about her. I didn’t want them displayed at all.

          • I don’t think people jump on people who want to work from home, but there is a way of asking for things in a professional way and in an unprofessional way. That is the real issue.

          • Agree. I don’t want to jump on millenials per se but the entitlement thing I think is just a young thing. You come out of a college environment to a work environment and it’s different. You need to learn that people senior to you expect you to pay your dues, just as they did.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think all millennials are entitled. I work with some millennials who are amazingly great at what they do and are very hard workers. But the “question” yesterday that basically said, I’m going to go to my boss and dictate my work conditions, that’s okay, right? Was totally naive, tone-deaf, and entitled. I think the OP is one of those people who comes to this site looking for “advice” and then gets mad when people don’t tell her what she wants to hear, and pats her on the back for being so brilliant and creative. Maybe that is not a – “millennial” attitude – but it is a bratty, spoiled one. And frankly, it gets old pretty fast.

          • anon for this :

            Anonymous at 12:03- I said that was the only example I could think of- we had a recent thread on it or something. While I agree that asking things in an appropriate way is definitely an issue, it’s most certainly not the only issue. This attitude that young people are entitled and lazy truly does exist, and it leads to lack of trust. I don’t want some boomer to automatically presume that my request for reasonable flexibility, or my being too busy to take a new assignment, or desire to take on a greater challenge is because I’m entitled, or to look at it through that lens. I’ve worked at a firm where I was not trusted and given no autonomy, and at a firm where I was fully trusted and given autonomy. Guess which one I’m happier at. Now guess which one I work harder for.

            Glad the rest of you feel what I’m saying. Anon at 10:42: YES re; all the sacrifices just to bill a few. more. hours.

          • Really? because you think telling an entire generation they had it easy is a good way to get them to stop stereotyping your generation? Pot, meet kettle.

          • Anonymous :

            ” I think the OP is one of those people who comes to this site looking for “advice” and then gets mad when people don’t tell her what she wants to hear, and pats her on the back for being so brilliant and creative. ”

            Anonymous at 3:15. I come on this site for perspective and I appreciate it very much. If I didn’t want to hear opposing ideas, I would not post questions at all. Please don’t be so judgmental.

      • You sound like my mom! Hey Mom! Just kidding, I know my mom doesn’t read this site, but she’s a big advocate among her more staid and conservative friend group- she sees the millennials that she works with working hard, hustling at multiple jobs, maintaining family and social lives, handling relatively higher student debt and relatively lower wages than her generation had. She’s especially proud that it’s the rule, not the exception, for women to be ambitious and accomplished, independent of (but not necessarily exclusive of) their husbands and families. Woo!

    • SwimmerShoulders :

      I’m a Boomer and want to give a shout out to the Millenials in our work force. At their request we’ve had to put more structure in place, but it is helpful for everyone — more training, more time mentoring, more detailed feedback in reviews. The Millenials are more likely to be strong on diversity, the men actually take their paternity leave, and they are creative on work hacks. Like two are sharing a job, two are office swapping so they both can work at two of our sites, etc. They are also — of course — really connected so the advise to build a professional network lands on receptive ears.

      • Thanks :) This is super appreciated. I also want to add that I’m a millennial and us millennials also know some extremely lazy and entitled millennials and that’s probably as frustrating to us as it is to you guys. I’ll also add that in no way do I think that any particular demographic has a monopoly on entitlement and laziness. The thing about entitlement is that most people are entitled in some way, but we all think that we earned the things we’re entitled about and the other people didn’t earn the things they’re acting entitled to. But I digress.

      • Thank you for this. Your description really rings true for me- I LIKE structure, I value fairness and diversity, I take constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement deeply to heart, and I like some flexibility to be creative in how I get things done. It’s actually hard for me to imagine what other demographics find strange or disagreeable about any of this? Perhaps you can provide some insight!

        • Anonymama :

          From barely-past-millennial friends, they value employees who will just get done what needs to be done, and will trust their own instincts and judgment to figure it out without necessarily needing everything spelled out for them. So, more autonomy rather than structure.

    • I’m a very old millenial- born 1982. So I’m the boss of “those millenials” (the “entitled ones”), but also a peer of some Gen Xers at the SVP/VP level, and we all TYPICALLY report to Boomers, though that has changed a bit recently.

      What I think has changed significantly even in my own time in the workforce (2003 on) is the ability to plug in 24/7 and the new(ish) expectation that you do so. Everyone now owns an iphone with their email on it. People at all levels can–and d0– check email before going to bed and when waking up. This was just not A Thing when I started working in 2003. Sure, people had blackberries, but the “crack-berry” stigma was going strong- people looked askance at you if you were glued to your phone. Junior people –at least in many fields– didn’t get a corporate phone, and if they did, it was very job specific (you are on call).

      It doesn’t seem crazy to me that as a trade-off for more 24/7 availability to one’s job, the younger generation is pushing back on other areas of flex (clothing, schedule, etc). There are and always will be the Entitled people, but I think a lot of what is perceived by older generations as laziness/out of touch with the workforce is young people trying to draw some kind of boundary between work and life in a time when it’s virtually impossible.

      Just my $.02.

      • Oh, and to add to this, I know far, far FAR more dual income/ two working parent millennials (again, I’m an Old Millenial- my kids are in Kindy) than higher up my corporate ladder.

    • Thanks for this. I’m a millennial. I firmly believe that millennials as a group do not have a higher percentage of entitled/lazy people than any other generation; it’s just that the entitled/lazy among us are more likely to exhibit those traits with a social-media-connected smartphone in hand, which amplifies the behavior.

      • +1

        My millennial brother-in-law would have just been a little annoying at family gatherings if he’d been an entitled 30-year old 20 years ago. But today, I get to see his regular facebook rants about the man, money, and people all just being sheep and him being annoyed that no one wants to pay him a staggering salary to sit in a room and come up with, like, amazing ideas man.

        • I think your brother in law is my nephew in law. Either that or there is more than one of these. No!!

    • I am an Old.

      I feel bad for Millenials. We probably did many of the same stupid things in our 20s. But at least e-mail was just a work thing and there were no blackberries. And no selfies. And not much an internet to broadcast and archive the dumb things.

      The obsession with working in pajamas and at home — probably overrated. If you want to develop a reputation as being very spot-on as a newbie, you need to be seen hitting it out of the part and if you are in the office looking the part, it will really help. There’s no shortcut to paying your dues at first.

      [I can remember the post-9/11 downturn in work and I showed up at work every day in a suit and made myself cheerfully useful b/c I was terrified of being let go. Even when I wasn’t billing, I was doing powerpoints and CLEs for partners and using that as a networking opportunity in case the axe ever fell.]

    • Couple of stories about millenials and labeling from my own work experience (I’m an Oder Gen Xer and a senior mananger.)

      A guy worked for me for 6 months and quit. There were all kinds of reasons for it but when I went to talk to my boss about it he just said “millenial.” That’s not helpful. The guy was a millennial but that’s not why he quit. Frankly, he was a bad fit and did us a favor. But if you slap a label on it and dismiss it, you don’t solve the underlying problem, which in this case was hiring a bad fit in the first place.

      I have sort of a mentoring relationship with a 20 something woman in another department. She told me she didn’t like her supervisor looking over her work and correcting her. She felt he could do it more kindly so that she felt supported and her work felt “honored.” This is something I would call millenial behavior.

      • I don’t want to paint all millennials (or any other group) with the same brush. I’m solidly Gen X, and have a team of millennials reporting to me. They aren’t all the same. Most of them are bright, dedicated workers who pick up quickly on the cues of the office – or ask me if they aren’t sure about something – and I know that they are stars on the radar of senior leadership.

        But one of them fits the stereotype. He does very basic work and thinks it’s A+ work. He doesn’t pick up on office culture, and even when I tell him how he should handle something, it’s a 50/50 chance that he’ll do the right thing. When I discuss his work with him and give him notes, he tends to do some of what I requested, but not all of it, even though he took detailed notes and read it all back to me. In all, he seems to expect a gold star for just showing up. I’ll admit that I’ve referred to him as a millennial before as shorthand for this, but I don’t actually believe that everyone in that age group is that way.

        To the OP – were you the one who posted the other day about your plan to force your supervisor to let you work remotely? If so, people reacted badly because it sounded like 1) you hadn’t talked to your supervisor about it previously, but were already looking to force her hand, 2) your plan included looking for “internet jobs” which sounds like BS, 3) you reacted defensively when people asked for clarification, and 4) you didn’t use capitalization and punctuation in your original post.

        • For me, it had nothing to do with #2-4 and everything to do with #1 and the plan to tell said boss to “think on it” after the initial rejection of the idea. That’s not millennial – that just straight up entitlement/young/professionally immature.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a millennial who reports to me. He is 25 and his mother calls him in sick. When my father was 25 he was leading a Marine platoon across Korea in a war. You can’t tell me there aren’t generational differences.

      • We interviewed a kid right out of college who didn’t make the cut. His mother called both HR and my colleague who interviewed him to say he was having a bad day and we should give him another chance. I wish I were making this up.

        • OK, but does it reflect on him or his mother (who isn’t Millenial)?

          • Definitely his mother, but who would want to hire him in that situation?

          • (and honestly, on him, and the fact that he complained to his mother about it)

          • I am sorry but this comment is total bull. It reflects poorly on him that he talked to his mother about what was going on in his life? Is that something people should be avoiding now? You have no idea the substance of the conversation nor what he did or didn’t ask for. Defining him by her behavior is unfair.

        • Anonymous :

          Unfortunately, those stories are not rare. I was married and supporting myself and my husband (who was in grad school) at age 24 (in the late 90s, btw). I would have been mortified to have my mother advocating for me with an employer; yet I interviewed a 24-year-old last year whose mother called me demanding that I hire her because “she’ll be great once she gets up to speed, she’ll just need more time to adjust.” Um, sorry lady, we don’t have time for that. You have to wonder what happened with millennials AND their parents over the last 20 or so years. It is definitely different than it was.

      • getoffmylawn :

        When my husband was 25 he was leading an infantry platoon across Afghanistan.

      • Goodness.

        When I was 25 I was solo covering neurosurgery call at the largest trauma center in a major city. Life-and-death decision making, leading a team, the whole thing.

        One of my 50-something acquaintances can’t hold down a job because she gets too bored.

        Anecdotes don’t define a generation.

  5. I have this top in multiple colors and can vouch for its usefulness. Not the kind of thing you get excited about, but the kind of thing you’re glad to have.

    In other news, I think I’ve just become a convert to MM. Lafleur…

    • Anonymous :

      Do you leave the ties long or tie a bow? I love the prints but I feel like I’m always doing it wrong with the tie things. Could I just have a tailor take them off or would the top look strange then?

    • Same re: this top. It works and it fits, but I don’t get overjoyed with excitement when I see it hanging in my closet. Can you please share what you love at MM La Fleur? I have my eye on a few things.

      • I did a Bento for an introduction to the brand. I got the Rachel dress, which I loved so much that I wanted to wear it IMMEDIATELY (and have it on right now). The quality seems excellent and the tailoring is lovely. However, I am an A-cup and I think this particularly dress is likely cut for the flat-chested, just FYI. (The have awesome pictures on the site of their staff wearing the various dresses, which I thought was very helpful for future orders.)

        I also got the Soho skirt, which is a knit and more body-con than I would have gone for, but I ended up really liking it on, so I’m keeping that.

        I’m sending back a scarf (beautiful but I have tons of scarves), the Winfrey top (I do not need an $110 mock-neck top), and the Wells jacket (fit perfectly in the shoulders but the body was way too big for me – I think it’s actually supposed to look that way but I didn’t like it).

        • I agree about the Rachel being cut for the flat-chested. That is why I love it–it actually looks good on me! I like the Annie for the same reason.

        • what color rachel dress? I’m drooling over french blue right now but I’m not sure if it’ll look good on my coloring :(

          • I got the boysenberry. I’m medium blonde with sort of peachy skin undertone (so a warm blonde not a cool blonde).

      • Long comment got eaten…hopefully it appears at some point.

        • It’s because you wrote excELL.ENt, which has a certain name. I really wish they would make it so that it doesn’t get caught!

      • The alexandra dress is a staple in my closet.

      • I’m a 5′ 1″ hourglass. I LOVE the etsuko and the nisa. Love the Fey top as well, and I just bought the Lydia. I was going through my closet for stuff to get rid of last week, and I realized that my MM stuff is orders of magnitude more comfortable than what I used to wear, and I’ve always been big on comfort.

    • This top is gorgeous.

      • Also I have this old book by Trinny and Susannah (the original BBC what not to wear duo) and it says this color of green is one of a handful of “universally flattering” colors. Doesn’t matter if you’re a summer or spring or whatever, this is going to look good on everyone.

  6. Paging APC: re: non clingy athletic tops :

    For inexpensive but decent quality work out tops, try the Target C9 brand. They aren’t super clingy, are athletic material, and they have v neck and crew neck, short sleeve and long sleeve and no crazy sayings. I’ll link in a reply. I have some that are worn and washed 2x a week and are 3 years old and still hold their shape/color/value.

    • Paging APC: re: non clingy athletic tops :

  7. Quick fitness gains :

    I’m going on a ski trip next month and it will be the first time I’ve skied for more than two days in a row in quite some time. I’m in okay shape, but I could stand to improve both strength and cardiovascular fitness. What are you tips for the highest-yield workouts that can help me make small gains in both areas within the next five weeks or so? I have heard good things about high-intensity intervals for improving cardiovascular fitness quickly. Any other ideas?

    • Depends where you’re going, you might want to consider altitude when thinking about your general fitness.

      I’d also work on squats, knee flexibility and responsiveness, and ankle flexibility. When I ski, I have a tendency to hold tension in my toes when I get scared- you’ll want to have loose, comfortable feet which will help you turn faster and respond quickly.

      For ankle flexibility, make sure your knees are tracking as far forward as possible, right over your toes, so that your sit bones are right over your heels. When you’re skiing, most people tend to “sit in the backseat” and push their butt up the hill- make sure you safely practice leaning way farther forward than you think you should. This will feel scarier, going downhill, but provides the best position to ski well and respond quickly.

    • Anything that is focused on toning your legs should be helpful. I really like the Ballet Beautiful videos and find that helpful. I can only do them M-W because I need some recovery before skiing on the weekends.

    • Whenever we have a snowboarding trip coming up, I add extra sets of squats and push ups to all of my workouts. The squats are for obvious reasons, and the push ups are because I fall a lot so there is much pushing myself back up to standing (no risk, no reward! ha).

      • The first time I snowboarded I was really sore in my arms the next day cause of all the time I spent on my butt. Had not expected that!

        OP I like fitness blender videos for quick but effective workouts. You can filter their videos by target muscle groups. As others have said I would focus on legs, but I’d add core. But I love core exercises in a weird and intense way few others seem to share so YMMV.

    • Also, learn (if you don’t already know one) a thorough, full-body stretching routine and do it both nights. Your body will thank you and you will be less prone to injury on day 2. Drink a lot of water, especially if you are dealing with an altitude you aren’t used to.

    • You need strength moves and power moves. So squats, jump squats, hip thrusters, wall squats (for moguls), bosu ball squats, box jumps, and theraband inner/outer leg and glute exercises. Don’t neglect your core either. I ski all winter, and I start training about 6 weeks before. There are also good ski conditioning workouts online if you check Youtube.

      • Quick fitness gains :

        Awesome – are there any particular YouTube channels you like? Thanks for the responses everyone!

  8. I’ve heard lots of recommendations to spray vodka on clothes to stop them from smelling. Is there a reason I can’t do this with a mix of regular rubbing alcohol and water? I don’t drink, and I live in a liquor-board state, so it’s actually kind of a pain to go buy a bottle of vodka.

    • Any clear alcohol is fine – I’ve used non-ethanol alcohols for the same purpose.

      Just be sure to test on an inconspicuous spot to see how the fabric reacts (which is the same tip I’d give to some using the vodka trick).

  9. I’m getting a massage at a new place and just saw that the therapist checked out my LinkedIn. From his photo, I can see that he’s a young guy about my age. (There aren’t photos on the spa’s website, though there are bios.) That really creeps me out. It feels unprofessional and stalkery. Would you cancel and let the spa know why? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

    • I wouldn’t cancel or find it creepy. LinkedIn is for business contacts and you literally just signed up to be his client.

      • +1. I get why it feels a little more personal since it’s a massage, but keep in mind that folks in that kind of field are generally independent contractors or have their own businesses, so they’re always trying to cultivate client relationships. He may be looking into how you found him, who else you might know, or whether you’re connected to his other past or future clients.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I totally agree – would not bother me in the least. In fairness, in the same situation if I had been given his last name I might have googled the therapist also.

    • Did you ever email him directly? That would super weird me out, but if you’ve had direct contact, you might have shown up on his “people you may know” or something– that’s happened to me before– and he clicked through not making the connection.

      • I’ve had no contact with him. I found the spa on Yelp, called and asked what they had available on Saturday, and they said, “Brandon at 3 pm.” That’s the extent of it. It doesn’t feel like client relationship to me!

        • I’ve thought more about what specifically is bothering me: his LinkedIn photo is a car selfie with earbuds in. It’s not professional – it’s the kind of guy you’d left swipe on in a hurry. If he were some new age guru with a ponytail, I’d probably be cooler with it.

        • I think it’s weird as h*ll and would be completely creeped out, too. If it’s going to affect your ability to relax and enjoy your massage, cancel with no regrets. You shouldn’t have to be on edge during a service that is supposed to be relaxing.

    • Eh – he Googled you. Is that weird? Would it be weird if the massage therapist was female?

    • Linked in is kind of creepy. I was chatting with a friend over text a funny story involving one of our former coworkers. I used his name “Bob Smith”, like “remember when Bob Smith said that thing?” The next day, the first thing the LinkedIn app showed me was a story Bob Smith had “liked”. I’m sure I don’t have my privacy settings set high enough and it was doing some sort of text mining. It could be coincidence, but I have 1000+ connections and this is not the first time something like this has happened.

      So in the case of your massage therapist, if he typed your name or email address into his phone and has a LinkedIn app, the app itself may have made that connection for him. He would still have had to click on your profile, but that’s a normal thing to do. I clicked on Bob Smith to see what he was up to these days.

    • Question: would you be creeped out if you booked an appointment for the first time with a boutique-y salon and the stylist looked you up? Or would you think she was just doing her due diligence as an invested professional?

      • What due diligence does a standard, yelp-sourced hair dresser need to do before accepting an appointment though? None, IMO. To me, it’s creepy and I’d cancel.

        • Anonymous :

          Some independent contractors are more sales-y than others and might have an impulse to proactively look up a new client

    • Wildkitten :

      He just wants to recognize you so he can greet you when you come in.

    • Parts of your LinkedIn profile are public. If you don’t like the idea of people looking at it, change your privacy settings or delete your account.

      • I agree. You are allowed to feel how you feel and if you want to cancel your appointment cancel it. However, in 2017, there is so much information available online and younger people use it. I Google everyone and look up all kinds of stuff.

        Re: his profile picture, he’s a (young) massage therapist, not a lawyer, shrug.

  10. In the process of planning my first larger conference for work. What kind of things really make a conference over the top for you, both as an attendee and as a speaker?

    • And by the over the top, I mean great/excellent versus just eh/okay, not over the top-too much.

    • I used to run a big conference and anything that felt less conference-y was a hit. So food from local caterers / restaurants, some sort of tour or opportunity to get out and about in the community. I go to academic conferences now and miss the days of decent food and coffee and tea during the breaks.

    • Do you mean logistically or substantively? Obviously substantively it is if there are speakers that are relevant to me – but that varies based on whatever the conference is about.

      Logistically — I like conferences with short networking breaks throughout the day, rather than the conferences where you are sitting “in class” from 9-5. I mean I’m going so I can meet people, so anything that forces that is good. Short 30 min coffee breaks are good bc it gives you time to talk to a few people each time as you’re in line for coffee etc. without feeling like you must make conversation for hours. In terms of space – large conference rooms/auditoriums – again so it doesn’t feel like school with you crammed in next to the person next to you. If it’s more than a 1 day conference – I like having the ability to walk out of a session and take a breather – whether it’s taking a call for work or just taking a break; so it’s a big plus if you’re in a hotel which has a lobby area where you can hang or a hotel conference center with its own lobby area. Not sure if any of this helps or if it’s all obvious.

    • I too like the short coffee breaks all day long – or quick networking sessions built in thru the day. OTOH I don’t like it when a conference will involve a half day of going out and playing golf or something like makeovers/manis for women. It splits across gender lines. And reality is it is way TOO much time with people that may be strangers. So in my industry unless you are a true extrovert, people just end up golfing/going to the spa event with their partners and clients and the people who are not attending as partners, clients, or really sought after prospective clients are kind of left by themselves and either don’t go to the event or go and are awkwardly uncomfortable.

      What ruins a conference – bad food/lack of food choice. I know it isn’t possible to accommodate every single dietary need these days. But things like vegetarian or gluten free (not necessarily together) are VERY common – so having lunch options involving vegetarian sandwiches/salads or just a regular sandwich made in a wrap (bc some types of tortillas are GF) goes a LONG way; way easier to think well of a conference when you got something to eat that wasn’t just fruit and coffee all day.

      • Ugh, I HATE the golf for men/spa for women thing. It’s so outdated and a huge waste of time. Just let me get my CE in a condensed day and a half and let me go home to my family.

        • I just don’t go to those. Then I feel bad bc if it’s a 2 day (~16 hr) conference — I’m skipping like 1/4 of it even though I or my employer have paid for it. But coming from a non trad industry right now (gov’t) and going to conferences in the industry I used to work in/want to keep a foot in the door in (energy litigation) — I find that people are happy to talk to me for 10 min — but when it comes down to 4 hr golfing and spa groups, they want to talk to fellow partners, clients, and prospective clients and I’m not any of those.

        • Also hate them! I have zero interest in either golf or mani/pedis and resent the implication that my ovaries indicate anything about my interests.

        • Anonattorney :

          So, women can golf, too. You don’t have to go to the spa . . . .

          I know that we’ve hammered on golf a lot here, and I agree that (for many of reasons) it’s classist, stodgy, and certainly engineered to favor men because of its history as a male activity. BUT, I learned how to golf specifically for my career and think it’s really really fun. It’s also a really great way to get to know people and network, because you’re stuck with the same group for 3-4 hours.

          And it really is a perfect conference activity. I mean, seriously. It gets people interacting in small groups; it gets them outside for light exercise; it accommodates drinking, which is always good for conferences :) . . . . And if you’re organizing the conference, you can also organize the foursomes to try and introduce people to people they don’t know.

          • I went to conference that did TopGolf as a networking event. So much fun and the cost was about the same per participant as a round of golf. Lots of people (many women) who had never picked up a golf club came out and enjoyed themselves.

          • The problem is not just the golf; it’s the fact that it’s normally offered juxtaposed against a “female” option like a spa. The point is that no one should organize a conference with male/female activities, not that no one should offer golf.

          • Anonymous :

            Women CAN golf, but may not be truly welcome to. My best friend is an avid golfer and went to one of those conferences where there was “golf or shopping” for an entire afternoon. She wanted to golf, obviously. She said people acted like she had two heads. She ended up as part of a foursome only because someone took pity on her and asked her to join in (like being picked last in gym class). She got multiple questions about “wow, wouldn’t you rather be shopping?” There was apparently an unspoken gender barrier where golf was “guy time,” and she was ruining it. It was super uncomfortable for her and she never went back to that conference again.

            So,OP? No gender-divided events would be a good start.

    • I love when there are frequent breaks, as described above, with food! I think one conference I went to had cheese and crackers and fruit at the 10 am break and chips and salsa and cookies at the 3 pm break – with plenty of coffee.

      And if at all possible, please don’t let it be too cold in the rooms!

    • Transparency regarding the wi-fi situation (it’s apparently crazy expensive). I’ve been some conferences where it was built into the attendance price and ready to go. Other conferences didn’t offer wifi and had no idea how to access it which didn’t help when people were trying to get work done on breaks.
      I like the option of being able to download electronic versions of presentations/materials instead of lugging around a bunch of paper.

    • A luggage check is nice if a lot of the attendees will be flying in and leaving directly from there for the airport. As is free wifi. Also I like receiving conference “gifts” but I prefer it if it’s something small/foldable – esp if I’m headed to the airport and am already packed and may not have room to carry anything bulky.

    • I recently (last yr or yr before?) went to a conference that sent us our presentation materials in advance so you could look it over if you wanted or download or print it. Plus had hard copies available at the conference. Plus gave everyone a flash drive with the materials on it. I liked having the choice – and lots of us ended up using hard copy materials at the conference, returning them at the end, and leaving with just our flash drives; very convenient.

    • As a speaker, I appreciate a speakers’ room, where you can get a small refreshment without standing in line and there are lots of chairs and electrical outlets where you can sit and go over your presentation in peace before you go present.

      As an attendee, free wifi is essential. Also, having some sort of food and beverage out at all times (vs just breakfast from 9-10 and lunch from 12-1). Even little bottles of water and granola bars would be fine.

      • Also, I have to tell you what I do not like.

        Every conference seems to come with some sort of backpack or tote bag with all the vendors’ swag inside. No thank you. It seems like such a waste. Set up a table with all of these items ala carte and those who want them can grab them. All I’m typically interested in is a lanyard for my badge and the printed agenda booklet.

    • Thermostat setting is important. The last conference I went to had the room so cold that even men in blazers were cold. It was so cold I was in physical pain. My joints ached. I could barely take notes because my hands were so cold. I had to keep getting tea and coffee so I could wrap my hands around the cup to thaw. And then we had boxed cold sandwiches for lunch. If you are going to freeze us all to death at least give us a baked potato or something warm to eat.

      • +1 It seems like every large meeting I go to I’m freezing.

      • Anonymous :

        Being cold is terrible. I was also once at an event where the room was so hot the speaker nearly passed out. I think it’s important for there to be some way for conference organizers to either check room temperature before events start, or at least ensure there is a quick way for speakers or attendees to report temperature problems and get them resolved quickly by facilities.

    • May not be in your control but a luxurious setting makes a conference for me — fancy conference rooms/auditoriums with nice furniture, lots of outlets; lots of food choice – served on nice plates; lots of seating areas so you can network if you don’t have a conference session.

    • Don’t forget to arrange aand publicize a pumping space for nursing mothers. At my last conference I had a huge fight with the hotel to try to get access to a private space even though the conference had rented out most of the hotel. I had been using my hotel room, but they denied my late checkout on my last day and the conference organizers were unhelpful. I was stuck. I ended up pumping in a bathroom stall at Starbucks. Not cool.

      • What industry are you in? This would NEVER happen in my male dominated industry – you’d pump at Sbux or fight with the hotel or whatever but it would be on you.

        • I’m in law. The particular event where they wouldn’t find a private space was a law firm retreat where we had rented out 100+ rooms and many of the conference spaces. I thought it was crazy that the hotel was unable to provide a space for 20 minutes.

          I’m not saying that conferences currently provide pumping spaces, but that they should. It’s not that hard to come up with a private room in a hotel for goodness sake. If the conference is spending $$$$$ at the hotel, surely it’s a small perk that can be accomidated.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Every single conference I’ve been to has had this. If you are in a position to do so, you should push for this in your industry. It’s especially punitive to women if it’s a male dominated industry already.

          • +1 My industry/company would never think of this, but if I push hard enough I’ll get it since they’re trying to attract more women. ‘Trying’ = not being proactive, but considering and, as of late, ‘yes-ing’ things we ask for (ie: change mandatory head shot dress code from collared shirts to allow sheath dresses under a jacket, paid mat leave, etc).

      • I’m going to HIMSS next week and they have space to pump. FYI.

      • blueberries :

        Extra points if the pumping space(s) can be arranged so one doesn’t have to wait and if there’s a way to get the conference audio into the pumping space. I dislike having to decide between giving up time hearing the program and networking time.

      • YES – huge shout out here to the Women’s chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. I’ve attended several CLEs hosted in McLean Virginia at the TEGNA events center (I think it used to be the USA Today building). They have coffee all day, food at the 10AM and 3PM breaks, and a nice lunch. Lots of options.

        Biggest plus — they offer use of the building’s pumping rooms, which are specifically designed for pumping moms. While nursing, I exclusively attended their CLEs, and still gravitate to them. I don’t know if it was by design or accident, but CLEs hosted by a chapter geared toward women should especially be aware of this.

    • PatsyStone :

      All depending on size and budget, of course:

      Attendee: Coffee all day, protein at breakfast, no off-site social events without escape routes or return transportation info.

      Speaker: Early and clear direction on tech. Ideally, tell me I can just bring a flash drive. I get annoyed at organizers who “need” everything two weeks in advance.

      • This! Coffee all day and protein at breakfast are KEY to me being able to pay attention all day.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million to protein at breakfast. Hardboiled eggs, packs of nuts, string cheese, etc. are all good cold, portable options that can also be offered as snacks later (if kept refrigerated, of course). For those of us who are GF for medical reasons, it is a BIG help in case we run out of the food we brought with us (or can’t eat the midday meal).

        • +1 million for *non dairy* protein at breakfast. Dairy allergy and conference breakfasts are the worst, since you’re limited to, best case scenario, a muffin. I end up packing protein bars in my suitcase so I can get something substantive. If I saw a HB egg on the breakfast table, I’d be the happiest person ever.

          Also, keeping the room at a reasonable temp, having a meeting app (or at least an online agenda readable on a phone), and breaking the day up with coffee/networking breaks. Honestly, I don’t go to meetings to listen to the speakers, I go to learn what other folks in my field are up to, and keep myself current. I work in a fast moving field (genomics) so by the time you’ve found a speaker based on their published literature and give them a topic, a lot of what they say is somewhat outdated.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you can get a really A List speaker, that makes the conference for me. And not just somebody famous, but somebody you know to be really informative and entertaining. I went to one not long ago with Justice Anthony Kennedy and it was amazing.

    • A conference I went to last year had the tables set up in a way that made it easy to see the speakers AND encouraged people to talk to one another. It was individual tables (not a long row) each placed perpendicular to the stage with 5 seats — two on each side and one on the end farthest from the podium. It felt like sitting with people and I saw conversations all over the place. Much more friendly than the long rows of tables and it was simple to network.

    • lucy stone :

      Snacks, frequent breaks, enough outlets to plug in and charge if you need to. Lanyards for IDs so you aren’t stuck trying to bring a lanyard if you’re a woman and your outfit won’t accommodate it. Plenty of ice water in the rooms. Force your speakers to do a powerpoint. I hate CLEs where lawyers just read me their outlines.

    • +1 to coffee all day and informative and entertaining (and PREPARED) keynote speaker.

      Also, provide lunch. I go to a lot of large conferences that don’t provide meals, and it’s always a huge pain to find lunch. The hotel restaurant and Starbucks are always completely overrun, and it can take a long time to leave the hotel to get something to eat, especially if there isn’t much around. Order lots of the vegetarian option and make it clear that it’s okay for anyone to have because plenty of people who aren’t strict vegetarians will still want it. If iced tea is one of the beverage options, offer unsweetened tea and not just sweet tea (in the south you will often only find sweet tea).

      Be selective with presenters. It is really obvious and very annoying when a conference is just a revenue-generator that will accept every proposal. I have actually stopped attending a couple of conferences because the quality of the papers is so low.

      Do not schedule huge open blocks of time in the middle of the day in an attempt to force people to attend the vendor fair. It will only annoy people, and they will just go do touristy stuff instead of going to the vendor fair.

      Other than lousy papers, there is nothing I hate more at a conference than a dinner or evening social event that involves dancing. Super awkward.

    • Thanks everyone – there’s some things in here I can definitely take away to use! Some of this we’re already doing (15 or 30 minute breaks scheduled in – some with food, some without) and since we’re in a hotel, we’ve got the lobby space for people to move about in and we’d already planned on the flash drives and making presentations available before hand for participants.

      • Am I the only presenter who hates being asked to distribute my PowerPoint slides? Sometimes there’s content on them that I haven’t published yet, and 100% of the time my slides are designed only to be an accompaniment to my talk and not to stand alone.

        • Same. My slides are also not self explanatory. They are meant to guide my remarks. So there’s no gain in having the slides ahead of time, or not attending the presentation and trying to learn something from the slides alone.

        • It’s not just about that, though – providing slides or materials in advance can be an important accessibility accommodation, e.g. for people who are blind or low vision and use screen readers or other software to make the materials accessible to them.

          • Good point.

            My problem is really that these venues want my slides 2 weeks ahead and HAHAHA I’m still working on them the night before the presentation. Wish it weren’t so but it is.

          • Depending on your state and industry, it may also affect the continuing education requirements/value of the conference (if that’s part of the goal).

            In one of the states I practice in, written materials are a requirement for presenters.

    • SF in House :

      Amen on the coffee/tea at every break. I went to ACCA last fall and was so put off by the fact that they did not provide coffee, but had set up a coffee kiosk where you had to wait in line and pay for coffee.

    • I learned this at a long ago conference – limit speakers using Powerpoint to no more than 4 lines per slide, and no more than 4 words per line. No point in having your full text up there – anything more and your audience is reading your slide, not listening to you.

  11. Standing or Sit/Stand Desks. I am considering a sit/stand desk unit for my office (something like a Varidesk) and would appreciate feedback from others who have made the switch. I reviewed the archives for posts about standing desks, but I am looking for an update from those of you that use them. How much do you find yourself standing vs. sitting? Which desk do you have and would you recommend it to others? I’ve read the wirecutter reviews, Amazon reviews, etc. but I would appreciate hearing from the trusted hive. Thanks!

    • Love my Varidesk. Get extra long monitor/speaker/keyboard cords and a wireless mouse (and keyboard too if you can). My back hurts more when I sit now. I also feel more focused and productive when standing. I wear danskos when standing and stand on a thick anti fatigue mat. I do find that I shift my weight a lot, rather than standing straight. My co worker also has one and complains of sore quads but his mat isnt as awesome as mine. I think I paid about $30 for it on Amazon.

    • I have a sit/stand desk at work (standard issue – Knoll is the brand) and I also bought one from Room and Board for my home office. I alternate sitting and standing throughout the day based on activity and how I’m feeling. I recommend getting a gel mat to stand on.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I have a Varidesk and like it. When I first got it, I started by standing for 30 min, sitting for 60 min, repeat. I built up to standing 60 min then sitting for 30 min. I was up to about 7 hours of standing daily.

      Then I hurt my foot and was stuck in a walking boot and instructions to stay off it when possible. I fell out of my standing habit and haven’t gotten it back yet. I need to make a concerted effort again.

      You’ll want to experiment to find out what works best for you. I liked standing barefoot on a mat best. Second best was no mat and wearing super low (like 1/2″) wedges because it shifted my weight forward.

    • I have a standard issue sit/stand desk at work, not sure of the exact brand. I love it. I worked up to standing 4-6 hours a day (basically any time I’m not sitting in a meeting).

      I’m more likely to walk over to talk to someone, or move around, than I am when I’m sitting. I wear a FitBit so I know I get more steps. But it’s still not enough to get me to 10K, so it doesn’t replace a walk at lunch or after work.

      I don’t have a mat, but I did end up switching to all flat supportive shoes. It’s better for your body anyway, but I found that it really helped me with my posture. I wasn’t standing correctly in heels.

      See if your company has an ergonomic person who can help you adjust everything – since you alternate sit/stand multiple times during the day at first, you’re going to need to be very clear on the proper height for the screen and wrists. If your company doesn’t have one, then it’s worth doing some internet reading to try to get closer to correct.

      It’s also important to pay attention to eye breaks. Since I stand most of the time, it blocks my “far” sightline out of my office. So I end up spending too much of the day looking “near” and not enough looking “far” especially if I don’t have many meetings. I use my Fitbit to set alarms for every 30 min and that’s my reminder to lower the screen and look far away, or take a walk to the bathroom or something.

    • Love mine too! I have a Varidesk, but only because it was what I inherited from someone who was let go. I stand barefoot and do a variety of exercises while I stand (calf raises, single leg squats, etc.). On a good day, I stand at least half of the day. If I am tired from working out or whatever, I try to stand at least two hours. It helps me stay focused and alert throughout the day. I do pay a lot of attention to making sure I am standing properly, meaning that I am not arching my back and am activating my abs to prevent any back pain.

      I recommend it!

    • I tried a Varidesk and didn’t like it because it made my desk space feel cluttered, and I didn’t like the way when I was standing everything was on a slit level. I ended up getting an Updesk and really like it. I spend … probably at least half of my work day standing. Sitting for 8 hours a day is hell on my hips.

      I’d also chime in on recommending getting a memory foam kitchen mat to stand on if you get a standing desk. Like anon at 10:57 I quit wearing heels when I started using a standing desk, but even though I wear good flats I still like the memory foam mat.

      • split not slit

      • Yup, I just bought a Jarvis desk, similar to the Updesk, for this reason. The Varidesk seemed like it was going to add a lot of clutter to my desk, which is already full of other stuff.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That is a great consideration. I don’t work on paper much and just move my keyboard out of the way if I do. It does take up a lot of desk space. I didn’t have another option though so I’ve made it work for me.

    • Thank you all for your feedback! I appreciate it.

    • lucy stone :

      I have a Varidesk and love it. Get a good supportive mat, I have an Amazon Basics one and like it. I’ve had it about 3 years now. I try to stand whenever I’m on the phone.

    • I have a Varidesk. Initially I loved it and stood for most of the work day. The main drawback for me has been the lack of surface area for documents and books, which I often use while working. Had I known how much it would take over my desk, I would not have gotten one. I am close to getting rid of it.

  12. Nordstrom tailoring notes :

    I’ve never used any of my tailoring credits, and I think I’m missing out. I don’t get many things tailored in general so I’m not sure if I’m missing out. Have you used these and what sorts of things have you gotten tailored? I don’t purchase suits and I haven’t gotten work pants here either (they don’t have enough tall sizes).

    • I’ve had my jeans tailored to the perfect length- they’re always too long on me and look so much more stylish when tailored correctly rather than bunching at the ankles. I would do this with any other pants as well.

      Dresses that are too loose anywhere, to make them fit perfectly.

      (I believe) you can have anything tailored with your credits, not only items from Nordstrom. I could be wrong.

    • I’ve never used mine either. For me it’s too much of a hassle to go to the store twice. I’m such a thoroughly addicted online shopper (and busy full time professional and mom) that I don’t even know how to behave in a store any more

    • You can use the credits for items not bought there. I’ve had them alter skirt, pant and jean hems, shorten jacket sleeves and take in blouses that billowed out too much. They do charge more for items from other stores but not drastically.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I have gotten a lot of dresses and skirts lengthened, as I like my dresses and skirts to hit at the knee. My puffy coat’s zipper broke and I got that fixed. Sometimes I’ve asked the tailor to do very minor repairs like putting on a button or repairing a hole, which usually he does for free. And yes, you can take non-Nordstrom items to tailor but they will charge you more.

      DC ladies, I highly recommend Moussa at the Nordstrom Rack in Friendship Heights. He’s excellent and very nice too (does a lot of work for higher end clients that work in politics/TV, etc.). I don’t live near a regular Nordstrom so the proximity for me is key.

  13. Sydney Bristow :

    Thanks for the advice yesterday on dealing with stress and feeling on the verge. I put some of it to use last night and read a book for 3 hours. It did help some. Also made plans to go to Central Park this weekend for fresh air and sunshine.

    • That’s great! I’ve been feeling mentally and physically rough lately and I went home yesterday, took a warm shower, had a bowl of cereal, and went to sleep. It did seem to help a bit.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I meant to go to bed early too but got pulled into my book. It’s in my plan for tonight. Glad you’re feeling a little better too.

    • Glad to hear it. Central Park will be PACKED this weekend so be prepared – first 60 degree weekend in 6 months, people will be dying to get outside; though may be better that it falls on a long weekend so some ppl may be out of town.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Very true! We might go to Flushing Meadows park instead but that’ll be crowded too. A few hours outside followed by alone time at home will hopefully help.

    • Glad to hear you’re feeling a little better – hope the trend continues!

  14. FrankieCat :

    What’s that dating site that the women here like? I know Tinder but there was another one… honeycomb or something? Just can’t recall the name. TIA

  15. Nevertheless :

    “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

    I have found this (full) quote to be incredibly motivational and inspiring — to me it basically sums up the entirety of the fight for women’s equality in 11 words. I want something with the full quote (not just the last three words) on it…piece of jewelry? I haven’t found much with the full quote on Etsy.

    • Marshmallow :

      Look into sellers who offer custom quote items. The day after Carrie Fisher’s death I wanted something that said, “Stay afraid, but do it anyway.” I couldn’t find anything pre-made so I had a custom gold foil print made. I have it in my office and I love it!

      • That’s a shorter version of one of my favorites:

        “Sometimes the fear doesn’t go away….so you’ll just have to do it afraid”

    • I bought this tee shirt in blue with the message on the back:–c1959d33a3a9027c20f473813d7c51dc499d68ea&ref=product-title&style=womens&utm_campaign=order&utm_medium=email&utm_source=RB&utm_term=12838005

    • i love this one :

      I love this one: she persisted&ref=sr_gallery_6

    • I have used Spiffing Jewelry on Etsy. They do custom quote necklaces and they do great work. There is a character limit, though. The only caveat is that they can do 60 characters and this is 74, but you might look into it.

      • This is a trio of bracelets with the whole quoteL:

    • Considering this as my next tattoo. Full quote would be pretty large so I’m trying to decide if the last 3 feels like enough of a reminder of the full quote. I like the idea of jewelry.

      • Anonymous :

        One of my friends said something about a similar quote that she wants on her vision board last night, but her husband doesn’t like “girly things” like vision boards around their place. I know she’s been kicking around getting a tattoo, and is actually going with me this weekend to my touch-up appointment, so my response was, “well, I’d just put it on your body, then.”

    • AnonMidwest :

      Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is giving a pretty nice, “she persisted” shirt if you donate $25. Check out her page.

  16. There’s a mem e going around today called “no one’s safe from Mr. Steal Yo Girl” – regarding Justin Trudeau – that is cracking my sh it up. Google it.

    • I’m so annoyed by this meme. I saw a headline on HuffPo yesterday – something about Ivanka looking “thirsty”? She’s literally just listening attentively while Trudeau speaks. The other pictures are the same. A woman smiles pleasantly at/listens to/looks in the general direction of a man therefore she must want him.

      • +1. Damned if you smile, damned if you have resting b*tch face.

      • OK I get you. I am just so thoroughly on the Trudeau-is-dreamy train that I was YES ME TOO

        And come on, that Kate Middleton pose is not just a smile.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I dunno. I mean, it is kind of funny, but we don’t love it when female politicians are objectified in this way, so it kind of rubs me the wrong way.

      Also, he’s by all appearances very happily married, so Mr. Steal Yo Girl is kind of insulting to his wife Sophie Gregoire.

      He is extraordinarily charming in person, but not at all inappropriate.

      And yes, maybe I am just grumpy today.

      • Cute and harmless in my opinion. I like the ones of Obama, and Queen Elizabeth, gazing at Trudeau!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I also love the feminist hey girl memes like these ones…especially “I may control the mounties but I’ll never control your uterus”

  17. Help me find a bra, please!

    Looking for recommendations from the less endowed. I am trying to find a bra for my strapless wedding dress. It does not need to be especially corset-y, it just needs to stay up and, if possible, I would like for it to ‘set’ my b00bs nicely. I am a 32/34 B and just ordered a ton on Nordstrom that all came back huge or with the cups too high or too low or too far apart or too close together. Is the best bet to just go to Nordstrom and have an actual lady fit me? I can also have cups (or a bra) sewn into the dress, but I want my b00bs to be held in place and not just act as ‘covers’ especially because it is strapless. The back dips a bit a smidge where the strap would normally go but is not exremely low (g00gle Monique Lhuillier Paradise dress to see).

    Any ideas?

    • Totally go for the cups sewn into the dress. When the dress is fitted, it’s going to be very snug across the chest. You’ll definitely be held in place.

      • This was not my experience. I had cups sewn into my dress and still had to wear a [email protected] under it, cups and all, because otherwise I would have lifted straight up out of the dress when I raised my arms, and you could see everything if I bent over.

    • Agree with having the cups sewn into the dress. The tailor can also install a “seat belt” to make sure that there is support under the band. I’m not sure what the real term for it is (that is what my tailor called it), but it’s an elastic band that’s sewn in at the front and that straps tightly around your ribcage like a [email protected] band. It will provide a perfect fit to a dress that already has some structure.

      • Yes, this tailor has done that my strapless dresses before, so that should be part of it, too. She calls it a “waist stay.”

        • Then I think you shouldn’t need a bra at all, since the top of your dress should fit like a bra. If there’s something I’m missing let me know — also doing it for my wedding and want to make sure I have the whole picture!

    • +1 for getting cups sewn in. Or are you sure you even need them? I thought I needed a strapless bra for my wedding dress but there was so much boning that I could go without. And I had the issue of it dipping slightly in the back too so it was nice to not have to worry about it.

    • I’d go with a longline bra, that’s basically what they’re made for. This one worked well for me (also small up top, was about 34A/B at the time,31,style,81.htm
      I think I got mine at Bloomingdales in NYC. Random – but if your photographer will be taking photos of you getting into your dress you might prefer a bra so you aren’t uncomfortable being basically topless. I had one or two artsy shots of me being helped into my dress (and my videographer shot a bit of it to) and the longline bra is more coverage than a bikini top so it was fine to me.

  18. Marshmallow :

    Husband and I are planning our first trip together to Europe in July. I studied abroad in college and he’s been to his family’s home in Italy as a teen, but neither of us has independently planned any kind of international trip. We are on a budget of around $3000 for flights/lodging, additional for food and activities once we get there. We are coming from the NYC area.

    We definitely want to go to London and either one or two other locations, ideally for about 10 days total. Strong contenders are Ireland, Paris, Barcelona, or Rome, but we’re pretty open.

    I’m attracted to Groupon and Great Value Vacations because it seems fairly easy to choose a package with flight and hotel without too much grief. Is there some other resource I should be looking at? Am I likely to find better deals by just choosing flights on Kayak and a hotel on TripAdvisor? And what are the logistics of taking the train from London to Paris or vice versa? Also– can I pay for hotels and flights online in dollars or will I need to take some kind of conversion into account?

    Thanks in advance. I love reading the travel threads on here and now that I’m trying to do it, I kind of don’t know where to start.

    • Marshmallow :

      Forgot to mention– I think for a trip of this scale we will want to purchase travel insurance. Any recommendations?

      • I travel internationally a lot and I think travel insurance is rarely worth it. If you book refundable hotels, which is easy to do, then you’d only be out the airline change fee if you needed to cancel your trip, and that’s usually similar to or less than the cost of travel insurance. Most travel insurance only lets you cancel for specific reasons, like a death in the family, so if you need to cancel because you get swamped at work it won’t be covered. The only people I know who have ever tried to obtain reimbursement from a travel insurance company have had a lot of problems doing so and either didn’t get the money or got it after months of fighting with them.

      • Agreed. Also check what your credit card offers. I always book my travel through my Chase Sapphire card. They were excellent at getting me home across the globe when we had a family emergency.

      • Marshmallow :

        Good input, thanks both!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Look into discount airlines in Europe and go directly to their sites. There are a lot of inexpensive flights that you can find from London to somewhere else in Europe that may not appear on Kayak or the like.

      Euro rail, if that’s what you decide you want to do between London and Paris, is really really easy. Like, show up at the train station in London, get on the train, arrive in the train station in Paris.

      Assuming that you’re paying for everything in full (flights/hotels) online, you’ll just pay in dollars. If you owe a balance (like in a hotel), they’ll charge you in Euros.

      • I used Google Flight alerts to get $500 round-trip tickets to London on British Airways. Set a couple alerts, and they’ll email you when the price drops.

      • European low cost airlines are Wizzair, Ryanair, Transavia, Easy Jet. Check their websites for very cheap flights (although you may need to pay extra for luggage and they do not always fly from big airports).

    • With 10 days, I’d do two countries max. Any more than that is going to feel very hectic and you won’t see the places you’re going in much depth. Personally, if you’re set on London, I’d add Paris as the second city because it’s really easy to get between them on the train and you don’t have to fly. Five days each in London and Paris will allow you to see those cities well, plus do one or two day trips in each location and there are some nice day trips available (Oxford, Versailles, etc.)

      • Marshmallow :

        This is how we are leaning for the reasons you mentioned. It also helps that we’ll be able to manage with the language in Paris, so we aren’t adding “city where we don’t speak the language” onto a trip that is already a little intimidating for us.

      • Cambridge is really lovely too.

    • I had one bad experience with booking a hotel in Paris indirectly through another site (I think it was Travelocity??). There were major problems with the hotel (construction going on that made certain floors uninhabitable), so upon our arrival they shipped us to their sister hotel across town, even though we booked that hotel because of the location. And offered us some measly croissants for our trouble. I felt like there was no recourse because the credit card company said, hey, that’s Travelocity’s problem, Travelocity passed the buck, etc.

      • Late reply, but this “sister hotel” thing happens often. Basically, the hotel wants to make more money, and take newer more expensive bookings.

        This happened to me twice in European cities. .I was told they were working on “pipes”and if could stay at a sister hotel. I insisted on seing the manager, and stood my ground. I said, I booked this location for a reason(middle of city), and I booked the loft top floor room for a reason. I asked for my money back, or the original room. Suddenly, the pipes were “fixed.” Turned out we had such a good rate from hotel booking dot com, that the hotel wanted a larger cut.

        Another time in london, they wanted to give me an un renovated room, and I printed off an image of the room I booked on my voucher….I always print this out…well, after waiting for the manager, they gave me the room I booked… You do have to insist and ask, as “switcheroos” are common, and they figure most tourists will put up with it, or be too tired after a nine + hour plane ride to argue.

    • Typically the booking sites will quote you in dollars and you pay what you see. There have been times when I book accommodations and get quoted in the local currency, and don’t pay until I get there. In those cases, the credit card automatically converts the quoted foreign currency into USD using that day’s exchange rate.

      Try several search sites, and also the hotel’s own website to compare prices. Some properties might show up in one site but not another.

      Have never done a trip to/from London so I can’t tell you train or plane for the connecting trip. If I do multi-city and want to fly in from one city, out the other, I just use the multi-city option on search sites like Kayak and input NYC -> London -> Rome -> NYC for example. They sometimes give you “hacker” deals where you have to buy the tickets separately but they’ve lined them up for you. Was able to score Stockholm to Copenhagen for $40 that way without doing a separate search for that leg. You do have to be careful with budget airlines and luggage fees. Costs can creep up that way.

    • I had a really great experience booking a trip to Paris & Barcelona last year through Tripmasters/ European Destinations. To compare, I tried to book the exact same flight itinerary on my own and it cost a couple hundred more than the package I was booking, including hotels. Pay close attention to the hotel reviews if booking a package, sometimes the first couple of option may be outside the city center or not conveniently located to transportation, but you can easily upgrade, usually for not much more.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      If you have a balance when you check out of a hotel, always make sure the hotel puts the charge through for you in local currency. Some offer the “convenience” of charging you in US dollars but you get a really awful exchange rate compared to what your credit card company gets.

      Check your credit cards now to see what the foreign transaction fees are (this is separate from the exchange rate I mentioned above). Many cards charge up to 3%. If you don’t have a card with 0%, you might look into getting one before your trip.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thanks! I know my primary credit card charges 3% thanks to our recent trip to Montreal, so that’s definitely something we’ll look into.

    • Regarding hotel search enginges/booking websites – is very popular in Europe.

  19. Anon for this :

    Anyone notice your friendships change when you start to drink less? I’ve cut down on booze in an effort to cut calories and lose weight, so when I hang out with my friends (we all used to drink together quite frequently), I’ll just have a drink, maybe two if it’s a special occasion. Not only do I get a ton of comments about it, I’m also finding that I’m just not enjoying my time with them anymore – it’s not fun to be the sober one while someone’s ridiculously drunk and slurring on a Tuesday night. Am I just being too judgmental?

    Thanks all

    • I don’t think you’re being judgmental. I think you need new friends.

      (I am the first person to be pregnant in my group of friends so I have not drank in many months. My friends remain social drinkers. It has not affected my friendships.)

      • Yeah, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being drunk on a Tuesday, but it sounds like you’re not wild about it anymore (same as me). Hang out with these people outside of weekday drinking sessions if you like them sober, otherwise find new people.

    • cake batter :

      Agree, it’s tough. I’ve cut back on post-work happy hours for both fiscal and calorie purposes, and I’m sick of answering the “ohhh so are you pregnant?!” jokes. No, I’m just overweight and spending too much, but thanks for asking.

    • Eh – it’s a thing. Drunk people are hilarious to other drunk people. Go for the first part of the evening and then leave when it stops being fun.

    • Yea, this type of thing (getting actually drunk on a Tuesday) petered off with my friend group when we were about 24/25. We’re all 29 now and if any of them still acted like that, I think our friendship would suffer too. Sure, we’ll still have a drink or two on a weekday and enjoy a boozy brunch every now and then, but very drunk on a Tuesday? No thanks.

      • +1 I’m 30 and quit drinking to control migraines and I still go out to dinner or to a girl’s night on weeknights and my friends order a drink or two and I don’t. I have noticed no other difference. If my friends were regularly getting wasted on weeknights I would not be attending any longer.

    • No, I don’t think you’re being judgmental. Suggest a different activity? Also, maybe just go home before they get to the slurring stage in the evening?

    • If your friends are commenting negatively on your lack of drinking, they’re the ones being judgmental.

    • How old are you guys? I’m in my mid 30s now but the drinking to the point of slurring stage was over like 1-2 yrs after college in my cohort. I don’t drink (Muslim) and I haven’t found it to be a huge issue beyond age 24-25 — i.e. back then people commented on it, now people don’t seem to care bc it seems like there’s always someone not drinking in any social group due to pregnancy, can’t handle it anymore and need to be up early, can’t have more than 1 drink anymore etc.

    • I feel you on this having recently done the same thing- cut back on drinks for health and financial reasons.

      However, you’re the one who made the change for your life. I’m not sure it’s a reasonable expectation to expect anything from your friends besides the behavior they are accustomed to. Sure, if they’re really great lifelong friends, they’ll support your choice and maybe even adapt a little, but if they’re happy still getting drunk on Tuesday nights, who’s to say they shouldn’t? Maybe this is their preferred way of unwinding, and if it’s not causing problems for them, why should they change their habits just because you chose to change yours?

    • New Tampanian :

      This is a common occurrence for people who stop (or limit) their drinking after years of drinking. Unfortunately, you will come to realize that you may not have as much in common with some of your friends. Some friends are “drinking” friends who you don’t have much else in common with (or you realize you don’t actually like them).

      Just like any stage of growth, you may find that you need a new group of friends or that you choose to partake in different activities.

      It’ll be OK.

      And you aren’t be too judgmental or anything. Do what feels best for you.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Your friends can drink on a Tuesday night? I’ll have half a glass of wine and be ready for bed! Do you enjoy hanging out with them when you’re doing something other than drinking? If yes, do more of those activities. If no, what friendship did you really have? Just drinking buddies?

  20. Things with my direct supervisor have deteriorated to the point that other people have had to get involved, and I’m trying to figure out my own part in it and not totally shirk responsibility for the situation… but I honestly have been doing my best and I’m not sure how to fix things, because I’ve felt completely disrespected, controlled and bullied for months now. For instance, she pulled me out of the middle of a very productive external meeting to completely insult me for 10 minutes, demand I tell her WHY she was so angry, and when I politely asked if she could inform me because I didn’t understand what I did wrong, she told me I was a ‘lost cause’ wasting her time by not knowing, screamed at me to go home, and then immediately sent me an email insisting I put a request in for PTO for that day when she’s the one who told me to leave. This was the culmination of months of building tension/anxiety that have caused me to try to keep my head down and keep interaction with her to a minimum, which I think infuriated her.

    In the end, I found out that she was angry I had taken the meeting in the first place. But it’s actually my job to take such meetings, and people above her explained to both me and her that I was correct to take it.

    I just don’t know where to go from here, or how to deal. She’s been nasty and mercurial with the other two people who have reported to her, but they have been able to deal with it in a way that didn’t cause such an eruption, so I guess I’ve played a part in things getting so bad. I have ‘talked back’ to her when I felt her instructions were confusing, counterproductive or would be detrimental to my quality of work, while other reports have just said ‘yes’ and essentially ignored her, but doing this drives me crazy because it makes me uncomfortable to lie and intentionally ignore instructions; I’d rather understand instructions and come to an agreement on how to move forward. Following instructions completely is not an option because they are sometimes literally impossible.

    Advice appreciated.

    • Even if you do get through this particular situation, she will still be your boss and it doesn’t sound likely that her behavior will change. This is when you find a new job. And, if you decide to do that, it would probably be to your benefit to act like others do with her (just say yes and do your best to complete whatever assignment, rather than pushing back) to maximize your chances of getting a decent/not horrible reference from her.

      • Anonymous :

        I think any hopes for a decent reference from her in particular is totally burned, but it’s a tight knit industry and everyone else likes me and will vouch. I guess I’ll just do my best to stop pushing back, but it was getting insane- she was actively trying to prevent me from taking valuable meetings or utilizing highly useful (and expensive) tools at my disposal to do my job, blocking me from sitting in career development opportunities, and tried to retroactively change my commission structure (which she herself wrote a month prior). I don’t know how the other people could put up with it without pushing back and still retain any self respect…

    • Frozen Peach :

      Start job searching.

      Document, document, document.

      If you haven’t talked to HR, do immediately.

      What industry?

      • Anonymous :

        A high tech, extremely male-dominated one. We currently have no HR (ugh) and I’ve spoken to everyone above her in the organization and have started documenting.

    • It sounds like other people in your organization value you. Could you ask to be transferred to another team? Someone at my company has done this in the past. His relationship with my boss (his former boss) is still pretty tense, but she doesn’t supervise him anymore and he rarely works directly with her at all and seems pretty happy with his current position.

      • Anonymous :

        I already asked, and they said no but that they can work with her on her management. They do value me and said I have a future here, but I also have a tendency towards generalized anxiety and reporting to her is making it a LOT worse.

        • Yeah, okay. “Working with her on management” is not going to work. Grown adults who think it is appropriate to scream at other adults as a way of solving problems don’t change unless they want to. It’s time to get a new job, like now. Start reaching out (discreetly) to your network and setting up informational interviews. Situations like this don’t get better; you just get out. Sorry this is happening to you, but you can make it into a good career move if you move quickly, stay professional, and get out before things get worse.

    • PatsyStone :

      Start looking at new opportunities. These people don’t change, and once you’re a target they are merciless. It sucks, I’m sorry. Playing along while you’re there is the safest option, even if you feel bad about lying to placate her. I got lucky, mine retired in December.

    • Anonymous :

      The next time she berates you like that, stop her and inform her that HR will have to be present for the talk. Book a time with HR, document, and return to what you were doing.

      • Anonymous :

        I think having a few ‘script’s to call on will help because i have a tendency to freeze and start feeling physically ill when people talk to me that way (I have abuse in my background so it’s really hard for me). The thing is, she doesn’t ‘let’ me end a conversation- she keeps berating me even if I try to politely excuse myself and last time even sent repeated nasty follow up emails (thankfully; first real documentation I have). I think next time I’ll just say “Let’s put a time on the calendar to talk about this with ___, but I need to get back to work right now” and walk away.

        • Say “you are making me uncomfortable, and I need at least one more person in the room for this discussion”. If you don’t have an HR, grab anybody else to be a witness of the situation. Get a notebook out to write down exactly what issues she is having with your performance, and what she sees as the solution. Then at the end, nod, show her what you wrote down, ask her if you go it right.

  21. I live in a MCOL area where it would be cheaper to carry a mortgage than keep paying rent (almost 30% cheaper after getting my new lease agreement yesterday). I wanted to wait until my loans were 100% gone to buy a house, but now I’m wondering if I should reconsider and be saving more for a down payment sooner. I’m currently on schedule to pay off my student loans Feb 2019 by paying twice the minimum, but would be able to afford a 20% down payment in about a year if I redirected some of the extra payment. It would add about a year to my loans. WWYD? I’d still be paying them off “early” technically. I fear that I’m just obsessed with getting rid of these school loans ASAP but it may not make financial sense, and I have no one to bounce these kinds of hypos off of. Help please!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Do you plan to stay in your area for the intermediate term? I wouldn’t want to buy a place unless I knew I was committed to an area/region.

      • Yes. I’m 100% done moving, absent extraordinary circumstances.

      • +1

        And what kind of home are you planning on buying?

        I can buy a home for essentially 40% cheaper, but are you taking into account yearly maintenance/things that need to be replaced/higher utilities/differences in commuting costs etc..

        I would do the NYTimes calculator, and make sure you account for your loans.

        For me, in the end, it is cheaper for me to always rent, once all things are accounted for. I also don’t have time to deal with maintenance (or much desire). If I knew I would be here for the long long term (> 10 years at a minimum), I might reconsider.

        • New construction is out of control around here to meet population growth so I’d be looking at places less than 5 yrs old. That calculator suggests I should definitely buy a place haha. I forgot about that because when I lived in NYC it just made me sad to look at!

          • Well then I would consider buying, now that I see you are there for the long term.

            But be a little wary of new construction. The new construction in my area is almost always worse quality, quickly installed, and not there long enough to see the long term issues. And then they develop a lot of problems….. Do your research.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I don’t think you can ever know for sure, and this is a not just about numbers but also about your feelings towards debt and home ownership. You are going through what my husband and I went through a year ago, except we’re in a HCOL area. He was paying triple the minimum payment on loans-basically all of his “extra” income went to loans. Our debate was what to do with my “extra” income-save for a down-payment or put towards the loans as well. We went with saving towards a down payment and buying. Some days we are happy with the decision, other days we are like ‘oh those loans…’ Heh. We took a middle road-putting more towards the loans than needed, but not paying them off so we could get buying a place sooner. Neither of us like debt, but we also don’t like renting.

  22. participation trophy :

    Can we talk about this? I feel like this gets a lot a negative press, but I am not sure I understand why it so awful. Backstory- I grew up in the 80s and 90s, played rec sports and swam summer leagues. Everyone on the team got a trophy at the end of the season. Swimming usually awards ribbons for the first 10 places or so and your time/event were written on the ribbon. You had a visual representation of your improvement throughout the season and you knew the difference between 1st and 10th. Even into high school, if you showed up and practiced/played varsity sports, you could get a letter jacket. Didn’t matter if your team went 0-12 or won state (then you got an extra patch). I have a kid myself who is in rec sports now. Some of them (swimming, soccer) have trophies for everyone. Others, like our wrestling league, only give medals to the top three at each tournament. Most kids like to win and they can tell you if they won the championship. But, the trophies also serve as mementos/ tangible commemorative items of a season where they worked hard, learned teamwork, whatever. Also, kids are like bass and are drawn to shiny things. Maybe a team photograph would serve the same purpose, IDK. Does this really contribute to the sense of entitlement?

    • My 10-year-old competes in a sport that sometimes gives medals to everyone in order of placement (so participation medals but you know how you did in comparison with the rest of the field), and usually gives out placement medals to the top 1/3 to 1/2. She and most of her teammates over the age of 7 hate the participation medals. They know exactly what is going on and find it demoralizing to get a medal for placing last. It also makes awards last forever, when parents and athletes alike are all exhausted and starving and just want to leave.

      On my high school track team there were no letters for participation. You had to earn a certain number of points in meets at the varsity level or set a school record to get a letter. I worked hard for three years to earn that letter and was so proud of it.

    • I didn’t get a participation trophy for every season of every sport I played– if so there would probably be about 30 at my parents house, and in reality there are only about 4-5 (they don’t throw them away).

      I’m the type of person who will probably throw out future kids’ trophies, especially if they are of the participation variety. I just can’t stand that sort of thing hanging out in my home. However, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the concept you’ve described– having them as a memento rather than as a symbol that everyone “won”. I agree with you about entitlement. Kids are smart enough to know whether the trophy they’re receiving is for participation or actual achievement.

    • Anonattorney :

      I assume it’s just part of the helicopter parent issues and the “failure to launch” phenomenon – if you coddle your kids too much, they start to become too reliant on their parents, have an inability to accept failure, and that turns into entitlement.

      Fortunately, most of my millennial friends have seen that the parenting tactics employed by the boomers were half-baked, and are correcting to allow more independence for their own children.

    • The everyone gets a medal thing is not about having a memento of participation. It’s about not awarding first, second and third and instead just giving everyone a medal. That’s the meme, the idea that millenials expect a medal just for showing up.

      My daughter plays sports and has a few medals. She plays a team sport so the entire team gets medals when the team places first or second at a tournament. Not just for showing up at the tournaments.

      I think it’s better this way. The kids know who won anyway, so the idea of protecting their self esteem by medaling everyone the same didn’t work anyway, and certainly had to be discouraging for the kids who actually won.

      • anon for this :

        Yes, it’s more of a concept/meme at this point than the actual trophies. I get the sense that it started as a way to reward effort. Rewarding effort is not an inherently bad idea. We all know that hard work is what makes people successful. The other end of the spectrum is awarding someone for “just showing up.” This is the attitude that people are decrying when they refer to participation trophies. I expect that most children who developed an expectation that they’d get rewarded just for showing up did so because of how they were actually parented, not because they got a pink ribbon for being on the soccer team. That said, that style of parenting and participation trophies came from the same ethos. If you’re taught at home that just showing up to class and not trying is good enough, then you will be in for a rude shock when you enter the work force. If you’re taught to do your best, be responsible for your work product, and that you need to work hard as well as deliver results, you will succeed in the work place.

        It’s also a reaction to what people might call the “self-esteem movement,” which, IMO, is not really a thing. I’d say this is simply a departure from the competitive, achievement-focused attitudes that a lot of boomers were raised with and embraces the idea that kids can still feel good about themselves even though they’re not the star athlete. Of course, that’s the reasonable end of the spectrum. The stereotypical/unreasonable end of the spectrum is that merit is meaningless.

    • Decades later, my parents asked us to go through our soccer trophies (me, a brother, and two sisters) and each take ours home. They were getting rid of old boxes of stuff and clearing out clutter.

      Over half of the trophies had no name on them, and of the ones with a name most didn’t have dates. We literally could not tell anymore what they were had even been for or who they had been given to and we threw them out. The team pictures though? Those were hilarious and worthy of keeping.

      I don’t really get on board with smearing an entire generation as worthless because they got trophies as kids, but I do think the practice of giving them is pointless.

    • participation trophy :

      These are all good points. I don’t love the clutter and tossed all my trophies once I got older. I still have my letter jacket although I couldn’t tell you why. My kid is still really young and loves his trophies, but I know that in a few years, he’s not going to be thrilled about having participation awards. He’s already competitive natured.

    • I think there is a good middle ground you can develop with participation trophies which helps kids avoid learning to rely on external validation.

      I’m a runner; nearly every race I run gives out completion medals at the finish line. I only take a medal if I am proud of the race I’ve run. Some of my most treasured medals are the ones from my first 5K, from a 10K with lots of hills that I was proud of tackling, my first 10K after having a baby, etc. I didn’t win (or even come close) for any of those and yet was happy to have a memento of what felt like a genuine achievement to me. I decline medals for races that didn’t go well or if they just aren’t meaningful.

      We’ve started to teach the kids to take this same mentality towards awards – do they feel that they’ve accomplished something? Are they proud of the effort they put in? Do they think they’ve improved or reached a milestone? We never say, “No you can’t take that” or “You don’t deserve that” but are trying to plant the seeds by asking things like “What does that trophy make you proud of about your soccer season?”

      • Anonymous :

        This. Adults complain about participation ribbons/medals for kids but then everyone that finishes the local marathon gets a participant medal. Kids know the ribbons/medals are just for participation. It’s not wrong to focus on doing your personal best – whether or not your marathon race comes with a medal and whether or not you are a child or an adult.

        • Anonymous :

          Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment.

        • TBF, I have run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and full marathons, and no one gets a medal for less than 13.1 miles. That said, I didn’t run any of those races, any of the distances, for the medals.

          I ran them for the beer mugs/wine glasses!

          • NationalAnthem :

            The 5ks I’ve run have all given out medals… But I would prefer a beer mug/wine glass. :)

    • SF in House :

      For my kids, there were participation trophies or medals through 3rd or 4th grade. After that, trophies only went to the top 3 teams. They value the ones that represent coming in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd much more. As a parent, I value not having to store 6+ trophies per year.

  23. Do people really like Everlane? I’ve heard that returns can be difficult/expensive, which sort of makes me not want to buy from a totally online shop. Also it looks like the fit on everything is slouchy, whereas I prefer cleaner lines. But it sounds like people here really like Everlane, so what am I missing? I dig the whole transparency thing, but I’m asking about the products themselves.

    • Marshmallow :

      I like them, with one customer service caveat I’ll get to below. The tees are the best quality/fit/price combo I’ve found (I’m wearing one of their black long-sleeve turtlenecks under a dress today). Cashmere is good, not great, but can’t be beat for the price. All their silk is fantastic– I have camis, tanks, and button-downs. Sometimes they have great sales; I got my black wool winter coat that way. Love it.

      The tees run a touch small. Fitted sweaters and silk run TTS. Anything that looks oversized on the model IS going to be oversized on you (I’m looking at you, boyfriend v-neck cashmere sweater). Returns are free if you want store credit or a size exchange, otherwise it’s $5 return shipping. I think that’s fair.

      My caveat: A few months ago, they sent me an email for a $40 credit. I tried to use it on the expiration date, only to discover it expired at some random time in the early afternoon instead of at midnight. I used their instant chat to discuss the issue and received a pretty snotty response about reading the fine print, there was nothing they could do, etc. I don’t know that I will boycott them forever over this, but it was a pretty easy accommodation to give to a long-time customer. It’s turned me off from browsing the site since then.

      • can you compare cashmere quality to L&T’s house brand or Talbot’s?

        • Anonymous :

          Their cashmere is nicer than the thin department store stuff. Not familiar with Talbot’s, it’s kind of like Boden’s cashmere.

        • Marshmallow :

          I haven’t tried those, but it’s drastically better than Macy’s house brand.

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        I love their silk. And in the summer, I wear their linen tees constantly. I think the price point for the quality on both of those things is excellent. I also LOVE their ponte. I have a pair of their ponte pants and one of their ponte dresses that are total wardrobe workhorses. I wear them weekly, and they have worn like iron. Also, their leather is impeccable, especially at that price.
        I don’t always love the cut of their stuff, to your point about it being slouchy. But not all of it has that look, and the things that don’t, rather than being slouchy, drape beautifully (I think). I do wish they had more saturated colors.
        I too have had one bad customer service experience, but not related to returns. I think their return policy is reasonable. I got a package once that had my order and the order of another customer, in the same package. I called them and offered to send it back to them, and there was this whole back-and-forth because the other customer had paid for expedited shipping and they wanted me to get it to her quickly. They sent me a shipping label and gave me something like $10 for my trouble in repackaging and sending, but given that (1) I alerted them to the problem in the first place and (2) it actually ended up being quite a hassle, that sum seemed miserly. Meanwhile, they acted like it was a fortune.

        • Umm…this is pretty awful customer service for a premium product and I would be livid. They really want me to take time out of my life to fix their mistake? The only proper response here is: They overnight the stuff to the other customer and tell you to either keep the mistake or ship it back optional to them for free if you really want to.

          Seriously, with your comment and the one above, I don’t think I’ll ever be buying things from them.

    • I really like Everlane. Good quality, fit, and style. HOWEVER I have never had to do a return or deal with their customer service. My only experience has been buying stuff, liking it and keeping it. My style is tailored, minimal, and monochrome.

    • I do not know what they were thinking with that high waist crop wide leg pant.

      But I have a silk shell, a back pack, and leather shoes from them and I love them all. Planning on another silk shell possibly. I think you should get what you like and leave the rest. If that means not getting anything at all, that’s just the way it rolls. They do do extremely boxy lines, this season anyway.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have a few things from Everlane (t-shirt, 3 different cashmere items, bag) and have been really pleased. I will say that there stuff runs VERY large. Definitely size down. If you’re normally the smallest size, it’ll be too big.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have a few things from Everlane (t-shirt, 3 different cashmere items, bag) and have been really pleased. I will say that stuff runs VERY large. Definitely size down. If you’re normally the smallest size, it’ll be too big.

    • Have their chelsea boots and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Get complimented all the time.

  24. iannotate or goodreader? :

    Which ipad PDF aid do you prefer? Given the multitude of choices I am having trouble figuring this one out. Any websites for best practices that you can recommend?

  25. Work event at a golf resort in Florida early March — okay to break out the white blazer, or no?

    (I live in the north east, so trying to figure out whether I just get out my summer clothes for the event, or wear my lightest winter stuff.)

  26. Jewelry question :

    Are there websites that allow you to design/visualize a particular jewelry design?

    I’m potentially interested in getting a custom eternity band – alternating diamond and gemstone, with the gemstones alternating between sapphire and emerald. So, diamond, sapphire, diamond, emerald, repeat. But i cant find one like this anywhere and am having a hard time picturing it (and am pretty sure i will either adore or think oh heck no).

    • Go to your local jeweler. Not the one in the mall, the one on Main Street. This is what they do.

      • Jewelry question :

        Thanks. I am aware of that (we designed my engagement ring at a local jeweler and it was a great experience) – but i am looking specifically for an online, quick resource.

    • Senior Attorney :

      That sounds pretty!

      I feel like maybe you could mock it up in Paint or Publisher or similar…

      • Thanks. I’m considering it for a wedding band (already married…). Our colors were blue (my side) and green (his side) and we used blue and green throughout to symbolism the joining of our two clans :) so I thought that continuing that theme in my ring would be really nice. My engagement ring is a round solitaire set in yellow gold, and I currently wear a solid yellow gold band as a wedding band, so I’m thinking about keeping that and stacking the eternity band at the bottom.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I think you’ll find emerald too soft for this, I recommend getting a jeweller to do a cad for you or sketch – maybe green garnet and sapphire?

      • Interesting. Why is that? I have an emerald and diamond ring that I’ve worn almost daily for almost a decade, without issue.

      • Anonymous :

        Uh – garnet isn’t any harder than emerald. They’re both 7-ish on the Mohrs scale.

        • One is an expensive precious stone that might chip when on the underside of the ring and taps surfaces etc, and the other is a more affordable semi precious stone. But do whatever

  27. Senior Attorney :

    This is a shot in the dark, but does anybody know of a really good, reasonably-priced estate planning attorney in the L.A. area, preferably Pasadena and environs? A friend has a knotty trust issue to untangle and needs a referral.

    • Yes! Check out Sona Tatiyants – she is really smart and detail-oriented, and a lovely person to boot.

    • Recommend Anthony Contratto in Redondo Beach. He’s dealt with crazy stuff for my family for decades. He’s a CPA and Estate Planning Attorney, so he does both well. He is reasonably priced and a lovely person.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Thanks! I appreciate it! Will pass along!

    • Anonymous :

      Jacey Hayes at MSK – rock star lawmama!

  28. Someone posted recently about experiencing insomnia after a period during which the OP was taking Advil PM or similar due to an illness. It sounds like there was some underlying anxiety issues that other posters flagged, but I did want to add that I usually experience insomnia for an intermittent period after taking an OTC sleep aid. I thought about this last night when I couldn’t sleep at 3AM — coming off a period where I was taking Nyquil to help me get through the flu (the same thing happens if I take Advil PM for jet lag more than three nights in a row). Anxiety may be exacerbating it, but I do seem to have a “weaning” period — even if the OTC sleep aid was only taken a few nights in a row.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      That was me!

      Last night was better- there’s probably a whole bunch of things going on, but this could very well be part of it. I had been taking it for about two weeks when I stopped, so my body could be readjusting. My doctor is working on finding a scrip that doesn’t interact with my other meds.

      Thanks for checking in!

  29. Sloan Sabbith :

    Bought leopard print booties and they arrived yesterday. Wearing them to work today and I feel SO COOL. Wearing them with a black dress, new fleece tights 😍, and a red blazer.

    They’re calf hair with tassels on the back, Kenneth Cole Reaction from the Rack.

  30. Travel shoes? :

    I’ve decided i need new travel walking shoes for the UK this spring. Last time I took a pair of Joseph Seibel sneakers and leather flats, and I, uh, haven’t gotten new casual shoes since then. Friends rave about Sketchers GoWalks, but they feel flimsy and look a little more touristy than I would like. The catch: They have to come in a size 5, or 35/36. Recommendations?

    • I like the Cole Hahn Zero oxfords. Check out the Grand and Original Grand series. Some of the color combinations veer too sneaker-like, but some are really quite lovely. For an example:

      • The outlet also sells oxfords, for slightly cheaper. I have bought flats from both Cole Haan and their outlet and the only difference I could tell was the outlet ones had an all rubber sole instead of a leather one. Comfort and quality wise they’re indistinguishable otherwise.

        I like these gray ones:

    • Comfy shoes :

      I love the Mephisto oxfords I bought — never want to take them off!

  31. Why no moms post today?

  32. Yet another question about changing work environments :

    Genuine question for the Hive:

    I’ve only ever worked in places (like law firms…) where the model was that if you weren’t working many more hours and much harder than your boss, you were doing it wrong.

    Realizing I may be wrong in assuming this is the model everywhere else. I guess I saw “The Intern” and can’t get over the idea that I should never leave before my boss does, etc. But many friends who work in large corporate orgs say it’s the reverse– that the expectation of long hours/constant availability is greater in the top roles, and that as a lower-level employee in the org, it’s an unspoken expectation that you are compensated less/have less responsibility and as such are not expected to be working harder and longer than the people you report to.

    Which model is true for your work environment? Really interested in this not just from a personal perspective but also academically– I was definitely projecting certain assumptions from my first job into the workplace generally, and now I’m curious about how common those assumptions are.

    • Mine is more of the latter description, but really, all anyone’s manager really cares about is that you’re getting your work done timely and meeting deadlines. If that means you can leave before your boss, fine. If that means you have to put in a extra hours sometimes or all the time, fine too.

    • I am in-house and all of our attorneys work primarily 8-5 M-F except our GC. He is in the office mostly regular hours but travels quite a bit more than any of our other attorneys and is “on” all the time. He regularly fields calls and emails during off hours, which isn’t standard for the other attorneys.

      • To add, my situation is the same as the first anon, everyone gets their work done and our GC doesn’t care or pay attention to when it gets done. If someone needs to stay late to get something done, they do. If they are meeting their deadlines and need to leave at 3:30, no one is going to notice.

    • The expectation to work more hours in the large company where I work absolutely increases with seniority, but to some extent, as long as the work is getting done, face time is not that important. We have a good number of people who work remotely, are in sales, etc. I make pretty good money for a LCOL. I work 40 hours a week in the office, none outside the office. I have a work cell phone, but I rarely look at it. I am efficient and effective at my job and the work gets done well and in a timely manner. There is no reason for me to work more than 40 hours a week. My boss supports life outside of work and maybe works 10 more hours a week than I do and he is a manager.

      International company, I work in the US, 70k+ employees worldwide.


    • Academic edicine. Absolutely the first. The most junior person arrives first and leaves last (hence the terrible quality of life for junior residents who arrive at 5 AM and leave at 9 PM). It improves as you gain seniority.

      This applies to the docs though, not the other staff like PAs, receptionists, nurses. They work set shifts and are gone when their time is up.

  33. Dear Kate shout out :

    Not a product plug- I’ve posted once or twice here before about these water-resistant underwear. I would not be able to get through the day today during this psycho perimenopausal flow without these (running to restroom
    hourly to change superplus t, and pad; ob/gyn says basically, take an iron supplement and deal, or go for ablation.) Sorry for TMI but for anyone who needs this extra level of leak protection, these are fabulous.

    • I’m sure they’re great, but honey, go for the ablation. That sounds miserable.

      My sister had ablation and never looked back.

    • Ablation or IUD. I had psycho periods for years (used to have to set my alarm clock to wake me up in the night so I could change my tampon + pad or I’d wake up in a pool of blood) and getting a Mirena IUD solved it. Some of my friends have had ablation and they love it. Life’s too short to deal with problems like this and I didn’t want to wait till menopause – my mom’s periods didn’t fully stop till she was 55!

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