Coffee Break: Trigg Desk Vessels

They call these “desk vessels,” and you could use them as pen cups, or you could use them as little potted plant holders or for air plants. I like the architectural look to them, and the whole set looks really cool. And because they’re freestanding, you don’t have to worry about attaching them to the wall or anything like that — although they have really nice sconces as well. This set of two is $37 at Amazon with plenty of very positive reviews. Umbra Trigg Desk Vessel (Set of 2), White/Brass

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Here’s a frump question: Can it be the case that a shoe that looks really frumpy in one color (say, in this example, bone/off white) be cool or stylish in another color? Or does the frumpy color just highlight the shoe’s inherent frumpiness?

    • Maddie Ross :

      IMO, there’s no such thing as a white or bone colored shoe that’s not frumpy. So yes. It is possible.

    • I think aggressively frumpy shoes are having a fashion moment right now, so it’s possible to have a super-stylish frumpy white shoe. Doesn’t mean you want it, but it’s a possibility.

    • I think it’s possible but not probable.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. I have a pair of ballet flats that are super cute in camel but when I bought them in black – look orthopedic.

      • That’s exactly what I mean! I’m looking at some block heel semi-dressy sandals for an outdoor event. Block heels already make me frump-anxious, but I need them for grass, and the bone color looks like orthopedics…but I love the brighter colors.

  2. Anonymous :

    I have one of these sconces and it’s really nice. I don’t even have a plant in it, it just looks cool hanging on the wall. I heart everything Umbra.

  3. Going Undercover :

    Um, so I just had a really positive review, which is good normally, right?

    But like… I was asked ‘Do you like working for This Place,’… and I responded that yes, I do, but that there were two things that made it challenging. The first was that it is a difficult place for work life balance (cited a good, normal example) which Supervisor totally gets (nature of the beast and all).

    The second is that I feel like my job is one that it’s very difficult to succeed at. Our upper management is notoriously exacting and is very vocal in their disapproval while being silent when they are happy with something. Boss gets this too.

    Okay, so I have been setting up a couple ‘catch up’ cups of coffee which might be seen as being step 1 to finding a new job. I know I want this for long term life happiness and personal sanity. But, I feel like I was just told ‘You are doing such a great job here, we really value you.’

    I think I need someone to give me a gut check. This job is like a bad boyfriend who just bought me flowers to make up for being a jerk to my friends every day for the last several years, right?

    • I think we’re in the same boat. I keep trying to remind myself that one good interaction/day at this current job does not change all of the (many) negatives about this job…

      So no real advice but I’m there too. This may be a pattern for me because I also stayed with bad boyfriends for longer than I should have…

      • Going Undercover :

        Solidarity. Part of me feels like this job has gotten me so used to zero good feedback wherein any crumbs of positive feedback are like gold.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. I’m not suggesting you should leave (your call obv) — but yes there are jobs like this where everything is all stressful/negative all the time and then come reviews they lay it on thick bc they suddenly realize they can’t lose you bc you wouldn’t be easy to replace.

      • Going Undercover :

        You’re right- if they lost me they would be screwed (to use the technical term). I also am getting the sense that they’re fearing a mass exodus (not uncommon because of the aforementioned lack of work life balance).

    • Just because you are good at a job and valued for doing it does not mean you need to stay there. “[L]ong term life happiness and personal sanity,” as you put it, sounds like a great reason to look for a new job. Liking and succeeding at your current job is all well and good, but if the grass is possibly greener, what’s the harm in finding out?

      • Going Undercover :

        Thank you. I feel like these are good reasons, but I also can’t just tell my boss, ‘I just want to be happy!’

        (Even though that’s totally how I feel most days.)

    • cat socks :

      Go with your gut. There’s no harm in meeting with your network to see what’s out there. Your supervisor may be able to give you praise but that doesn’t mean upper management is going to change.

      • +1 and will add that if they really value you, you’re in the enviable position of being able to really take your time. If you were unemployed, you might have to take something slightly less desirable for financial reasons; this job search doesn’t need to be about that and can be all about fit. Good luck!

        • Going Undercover :

          You’re right in that I am in the enviable position of really getting to pick the right job. I’m in a place career wise where I’m actually not looking to climb up- I really want to enjoy the life I’ve created outside of work.

          And upper management has changed – it’s gone from ‘rigid and demanding’ to ‘absurdly unrealistically we own your life’. Probably not the change I was hoping for though…

    • nasty woman :

      Two things to consider: Do you really feel like you were told that you were really *valued* in a meaningful way that will make your long-term prospects there palatable? I’m certainly not trying to imply that you’re not, or that you’re not awesome. But I feel like jobs like what you’re describing rarely “value” someone (esp. more junior people) in the sense that they’ll go to bat for you or meet any of your needs. There’s “my associate is great and I rely on her but she is ultimately replaceable like they all are” and there’s “this person has a truly rare skill set/business/client relationships and must be retained…”

      Are you conflating satisfaction with “winning” with getting happiness/satisfaction from the actual job? If you’re anything like me, proving yourself capable of meeting a challenge will make you want to keep going, keep impressing people, and keep dominating at this difficult thing you’re doing. I.E., you like winning the spaghetti eating contest. You do NOT want more spaghetti.

      • Going Undercover :

        Good thoughts – To answer your first question- somewhere in between the two places? Like, my bosses are pretty narcissistic so there is that ‘you are all dispensable because I can do everything so much better than any of you’ side of it. There’s also the ‘but you know all the things about thing we don’t want to deal with and you handle all that stuff that nobody else knows how to and make our lives easier and if you left we’d be truly boned’ side.

        And 2) I don’t want more spaghetti. That’s probably my answer, isn’t it?

        • nasty woman :

          Reading one of your other follow-up posts….A few years ago I worked for a law firm where upper management behaved as if they had an option contract on my life. Through family emergencies, everything. NO THANK YOU. I just put a 2 week no-cell service vacation on my calendar without running it by anyone at my current firm.

          I think you definitely know the answer :) Glad you’re obviously *actually* valuable so you can have the luxury of time searching. Good luck!!

    • Here’s an experiment to try for a couple months:

      Get two jars. One is the “positive” jar and one of the “negative” jar. At the beginning and end of each day, consider how you feel about going into work that day or how you felt about your day at work. Put something (glass bead, penny, a scrap of paper, whatever) in the corresponding jar.

      At the end of some time limit, take stock of the jars. Ask yourself if the emotion represented in the jars is the proportion of positive and negative emotions you’d like to have in your life in general.

      Every job will have good days and bad days, and it can be tough to keep them in perspective.

    • Expand your network and see what options are available. When you’re not miserable in your job it can be easy to just go through the motions each day. In my case, things got suddenly unbearable and 4 months later I’m tempted to quit with nothing lined up. What I mean is look into options now before you become so miserable that it becomes unbearable. Do it now. It doesn’t mean you have to accept a job offer but get the balls rolling now.

    • Anonymous :

      Just want to share my experience, in case it’s helpful.

      I was also told in my last job “you’re so great, we really value you” by my supervisors in my high-stress/high-expectations job, and I also felt flattered. That feeling went away pretty fast the day they promoted a younger male over me, without even having a conversation with me about the job. I was later told openly, “oh, but we just really really need you in your position; no one else can do your job the way you do it.” Privately I was told that the Big Boss was worried I wasn’t “malleable” enough and that I would make waves,in the higher-up position. Fair enough; I probably would have.

      They probably do value you, because with you in the job they don’t have to train someone else. Don’t mistake that for them looking out for you, or wanting you to succeed. They know this is a rough place to work and they don’t want to have to fill your job. They also may think you’re smart and competent and all that. But I just don’t want folks to make the mistake I did, which was believing that being valued meant that I would be moved forward or that my needs/wants would be considered in any way. The fact that they love you working there and solving problems for them, and the idea that they care about you and your future are two different things; don’t get it twisted. That was my mistake.

      If you don’t love the job, I would start looking. My career mantra is, you could always be happier :-) and this review is probably not going to result in any meaningful or persistent changes going forward.

  4. Anonymous :

    Anyone else loving this market today?? Thanks France. America — pls don’t shut down our gov’t on Friday bc here goes the rally!

    • a millenial :

      lol if this is the poster who keeps posting about this. no one cares. few people trade based on short term gains.

      • Anonymous :

        ? Sorry but I’ve never posted here about the market before. Thought there may be some well educated ladies here who do follow even if they aren’t short term trading.

  5. Anon for this :

    What’s the consensus now on how long you wait to schedule an appointment with a doc about infertility? 6 months of TTC? 1 year? I’m 33, if that matters. (Yes, I know this is a google-able question, but this is such a great group of women, that I thought I’d try here as well.)

    • Anonymous :

      The official recommendation is a year if you’re under 35, six months if you’re 35+. But I would ask your doctor about it after six months anyway. Some OBGYNs are willing to get the process going earlier.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Yes to all of the above.

      • Agree on the official recommendation. Be aware though that the reason for the longer wait under 35 is not that it should take you longer but that you have more time to give luck a chance. Over 35, time is of the essence, so they don’t want to waste time seeing if it will happen by chance. I went through ART with my first (under 30 at the time), and when thinking about my second, I was told to give it 4-6 months before coming back in. As luck would have it, it only took two cycles.

        • My insurance wouldn’t cover fertility ‘stuff’ until it had been 12 months. I went in at 3 months, lied and said it had been 9 months because I trusted my gut. And now 22 months and one surgical procedure in, we’re about to do IUI. I can’t begin to think how bummed I would have been had I waited the full 12, because that means I’d be in month 31 for the IUI.

          Trust your gut. Make the appointment. Initial screens are just blood tests really, and that’s easy to do. Good luck to you!

      • Midwest Mama :

        I also think it depends on what you’ve been doing during the time you’ve been TTC. If you’ve been temping and tracking so you know you’ve timed intercourse correctly, it wouldn’t hurt to see an RE sooner. Also, if you’re tracking you can tell if you’re ovulating regularly, having a long enough luteal phase to sustain a pregnancy, etc. which will help if/when you seek help.

    • You should check with your insurance but you probably don’t have to wait longer than 6 months if you are under 35. I was under 35 and had been trying for 6 months and was accepted by my insurance to start fertility consulting, testing and treatment.

      How long to wait I think depends on one question- how proactive do you want to be about your fertility?

    • I think 6 months of conscientious TTC — like actively trying to time it right, not just 6 months post pulling the goalie.

    • Agree with the timing that others have laid out, but if you are waiting to make an appointment, here are a few things to consider:

      – It is pretty easy and not very expensive to send your partner off for an analysis of his “contribution,” so to speak. Any doctor will likely want to see multiple samples over the course of a few months anyway if something is out of whack on his end, so not a bad idea to get that ball rolling.
      – I hear some pretty questionable things from women who start with their OB-GYN or generalized “fertility specialist” rather than going straight to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Prescribing multiple months of clomid without confirming whether there are physical obstructions, misreading hormone test, etc. They are not fertility specialists and may have some pretty outdated knowledge. Do what you need to do to get the referral, but I would push to see an RE if you get to a year without conceiving.
      – If you haven’t already (I feel like most do), consider tracking various data via an ap, including ovulation prediction, basal body temp, cycles and their symptoms, etc. Less because this will be the “magic key” that leads to success and more because it is helpful to show up at the doctor with a lot of data to work with.

      • As a counterpoint, I had a great experience using my regular OB-GYN for clomid. She knew my relevant medical history and didn’t make me wait a year (which would only be 3-4 cycles). She had my husband tested and checked for physical obstructions before starting it. We agreed to try 3 cycles of clomid before seeing a specialist, but it worked on the second cycle.

      • Anonymous :

        Piggybacking on this: OP, your partner needs to have a “sample” analyzed at the same time they start testing you. I have heard wayyy too many stories about couples whose doctors will put them on fertility meds without testing the male partner, only to find out three to six cycles later the man has an extremely low count, or some other problem. In our case, my husband had a high count but extremely low morphology (I.E., most of his guys were abnormal and specifically, most lacked nuclei which is where the DNA is) which absolutely affected our ability to get pregnant. Knowing that, we made more aggressive choices and were only going to do IUI once before proceeding to IVF/ICSI. As it turned out, I got pregnant from the IUI and that was that. But don’t discount male factors or let anyone else discount them either. I have heard this is a problem with OB/GYNs who do fertility therapy; sometimes they’re not as scrupulous about testing the men.

    • Popped in to add–if you’d like a book rec on the subject, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is good, and Jean Twenge’s The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Gettinng Pregnant is both quick and funny. I’ve read both and found them helpful during my infertility workup.

    • Anonymous :

      I had been trying 6 months when I mentioned to my ob/gyn “I’ve been trying six months and nothing’s happening” at my annual exam. I was 27. I had already been diagnosed with PCOS and so she felt there was no reason to wait; she referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist. It took a year of testing and treatment to get pregnant. I think if you’re at the six-month mark, make an appointment with your ob/gyn and bring it up.

    • I’m 29 and sought help after 6 months of actively TTC (turns out I was pregnant at my RE appointment, but I just didn’t know it yet!). I have some pre-existing health issues that may have been making it harder for us to conceive, so my doctor was supportive of me starting treatment earlier.

      My best friend is also TTC and was able to get some initial fertility testing done at her OBs office and a referral to see an RE at the 6-month mark as well. I think if you advocate for yourself and/or your insurance covers treatment before the year mark, they’re willing to get the process started sooner.

    • Thanks for all the great comments and advice!

  6. Anon for this :

    There are “now hiring” signs all over my city. From retail establishments and fast food places to bigger businesses. There are lots of jokes that “hey, Trump did bring the jobs back.” I don’t really think that is the reason but that got me wondering, what’s going on right now? Is this unique to my city or is everyone seeing hiring on the rise.

    • Nashvillian :

      There a ton in my city, but I do not chalk it up to Trump at all. The same signs were all here pre-election. That said, they are all at retail and fast food/fast casual food places and are likely not the best of jobs. Plus they’re the type of jobs with a lot of seasonal turnover. I attribute it all to being an “it” city with a good economy, at least locally.

      • OG Monday :

        These kinds of jobs have high turnover year-round, really. It’s partly that, as you said, they’re not ideal jobs, and also partly that reliability issues come up a lot. I’ve worked in restaurants and in retail, and in both cases I saw coworkers fired pretty frequently for not showing up, being under the influence at work, stealing, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Of course there’s hiring — we’re at 4.5% unemployment which is economically “full employment.” That’s partly why you’re seeing signs — when there are so few people even around to apply, retail/fast food places put up signs so that customers are likely to see them and think – maybe I can pick up a few shifts. Such signs aren’t necessary when times are bad and employers are flooded with applications.

    • Anonymous :

      For restaurants, retail, etc I would say the reason is the school year is ending and businesses will hire college kids for the summer.

    • Anonymous :

      Unemployment has been very low since well before the election.

    • The economy has been good for a while. But some people (ahem, Republicans) think it’s doing better now than it was before. Bill Maher did a segment on this Friday on his show.

    • anon in SV :

      Those signs are everywhere in restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, and retail shops in Silicon Valley. The issue is that no one who will accept jobs making around minimum wage, even above it and with good benefits, can afford to live anywhere near where those jobs are. The lack of affordable housing is a serious issue in this area. No one is going to commute more than a hour a day to work at Whole Foods.

      • anon in SV :

        And the people who used to have those jobs have all quit and had to move away because they could no longer afford to live around here, pushed out because their formerly kinda-affordable apartment is being renovated/rebuilt into luxury apartments that they can’t afford, or they realized they could have a much better standard of living in a LCOL area.

      • Anon for this :

        Really good point. I saw a McDonald’s on the highway (Route 128 in Mass for the locals) advertising $12/hr starting pay. My husband said woah, that’s way higher than minimum wage! But it is also right in the most expensive Boston suburbs and not accessible by public transportation. (It is on the actual highway at a rest area.) No wonder they have to pay more.

        • Anonymous :

          i mean its one dollar above minimum wage. I wouldn’t call that “way higher”

          • Anon for this :

            I don’t live in Mass and didn’t know the state minimum wage was higher than the federal minimum wage. Good to know!

    • Some of this depends on city dynamics. A couple years ago, a key employer in our town re-org’d and a ton of highly skilled employees in very desirable shared service-type rolls were laid off. Companies that weren’t necessarily hiring opened up positions because it was a great opportunity to get high quality talent.

  7. White Male Rant :

    I am SO tired of middle-aged/older white males talking about how they got all of these great career opportunities just by being in the right place at the right time. Usually this comes up in the guise of advice for a younger person just starting out in the job market where they say “Just wait and see what comes along! I never thought that I’d land a job at [dream company] but I happened to meet their CEO while picking up a pizza (or other crazy scenario) and we hit it off so next thing you know, he offered me a job!”
    I know that most jobs are through networking, but I’m so tired of the “you don’t have to be qualified, you just have to let them see you’re a good guy” narrative because it seems so based on “you” being a white male. As a woman, I’m expected to be more qualified than men (but not overqualified) and smile, wear heels, have perfect hair, etc. just to compete with the “good guy” who gets the job through a fluke.

    • Anonymous :

      Might be true of older white males that they got a job bc they happened to be standing next to a Fortune 500 CEO for Pizza Hut takeout or whatever — but amongst younger guys (and women) in my industry (law), I feel like there’s a HUGE show of — oh I was totally happy at my firm and going to make partner next yr and then out of nowhere Fortune 500 called and asked me to jump on board as an assistant general counsel. When the reality is my industry (or at least my specialty) has been slow for 10+ yrs — you are hustling to make partner; most people are not making it in the up and out NYC firms; and then you are hustling to get a job elsewhere before your firm asks you to leave bc in my industry that’s a resume killer bc older men act like they just don’t “understand” how that’s possible and it must be something you did if you were laid off. So it makes the “regular” people feel incapable as they hear these stories of how a job offer came overnight, while they’ve applied to 200 jobs and gotten 2 interviews neither of which were fruitful.

      • This is true of most professional corporate jobs, I think. You SAY that it “just fell in your lap, you weren’t even looking!” and the reality is that you applied on and off for two years straight.

        I think there’s a distinction that most of the older generation misses. Older white men who wax poetic about getting a job from the pizza dude are focusing on the opportunity part and completely ignoring the luck part. The luck happens more frequently to older white men, and happened more frequently in the past, and PLUS only happens if you’re creating opportunities.

    • OG Monday :

      Ask A Manager has some good rants about this. She also emphasizes that professional fields are more competitive now for everyone than they were a generation ago or more. Also, the Onion has an article just for you… (link)

      • OG Monday :

        • living in the onion :

          When I graduated from law school post-2008, my grandfather*, a lawyer, gave me the following advice:

          1. Walk into your Senator’s office and ask for a job.

          2. Walk into the biggest law firm in your city and offer to be a runner, or do whatever they need. They’ll see your work ethic and make you an associate.

          *this is a man who was raised by a single (alcoholic) mother in the Depression who worked at a restaurant near an ivy league college, got to know and impressed a bunch of well connected white men, who helped him get into said ivy league college. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps, but we all know that never would have happened if he was black and/or a woman.

          • This is my grandpa! He is smart (but not exceptionally so). Pulled himself out of poverty with an ivy league degree to become a world renowned engineer. But this all only happened because he was a lily white man.

    • I’m the daughter of a brown immigrant and that’s the advice I give on the career panels I’m frequently asked to participate in. Keep your head up, be positive, and you never know when or where an opportunity will arise. That’s good advice for life, not just students looking for jobs. I always tell students people hire people they want to work with, so if you’re positive and can show a bit of personality, that may compensate for having a resume that’s not quite perfect…which perhaps is the point these gentlemen were inartfully trying to express.

      • White Male Rant :

        Oh I’m totally on board with your advice! It sounds reasonable, and I definitely agree. My problem is when the guys pretending to give advice say they got the job in spite of having zero qualifications, not just an imperfect resume. Sorry, but showing up at the door with nothing but freshly-shined shoes and a can-do attitude probably isn’t going to help me.

        • Anonymous :

          So, I get that your rant is probably coming out of a personal in real life experience that you’ve had recently, but honestly I do think this still happens and not just for young white men.

          I have ‘in the right place at the right time’ and ‘in the end, it really did work out for the best’ moments in my career. I’m mid-career in a technical industry where skills and experience do count, but there is some degree of luck too.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Yes, and also no. I got the job I wanted by aggressively pursuing networking, lining up my qualifications in order to be the perfectly rounded out candidate, and then when the job unexpectedly opened, and I got it, it was lucky that it opened at exactly the right time, but I worked my butt off to get to the point where it COULD fall into my lap.

    • I know where you’re coming from. So many white men have fewer qualifications and don’t work as hard as their female/poc/queer peers, but that doesn’t keep them from getting great opportunities.

      I just did my part to balance the scales, though: Just spoke to HR about the two positions I’m hiring for. My top candidates are both women and I’ve requested higher starting salaries for them than the two less-educated, less-qualified white guys I hired a year ago.

      Smash the patriarchy!

      • Anonymous :

        White Men are hired based on potential. Everyone else has to have accomplishments to get the same job.

        • Anonymous :

          This. Never knew how to articulate it but you’re so right.

        • Wanted to add two things:

          1 – The two white guys I hired last year were the best of the people I had interviewed, so they weren’t hired on potential.

          2 – HR rep (also a woman) wanted to offer the two women the same salary as incumbent team, even though the two women are more qualified.

  8. Thanks to the all those responding to my morning inquiry about my dilemma about starting up a relationship with my new boss. It is merely a crush, as you’ve stated. I will just have to stay away from entering into any kind of relationship with him simply because he is my boss and I should have known better. Fortunately, neither of us took any overt action on advancing the state of the relationship, so we have nothing to be ashamed of vis a vis the law firm (or ourselves). I will be strictly on a business level with him, and will make a conscious effort to avoid thinking of him as anything other than a mentor who is responsible for giving me work assignments. I will refrain from doing anything with him after work, unless it is in a group setting, and I must not fantasize about “what might be” or “might have been” as he is merely another face at work. Thank you all for setting me straight on this!

    • Old golden loafers :

      Try to spend time alone with him only when it’s strictly required because of your work. Don’t lie to yourself.

      And try to be around other people a lot, so that he doesn’t occupy a big share of your thoughts.

  9. Friend Breakup :

    Have any of you had a friendship fizzle out because you realized you werent a priority in their life/you stopped being a doormat? This happened to me at the end of last year and while it felt great to not stand for being a doormat anymore I still feel kind of sad about it since the first year was a really amazing friendship then slowly started becoming one-sided then she ultimately moved across the country. 99% of the time I’m fine, but then I’m reminded of it and I feel a weird mixture of sadness and embarrassment (especially since I have a good support network).

    • Sometimes you have a great friendship with someone at a particular time and then that time passes. Maybe you were in school, or neighbors, or you had kids who were the same age. Not all friendships can withstand not having that “thing” in common and this is normal. It’s also normal to be sad about it but try to reframe it in your mind as not you missing your friend but you missing that time when you were able to have that friendship.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve definitely see this happen time and time again with work friendships – even the ones where both of us considered ourselves real friends not just coworkers; hung out outside work etc. It’s just that once one or both people left that job, moved cities etc. — that common bond was gone and with most people there isn’t enough to talk about if you weren’t talking about work gossip. (Not invariable – I have a few very close friends that I’ve had for 10+ yrs that I met at jobs and we’ve had divergent career paths – but I kind of wonder if that’s bc we met at 24 or 27 or whatever and they were our first “adult” post-school friendships).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I am in the process of that happening right now. It stinks. I finally had to stand my ground on something, and Friend was like, “come onnnn can’t you be accommodating [to a ridiculous degree]?” and it’s like… “actually, no, i’m not doing that any more.” And I think it’s probably the death knell for our friendship, but whatever, if you can’t handle me occasionally establishing boundaries, maybe it’s not meant to be.

    • I’ve been ghosted by friends and I’ve ghosted friends. I’m not proud of the latter but it’s was less cruel (IMO) than telling one friend she was too clingy and needy and I just didn’t have the time, telling another friend that she is a narcissist and I am sick of it, and a third “friend” that all that crap she was talking about me behind my back was being repeated to me by all of the people she was saying it to. (I should probably have told off the third friend, but we are in the same professional circle, which is why all the smack talk was getting back to me.)

      All three of those women have other friends and will be fine without me. I also have friends I love and value and can barely manage to spend time with, much less carving time out for frenemies.

      Sometimes friendships aren’t meant to last, even if they were fun for a while. All three of the women in my example were great fun to hang out with – for a while.

    • Nudibranch :

      Yes. Once it became very clear that she expected me to fit into her schedule and be available when she wanted me too, but was not willing to do the same for me…I was done. I stopped jumping through hoops to be available to/for her, and we’re acquaintances rather than friends now. No regrets on my part.

    • Yes, I’ve had this happen repeatedly as friends get married and/or settle into serious relationships. I keep hoping they’ll snap out of it once they settle in and return to being good friends, but it just doesn’t happen. It’s been heartbreaking having my circle of what were close friends–not like college party friends, but really close friends–dwindle because I am just not a priority to them when they find their person. I feel your pain, and it’s frustrating. All I can say is that it’s OK to mourn it, it’s good to stand up for yourself and let them either step up or not, and I am sorry. And you can hang out with me if you’re in LA!

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s okay to mourn the friendship you wish you had.

  10. Super Day Interviews coming up :

    Any helpful suggestions on how to get through super day interviews? I have interviews with 10 people with a few breaks in between. Complicating this, I have anxiety BO/Sweat. What would you guys do to counter this?

    Thanks, I am nervous but am perfect for this job!

    • Wildkitten :

      You might want to talk to a doctor about the BO/Sweat. I know they can do armpit botox injections that can help, which seems extreme, but might not be in your situation. You might want to try the armit guard things but definitely test them out before your interview. How about putting anti-bacterial wipes in your purse so you can wipe off your underarms between chats? Prescription perspirant?

      Otherwise – figure out the best you can bring your heart rate down between interviews. Is it caling your mom to debrief, or playing yourself beyonce from your iphone so you chill? Figure it out, and use it when you have a minute.

      Good luck! Fingers crossed!

  11. I read a comment on here once months ago about procrastination as a symptom of anxiety because of perfectionism. Can anyone here elaborate on that or discuss their experience with it?

    I landed my dream job a few months ago and it really is a dream for me. But I’ve noticed I seem to put off simple tasks that I don’t feel like I’ll automatically excel at, like doing something new or something I’m less familiar with. I’ll put it off for days or weeks and feel terribly guilty about it the whole time, then finally something makes me do it and I feel deeply relieved that it’s finally done, and of course the task itself wasn’t half as bad as the days of anxiety about it had been.

    I take something small for anxiety, but I think I might need to learn more skills to manage this.

    • Anonymous :

      Lifelong anxiety sufferer here. I’ve commented about this before here. I think it’s about a few things – when you postpone doing something, it’s because you can’t have “failed” at the task until you start it. Kind of like how you don’t lose money on a stock until you actually sell it. There’s also anxiety about how big a project is (dreading it) and not knowing where to begin. Finally, the anxiety you feel is comfortable. To combat all of this, I break down my to-do list into small tasks, writing down only “the next thing” instead of the whole project, and forcing myself to adopt a habit of being OK with whatever my first draft of anything looks like. It’s easier for me to edit than create, so I tell myself to just put something down on paper and then fix it later. This has all been really transformative to me. I usually now get ahead on things, instead of playing catch-up.

      • Late on this but so, so true! I do a lot of writing and I’m such a procrastinator about it and I think it is rooted in the idea that if it doesn’t exist, no one can tell me it’s bad. Once it’s out there, there is potential for failure.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m late but yes times a million to being okay with a bad first draft. I give myself permission to stink up the joint with my first draft, just to get it out there, and then I can fix it up. And of course it always turns out to be just fine. But giving myself permission to write a bad draft has been a game-changer.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve started asking myself “what makes me uncomfortable about this?” When I notice myself wanting to procrastinate a task. then I walk through what the best case and worst case scenarios are (e.g. if it’s a phone call) or what Additional information I need to complete the task or who I can ask for help etc. having this internal dialogue usually helps me get started. It’s still a daily struggle though.

    • I repeat the mantra “perfect is the enemy of done” to myself, and also visualize what the professional fallout will be if I don’t accomplish the task in question. I have to do this all. The. Time.

  12. Warranty? :

    Is it worth buying an extended warranty for a TV? Planning on buying something in the range or $250-350 which I hope to keep for the next two years (or more if it lasts).

    • Extended warranties are pretty much never worth it IMO. I’ve never had a TV that didn’t last at least 3 years, at which point I generally switched it out for a new one vs. it breaking.

    • BabyAssociate :


    • JuniorMinion :

      Not usually no. Extended warranties on consumer electronics tend to be big money makers for retailers. If I were you I would put the extra $$ towards buying a better brand / quality in the same size range (so think Samsung / Sony vs. Vizio).

      Worth noting that flatscreen TVs tend to be pretty reliability / low failure rate items. If you are going to have problems other than wear related those tend to occur in the first year. Additionally if you need software patches / fixes I know Samsung has a number you can call to get those upgraded / fixed.

      Electronics junkie here.

      • Warranty? :

        When you write Samsung/Sony vs. Vizio do you mean that Samsung has better quality than Sony, with Vizio having lower quality or rating comparably?

        One more question: would you take a chance on buying from the second hand market e.g. craigslist? I have bought used TVs before when I was in grad school and these were CRT tube TVs. But I have never owned a flat screen wondering whether that would be a big risk.

  13. Personality Assessments for Teams :

    Has anyone found personality assessments useful in the work setting? If so, which one? If not, which one?

    We have a small department and we work together on projects regularly. We also have a mix of personalities. I am considering having the team do an assessment in the hopes it will help us understand each other better and work together more effectively.

    Thoughts? TIA!

    • They are fun but not scientifically based whatsoever.

      • Wildkitten :

        My office did one and it was cool to see how people fell on the chart to say “ooooh, that’s why X acts X way!” but we did not in any way shape or form use the news knowledge in our office. so YMMV.

    • A former employer of mine used Birkman, and I have to say I’m really not a fan … of Birkman or of workplace personality tests in general. I found the whole thing really off putting and just reduced people to predictable stereotypes. It was about as helpful as finding out about everyone’s astrological signs and ended up being a recipe for a lot of hurt feelings. It’s no substitution for managing people well.

  14. Underemployed (and enraged) academic wife :

    I posted last week about my husband having been promoted to full prof, thereby essentially locking us into another 20+ years in a town I hate with very few opportunities for me. Thanks to all who responded (especially the very last poster, who I didn’t get around to thanking individually on the other thread). I truly appreciated your support and suggestions. Anyway, I’m writing tonight to share about the STUNNING interaction I just had with my husband. He came home after work for 75 minutes to play with the kids, eat dinner, and change clothes before leaving again for a (voluntary!) engagement. It’s been a rough day with tired preschoolers, and I shot him a reproachful glance as he put on his coat. He said, “Oh, I know that look so well. Just hang on, when you teach your course this summer, it will be me giving you that look every day as you leave.” I raised my eyebrows and said something to the effect of, uh…you’re comparing your three weeks of solo full-time parenting to the other 40 that I do?! And he said, I kid you not, this is a verbatim quote: “SOMEONE CHOSE not to go back to work!!” ………………………WTF! Yes, I made that choice. I own it. I doubt that I would have made a different one had I been fully and happily employed in my chosen profession at the time of our children’s birth. But, honest-to-G*D, it was a choice made much easier by the fact that I WAS NOT, in fact, employed in my chosen profession at that time (and am still not) BECAUSE THE UNIVERSITY THAT JUST PROMOTED HIM TO FULL PROFESSOR DOES NOT HAVE ADEQUATE WORK FOR ME.

    OMG. Yes, we need marriage counseling, and I need an individual counselor. Yes, I need to seek my own job opportunities, inside AND outside my chosen field, as many of you rightly suggested in my other post. But. Am I wrong in feeling like he essentially just blamed ME for my unhappiness and simultaneously absolved himself of any responsibility for working WITH me to get to a better place (literally and figuratively)?


    • Another PhD :

      I’m one of the last posters for your initial post. You need marriage counselling, I’m not married myself but the comment that you chose not to go back to work when there are in fact few opportunities for you to do so is really really unfair.
      I can sense your anger and resentment in this particular post. Please also get an individual counsellor and find a way out of this. Also you will need a career reboot. I have a PhD too, if you have been an adjunct for a long time it could be hard to break into other non-academic jobs. But you have to try. Look into books like “What Color is your parachute?” and “So What are you going to do with that?” by Maggie Debelius and Susan Basalla. If your husband will not leave this town or change jobs then you have to think of what your options are. Whatever happens, don’t give up and remember that you are indeed a smart person and you deserve to be in a happier place.

    • Lord, what an awful, clueless comment. I honestly think many men simply don’t get it. They don’t see how much interaction a preschooler requires, or that *somebody* has to be in charge of home and parenting, and that the wife picking it up is more likely to indicate that he’s neglecting things than gay she wants to do it. So his opinion is probably shared and reinforced by men he knows (and maybe some women, as women with PhDs have a low rate of fecundity). That doesn’t excuse it, and it is stunning that he hasn’t caught onto the sacrifices you have made for his career.

      Full profs like to say they’re stuck in place, but in fact there are openings for them. Not as frequently as assistant profs for sure, but those positions are out there. And in the summertime, he needs to be getting grants so you can all get out of Dodge, imo.

      • Another PhD :

        Your comment is thoughtful but I take exception to this comment: “So his opinion is probably shared and reinforced by men he knows (and maybe some women, as women with PhDs have a low rate of fecundity).”
        I don’t know whether you are in academia but saying that “women with PhDs have a low rate of fecundity” and extending that to mean that they would share these kinds of views is a big generalization and mostly not true. One of the reasons for lower birth rates among highly educated women is the extra time spent in school, which means starting to have children later in life than say someone who did not spend as much time in college or grad school. Another reason is just the pressures of academic life and the complexities of juggling 2 academic careers. The poster above has certainly suffered the brunt of this–her husband has made Full Professor but due to the location they are in right now, she hasn’t been able to find a job and because they have 2 young children she most likely could not have moved to work elsewhere like some couples do.

        I strongly suspect that if the OP had posted this on a forum of female academics she would have received a lot of support and ideas on how to move forward.

        • Thanks for your support and book recommendations. Do you know of a forum for female academics??

      • Shopping, thanks for your sympathy. LOL, though, at the idea of him doing anything in the summertime. He’s very much of the school of thought that, being on a 9mo contract, summers are his playtime. Sigh.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean, you’re not wrong, but you’re also part of them problem and you need to own that. You agreed. You stopped working.

      • Anonymous :

        And I don’t mean to be Team husband here at all. But if staying home isn’t working and you can’t teach where you are and you can’t move- time to look for different work.

      • I do see that. I think part of what rankles, although I didn’t state it in my first post, is his assumption that I am in fact “not working” at the moment.

        • Am I missing something? You’re not working – right? Or do you have some job in town. Sorry – I know people hate to hear it – but stay home mommy isn’t a job.

          • Anonymous :

            Anyone else willing to bet this commenter isn’t a mother? (or for that matter, a woman?)

          • Anonymous :

            I’m guessing you’re not a parent, and definitely not female. Go tr0ll somewhere else.

          • Fine, SAHM is not a “job.” I certainly don’t get salary, bennies, or workers’ protections. But of course it’s “work.” I do the tasks of a nanny, housekeeper, accountant, low-level personal assistant, and various other things as needed. And my kids (4-year-old twins) aren’t in preschool, so they truly are my full-time responsibility.

            In terms of paid employment, I do teach a course or two at the university each year, which is all they have for me. That commitment comes out to about 10 hours/week for somewhere around $11-12/hour. I do this on top of everything else, just to keep my foot in the academic door.

        • This was why I ultimately went back to work full-time after staying home part-time with my son. He was 6 and I felt fine about going back, but my marriage suffered. Sorry to say, your husband will never see what you do as “working” the same way that going out and doing work for pay is “working.” My husband was the same way. As long as I did not have outside, paid work that brought in a reasonable salary, I was not “working.” Now. I don’t agree with the b* tchy Anonymous at 10:39 saying “stay-at-home mommy isn’t a job” because I did it; for much of the time I worked “part-time” I was only working 10 hours a week. It is hard work. But it is not, apparently, work your husband “values.”

          Marriage counseling would be a good start but I can tell you from experience, your husband’s mind probably won’t change. Regardless of the fact that the college in your town doesn’t have enough work for you; regardless of the fact that childcare is crazy expensive and would probably almost totally offset the amount of money you’d bring in. You aren’t “working” unless you’re getting a paycheck. What I did in your shoes was get my ducks in a row, so that if my husband left I knew where all the money was, and I started making plans to get a job so that I could support myself and my son if I had to. I’m still married, but I probably would never put myself in a vulnerable position like that again. You have my sympathy – I’m sorry you’re going through this. But you absolutely need to start making sure your ends are covered in case the marriage doesn’t survive. The only thing worse than being a SAHM with an insensitive husband is being a divorced mom with no way to support herself and her children in a reasonable manner.

          • Thanks, Anonymous at 11:50, for your advice and sympathy. That is exactly his attitude, and you’re right that I have to get it together and plan for the future. I’ve put myself in a position of complete dependency. I’ve been stupid–there’s no other word for it, and no excuse. Time to get on a better track.

        • Wildkitten :

          She is doing a TON of work – raising the babies at home. She is just not getting paid for it. Adding insult to injury is that fact that DH doesn’t think raising the kiddos is “work.”

    • I’m thinking of various options for you:
      – do another degree at “his” university; pick a program that will get you employed (marketable subject matter, marketable degree, AND excellent track record in employment of alumni)
      – become an independent scholar in your field if you can swing it with occasional grants? (I’m not an academic so ignore this if it’s useless advice.)
      – find a job that interests you and can be done in a combination of onsite and remote work. Then find a home away from home (rent a room in a congenial household?) in the same location as your job.
      BUT also look into marriage counseling and personal counseling (because it’s nice to be able to vent to someone other than one’s temporarily-making-you-crazy spouse!)

      Good luck. Marriage sometimes has hard, hard times. I hope both of you find a good way forward.

    • Wildkitten :

      I posted last time and was trying to help you and your hubby work it out, but I have changed my mind. Your husband is being a TERRIBLE partner, and is marching fast towards the 4 horsemen of the Gottman apocalypse.

      There are so many good ways he could defend staying late. He’s new at the job. He wanted to remind people to treat him as an equal. He wanted to network for his new job. He didn’t want to slack at anything during his first week, even optional activities.

      There are many ways he could have handled it and blaming you for the fact that you felt undervalued in the decision making is NOT OKAY. What he did that you are describing is NOT OKAY. Go to counseling, sure, but prepare yourself that your marriage might not be salvageable, because you deserve a partner who treats you better than this guy is.

    • There’s a lot to unpack here. I have a feeling that others will pile on your husband so I’ll let that be. One way you can help to improve this situation is to communicate better. No more reproachful glares; if you’re feeling like he’s not carrying his weight then you need to have a conversation at a time that he’s not walking out the door. It might be necessary for him to go to these “voluntary” things – whether he wants to or not – so it might not be fair of you to hold it against him. You two should look over his schedule and figure out when he has to be out of the house. You need to feel like you have some input here. And at times he doesn’t have to be out, he needs to step up and give you a break. Get out of the house. Go to yoga or an art class or read a book in the park. I’m not suggesting this will fix everything, counseling is a good idea. But you can’t learn to swim when you’re already drowning.

      • Totally agree that ineffective communication (years of it!) is part of the problem, and 50% of that is on me. Fair points, thanks for chiming in.

      • Assistant Professor :

        I agree that the timing is right for you to have a conversation with your husband about re-balancing the share of home/childcare work that you both do. Since he just got full, there’s nothing more he is striving for professionally, so he doesn’t need to go to university events or do other “voluntary” things just to be seen doing them to earn brownie points towards promotion. This is exactly the time that he can step back from college things, and a time that you can start to re-focus on your research/writing now that your twins are a bit older.

        To your original post, I would also be FURIOUS at his comment that you “chose” to stop working. In academia, you can’t just get a job anywhere you are living (I liken it to professional sports- you basically have to go wherever the teams that drafts you is based, you can’t just “find” a job anywhere) . It sounds like you had no stable academic job prospects in your town before your twins were born, so you didn’t stop working once they were born- you just continued in your underemployment. This underemployment was caused by being stuck in his university town where there weren’t any open positions for you largely BEACAUSE he didn’t care to apply to other jobs in places where there may have been opportunities for both of you together. I don’t know if you were actively applying for TT jobs elsewhere before your twins were born (with a plan for him to follow you if you landed something), so I don’t want to say it’s entirely his fault as you did have agency too, but since it’s easier to get another job if you already have one, he had a better chance of getting an opportunity to move you both, so it was more on him in that respect. And, gender dynamics are likely at play here too (a male not wanting to be the trailing spouse to a junior female), which made it not his top priority to apply elsewhere.

        Anyway, I’m sorry that the sh*tty academic market matched with your husband’s lack of care about your career ambitions have created this (not unusual, unfortunately) situation. I agree that trying to talk with him (either with a counselor or just you to) about how upset his “views” about your career path make you is a good starting point for figuring out a path forward together that allows you to find professional fulfillment. Again, the timing for this is good because he can afford to “lean out” of his job now that he’s reached full, so use that as an conversation opener. I hope he is willing to listen and doesn’t get hostile to you and pull the “breadwinner” crap because you have both made your family economic unit work- he wouldn’t have been able to have his life as it is if you hadn’t sacrificed your career. I really feel for you. This is such a tough situation. Peace to you.

        • Assistant Professor, you were the final commenter on my thread last week, and I didn’t get to thank you, so here’s a double thanks for your sympathy and thoughtful contributions in both cases. You make a great point here about timing and “leaning out”; I hadn’t thought of it in that way, and I’ll try to take a calm conversation in that direction once the semester has wrapped up.

          And, yes, you’re correct in your other hypotheses. I was underemployed pre-kids (the same 2 university courses plus a 3/4-time healthcare admin position). I had been applying for TT jobs back then, but only within a certain radius–he was willing to move to an in-between location and take on a longer commute, but not to live apart or to give up his job and follow me elsewhere (the junior-female problem, as you suggest). But, as I said elsewhere, I’m in a struggling field and evidently not a terribly attractive candidate, except perhaps for a certain type of institution, so adding geographic restriction on top was really the kiss of death for my TT job search.

          Thanks again for your support. I truly appreciate it.

          • Assistant Professor :

            You are very welcome! I’m happy that I can offer a bit of support- you deserve to vent about this for sure! You’re in a difficult situation between a crappy job market and a partner who restricted your application options to a very small area, and I’ve known so many other academics in a similar position. TT jobs are so hare to get even when you are applying nationally!

            It sounds like the main problem was you and your husband did not fully communicate before you got married about his future willingness to move (he made vague promises that his current job was his starter job, but then didn’t follow through, and you didn’t press the issue earlier because, well, he was the one with the full time job in hand). This is not to lay blame- there are plenty of things that my husband and I really should have discussed before marriage but didn’t and have had to negotiate during marriage when disagreements over life trajectories arose. But, I’m glad you got my point about the time being right for him to “lean out” and let you “lean in” more (in whatever way you want).

            Finally, one more quick thought. My college (which is pretty decent at spousal accommodations, luckily) has a program where academic spouses can essentially share 1.5 positions/salary (so that each person has a 2/3 time job) . Usually, it happens when one spouse is already tenured and then the other spouse has been adjuncting for a bit (so the department they would be in is familiar with the person). The home department for the second spouse has to agree to take that person on, but since they are only paying for 1/2 or 2/3 of a position (I’m not sure if the home dept of the first spouse still pays for a full 1 position so that the second dept only pays .5 or if both depts pay 2/3…) and don’t have to open up a TT search in order to hire second spouse, most departments go for it. Now, I’m not sure how common a shared 1.5 position for spouses is at other colleges, but it’s an option at least worth raising with your university admin to see if it would be possible for you.

            Good luck and feel free to vent more whenever you need to!

    • Sorry this is late — female academic here. A few ideas:
      1. Do you know the book “Presumed Incompetent”? It’s about being a female academic.
      2. I would also highly recommend Sara Ahmed’s “Living a Feminist Life” on invisible labor, etc.
      3. Male academics are seriously the worst.
      4. Is there a feminist forum specific to your discipline? I’m in a couple of these (secret facebook groups) and it’s quite helpful.
      5. The job market is so hard, I’m sorry if you feel stuck!

  15. Chase & Chloe :

    Does that brand of shoes last? I was excited to get some at what I thought was a steal. They are on Amazon for a lower price than I paid, and Sears has children’s shoes by that brand. I was hoping to wear them occasionally for years, at least as long as the stacked heels don’t get me laughed at.

  16. AnonForThisPost :

    Have any of you been uber-qualified for a promotion in your company (even known to be an expert on the subject) only to have a new-to-the-company, much younger, prettier person with zero experience but a winning smile, get it instead? It hasn’t happened yet, but it looks likes it’s about to, and it’s going to be so painful if it does. How did you handle?

    • Wildkitten :

      If by “prettier” you mean, an objectively unattractive and less qualified white man, then yes. Several times. I call my mom, drink a bottle of wine, cry, and then start looking for a new job. They are telling you that you have no path for advancement at that company. Believe them.

Add a Comment

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

work fashion blog press mentions