Wednesday’s Workwear Report: The Taylor 2.0 Dress

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

We just did a Hunt on sheath dresses, and I didn’t want to include colorful dresses like this one from MM.LaFleur — but then I saw this deep plum color, which looks gorgeous. It also comes in a really nice green (and a deep indigo as well, although it looks more purple than navy). I love the knotted details — and it has functional pockets! It feels elegant and would be perfect for desk-to-dinner, and it seems like you could wear it pretty much year-round, depending on the topper. The dress is machine washable and comes in sizes 0–16 in four colors for $265. The Taylor 2.0 Dress

Two plus-size options are at Macy’s and Nordstrom.

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Comments

  1. Santorini :

    Looking for advice on hotels and favorite activities in Mykonos and Santorini- DH and I are headed there for 10 days. Santorini especially seems quite expensive, and while we don’t want to go cheap, we also don’t want to have to spend $500 a night if we can avoid it. Any favorites?

    • Anonymous :

      Strogili Traditional Houses was perfection. Stay in Oia for sure.

    • We loved Esperas in Oia. It was only ~$300 per night when we were ther 5 Years ago, but I think it may be closer to $500 now. Very worth it though.

    • There are charter yachts that are actually pretty reasonable that can take you from Santorini to Mykonos. You stop at all the islands on the way, which are less crowded and generally cheaper.

    • I haven’t been but I’ve researched for a possible future trip. It depends a lot on the time of year, whether you want caldera view, and if you’re staying in the popular towns. You’re likely paying that much if not more for a caldera view during peak summer season. But if you’re willing to go off peak, not have a caldera view, or stay in a town that’s not Fira or Oia (Imerovigli, Pyrgos, or even the flat beach side in Akrotiri) then there are a bunch of cheaper options. What are your priorities?

      • It’s a last minute trip, we’re going at the end of May and are looking for hotels now. Don’t feel strongly about location if it’s generally easy to get around the island, but would prefer some kind of view (doesn’t have to be a caldera view), and not just a city street or something.

        • There are a few a bit inland (not out on the cliff) in Oia with terraces and pools that have great views, not sure about the individual room’s view. Imerovigli is a town between Oia and Fira (so it’s walkable to Fira where the buses are) and their hotels are cheaper than the other two even though they still provide caldera view. I would start looking at those options first (through kayak or booking, use filters to narrow your choices). I’m seeing highly rated places in the 200s for May.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I stayed at a great Airbnb and it wasn’t 500 bucks a night. Leave your email and I can send you all my Greece tips and the airbnb link.

  2. cake batter :

    This dress is gorgeous. I wish it were easier to find dresses and clothing in general in saturated jewel tones like this. I’m so tired of all the beiges and muted colors.

    Also, I’m about to lose my mind because it’s still SO cold where I am (midwest). It’s 30 degrees today with flecks of snow still on the ground. I’ve decided to get a mani pedi this weekend and maybe buy something in a fun, springy color to make myself feel better. What else are you ladies doing to cope with this nasty weather? I need more ideas!

    • Anonymous :

      We had an ice storm over the weekend here and yesterday it snowed. I am so over it. OVER IT.

    • I went on a vacation to the Caribbean last week and it was great! But tough coming back to snow and cold weather. At least it is sunny today. I got a mani/pedi in bright colors and that definitely helps. I am planning another vacation even though I actually won’t be able to take one for a while, but it helps to look at pictures of the beach.

    • Anonymous :

      Working in LA this week. I literally had tears when I saw the sun and felt the warmth.

      • I’m from LA and not traveling this week… I think it’s currently pretty cold.

        I’m building a fire in the fireplace today.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Right? We So Cal natives are suffering in the “cold,” too!

        • It’s really all about perspective. MN would be happy with a stretch of 50 degree day and no snow since we haven’t one of those since…October?

          • Right?! It hit 60 here last week and I was complaining to my husband it was hot.

          • cake batter :

            I’d be DELIGHTED with a few sunny 50 degree days. It’s this grey rainy snowy dreary garbage that I can’t handle.

    • I am usually not one to complain about the weather but yesterday’s snow made me SO sad.

    • Burning all the foodie scented candles? If it’s going to feel like winter, at least it can smell like Christmas treats in my house.

      On a more spring-related note: bright nails, indoor swimming (hey, it’s warm at least), cleaning with Mrs. Meyer’s spring scents, opening the windows for 15 minutes just to get some fresh air moving.

      But really, I’m so over this cold, dreary weather.

      • I made a huge pot of loaded baked potato soup on Sunday when we got iced in. May as well enjoy comfort food.

    • I gave up on spring. Somehow that makes me feel better.
      Generally, I agree that a short trip somewhere warm mid winter helps make the whole thing easier.

    • Indiana here :

      Whining. And booking not one but two tropical vacations for next winter.

    • I… moved to Texas. I know people say they like “seasons” and all, but you’d be amazing how much better your mood is when it’s in the 70s on the first day of spring. Sure, I miss a crisp Halloween a little bit. The rest of it? Not worth it.

      • *amazed, not amazing

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        This was my theory for moving back South, but it’s been chilly even here this spring. Though the high today is 80. Of course, it was 45 when I left my house this morning. Because 30 degree temperature swings in a day=welcome to spring!

        • Oh man, I still haven’t gotten used to that one. At least it’s going in the right direction today…nothing worse than waking up to 70 degree weather and then all of a sudden it’s 45 when you step out for lunch.

      • +1 from the desert southwest.

    • Doing my best to get in lots of hours so that I can take it easy when we finally have warm weather.

      And complaining. All the time. To everyone.

    • When I lived in the Midwest I got through the long winters by keeping a lot of houseplants. The greenery would trick my mind into thinking summer thoughts. And when it got really bad, I’d go to a greenhouse somewhere and soak up the lighting and humidity and oxygen and read or do crossword puzzles for an hour or so.

  3. Can anyone recommend a good place to get a basic haircut in downtown DC? Something close to L’Enfant preferred. Thanks!

    • I really liked the Aveda institute in Chinatown! $18 for a basic haircut (by a student, but mine was AWESOME).

  4. For the lawyers here – does anyone know if there is a way to take CLE classes online for free? I live in D.C. and am barred in both D.C. and another state. D.C. doesn’t require CLEs but my other state does. The D.C. bar association doesn’t give CLE credit for most of the events they put on and I’m trying to avoid paying hundreds of dollars to attend a conference that does give CLEs.

    • PLI has some free online CLEs – generally regarding pro bono/public interest topics. I think you can search the webs*te for the free ones.

    • PLI has some free online classes for pro bono issues.

    • What other state? If you get in the mailing lists for CA law firms, many offer regular CLE webinars you can get credit for attending.

    • If you post a burner email I can send you the PLI ones that are free that come out weekly from my firm.

      The ABA has free ones.

      You can also pay lawline $199 and get an unlimited pass for CLE–this is the cheapest I’ve seen on a per-hour basis, if you’re paying at all.

    • If you’re an ABA member, they have a free CLE webinar each month (you can watch “live” or they have them available online to watch whenever for something like 3 months).

      I would look at the DC Bar again, though. They generally have a lot of things going on–some not CLE, some are. And I’ve found the pricing pretty reasonable for what you get (like $200 for 5-6 hrs on a topic/skill I find interesting with engaging presenters). They just opened up in a new building and it’s a nice space as well.

    • Do you work with outside counsel? Law firms host TONS of free webinars with CLE.

    • New law mama :

      American Constitution Society has very good webinars that usually have CA credit. If you are barred in CA or a state that has reciprocity, that could work.

    • Legally Brunette :

      If you worked in Big Law (or maybe smaller firms do this too but I’m not sure) you can access free CLEs by virtue of being an alumni. Contact your firm. I earned several CLEs for free this way.

    • Ginger in Tech Support :

      Not a lawyer but the prelaw department at my university hosts CLE virtual classes a few times a year. I know they aren’t the only one so maybe check with them?

    • Are programs at the local law schools open to the public? I know that my school in NYC often has programs open to the public that are free and offer CLEs

    • Look at attorneycredits dot com. Not free, but I just got my 15 hours of required CLE for $69.95.

  5. DC folks – recommendations for a cobbler in Old Town Alexandria? The cap on one of my pumps broke off the other day and I need to get it replaced. TIA!

  6. barking dog problem :

    The dog in the condo beneath me WILL NOT STOP barking and howling. The owner never seems to be home. I own, the dog owner rents. This happens every day starting around 7 AM.

    I love dogs, but this nonstop barking is disturbing my otherwise peaceful complex and making me stressed and angry while I get ready in the mornings. I need to say something… but how?

    Can I contact the property management association directly about this, or do I have to have a talk with the owner?

    • I would talk to the owner and frame it as an issue of concern. Like, ‘I thought you might want to know your dog barks and howls all day. Maybe there is something you can do to help him deal with his anxiety?’

      FWIW, I had a neighbor like this with an anxious chihuahua and he calmed down after about 3 weeks. I think it was just being in a new place.

    • I would speak to your HOA and have them talk to the pet owner and not get personally involved.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 In a perfect world where everyone is reasonable, you could just tape a nice note to their door saying what AIMS suggests (great script btw). If they’re not home when the dog is doing this then they might not even know.

        But I’ve been burned by things like this too many times to expect people to act like adults anymore. You own this place, it’s not like you can just move if your neighbor decides to make your life hell. Report it to the HOA and/or whatever property management company you have. If it doesn’t improve then you might have to contact animal control to protect the dog.

    • I recommend recording the dog for an hour or so as proof. In my experience, dog owners can often get extremely defensive and denialist when told their dogs bark. I would address it with the owners first, make it clear that the dog barks ALL day, and if nothing changes within a few days, then involve HOA and inform them of the steps you’ve taken.

    • I think that unless you have some reason to think the dog-owner is unreasonable or violent or something, it’s a best practice to have a conversation before you do anything else. If you can’t ever catch them at home, the next best thing is leaving a friendly note.

    • If it starts at 7 AM, it’s probably when the owner leaves for the day. They may genuinely not know. I would start with talking to them.

      When my SO lived alone, his dog barked incessantly when he was gone and he had no idea until a neighbor told him. FWIW, he found that she would calm down and not bark if he left music or the TV on for her all day at a low volume.

      • +1 My ex’s dog did this and he had no idea until he moved from a house to an apartment. (A move that was for my career, of course.) If you know your neighbor, even just by sight, try approaching them with empathy. If your neighbor is aware, s/he may be equally as frustrated with failed attempts to change their dog’s behavior. If s/he seems open to suggestions, things that were recommended to us were:
        – leaving a radio on
        – dressing the dog in my ex’s shirt so the smell of his human would comfort him
        – thunder shirts
        – covering his crate with a blanket to make it more secure and den-like (be mindful of air flow)
        – benadryl (consult your vet; too much makes dogs hallucinate)
        – vet prescribed prozac and other medications

        The combination of the Rx meds and moving to a townhouse where we had the top floor was the only thing that helped.

        I don’t miss that dog, even a little, and I am certifiably dog crazy. So, empathy for your neighbor, please.

    • Mischief managed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Slicer

    • i had a similar situation. multiple neighbors in the building approached me and asked me to address with the neighbor’s whose dog was barking all day long. in this case, i approached him and let him know that i was worried about the dog being hurt. he assured me that the dog was fine, and made changes to his routine when going to work which addressed the problem. however, the only reason i approached him was because i had spoken to him previously and knew him to be a very kind, reasonable person who loved his dog. generally, i would advise going straight to the HOA, as suggested above. I am a long-time condo dweller, and people can get very defensive and angry. It is generally best to let the property manager deal with that. It is my belief that that is part of what your HOA fees cover.

    • biglawanon :

      We had this exact same problem, but while we were renting. As with any noise issue, I agree that talking to the dog owner first is the way to go. That was not successful because the owner denied the dog could possibly be disruptive, despite me having recordings. I was particularly frustrated because the dog would wake up my infant twins continuously – they were 11 days old when this started happening. I had to go to the building manager, who came and spoke with the owner. That also didn’t work. Both the building manager and I had to call city police and lodge noise complaints, and the building manager issued various fines as well – only have getting multiple violations from the police did the problem end. I understood he moved out.

  7. Very specific NYC recs wanted!

    *must-have desserts (I am not above going somewhere gimmicky or instagrammy if the dessert is delicious. I loved Big Gay ice cream, for example)

    *unique boutique fitness classes (to work off the above desserts)

    *solid breakfasts/brunches that won’t have an hour wait

    *lunch or dinner spots that are especially good for solo diners

    *clothing boutiques that aren’t chains and are actually affordable.

    *bookstores and cafes where I can while away an afternoon

    TIA!

    • Desserts:
      Fitness: water spin class – Aqua in TriBeCa.
      Breakfast: for a simple cafe, I really like Gotan in TriBeCa. Also Sarabeth, Good Enough to Eat and Kitchenette are good, but brunch on weekends can get waity. Russ & Daughters has a great cafe on the LES and in the Jewish Museum uptown (less wait). Whatever you do, avoid Clinton Street Baking Co. because the wait is too much almost always.
      Solo dining: ramen (many options depending on where you are staying but try Ippudo or Ivan Ramen); also Momofuko or maybe some great sushi? For the latter, lots of options depending on how much you want to spend.
      Clothing boutiques: this is a tough one! I would just go to Century 21 downtown.
      Bookstores/cafes: this one is getting tougher, but I love the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Crosby St.
      Gotan (no books, see above) is also great for an afternoon.

      • I forgot to fill in the desserts!

        In no particular order:
        Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
        Whiskey Pecan Babka at Arcade Bakery (you can go after breakfast at Gotan on your way to Century21)
        Macarons at LaDuree (flown in from Paris daily)
        The cookies at Levain Bakery
        10 below ice cream
        Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity (but be prepared for tourists and a wait)
        Birthday cake truffles and/or crack pie at Milk Bar

        And on the off chance you should find yourself on 1st Avenue on the upper east side in the 80s, absolutely go to Glaser’s bake shop for the black and white cookie, the kitchen sink cookie, and just about anything else.. They’re closing this summer but it’s classic old school NY and so good.

        • second eileens and levain!! eileens in particular, as it not only has delicious cheesecakes (try the banana) but has been around the mid 70s!

        • THANK YOU! This list is unbelievable. Bookmarking this for future trips, since I won’t be able to fit everything in this time.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            Good Enough to Eat is not, in my opinion, good enough to eat. Sarabeth is also not good. I second Laduree and Levain and I also like Momofuku.

            Some other brunch places: Tessa (UWS), Alice’s tea cup (this does have hour + wait if you come after 11), AG Kitchen (but only some things, like their french toast), Oficina 1M (my FAVORITE restaurant in NYC right now, although better for dinner than for brunch), Public (could have a wait, portions have gotten smaller recently)

            Laduree is also pretty good for brunch although the service is not amazing.

            More dinner: Obviously Oficina 1M, Shimizu is the best sushi I have had and also affordable (I think as good as Gari and cheaper), Ippudo is great but has a really long wait. I am currently obsessed with Indian Accent which is affordable and very doable for a solo diner.

            Also, Eataly!

            My favorite NYC thing is the cloisters, but that may be more of an escape from NYC thing.

        • I loooove getting macarons at Laduree. Its a tradition when my sister and I go to NYC :)

        • I like the macaroons at La Maison du Chocolate better, especially if you’re into chocolate. Also flown in from Paris and IMO a lot tastier than Laduree.

        • Milk Bar Birthday Cake truffles are my favorite food in the world (maybe – probably – top 5 definitely).

      • Anonymous :

        Desserts: Financier Patisserie, Laduree on W Broadway
        Fitness: Bari Studio, JumpLife, Woom Center, all in Bowery/Chinatown/TriBeCa.
        Breakfast: Financier Patisserie
        Solo dining: second all the ramen ideas, also pizza (love Prince St Pizza, but it’s standing only) for fast stuff; for dinner eat at the bar in Fiorello’s by Lincoln Center
        Clothing boutiques: walk around SoHo on sidestreets and Broadway; I’d also check out Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange locations for designer thrifting
        Bookstores/cafes: in Soho, McNally Jackson independent bookseller with cafe. Also nearby is HousingWorks bookstore with a cafe and affiliated thriftstore

    • I really wanted to hate them due to the hype, but the caneles and kougin ammans at Dominique Ansel were legit amazing. I did not get in line early enough to get a cronut.

      Also at Milk Bar, the soft serve cereal milk ice cream!

      • Wanderlust :

        Oooh, yes to the Kouign Amman! The chocolate chip cookie shotglass is also fun and yummy.

      • Definitely Dominique Ansel. Also, The Spot dessert restaurant in the Village – their molten lava cake is amazing. Green tea cream puffs from Bibble and Sip if you’re in the midtown area.

        For whiling away a day, have brunch at Cherche Midi and then walk around the Soho area for all of the fancy hipster shops.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Ah yes, I LOVE the Spot dessert bar. They also have an outpost in Korea town and then you can get all the Korean cosmetics.

    • Desserts: Japanese desserts & tea at Cha An in East Village

    • the mille crepe cake at Lady M confections is one of my favourite NYC desserts! They have multiple locations, but the flagship on East 78th street also has a tremendous goat cheese salad. The salad + slice of cake is my perfect New York lunch.
      A bit touristy, as they were featured on “the best thing I ever ate” Food network show. Though that was several years ago now…

  8. If you were on a hiring committee and were considering a candidate that had left their previous position without another job lined up, and had been unemployed for several months, what kinds of things would you like to see that person do during their time off? I know leaving without another job lined up is a “red flag” to most people, but are there things these candidates can do to compensate for that? Assume this person left a big law firm and is applying to jobs with government agencies and non-profits.

    • I’m not in big law or government, but for anyone reading who is looking into corporate jobs…. When I hire, I’m not even noticing short stints (half a year or less) of unemployment any more. At this point most people have a gap somewhere thanks to the rough job markets in the last 10-12 years. If they’re currently in the short stint, I want to hear a good reason they left without something lined up (taking care of an issue at home, a geographic move, needed a short break before changing industries or careers, etc) but otherwise I know it can be tough and I try not to ding people for that.

      I know I’m not the rule yet, but I’m hearing from more of my peers that this attitude is growing, at least. We all know someone who struggled in 2006 or even a few years ago, even someone excellent, and don’t want to penalize people like that unfairly.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t really care what they’ve been doing if it’s a few months. I want to know why they left though, I’d be extremely suspicious

      • Why is everyone so suspicious at this? Eventually I’d like to leave without something lined up so that I don’t have to juggle the job search and my extremely busy biglaw job at the same time. Is that really such a bad thing?

        • Because it looks like you got fired. And yes, it will hurt your search.

        • Or, it looks like you are okay with quitting when things get tough or it looks like you don’t really need a paying job, none of which reflects well on the candidate. If your biglaw job is so busy you do not have time to job search, it’s time to lean way out and focus hard on the search.

      • Also, when you describe why you left, make sure your story lines up with the story from others in the company. Assume someone on the hiring committee knows someone in your former organization.

      • biglawanon :

        I wouldn’t be suspicious if someone left biglaw without a job lined up and was applying for non-big law jobs a few months later. I’d assume they couldn’t take it anymore and couldn’t wait to leave until they had something lined up.

        But ymmv because I am sympathetic. I’m in biglaw, trying to leave, and it is everything I can muster to just not quit my job. Have written and deleted several emails to HR.

    • Volunteering with thematically connected causes/projects or working on otherwise relevant skills through volunteering. Getting or remaining involved in bar association work, including pro bono. Talk to and meet and serve the causes you ultimately are applying to work with.

      If there’s no relocation or family reason apparent for the leaving without something lined up, I’d want to see those things. If it is a relocation or family reason stated, I’d tread gently as a hiring manager and take a candidate at her word without probing too much further. The volunteering/staying connected would be a nice bonus.

    • All I’d probably ask is why you left your last job, so have a good answer for that that sounds honest. Personally I get some jobs are terrible and I applaud people for taking control over their lives. I don’t subscribe to the stick it out at the expense of your mental health school of thought. That said, say it in a way where you don’t bash the employer and you sound reasonable. I guess keep it short, honest, and move on. I’ve sat on a number of hiring committees where we’ve had candidates like you and I’ve yet to run into someone on them who has been judgmental over the fact of a bad job. People relate to that. The judgment comes in when you get a “bitter with baggage” kind of response. So that said, I don’t care at all what you’ve done since. Travel the world? Workout? Sleep? Do what makes you refreshed, especially since it’s only been a couple of months. Longer term, I might like to see you start your thing on the side while you look (if you’re talking 6 months or more) or contract work or something that tells me your skills are still fresh.

      • I read too fast sometimes, I just saw you left a big law firm. Lawyers tend to especially understand getting out of those. It might not even come up, and frankly, if you’re senior enough, you might even want to cast it in the up or out context – everyone gets that. You left one of the most understandable “why did you leave” places, especially if you’re applying to work as a lawyer.

      • Anyone have a script that strikes the right balance between honest and baggage? Like, is this ok: “I didn’t see a good path to success for me so I decided to focus on finding the next step in my career.” Answer follow up questions citing limited partnership prospects and crazy hours expectations.

        • But why quit without anything lined up? That explanation doesn’t address that part of the question.

      • Somehow I’m in mod with a longer second thought, but you’re leaving s big firm – lawyers totally get that, I doubt you’ll have to explain much

    • I would not be suspicious necessarily. Sometimes there are good reasons to leave and people have the resources, contacts and confidence to say–I’m not going to be a part of this. Please, when you see a situation of someone leaving–don’t automatically think that person is the problem. Sometimes when you’re junior, and management won’t step in to rein in a really awful employee, the only way is to leave.

      I just did this myself because I was being verbally abused by one of the partners I worked closely with at my firm, in a small satellite office. I am not talking normal “this person is difficult” stuff. This partner was throwing things at walls, cussing, screaming at me for mistakes on clients I had never touched, giving me explicit instructions to draft things and then acting surprised when I gave them to him, etc. I had several phone calls with him where he was slurring his words and incoherent and definitely on some sort of drugs that were making him incoherent. It turned out that the firm had caught him for the umpteenth time s*xually harassing (ok, ok, having s*x with the copy girl, who was waaaaaaaay younger, at work!) and he was losing it because he had been caught and he knew there would finally be consequences. He was kicked out of the partnership and now has taken his talents to another biglaw firm in our city.

      I left before we knew about the s*xual harassment, but I did know that I was working in an extremely hostile environment. Separately, 2 of the other 5 partners in my practice group in my small office were set to leave the firm shortly. Given all that, it was time for me to get out. I had enough traction with enough interviews that I was confident I’d find something.

      Remember, you really can’t slag your employer off in interviews. I couldn’t go around and say “X partner is literally losing it, and taking all of it out on me, and none of the other associates or partners will help because they are just glad they’re not the target of this partner’s wrath.” There was no HR in my office. Horrid partner was careful to keep these outburst to late at night when other partners were not around to witness (but other associates witnessed). It was awful.

      If someone has an otherwise strong resume and good job history, I would absolutely chalk this up to a really awful situation. People don’t take leaving without a job lined up lightly, so you do know there’s more to the story. I give the benefit of the doubt in these situations.

      • Right. This is not to devalue an employer’s legitimate concerns about not wanting to hire a job hopper or someone who gets fired, but the reality is that employees hands really are tied sometimes. I’m also someone who was faced with the choice of sticking out an abusive work situation or risk having a gap. I chose to stick it out, and believe that was the right choice for me, but it was extremely difficult and flew in the face of all the advice of my mental health professionals and loved ones who don’t necessary get what the biglaw/legal market is like. And then in interviews I still had to pretend that my partners were The Best and I was just interested in New Opportunities. You just have to hope that people are decent and empathetic and can read between the lines, if necessary. I’ve found that lawyers who work in small firms who used to work in large firms– especially if they started those firms as spin offs– are very able to do this.

      • Please share what you told employers was your reason for wanting to leave? I was in a very similar situation, except I was pushed out before I could find a new job. I have a new job now but it was a struggle explaining why I no longer work there.

        • I am the Anon immediately below.

          One of the things I focus on is the red flags that I missed. It shows that I take some responsibility for the situation, but it also shows that this wasn’t just about me. (The turnover among women was insane.) I try to focus on HOW I left, i.e. communicated numerous times with HR to try to fix it, then, when that didn’t work, wrapped up big projects, gave plenty of notice, transitioned everything over, and then I could sleep through the night.

          Yep, everyone can find themselves in over the top work environments, but I try to focus on the fact that I handled it professionally. My gut feeling is that any company could find themselves with a terrible, harassing hire, and they want employees who would try to handle it professionally (even when they aren’t being treated that way by management).

    • Toxic workplaces happen. People unlucky enough to land in one don’t need to be screwed again for having left.

      That said, people who leave toxic workplaces can look a lot like people who are flaky or were asked to leave. So one of your first questions is if they are eligible for re-hire and if there are numerous colleagues who can attest to their work product and professionalism. I would also ask about general longevity in that particular department.

      During time off? I would want to see things that show responsibility, dedication, and that people respect them and their professionalism. All of those are the material items at issue – you want to know if this person made the smart decision to leave an insane environment, or if s/he is a flight risk, a bad hire, or the like.

      I quit without another job lined up because of what was basically a #metoo situation from hell and a deaf HR department that blamed me. I got published, ran a marathon, got on the board of a charity, coached a high school math team, and did a few other things. (To be honest, most of it was for my mental health – the situation was literally the worst thing I had ever been through, beating out cancer and sexual assault for ‘things that did a number on me.’)

      To that end, perhaps ask the candidate what other challenges s/he has been through and how work stacks up.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been in that situation and no one has ever cared what I did during my time spent unemployed.

    • Flats Only :

      Over the course of my career I have left a couple jobs without another one lined up, and always found another, better job within a few months, and then been very successful at that new job. I’m not sure why you consider that situation a “red flag”. Would you, as an employer, prefer that your employees mentally check out, and then make up fake doctors appointments and offsite meetings and generally sneak around while they look?

      • Flats Only :

        Sorry – I thought you were on the hiring committee, not asking a hypothetical. As I said, I’ve never had trouble finding a new job, and interviewers seem very satisfied when I say that I wanted to concentrate on my search without having to sneak around my prior employer’s back.

    • I wouldn’t really care to much about the gap as why you left.

      If you’ve been in a high-pressure job, a couple months off seems pretty reasonable to me. You could tell me you were a surf bum in Bali for two months and I wouldn’t bat an eye.

      • A friend did that. She quit, literally took a few months to write a novel, and then transitioned to public interest. She put it very matter of factly: “I decided that I wasn’t going to wholeheartedly pursue law firm partnership because my true goals were public interest, I had saved enough money, I talked it through with my practice group, transitioned my cases, and began my job search in earnest without having to balance a caseload with the job search.” She landed something quickly.

    • Yet another anon :

      I am not on the hiring committee but I just left a boutique and can tell you the variations of I said:
      “After X years, I realized that I wasn’t getting the type of experience that I wanted/ I wanted to get out of litigation/ I wanted to expand my practice/ I wanted to serve the public interest/ my career was not lining up with my personal goals (non-profits like this line)…”

      Leaving without another job lined up happens all the time. I am not kidding when I say that every gov agency and non-profit that I interviewed with had someone on the panel that did exactly this. These places are full of big-law refugees who know exactly how toxic many firms can be and they don’t bat an eye when someone else does it.

  9. Anonymous :

    Looking for recommendations for a great duffle bag. We’re going on safari for our honeymoon, and the charter flights between bush camps have very specific luggage requirements — soft-sided bags, no larger than 24 x 12 x 10 inches. We have a maximum of 33 lbs each for luggage, so we really can’t overpack. Any thoughts on a good bag?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      We recently got some for this exact purpose. We got the LL Bean Adventure Duffel, medium size, which was recommended on a couple of safari packing lists I found. It appears to be good and holds all my stuff, so I’m counting it as a success.

      • +1 to this bag. DH and I got them for our safari honeymoon as well 3 years ago, and have used them frequently since. They’ve held up very well, and fit a good amount inside.

    • Patagonia black hole duffle. Either the 45L or 60L. 45L is 20×12.5×9.5 and the 60L is 25x13x10. I’d probably do the 60L. They have backpack straps which can be nice for carrying it through the airport and are basically indestructible and shower proof (good if it rains during an airport transfer).

      • Not the OP, but it this sturdy enough to check? I was hoping to bring back a bottle of wine in checked luggage… can I do that with this bag or do I have to stick with my hard sided bag?

        • Yes, I’ve checked it and its fine. Remember to tuck the straps away though as those can get caught in the convey belt system. I’m not sure I’d do the wine because its just a soft duffel and if its at the bottom of stack of heavy suitcases it has no frame to prevent the contents from being crushed.

    • I’d check out the Lo&Sons duffel. I just took the small Catalina Deluxe on a 4-day business trip and I had SO much room left after I’d packed. I’d imagine the Large would be perfect for a longer trip, and I really loved the bottom separate compartment, I’m also ALL about the organizational features it has, and the memory foam strap was quite comfortable.
      https://www.loandsons.com/pages/catalina-deluxe-womens-weekender-travel-bag

      • I was looking at this one, and I’d love to buy it because of the organization you mention, but the dimensions won’t work — too square. If anyone has thoughts on bags that are longer/skinnier with similar features, that’s my ideal!

        • I think you definitely want something more rugged than the Lo & Sons. Bags will still get checked getting to your safari destination or in the hold / back cargo area of a small plane. What about one of these:

          https://www.ebags.com/product/victorinox/werks-traveler-50-wt-xl-weekender/292830?productid=10359055 (Don’t have this one but it has the drop bottom you liked)

          https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101?productid=10362789 (Have this one and have taken it on numerous trips, ugly but really functional).

          https://www.ebags.com/product/eagle-creek/expanse-hauler-duffel/342068?productid=10568880#productDescr

          https://www.ebags.com/product/patagonia/black-hole-mlc-45l/347862?productid=10582238

    • You might want to check that the travel company you are using is not providing a branded duffle. OAT does and I think a number of other companies do as well.

      • Thanks — I did check. We got a 60 page info packet about trip details, but no luggage forthcoming :(

    • Check out Tom Bihn!

      https://www.tombihn.com/products/aeronaut-45?variant=34039227783

  10. Mt Rushmore recommendations :

    Hello ladies!

    Do any of you have specific recommendations for a family (elementary school aged kids) trip to Mt. Rushmore?

    I know to avoid timing it to coincide with the bike rally in Sturgis.
    I have always wanted to drive through the Badlands.

    We are coming from the SEUS but have family in Sioux Falls (so we’ve talked about driving across S.D. together and stopping at the Corn Palace, but it’s probably just easier to meet up in Rapid City and fly into that airport, especially with probably just a week of time to play with).

    • Anonymous :

      It’s been a while, but there is also the Crazy Horse memorial and the Sioux museum that you shouldn’t miss. There’s definitely stuff to do, but I’m not sure if there’s enough to fill a whole week. If you do end up driving, the Lauren Ingalls Wilder homestead is in the eastern half of the state.

    • Just by the Moon Guide. It has all the suggestions you need. The area around Mt. Rushmore was absurdly touristy in a cute for kids/cowboys Disney sort of way. Mt. Rushmore was somewhat disappointing (but friends had warned me of that). I loved looking at the Bison. The Corn Palace is awesome. Nebraska is gorgeous. I would definitely go, but pick your time of year–summer can be extremely hot.

      • “Nebraska is gorgeous” – things I have heard nobody else say. And I say this as someone who has driven across the state countless times visiting relatives. Sure, the big sky (no trees) thing is nice, but it’s better executed in Western NoDak or Eastern MT.

        If you fly into Rapid City, consider spending a day or two in the North Dakota Badlands (Medora, Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park). I would argue that the NoDak badlands (called the Painted Badlands) are prettier than the SoDak ones. But both will be an awesome sight if you’ve never been.

        • Indiana here :

          Yeah… I’ve been to 48 US states and Nebraska is probably in the bottom 5 in terms of natural beauty. Omaha is a great city, but I would not drive across the state if you can possibly avoid it.

          • Agree… I have been to Nebraska and there is nothing to do or see there, unless I was missing something. The highlight of the my trip there was reading the advertisements for rent prices.

        • I’ll admit – most of my drives were via I-80, but I’ve driven through the Sand Hills to Valentine and still wasn’t terribly impressed. And what are you going to take OTHER than I-80? Are the State Roads really that much better?

          I mean, I get it – everyone looks at me nuts when I wax nostalgic about the barren beauty of Eastern MT. But I still wouldn’t rate NE higher than that, even outside of I-80.

          • I agree that a persons definition of “gorgeous” needs to include rolling hills, wind rustling through the fields, massive thunderheads, and lovely sunsets. Drives across Nebraska are long, so if the thought of being in a car for more than three hours sounds horrible, it’s not going to be very appealing.

            Like you, I’ve driven thousands of miles across the plains. There’s a certain delight of rural Americana that can make for some really lovely roadtrips. There are also endless miles of interstate built 20 miles off the historic US Highway that are absolutely awful, because there aren’t any towns. (I-80 between Des Moines and Omaha – I’m looking at you.)

          • Nebraska Jones :

            The state roads are far better than that. The Sand Hills to Valentine drive is as dull as the I-80 route. But if you get off onto the state roads in the western part of the state, like the 17/71 bypass, 385, etc., I think the countryside is majestic.

      • Nebraskan here. I-80 across Nebraska is not gorgeous. (But still better than eastern Colorado, IMO.) Other areas of the state are absolutely gorgeous. Just depends on your definition of gorgeous and where you are driving.

        The drive from Sioux Falls to Rapid City isn’t terrible – 5 hours on I-90 with very generous speed limits.

        Definitely plan to see Crazy Horse – I prefer it to Mt. Rushmore. There are a million and one tourist traps between Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore. Pick a couple and embrace the kitsch.

        Deadwood is really cool, Spearfish Canyon is a great drive, and the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park is always high on my list.

        • +1. Don’t base your assumptions on what you see along the Interstate.

          • So what route WOULD you suggest taking to get through NE in a reasonable amount of time and is more picturesque? If the point of the trip is to visit SoDak, and not Nebraska?

          • I don’t think their trips lends itself well to driving through Nebraska. If they wanted a taste of the sandhills, they could certainly drive on Hwy. 71 south as a day trip. Hwy. 12 on the north end of the state is a lovely, scenic drive, but it certainly isn’t fast. Hwy 2 through central Nebraska is a more scenic route through Omaha to the Black Hills if someone were looking to get off of I-80.

          • FWIW, if you’re ever driving between MSP and Omaha, I highly suggest the Hwy 169/Hwy 60 route through Mankato and Sioux City as a more scenic route than I-35/I-80. It’s only slightly slower, but such a pleasant drive.

    • Just buy the Moon Guide. It has all the suggestions you need. The area around Mt. Rushmore was absurdly touristy in a cute for kids/cowboys Disney sort of way. Mt. Rushmore was somewhat disappointing (but friends had warned me of that). I loved looking at the Bison. The Corn Palace is awesome. Nebraska is gorgeous. I would definitely go, but pick your time of year–summer can be extremely hot.

    • Candidate :

      My grandparents live in Rapid City, and I grew up going out to South Dakota almost every summer.

      Definitely visit Crazy Horse, and I recommend going there after Mount Rushmore to get a sense of how the two monuments compare. The Badlands are definitely worth a trip, and so is Custer State Park. If you can swing it, I highly recommend a stay in the Blue Bell Lodge, or at least stopping in there for dinner.

      The 1880 Train is fun, and I’ve always liked Deadwood, but you’ll have to strike a balance between kid and adult entertainment if you decide to visit there. Evans Plunge in Hot Springs is also a great day for a kid, it’s a natural hot spring they’ve built up to be a water park with lots of activities.

      • My grandparents were in Rapid City, too! Did you love Dinosaur Park as a kid?

        Ditto everyone on Crazy Horse.

        There are lots of family-friendly things to do in the Black Hills, including Reptile Gardens, Jewel Cave, Mammoth Site, and Devil’s Tower. I wouldn’t go all the way to North Dakota to see the badlands – that’s a long drive!

        • I miss Dinosaur Park! I would be able to climb so much higher now that I’m bigger. That was one of our favorite places to visit.

    • We stayed at Custer State Park and it was amazing. There were ranger-led activities there for the family, but the best thing was waking up in the morning and looking out the window at a herd of buffalo on the lawn. There are a few different hotels/lodges there. It’s a quick, easy drive between there and Mt. Rushmore.

    • Anonymous :

      Highly recommend booking a bad lands tour with GeoFunTrek. John the owner added so many valuable insights to what we were seeing. We started at the museum of minerals and mining where he explained the geological background. My kids got so much more out it than they would have if we just drove around aimlessly looking at the pretty rocks. For example the area was an ocean in prehistoric tmes and there are many aquatic fossils to see in addition to the amazing rock striations. I would never have known that.

  11. Anonymous :

    About two years ago, I was unexpectedly in a position to find a new job. It took six months, and I found a great one and I love it. Going six months without a paycheck and two months without insurance was very scary (I am the main earner in our home).

    Fast forward two years and my wonderful new job. They are laying off people in my department. Lots of people. I have survived two rounds of layoffs. I was the last one hired in my department and the layoffs seem targeted to much more senior/expensive staff.

    I have an informal interview on Thursday with a recruiter who connected with me literally the day after the last round of layoffs. I don’t want to interview. I don’t want to job search again. But I feel I have to. Do I tell the recruiter I am looking due to recent downsizing in my department? How do I put that?

    This whole situation really sucks. I love my job. I love my coworkers. I’m very anxious about additional layoffs and I can’t think straight. I am terrified it will take even longer to find a job again and the demoralizing job hunt two years ago is too recent in my mind. I work in a niche market and that doesn’t help.

    Please help me figure out how to frame that to a recruiter that I really don’t want to talk to.

    • I think the recruiter will get it. Just tell them there have been two rounds of lay offs and you’re concerned about job security. It’s a common enough issue that they will not bat an eye.

      This sucks, and I’m sorry you’re going through it. I hope it works out for you.

    • A recruiter worth her salt already knows about the layoffs and the call the day after the downsizing wouldn’t be coincidental. I don’t think you need to tiptoe around this at all. “I made it through two rounds of layoffs, but I can see the writing on the wall. I wasn’t looking to move, but the circumstances put me in this position. Your call comes at a good time. I’d be interested in options, especially if you can find me a job just like this one, and would appreciate your help because I don’t enjoy the search process.”

  12. InstaAnon :

    Following on from the comment earlier this week about a capsule wardrobe and the MM LaFleur Instagram, what Instagrams do you all like to follow for wardrobe, lifestyle, or just general inspiration?

    I particularly like for Lawyers’ Fashion for pretty and professional outfits, Kelsey Wells for fitness, Lauren Liess for home decoration, g.gcakraft for incredible Korean buttercream cake decorations, and Food52 for recipes (I have no personal connection to any of these). What others do you recommend?

    • For workwear inspiration, I love sushdp and bcrladinaj – both look stunning and have young kids, which is both inspiring and makes me feel bad about myself.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Oooh, thanks for the sushdp suggestion! Just followed her. I have never seen an Indian woman post what they wore on insta and it’s helpful to look at her outfits since we have the same coloring and both like bright colors.

        • Yeah, she looks fantastic.

          Do real people actually have that many different items of clothing?!?! It is just bewildering to me….

          • I sure don’t!

          • That’s exactly what I thought. I would have analysis paralysis if I had everything she’s got one one page in my closet. She looks great but cmon like 1% of people have that figure.

    • Sarah’s Real Life on insta. She’s a fashion attorney in a smaller market (Indy), which is interesting and cool. Clothes are a neat mix of bold/fashiony, and totally replicable in a “normal” workplace.

  13. Parent Healthcare Help :

    Let me preface by saying that DH and I are handling this jointly. I’m posing the question here only because I have access to this forum, so I hope I don’t get “just stay out of it” responses.

    MIL is recently and suddenly widowed at a young age (57). She has a history of mental illness, including serious depression and anxiety disorder. She relied heavily on now-deceased FIL. She has had a few in-patient stays while DH was in elementary and middle school. Beyond that, I don’t know how else to say it, but we (DH, SIL and I – and FIL before he died) believe MIL is addicted to doctors. She has a knack for and history of finding a doctor with a loose script and takes meds daily from a full gallon ziplock bag daily. Today it’s carpel tunnel, tomorrow it’s abdominal pain. Next week it’s something completely random. Sometimes these ailments lead to very, very expensive surgery which she always elects to do. FIL preferred to just appease her and pay for these treatments/procedures than put up with her constant complaints. Now FIL is gone, health insurance is horrible and resources are stretched extremely thin.

    MIL is a 2.5 hour plane ride away from DH and I. SIL permanently resides a continent away. How can we insert ourselves in her care? We want to make sure real ailments are being handled, and minimize costs of unnecessary appointments and scans (last week she had 4 scans that cost $1,000 out of pocket. The results of which were all effectively “stop smoking. lose weight”) as resources are extremely tight going forward. Her mental health is especially delicate since the death of my FIL, and our non-medically trained opinions are that she’s finding increased comfort in going to doctors to “take care of” her since FIL isn’t around any longer. She might be just pushy/nagging enough that current PCP is just appeasing her with scans and referrals to random specialists, but we don’t know. She literally has 6 appointments in the next 5 weeks with various new specialists for all sorts of random, unconnected things. She is also unable to articulate why she’s going to the various appointments or what the ailment du’jour is.

    Any ideas? Is this what a social or case worker does? Do we just need to be more physically present for some of these appointments? Resources are thin, health care costs are high and she cannot hold a job. Does her mental health status give us the benefit of any additional resources?

    • Edited: in-patient psychiatric stays

    • Not a doctor/psych, but wow, has anyone brought up Munchausen/factitious disorder for her before? https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9833-factitious-disorder-imposed-on-self-munchausen-syndrome

      • Anonymous :

        This was my first thought as well…
        OP, this is an incredibly fraught issue with no perfect solution because you can’t make her do anything, and I don’t think you should put yourselves in that position even if you could. It’s fraught enough that you may want to proactively work through it together with your husband in couple’s counseling. A good mental help professional may have knowledge and resources that will be useful for approaching MIL, and they can also help you two communicate safely about your options and possible outcomes.

    • Checkout the local agency on aging. They may have some less-expensive supports, esp if she is acting up based on just being lonely (and maybe some NPD thrown in there as well). Unless you sue for conservatorship, she’s still an adult who gets to make bad decisions (sadly).

      • +1

        She’s not senile and not in poor health so…unless you want to live with her (which I strongly recommend against) you have to let her make her own decisions.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I don’t feel like the option you want (you figure out a way to force her to make good decisions) is available here. If you feel like she is truly mentally incompetent, you can apply for a conservatorship, but that would involve taking over all her care and are you up to that?

    • Are you my SIL? We had pretty much this exact situation with my MIL. Things started to get better once she lost the ability to drive and couldn’t take herself to a zillion doctor’s appointments. This allowed one of her children who lived locally to accompany her to doctor’s appointments, establish a relationship with the PCP, and start coordinating the other doctors and cutting back on the meds. Since your MIL is younger and more mobile and your husband and his sister aren’t local, perhaps you could start by consulting a geriatric care manager.

    • This sounds difficult. Some mental illnesses cause people to believe they’re physically ill. Could that be the case here? Does she have a regular psychiatrist and therapist and do they know her about her physical health problems, stressors, etc? I think you could encourage her to get a psychiatrist/go to regular therapy/open up to these professionals in more detail if she hasn’t already. (Maybe even give them the inside scoop yourself without telling her since these people seem best positioned to truly help her.)

      That said, I’m unclear on the nature of the problem here. If she is finding doctors that give her diagnosis, medicines, treatments, surgery — surely they are finding some merit to her claims/symptoms, no? I think you’re right that someone should attend these appointments with her so that you can determine if she’s confused/being taken advantage of/manipulating them or what. What is the actual problem?

    • Does she have one doctor (primary care) that she continues to see and knows her well?

      Does she have a psychiatrist that she continues to see regularly? And a therapist?

      Those are the things she needs the most. And she needs support, and a few extra visits from her son during this period of transition. Encourage a widow’s support group. Agree with seeing if her local Department of Aging has a program that she is eligible for. The social worker often comes to the house, assesses the situation, and suggests available benefits. This visit might be more successful if it occurs while son is in town.

      What is her health insurance now? There are caps on out of pocket, and if she is low income, she is eligible for subsidized Obamacare plan.

      Son does need to get involved, since Mom is a widow. Time for a visit, now that paperwork for Dad’s passing needs to be sorted out. Perhaps he will be medical/financial POA? This can allow him to communicate with doctors, if needed. Perhaps she would be willing to have him accompany her to a primary care check up during his next visit, so he can figure out what is going on.

      Honestly, you guys really have no idea what is going on, so there is little you can conclude. Some of these things may be caused by her mental illness. Some may not. If she is not very healthy habit-wise at baseline, it is not uncommon for her to have a lot of simple ailments at her age and even take quite a few meds. And many a 55 year old woman (especially one with anxiety) has symptoms that are ignored by doctors that shouldn’t be….

      Everyone is different, and you have no idea.

      But son should not be paying for her medical care. She may make different choices if she has to pay for her care herself. You can also ask that if she wants something to paid for by son, that he be able to communicate with the doctors about what/why/alternatives etc…… And if she cannot afford her care, make sure she has the appropriate subsidized health care plan for her needs (ex. Obamacare with subsidy, medicaid). If she needs to be on disability because of her mental illness, you could assist her in applying.

      And it may be time to talk about where she should be living long term…

      I recommend looking for the NAMI organization in your area, and the family peer support group. You/your husband could attend.

    • Anonymous :

      Gently, what is the desired outcome? Keeping her solvent? Keeping her out off of medicaid? Keeping her healthy?

      Does DH have a close relationship with his mom? Does he believe if she becomes insolvent it’s his job to take her in until she dies? Does he (with his sister) feel like the default caregiver here? Has MIL asked for help of any kind (financial, rides to dr appts, etc)?

      Because depending on the relationship, I’d be inclined to let the chips fall where they fall here to a certain extent. MIL is pushing 60, she is very unlikely to change her ways. She doesn’t work and presumably hasn’t for some time– if FIL had life insurance, then she has some income. If he didn’t, well, perhaps it’s time for a conversation about how MIL will make it to social security age (a decade away!).

      My own mom has made some financial choices I don’t agree with, and has often dropped hints about moving in with me (the most stable and financially comfortable of all her children). I flat out told her no way (lovingly and politely).

      • Thanks. We honestly don’t even know what the desired outcome is apart from (1) she’s not moving in with us; (2) we don’t want her homeless. DH is close enough with her, but he also knows there needs to be a healthy distance given her co-dependent past. He’s very proud of his (our) independence from his parents, and while he loves his mom and wants to help her, he does not want to sacrifice what he’s established for himself to enable her further.

        In moments of clarity, she has expressed she’s very concerned she’ll be taken advantage of – either unwittingly sign paperwork someone puts in front of her or do something stupid with her money. As for the medical part of this, which is what prompted the post, we just want her comfortable and cared for, and ideally that care is purposeful and wouldn’t make her penniless. She’s really not a spendthrift by intention. She’s just (admittedly, at times) clueless and gets severe anxiety so does things without appropriate research and thought.

        She’s in a very LCOL area and the proceeds from the life policy, if managed/invested appropriately, should sustain her for 25-30 years (DH works is in this field and has consulted colleagues about investment options). For that reason, we’re likely to pursue an irrevocable trust for the deed to the house (mortgage free, thankfully) and the life proceeds. She’s ok with this in concept, and ok with receiving a monthly allowance for day-to-day living that DH would grant to her. FIL was already doing that for her, just in a different context. We’re ok with paying bills for her via online payment portals.

        Life is hard, man. I really appreciate the thoughtful responses. You’ve already given me a few different paths to explore and questions to ask.

        • Anonymous :

          If you know the name of her PCP, your husband could call and express his concerns. Her PCP won’t be able to provide your husband with information about MIL’s health, but it provide context to the situation that the PCP does not have which could assist in the PCP helping your MIL more effectively.

    • I don’t have any advice, but my sympathies. This is just like my mother. I feel a lot of guilt about it, but I am not able to assist financially and am also not available to assist with all her elective surgeries because I have to work. This has been going on since I was a senior in high school- I’m in my early 30s now.

  14. Speed Demon :

    Thanks to everyone who talked me through going to court for the speeding ticket. I went (early) and the prosecutor asked “When was the last time you got a speeding ticket?” and I stammered out “Uh… never?” and she gave a “gotcha” smile and said, “Well you just got one so that’s obviously not true.” And then I stammered some more and she said, “You weren’t going very fast, so I will let you off with a warning. You are free to go.” Because I am awkward, I asked for a receipt and she told me I didn’t need one so I left.

    I’m glad I went to court because it would have cost me ~200 otherwise if I’d just accepted it.

    I wish the whole process was more transparent though. On the ticket it says “If you want to plead not guilty go to court.” Well, I was guilty I just wanted a warning so I didn’t know what the right thing to do was, plus the cop that gave me the ticket put the speed at lower than what I was going (kind of, wink nudge cutting me a break). I’m fine with having a break but it makes things confusing when I’m used to following rules exactly (I work in a federally regulated industry) and there’s all these shady kinda sorta things going on. And the gotcha question! WHY. It just makes the whole court process seem like shades of gray, you gotta dress right and say the right things and it is confusing.

    Anyway, happy ending, thanks all!

    • lol you’re “used to following rules exactly” but clearly not since you were speeding and got caught? and the court process wasn’t clear enough for people who are, in fact, guilty but just want a break (after apparently already getting a break from the cop who wrote you the ticket)? alrighty, makes sense. glad you got it worked out.

      • Anonymous :

        Also you could have just paid the ticket!

        • Speed Demon :

          why would i do that? The ticket was $200 … I ended up paying $3 for parking.

          • Sigh….you are telling a lot about yourself by saying that.

            Because that’s being honest. A good citizen. I don’t want my tax dollars wasted on a court date for you to get out of paying for a ticket that you should have paid because you were guilty. You stole $197 + court costs from us, you know? From me. From my tax dollars.

            And the cop already lied for you by putting the wrong speed down.

            You should have a higher insurance rate because that’s appropriate if you are a Speed Demon, as you call yourself. Maybe you’re going to crash into me next time. Or you might have hit me if the cop didn’t stop you. You seem to have no remorse about the situation it seems.

            It is amazing to me how many people presume everyone acts like them. Has the same value system as them. Thinks they should try to (abuse/use) the system like they do.

      • We all know this isn’t how speeding laws or speeding tickets work. I find it stressful that there are speed limits which it is illegal to exceed yet unsafe to maintain. And as for the courts, they clearly want and encourage people to try to catch a break, since they’ve created a win/win situation for everyone involved so long as the speeder pleads not guilty.

        • It may not actually be illegal to exceed the speed limit in every case, depending on how the law in your state works.

          https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/traffic-tickets/speed-violations/texas-speeding-laws.htm

    • Anonymous :

      Some things are science. Going to court is art. It has a rhythm and a flow.

      • Speed Demon :

        This is a great description and thank you for this framing. HOPEFULLY will not need to repeat this experience!

    • Anonymous :

      Oh my gosh you must chill. This is exactly how all of us told you it would go!

    • “the prosecutor asked “When was the last time you got a speeding ticket?” and I stammered out “Uh… never?” and she gave a “gotcha” smile and said, “Well you just got one so that’s obviously not true.””

      I would have been tempted to reply: “You and I both know that’s not the way the English language works. Why don’t you try responding in a way that indicates you aren’t a fool?”

      • Anonymous :

        Lol. Ok. Good luck with that.

        • Anonymous :

          Yea, that’s a good way to get those points and fines you were hoping to avoid!

        • Yeah, did you miss where I said I would have been tempted, not where I would have? Or are you another person who has problems with how language works? :)

      • Anonymous :

        Going to court is an art. Don’t make it a science (in which case, you will get the max that is allowed, plus points, plus court costs).

      • Smarting off and name calling when you’re trying to get a break? Brilliant. Actually, I smell a troll.

        • Did you miss the word “tempted”? I smell someone who flunked reading comprehension.

        • Anonymous :

          I actually don’t think she’s a troll, but she has no clarity as why her thought processes are off.

          The world according to Trump I guess. Nothing should surprise me.

    • I really wasn’t going to pile on here… but I think it’s pretty hilarious that you think the system is shady when you were the one doing asking for the supposedly shady thing. The ticket said show up if you’re NOT GUILTY. You were guilty. That means don’t waste the court’s time (and taxpayer money) and just pay the ticket. Instead you show up, ask for a break, get what you asked for, and suddenly the SYSTEM is the shady one? Would you have preferred if they told you what the ticket said from the beginning – dude why are you here if you’re guilty go pay your fine?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Uh, the ticket says show up if you want to PLEAD not guilty. Which means show up if you want to put the People to their proof, not necessarily if you are factually innocent. Nothing shady about making the People prove their case, nothing shady about settling a case.

        • Senior Attorney :

          But I totally agree the OP needs to chill.

        • People don’t understand this. Look at how much disagreement there is in this thread. I was 100% raised to believe that to “plead not guilty” when I actually did the thing was against the law of the land and would send me to hell to boot. Since then, when I’ve tried to explain to friends and family that it’s actually okay to plead not guilty in situations like this, they’ve concluded that the entire system is dishonest and corrupt.

          • Anonymous :

            It kind of is, though. Someone with the social resources to actually show up to court, and look and speak like the sort of person the court is likely to give the benefit of a doubt to, is going to get breaks that other people (who likely need it more!) don’t. And feeling entitled to ask for a break is the essence of privilege. I’m not saying OP should have done anything differently, but that doesn’t mean the system isn’t also corrupt.

          • Right. This “court is an art” is really code for “you look like a nice white lady. Free to go”

          • I guess I see it as a step in social mobility to recognize that if it’s all a game, you may as well play to win? And then maybe it’s yet another step in social mobility to see yourself as potentially part of a solution, but I’m not sure that I want to put that burden on every, say, first gen college grad. But getting hung up on the corruption is putting more faith in the system than it deserves.

            In general, a lot of professional culture can seem entitled and privileged from the outside. I remember I didn’t write a thank you note the first time I interviewed for a job. I thought thanking someone for a job interview implied that they had interviewed me as a personal favor (thereby corrupting a fair hiring process). Or, worse, it could look like I was attempting to curry favor by $SSki$$ing. And all in writing!

            These opinions were totally standard in my family. Now they seem ridiculous to me, but it took time to wrap my mind around how professionals see themselves (i.e., as autonomous agents who own their time).

            I genuinely can’t tell from here if my working class family have just been beaten down into seeing themselves as cogs in a machine until they punch out at the end of the day, or if the professionals are kidding themselves that they haven’t shaped their lives and defined their identities around the needs of their employers. But I do think that a little entitlement and privilege, if you can scrounge some up from somewhere, can take you a lot farther than the attitude that you should plead guilty to speeding tickets on principle. Or maybe I’ve just sold out; I don’t know.

    • “I’m fine with having a break”

      Then what are you complaining about?

    • Court insider :

      I agree that OP should be grateful she got off with a warning, but she actually has a point. The court process is ridiculously confusing and is biased towards affluent, well-educated white people. There is so much discretion that can be exercised at so many points, and so often the result just depends on what kind of day the judge or prosecutor or officer is having, whether the officer bothers to show up, whether the judge has a pet issue, etc. Discretion is great when you are the one getting a break, but it doesn’t seem so nice when you don’t get a break and others do.

      Courts are also really bad at explaining the process to defendants. Oftentimes the defendant won’t get clear instructions on the exact amount owed or how and where to pay it. The defendant may have to request and pay for a copy of the paperwork proving that the charge was dismissed, or as happened in OP’s case the defendant may never get any paperwork at all.

      • Linda from HR :

        +1

      • +1

      • Speed Demon :

        Thank you, this is exactly my point.

      • Yeah, but you know who I care about not understanding byzantine processes? People who lack the resources to do so. Not the woman posting on this s!te who just felt like she shouldn’t have to pay the fine, even though she admits she was speeding.

        OP, that’s not the point you were making with your multiple long posts on this subject. You just came across as clueless and entitled.

        • I’m fairly certain that everyone from all walks of life (perhaps except for the privileged/sheltered person on this site) realizes that showing up for court gives you a better deal on a speeding ticket. This is kind of a very basic time vs. money as a Poor Person 101. But nice high horse speech.

          • Anonymous :

            No, I didn’t realize this. And I’d never do it if I was guilty.

            That’s the way I was brought up.

            When my disabled Dad’s accountant tried to give him “advice” on how to use all loopholes in the law to hide his money so that if he required Nursing Home care in the future he could qualify for Medicaid to cover his costs while his $$$ would be saved for his children’s inheritance…. do you know what his response was?

            No thanks. Someone’s got to pay. It might as well be me.

            So OP – thanks, but no thanks. It should have been you paying for your parking tickets and for the court time. Not all of us. But I sense you do not see that….

          • Getting tickets is a way of life in NY state, so maybe people in other areas don’t realize what a “game” it truly is. NY residents help a lot of people with a lot of things in NY via taxes/regs/fees, and sometimes, people need a little break. Getting your ticket reduced in court is a way for us with less money to get a leg up over those who are too rich to care to show up. We pay a little fine, and the state and local gov gets their piece, and the cops get a great job with great benes and stuff to do all day.

        • Also, tickets not reduced can raise your insurance significantly in NY, which is already the highest in the nation. Also, a couple-few mistakes (easy if you drive a lot) in a short period can have you lose your license or be subject to add’l fines.

    • Linda from HR :

      Honestly, I’m surprised you didn’t get a warning when they pulled you over, if it was the first time you were pulled over for speeding. I may have appealed the ticket for that reason alone. If the system was meant to be “perfect” and work a certain way in all cases, we could replace judges with computers, but we have judges so there can be a human to hear people out and make the final call.

      The thing about paying the fine is that even if you can afford it, the violation still goes on your record, but appealing it and turning the ticket into a warning takes it off, leaving you with something that’ll only be in the system for a month or so, so if you are a generally good driver, it’s worth it to appeal to a judge.

      • Speed Demon :

        Thanks, yeah I agree I would have “expected” a warning for my first offense and that’s why I appealed (or whatever the terminology is). I can see everyone’s point re: do the crime/time but I’m still glad I went down there and got my warning instead of paying in money, fines, points, and higher insurance etc.

        Thanks to everyone! :)

    • Speed demon,

      I would have respected you much more if you had just paid for your ticket.

      Do the crime, do the time.

      But of course, NOT following the directions of your ticket and wasting the court’s time trying to get off is the American Way.

      Totally agree that you come off very entitled and privileged and this turns my stomach a little.

      • Speed Demon :

        Yo, i don’t care how much you respect me.

        But: the cop could have given me a warning since he pulled up my driving history. He is the one wasting time. Clearly the court did not think I needed to pay so…? Your point?

        • You should probably just quit before you fall further behind.

        • Cop is under no obligation to give you a warning, regardless of driving history. Thinking so is a little entitled.

          I’m glad you got the result you wanted, but at least try to remember that you were technically in the wrong and don’t blame the cop for doing his job. This isn’t some triumph over the system.

        • Anonymous :

          cop didn’t mark down your actual speed and cut you a break which made it look to the prosecutor like you weren’t speeding as much as you actually were. If he’d written down your true speeding maybe the prosecutor would not have been so lentient.

          You should be so thankful for that cop. He’s the reason you got off as lightly as you did.

          But great that the lesson that you took away from this is that the system isn’t good even if you catch a break from both the cops and the prosecutors, vs. you know maybe the lesson being – don’t speed.

      • Anonymous :

        She did follow the directions. She wanted to “plead not guilty” to see what the outcome would be, so she showed up. It worked in her favor, as it does for many (but not all) others in this situation. I’m pretty flabbergasted by the responses here.

      • This is actually called “randomized draconianism” and is a documented problem. Instead of every single person who speeds getting a small fine, and possibly a small increase in their insurance, every single time, people can speed for years on end without a problem, then get smacked with a huge fine. Or we expect that some amount of speeding will not be punished, or the first time or two times, you’ll just get a warning.

        I don’t see a problem with someone saying, “Look, this problem is typically not punished to remotely the fullest extent of the law, but the law exists because some people are completely insane. I have a good record; please treat me the way most other people are treated.”

        The real solution is to fix the crazy system we have for enforcing traffic laws, not to berate the OP for getting pulled over once in twenty years.

    • Wow, I wonder how you get through life if you got this worked up over a speeding ticket.

      • Anonymous :

        There are a lot of meanies here today, and a suspiciously large number of people who precisely obey the speed limit 100% of the time. I don’t see any of those people driving on my local freeway. There also seem to be a lot commenters who didn’t pay attention in middle school social studies. Everyone has the right to plead not guilty and make the government prove its case. Due process, y’all.

        • I don’t obey the speed limit at all times, but when I’ve gotten a ticket (once), I’ve just paid the diversion fee or whatever option was offered to me because I WAS SPEEDING. I didn’t whine about it multiple times online because it was sooo confusing for me that there might be consequences to my actions, or because the prosecutor was a big fat meanie but gave me a break anyway. *eyeroll*

          • But this isn’t how the consequences of speeding work. Somebody’s catching a break. In some of the places I lived, the police just had a quota of tickets to hand out within a time frame. In the town where I live now, they’ll pull you over within 5 mph of the speed limit, so this isn’t just about “safety.”

            I would not be surprised if there were another quota for what happens at court (and also a deal worked out between the people who get money from the ticket fines vs. the lawyers who make money representing the people who plead “not guilty”). I don’t think that being the person who got the ticket and paid it is some kind of badge of honor that makes you better than the person who didn’t get the ticket or the person who wasn’t ultimately asked to pay it. Everyone knows what the normal traffic speed is on certain roads (i.e., above the limit), and it never changes. We’re not talking about reckless drivers breaking with traffic or flying down residential roads. It’s just a revenue stream, right?

          • Some courts don’t have an option for a “diversion fee” that enables it to all go away if you pay it and show up to driving school on a Saturday. Some courts make money off of the court fees and sending people to driving school. Some states assess points on your license and you get kicked in the pants in higher premiums.

  15. What would you do all day if you had little to do at work? And were able to work from home?

    This is pretty opposite to a lot of you, but it’s also pretty painful. I just got promoted, and I’m pregnant, and a major project just wrapped up. All of the current big projects are being given to another coworker, because my boss is trying to get him promoted to my level this year too. I strongly doubt my job is at risk (see: promotion, pregnancy). I’m typically a star performer.

    At work, I have almost nothing to do. Our office is extremely open (no net browsing) and it’s taboo to wear headphones (no podcast) I find myself opening documents and closing documents all day just to look like I’m actually working.

    On top of that, I work from home at least 2x/week. It’s mandated for everyone, as we don’t have enough seats at the office.

    So lately I’ve been home all day doing basically nothing. Since I’m preggo, my energy stores are pretty low. I nap a lot and watch Netflix, read a little and play with my dogs. It’s relaxing, but I’m bored. I have 6 months until maternity leave and then 5 months maternity. I’m already feeling like a blob.

    I know this is weird to complain about! But I feel pretty useless right now, and bored out of my mind. Ideas for what to do? And how to stay motivated at home to actually get dressed and do productive stuff like yoga and chores?

    • Anonymous :

      Marie Kondo cleanse your house?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the same situation, although I can get away with wasting time online because no one can see my computer unless they walk right behind me. I’m bored all the time. I always have an excel spreadsheet open so it looks like I’m doing something. I have no advice, just commiseration.

      You do have a baby coming though, and you’ll be insanely busy and exhausted, so enjoy resting while you can!

      • Linda from HR :

        Are you me? It’s so slow these days, I spend a lot of time here, on AAM, Lifehacker, Reddit, etc. but I set up my monitors to make me look like I’m doing something. I do try to do some tasks that might make my work easier when things get busy. I remind myself that just being here, ready to take on tasks as they come in, should anyone need me to work my “magic,” is sometimes enough.

    • Enjoy being home? Just check in a bit as you need to during the day? Read books, watch TV, cook a nice meal, whatever you enjoy doing at home? Forget productive stuff. We’re all so focused on that – enjoy a slow period, especially now.

    • Anonymous :

      What field are you in? If law, do an online CLE or start drafting a article for submission to an academic journal – great resume addition and nice accomplishment to point to.

      Otherwise, notes to file on all your major files so you know status when you return. If you’re only off for a three month leave, maybe meet with colleagues so you can understand how you’re going to be integrated into projects once you return and you can stay up to speed on those projects until you go.

    • Work from home more. Do some projects. When you’re at work, find some open access books to read on PDF. PDFs look more like work documents than an e-reader will.

    • I would speak to your boss about not making you leave before you leave. You have six months until you leave? So you just announced your pregnancy? Surely there is something for you to do. This merits a discussion with your boss, and if he or she does the, “Oh, I don’t want to burden you…” then you take it to HR. This is straight up discrimination. He’s not doing you a favor. He’s treating you differently because of your gender. This sort of thinking leads to mommy tracking–oh, Sue can’t be on that big project because she has a toddler.

      Don’t think that the guy he is trying to promote isn’t a threat to you. He is! Even if you’re more senior, even if you’ve always gotten great reviews–soon he will be your boss’s go-to guy, because you’ve been out of the picture for months and months.

      I get that being pg is hard, but you can stay a bit more present than this.

      In terms of concrete suggestions–reach out to another BU head and ask if he or she needs assistance. Try to spearhead a multidisciplinary, cross-unit project. Remember that thing that you always wished your company did or had? Get yourself organized, become an expert, and own it. I know that feeling bad leads to lack of inertia, but you can do this!

    • anon a mouse :

      Read career development/management books or journal articles.
      Research what the competition is doing.
      Brush up your resume (just in case).
      Start saving recipes to stock your freezer for post-baby.
      Any interest in taking up a hobby? (Knitting, cross stitch, etc?)

      … but honestly, napping and Netflix are two things that will be in short supply when you return to work after baby, so enjoy them while you can!

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      I could see trying to enjoy it if you were in your last few weeks before leave but 6 more months of this? Are you really going to have nothing to do until then? I would find that excruciating. Can you ask for some of the projects, i.e. tag-team them with your coworker? Or ask for other projects you could work on? It seems strange that they would be trying to off ramp you so early.

      • Yeah, it sounds like the end result of this is that between your pregnancy and maternity leave you will have not contributed meaningfully in any way for over a year. Combine that with the stigma of being a new mom, and that’s not a good thing to come back to.

        You especially want to add to your store of good will right before you go on mat leave because you’ll need the breathing room when you get back. I know how exhausting the first trimester can be, but trust me that it is nothing compared to the exhaustion of the first year.

        If I were you I would insist to play an active role in some of those bigger projects for the duration of your pre-mat leave time. Be possessive. Treat them and talk about them as if they are yours and that you’re only looping in that other guy so he can TEMPORARILY cover for you while you’re TEMPORARILY on leave.

    • Also, I would use this time to research personal finance and your financial goals now that you have a new baby on the way. How are your retirement accounts doing? Are you saving as much as you want to save? Do you have any debt to pay down? Do you have a will ready? If you truly have nothing to do at work, you can still be productive. I totally get the need to take some true downtime with Netflix and napping, especially with low energy, but in my experience, a few days of couch time turns me into an unproductive, frustrated slug.

      • anon a mouse :

        Also – think about what you’ll need to update your will and beneficiary forms after the baby arrives.

    • Enjoy the slow period – I’m not sure what industry you’re in and what the typical project cycle is, but since maternity leave is 6 months away, things might pick up yet. I agree it seems a little odd to be off-ramping you so early.

      In the meantime:
      – try and figure out what projects you could contribute to, or ask if there are any trainings you can attend (maybe external ones too – you could put together a list and budget)
      – read all the work-relevant things, including real paper books or journals
      – when working from home, go for long (or short!) walks with phone and sufficient brain cells for last-minute calls
      – do some meal prep if you have freezer space
      – go on lunch dates with your spouse (assuming you get a lunch break)

      Good luck!

    • Make a pot roast.

      Seriously though…when you are at home, maybe try to tackle one project per day or try to set up a schedule so you get dressed, eat breakfast, clean the kitchen and then start on some deep cleaning project. I would do stuff that I would not normally get to, like cleaning out the pantry or my closet.

      As it gets closer to your due date, maybe you could start making freezer meals.

  16. What do you do when your friend is treating you like her therapist, but it’s been going on for so many years without protest that it would be out of the blue to suddenly push back with “hey, stop.” This friend is also extremely hostile to suggestions that she get therapy (we have had fights about it before) and has specifically asked me and her other close friends not to suggest it. I was happy to be there as a listening ear when she was going through a loss, but now she wants to obsess (and I do mean obsess) about whether she’s gained weight and whether she should diet and when should she diet and how she should diet and how it’s so hard and upsetting and how she just doesn’t want to be fat. I just can’t do this diet talk anymore and I’m not sure how to start this conversation.

    • Anonymous :

      Phase it in. “Ok enough diet talk for tonight! Have you seen the new Rowan’s?”

      Phase Two “sorry, I get that you’re really struggling with this but I can’t keep listening to you going around in circles every time we talk.”

      Phase theee “okay gotta run bye!”

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve tried this.

        And then I get #4 back at me: YOU are never supportive. You are making this all about YOU and what YOU WANT. [etc. etc. drama drama]

        Some people are just awful like this.

        • Anonymous :

          Then you hang up and stop taking their calls.

          • +1 – this person isn’t interested in being your friend.

            Also, my response (if I could think about in the moment) would have been “Are you kidding me? We have literally been talking about all the things YOU want to talk about. I’m telling you I’m not interested in discussing YOUR topic to death. I tired of making this relationship all about YOU. Why is it okay to make this relationship all about YOU, but never talk about my things?

            But let’s be real, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with that on the fly.

          • I wish it were a friend / “friend”

            I get it with my sole sibling

        • Then you end the friendship, I think.

      • Linda from HR :

        I agree with this! I’ve probably put friends in that position without knowing it before, especially when I was younger, and it would have been super helpful to hear “hey, I can’t really talk about this right now” or “I’ve heard just about all I can about that, is there someone else you can talk to about it?”

    • Anonymous :

      Could you start by addressing just this instance rather than the years of behavior? I mean just shutting down the diet talk. Then, it wouldn’t seem out of the blue like you said. And maybe setting this boundary would make it easier to set other boundaries. I would try something fairly direct – something like, “I really don’t like diet and weight talk. Can we talk about something else?” or “I find it really stressful to talk about this topic” or whatever you find comfortable. Set one firm boundary and see how she reacts and how you feel.

      • Technically, she does know I don’t want to engage in diet talk anymore. We’ve had conversations about how it’s toxic for women, such a waste of time, how it’s a shame she and I obsessed so much about our bodies as teenagers, etc., but it seems like her memory of those conversations flies right out the window the second she feels fat. I guess my problem is how to set a boundary when she’s already in the toxic thought spiral.

        • Ah, yeah, that $ucks. If I were in your shoes, I’d use the patented Carolyn Hax boundary setting. If it’s in person, keep shutting the down the conversation, then leave if she doesn’t stop talking about it. If it’s on the phone, say, “I’m going to go now.” If she chooses her ability to talk about dieting over having you as a friend that reflects more on her than you IMHO.

          This kind of stuff is really hard.

        • You need to just use your words! “Hey I’m gonna cut you off here, ya know diet talk stresses me out.”

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Technically knowing may not transfer over to concrete “This is what Anon means by toxic diet talk. This is something she doesn’t want to hear.” It’s easy to rail against “the system” or “the patriarchy” or “toxic body talk” in a theoretical sense but when it comes down to it it can be really hard to recognize that what you’re doing is part of the system or is an indicator of the patriarchy or is what you meant when you talked about toxic body talk. “It sounds like you’re thinking a lot about your body “should” look like, and I think all bodies are beautiful. Engaging with you about how you want to change your body makes me feel insincere because I am so committed to bringing about a culture shift around women’s perceptions of bodies and social worth. Let’s talk about something else.” its not perfect but I think it connects the now (her body talk) to the theoretical (let’s not body shame!)

        • It sounds like you’re sending mixed messages here. You’ve told her you don’t want to do diet talk, but then you indulge her and do some of it. I think you really need to take a firm line here and not engage in diet talk at all. It will be tough, and may piss her off (at least in the short term) but the alternative is the end of the friendship as you slowly withdraw.

    • Why are you friends with this person? It doesn’t sound like either of you is a very good friend to the other. Her for obvious reasons. But you’ve also apparently pressed her on therapy enough times to get in fights with her about it and for her to specifically tell you, do not suggest therapy? I don’t fault you for suggesting it – once – but you gotta let it go after that one time.

      In any event, no you’re not foreclosed from pushing back on her. The loss situation was totally different so it’s not even a consideration. It’s ok to tell someone, this isn’t a topic I want to talk about anymore.

    • The thing about boundary setting is, you are the one who has to enforce them. It sounds like you have told your friend you don’t want to discuss this topic, and she is not respecting that. That’s rude of her. But if you want her to respect it, you’re going to have to be more firm. Shut down the conversation. When she uses blame words at you, tell her you’re sorry she feels that way, but you will not change your mind about this. She’ll either get over it or she won’t. But if this boundary is important to you, you have to enforce it. That might mean accepting that enforcing it will cause upset or potentially even change the character of this friendship for awhile. There’s no magic way to enforce a boundary with someone who isn’t respecting you without upsetting that person though. You have to accept that they will be upset and be OK with that if it’s important to you.

    • She can’t or won’t stop. You need to enforce your boundary. You can be nice about it, but if you need the diet talk to stop, you need to make it stop (not by fighting, but by politely expressing your need, changing the subject, and then hanging up/walking away if your need is not respected).

  17. This dress is gorgeous! What would you wear as a topper that wouldn’t add bulk with the front knot?

  18. I’m looking for insight and advice. Do you think that it is possible for each partner in a relationship to pursue their careers to the fullest, or does one partner’s career have to cater to the other partner’s career in the interest of taking care of children? In my situation, I am in a serious relationship and we are talking about marriage and definitely want kids. I really enjoy my position as an associate attorney. My partner is self-employed, and his role requires him to travel throughout the year and have meetings after 5 PM. I know that if I marry this guy, I will always be the one who has to leave work early to pick up kids from daycare, doctor’s appointments, etc. I guess I’m looking 5 years into the future and it feels a little overwhelming.

    • As a parent, it is simply not possible to go all in on a demanding job without a stay-home spouse or more than 40 hours a week of nanny coverage plus additional household help (maid service, etc.). Either one partner can step way back to take care of the kid stuff and the other can go all in, or both partners can pull back somewhat. Trying to be the one with the flexible schedule and crush it at a demanding job at the same time is a recipe for constant stress, burnout, and misery. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. There are only so many hours in the day.

      • I think it’s very extreme to suggest that you can’t have a job without a full time nanny and household help. The majority of working Americans don’t live that way.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          You can have a job! That’s different from “go all in on a demanding job.”

        • The majority of working Americans don’t have demanding, competitive careers. Outsourcing some household work and childcare absolutely helps.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Not really the point of this thread but I think it’s worth noting that ‘the majority of working Americans’ DO have demanding jobs. In all honesty, my hard-to-reach, ‘prestigious’ in house legal job is much less demanding and much more secure than say, foodservice.

          • Thanks for adding this. Food service is absolutely much harder than 99% of white collar jobs, and it also makes extreme (and in some cases inhumane) demands on people’s time. And a lot of the parents in food service I know do get help with kids from family or from their community.

            I was thinking more specifically of the demands of the career path and whether competition could sideline you out of a certain job or even out of the entire profession. For example, it’s hard for me to imagine a good food service professional wringing their hands over how to explain a gap in their resume in the same way as in today’s thread.

        • Nice straw man. But that’s not what she said at all.

      • This paragraph is absurd. It is done all the time. Holy elitist dribble…

    • Well, obviously concessions have to be made when there’s children in the picture, but that’s exactly why there are so few women execs, CEOs, senior attorneys…because unfortunately by default the burden is placed on the mom.

    • Have you talked to him about it, or you’re just assuming he’ll stay on the same career track and you’ll pick up the kids slack? If you’re considering marriage, then be up front about what you see that marriage (with kids) being like, in an ideal world.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yeah, even if it’s true that there has to be a compromise … don’t assume that it has to be your compromise. Talk it out (and don’t marry him if you don’t agree about how to deal with this!).

    • Depending on your industries, pay scales, and stability of your jobs, it may be far better for your SO’s career to take a backseat to yours. From a household perspective, having your stable, well-paying job that enables you to be home to see the kids on a regular basis is far better than your career taking a hit so that his can take off – and then he never gets to see the kids and you don’t have the regular paycheck and benefits from your job.

    • The Atlantic had an article about this a few months ago. Unfortunately, I think the conclusion was that at least one person needs to lean out. However, you can hire help. I’d recommend poking through the Week in the Life series on the moms blog to get a feel of how moms deal with balancing work and family obligations.

    • The advice I have been given has always been:

      1) Don’t borrow trouble, you’ll figure it out when the problem comes upon you. He may take more stable employment in the future, you may decide you don’t want to be a partner. No one’s career trajectory is linear, see where life takes you.

      2) You can have it all, just usually not all at once. Neither of you has to completely take a step back, just pump the brakes here and there as life depends on it.

      3) If you have the resources, throw money at it. Grandparents, siblings, nannies, afterschool care, and weekend doctor appointments are there for a reason. Tons of people do this and can and do adjust.

    • If you’re a lawyer and he’s got a business, hire help. Make that investment in your career and future earning potential.

      • Ps – great article on the benefits for kids of having a working Mom: https://hbr.org/2018/04/what-i-learned-about-working-parenthood-after-my-kids-grew-up?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

      • This

        Also, I see a lot of guy business owners doing a lot of work b/c they get to set a lot of their calendar. They may travel and have late meetings sometimes, but they are able to pitch in more that regular office drones when they do.

        If you have kids with this guy, you both decide how you handle this. It shouldn’t just be on you (i.e., no guys attorneys that I know assume 100% of the childcare burdens if they have a working spouse).

      • This is a good idea in theory but the help will call in sick, need to take vacation, etc. Good nannies aren’t available everywhere and daycares close fairly early and result in a lot of sick days. Unless you have local family in good health with lots of free time who can serve as backup to the backup, it’s really hard not to have kids affect your career. If her husband is traveling a lot, more of the burden will fall on her. I wouldn’t have kids with him unless you’re ok with that.

        • So I have quite a few friends making the dual power career work. You hire a lot of help and backup help. They have nannies (yes, sometimes plural to deal with the sick issue), live-in au pairs, backup day care. They’re also at companies and firms that focus on output and don’t care where work gets done so they work at home in worst case scenarios. Yes, this is a rich people solution, but it sounds like OP is in that demographic and it can work without her career coming in second. All the spouses in these situations view both of their careers as equally important, too. That’s critical.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This this this. Throw All The Money at it in the early years: Nannies, second-shift nannies, backup nannies. And yes, make your husband step up and handle as much as he can.

        And yes to Anon at 11:01 a.m. below about putting the kids to bed and then working into the night. You will be tired but the childhood years aren’t forever and you will have a career when they’re over and your kids will think you’re amazing (which you are).

        • “putting the kids to bed and then working into the night”: You might end up with a career and kids who think you’re amazing. Or you might end up like me, underperforming at work because of sleep deprivation, with a family that complains because you stay up late and don’t spend all your time with them and don’t get everything done around the house invisibly and don’t make more money.

    • It can be done but there are trade offs (less time with your kids and less sleep for both of you) that you may or may not be willing to make. You need a fantastic and reliable support team that will cost quite a bit of money.

      I’m in biglaw and up for partner this year. My husband has an equally demanding job that involves significant travel. I go home and put kids to bed during the week and then am often up working until 1am. Back up at 5:30am to work out and get kids out the door to school. Husband is often gone for the week traveling but shoulders a heavy load on the weekend (including all meal planning and grocery shopping). We have been doing this for 5+ years so I can tell you it can be done but I’m not sure it’s long-long-term sustainable. We had kids young (#1 when I was a third year) and both of us weren’t ready to step back.

      Kind of standard advice but don’t count yourself out or think it’s impossible until you get there and live it.

      • Diana Barry :

        Also read “Drop the Ball”. It details a lot of that emotional-labor stuff and who is responsible for doing everything.

        FWIW, I couldn’t sleep 5 hours a night, so I stepped out of BigLaw when our first was born and now I work 80% at a smaller firm. I am occasionally frustrated at the low pay (I took a 60% pay cut) but am really glad to still be working and doing interesting stuff.

        • Frozen Peach :

          Seconding Drop the Ball. Bringing up Bebe, Why Have Kids, and All Joy and No Fun were also helpful to us in discussing these issues before/after we became parents.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I suggest looking at the mom’s s i t e for examples of how this works for others. There is a series over there where they do a week in the life of a working mom, and it talks about their specific schedules, what their spouse does and their spouse’s schedule, childcare systems, etc. There are plenty– PLENTY– of couples where both parents have a full, busy career and have children. Can both parents work 80 hour weeks? Probably not. But can both parent have fulfilling careers? Yes. And I can personally attest that one career does not have to take priority over the other spouse’s career if both parents do their share.

    • I think you’re getting a little too into the weeds. I mean it’s good to think though logistics, but like you said it’s 5 years away, a lot can change. At this point, your conversations with your partner should be more focused on whether this is the guy you want to coparent with – whether he thinks it’s important for him to be an equal partner and parent, whether he assumes that he doesn’t have to change anything about his life post-kids because that’s what women are for, whether he’s thought through the kinds of things that you’re thinking through right now. I think you should focus your energy on feeling out his thoughts on these things – or making sure he’s thinking about what it actually means to have kids, which unfortunately a lot of men don’t – rather than figuring out who’s doing daycare pickup 5 years from now.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This is a good point. When I met my husband, I had no idea what job I would have if/when we wanted to have kids. No idea what job he would have. I certainly didn’t expect we would live in PlaceA or PlaceB and never would have considered PlaceC… but here we are!

        But I knew he cooked and cleaned. He was respectful and admiring when he talked about his single mom working 12-hour nursing shifts. I watched him glow with pride in me as I hit professional milestones. He bought groceries. I listened carefully to how he talked about how his brother and SIL were navigating working and raising kids. I watched how he wiped his nephew’s nose, in addition to playing with him. He encouraged me to delay [professional thing] to prioritize [family thing] when no one else even thought of it. I noticed his patience while I studied for the bar. We talked about what family meant to him, what it meant to me, how we imagined our lives looking — not in terms of “I’ll work 9-5 and you’ll work evenings” or whatever, but in terms of how we valued work in relation to family, how we imagined our identities in those contexts, etc.

        I think if your values align, if you trust his kindness and generosity, if you know he’s the kind of man you want to co-parent with… then the details are something you can work out when you get there.

        • Yes. The real question is: does this guy really think, way down in his bones, that you are a person equal to him, whose needs and desires are just as important as his? If so, you will figure it out as you go. It will be hard and involve sacrifices on both of your parts, and it may not look like what you imagine right now, but it will be what feels right in the moment.

          A surprising number of guys, though, fail that test. When push comes to shove, they reveal that they think their career/sleep/exercise/whatever is more important than those of their partner. And that guy, you do not want to have kids with, no matter what promises he makes right now.

          • So much this. Some guys truly want to be a 50-50 parent who is wants to do the same number of pick-ups, handle the same number of chores, be present for their kids, etc. regardless of their career success/pedigree/earning potential. Some guys just don’t. If you are married to a guy who will pitch-in and do the work without feeling resentment about you working late, not being able to cook because you are working on a deadline, etc. then you have a keeper.

    • Do I think it’s technically possible? Yes, definitely. Do I (personally) think it is remotely enjoyable? No. Because when you have kids, you actually *want* to spend time with them. And on top of that we are living in a culture that tells you that you are not being a “good” mom if you aren’t hyper involved in every aspect of your kid’s life. And if you’re here, it’s because you enjoy being good at things. Up until now, it’s been your job. Once you have a kid you’ll want to be good at that too. To be “good” at both typically requires some level of compromise– some will be easy, others difficult. And there is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty along the way.

      I don’t think that just because you’re not pursuing your career “to the fullest” (defined here as ladder climbing all the way to the top while working a ton of overtime while sacrificing everything else in your life?) you can’t have a good happy career though. And your perspective of what is “good” may change over time whether or not you have kids. All kinds of things can make you change your mind about what you value– health scares, grief, burnout, just getting older in general, or new experiences.

      I think it’s definitely worth discussing of course, but some of it is hard to understand until you are actually experiencing it.

    • I agree with the others about not borrowing trouble or leaning out until you are there, see the situation and can make informed decisions. No two couples, careers, kids are the same, so there is not a single, works for everyone answer. Its also not all or nothing. It does not have to be that one person’s career is subservient to the other’s. There may be days or weeks where one partner has to travel or work longer hours, but a great partnership will talk about this stuff openly, all the time and figure out solutions together. That solution may be hiring a nanny or au pair or both. It may not be easy, but it can be done. Also, the years where you need 40+ hours of care are limited. DH and I both have “demanding careers,” and have gone all in at the same time with kids.

    • At the risk of being irrelevant but perhaps relevant by contrast. I just went to an intense teamworking/conference event that took me away from family for four nights. Every day was packed to the nines with meetings, problem solving sessions, trainings, and networking dinners and drinks. And still I came home refreshed. Because – I didn’t have to watch the kid, or cook a single night, or clean, or do shopping, laundry, kid bath, nighttime story etc. I managed to go to the gym twice a day (morning and before dinner) for about 20 minutes each (and I lost 3 lbs with this minimal exercise). So, in my opinion, having a very intense job (probably 14 hours each day with the team) is still easier than being a household manager and a mom with my normal medium intense job. I do not think it’s possible to be Mom and work the very intense job, unless you make $$$$$ and can outsource everything (but why have a kid if you will never see them?).

      What you probably wanted to hear is “yes! I am a super successful full throttle career person and so is my husband, and we have three kids and still manage to do everything!” But that’s just not realistic. The sooner you come to terms with it, the happier you will be in your marriage and life in general. We put ridiculous expectations of achievement onto ourselves and then feel guilty for failing to do all of that. Just remember that no one actually lives the lives your “friends” are posting (rich! successful! great careers for husband AND wife! many happy kids! immaculate house! international travel!). They sometimes do all that, and then they wallow and fight and don’t post that part of their life. There is no medal for getting stuck in the guilt-induced-mania-burnout cycle.

    • I disagree with the advice to not borrow tomorrow’s trouble. I think you need to talk with him and find out where he stands. It all comes down to priorities and what each of you want. If he willing to make less money and not take on every client if it means helping you and being a good partner or does he want a stay at home wife? What is he willing and not willingness to do? My most recent relationship ended in part because I always knew I would come second to his career and have to shoulder the responsibility of raising kids and doing all the grunt work that comes along with it. You need to establish your priorities and make sure you are both on the same page. Otherwise, move on.

    • Yeah, you need to parse out here the question of “is this theoretically possible,” vs. “is this potentially possible in a relationship with this guy.” Sounds like step 1 is to figure out what your relationship can sustain.

  19. For anyone interested, I found some dupes at much lower price points (since my experience / consensus for some seems to be that MM.Lafleur is overpriced for the quality. Links to follow.

    • https://www.kohls.com/product/prd-3301088/womens-chaps-twist-front-sheath-dress.jsp?ci_mcc=ci&utm_campaign=CHAPS%20DRESSESS&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=google&utm_product=18033949&CID=shopping15&utm_campaignid=196833452&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIztOmtf_D2gIViIWzCh3J9AQXEAQYCCABEgKA-_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COXa5L3_w9oCFU86TwodY7sH5Q

    • https://www.macys.com/shop/product/anne-klein-printed-side-twist-sheath-dress?ID=4922647&pla_country=US&CAGPSPN=pla&CAWELAID=120156340017426777&CAAGID=15321443221&CATCI=pla-445779322477&cm_mmc=Google_Womens_PLA-_-RTW+Womens_Women’s+Dresses+-+GS_Anne+Klein-_-66679497901-_-pg1980122_c_kclickid_b631c22d-cc20-434b-9707-3f470f45681e&trackingid=424×1980122&catargetid=120156340018370609&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIztOmtf_D2gIViIWzCh3J9AQXEAQYDiABEgLvpfD_BwE

    • https://www.macys.com/shop/product/i.n.c.-twist-front-sheath-dress-created-for-macys?ID=5386036&CategoryID=5449&tdp=cm_app~zMCOM-NAVAPP~xcm_zone~zPDP_ZONE_A~xcm_choiceId~zcidM05MAS-932d0b24-5716-4d02-9690-ff559305cb43%40H7%40customers%2Balso%2Bshopped%245449%245386036~xcm_pos~zPos1

    • Plus size: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/leota-twist-front-jersey-dress-plus-size/4587661?country=US¤cy=USD&cm_mmc=google-_-shopping_ret-_-745687890-_-41689514049_b631c22d-cc20-434b-9707-3f470f45681e&cm_mmca1=pla-18283950120_12177690&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIp6LA2IHE2gIVG4ezCh25dwDVEAQYGyABEgL02_D_BwE

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do you have any insights on how the INC one fits?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have this and look awesome in it — recommended. Waiting for the black to be in stock in my size.

      https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=198425012

  20. Legally Brunette :

    Of Mercer has an almost exact dupe of this dress, I believe in the same color.

  21. Plus size: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/leota-twist-front-jersey-dress-plus-size/4587661?country=US&currency=USD&cm_mmc=google-_-shopping_ret-_-745687890-_-41689514049_b631c22d-cc20-434b-9707-3f470f45681e&cm_mmca1=pla-18283950120_12177690&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIp6LA2IHE2gIVG4ezCh25dwDVEAQYGyABEgL02_D_BwE

  22. denim/chambray shirt recommendations :

    Looking for something looser fit and lightweight (i.e. nothing too fitted or thick denim) to wear primarily with shorts this summer. Recommendations? Thanks!

    • Following. I recently tried on one from AG and it was heaven but I really don’t want to spend $180 on a denim shirt. Please save me from myself.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      My Old Navy has a lot of options like this right now, including one with an adorable pineapple-and-avocado print (although that ones on clearance so sizing is hit-or-miss).

    • I got one from JCrew Factory last year that I like a lot.

    • Banana Republic has a bunch:

      https://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=1056194&pcid=5037&vid=1&pid=328436003

      https://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=1056194&pcid=5037&vid=1&pid=348955003

      https://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=1056194&pcid=5037&vid=1&pid=348952003

      (and a couple weird ones.)

    • American Eagle actually has one right now, if you’re looking for something cheaper!

  23. Detroit Recs :

    All, I am happily spending one week on business away from my family. I am staying in the Birmingham area (which is north of Detroit). Any suggestions on places to eat in Birmingham and Downtown?

    Also, I did some online searching and didn’t find a Korean Day Spa (like the ones we have in LA). Any places that have a great heated wet and dry sauna?

    • My favorite restaurant in Detroit is Green Dot Stables. The whole menu is sliders and slides, everything is $4 or less (including most of the cocktails). Just a really great local place and I go there more often than I should admit.

      I also would highly suggest you visit the Detroit Institute of Arts. One of my favorite places, ever.

    • In Birmingham, Phoenicia for Mediterranean food – but it’s usually really crowded – and Social Kitchen for casual/bar food.

      In Detroit, Kuzzo’s for chicken and waffles and Slow’s for barbecue are classics. Oh, and Buddy’s (locations around Metro Detroit) for Detroit-style pizza. Wright and Company, says my hipster colleague. Baker’s Keyboard Lounge (Detroit institution) for soul food.

      • Also, if you like Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food, come to Dearborn (just west of Detroit) – La Pita, Al Ameer, Habib’s.

    • Toast is a good breakfast/brunch spot. Hyde Park is a steakhouse with great burgers and eating at the bar there is a good solo option.

      I like Mad Hatter – it’s a little jewel box of a restaurant that’s decorated in an Alice in Wonderland theme. Good cocktails, decent food.

      Second Social, and the rooftop is fun if spring arrives by the time you’re here.

      Just south of Birmingham is Vinsetta Garage. It’s a former garage that’s now a restaurant. It’s a neat place for the Motor City connection.

      Also second the rec for Green Dot Stables. So inexpensive!

      HopCat in Detroit or in Royal Oak (next town south of Birmingham – easy to Uber/Lyft to) is pretty popular, too. Great craft beer selection and the Crack Fries are amazing.

  24. I have a question re business development and managing your workload. How do you make time for everything? Examples of schedules would be really helpful. I’m trying to spend more time generating business/networking but I’m struggling a bit on how to make this intentional and a regular part of my life, instead of one-off events.

    Thanks all!

  25. cotton year :

    DH’s and my second wedding anniversary is this weekend, and I’m giftless. I’ve totally let the month get away from me. Any suggestions? Would love to stick to cotton, since that’s the traditional Year Two gift, but a shirt and tie seems awfully boring (but maybe the easiest route at this point). And I can deviate from the cotton theme if there’s a better gift. We’re in DC, if anyone has great experience gifts. DH is an amateur cook and foodie, loves beer and books, and is generally a wonderful human being but fantastically difficult to shop for. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • Linda from HR :

      Hmm . . . this may be a stupid question, but are there chef’s aprons made of cotton? Oven mitts with cotton in them? I’m thinking there’s got to be something kitchen-related that could “fit” in the cotton category, since he likes to cook. Pajamas, or a nice robe? I think if you’re sticking to tradition, something simple and practical with a hint of sentiment is just fine!

      • I like this idea. You could also add a cookbook, mitts, etc.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        I have a Dickies apron that I love, and which would be great for a man. Cotton, solid color (mine’s orange) It’s a great apron!

    • I got my DH monogrammed handkerchiefs for our 2-year ‘cotton’ anniversary and they were a (surprisingly) big hit.

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      Can “cotton rag” as in paper suffice? If so … maps, books, a framed piece of art (on cotton rag) … monogrammed stationery …great towels (although you probably have from your wedding…)

      cotton hoodie/sweats from alma mater

      Congratulations!

      • Cotton & Reed is a local rum distillery, right in DC’s Union Market. It’s a fun place for a date (they have tours and serve delicious cocktails at their rum bar), or their spirits are available in several local purveyors.

    • Clementine :

      A nice bathrobe (shockingly popular with my husband), a (cotton) tote bag filled with a bottle of wine, baguette, and some amazing cheese?

      I’m also on team ‘replacement Alma Mater hoodie’ as my husband’s is now… I don’t actually think we can legally call it ‘clothing’ anymore. More like ‘cotton-based body covering system’.

      • (I think my other comment went into moderation because of the word c-tail) Cotton & Reed is a DC rum distillery, right in Union Market. It’s a fun place for a date. They have tours and sell tasty drinks, or you can buy their products at any number of shops that sell adult beverages.

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about some fantastic cotton sheets?

      Or… this is silly but would he like a cotton candy maker?

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      if cotton = paper, what about real tickets to a local event? Tickets = paper.

    • Follow the anniversary gift theme very loosely: take him to Cotton and Reed for a tasting or go to a boardwalk-type place for cotton candy.

  26. Please help me not kill my boss. I work in a tiny office and I sit right beside her office so I can hear everything she does. She eats constantly. She has 2 lunches and lots of snacks. I have horrible misophonia when it comes to eating noises. All day long she’s slurping, chewing, clanging or scraping with her fork or spoon, clearing her throat, wiping her nose. It makes my skin crawl. I put on headphones but she doesn’t like that because then I can’t hear her when she calls my name 50 times a day. Aghhhh!!!

    • Maybe she has horrible something-else-medical-official that demands that she eats all day.

      Who gets to win in that situation?

      Get a small white noise machine or fan and press on. You can do it!

      • I’m positive she doesn’t. She just gets hungry at 10am so she eats half her lunch and then eats the rest at like 2.

        • “Just gets hungry” or has poor blood sugar control? I think you are letting your misophonia become misanthropy.

          • Oh lord, calm down. I’m just explaining that she eats many times a day which is why the noises are so bad. They’re constant.

          • There must gross eaters here who know it and refuse to change. I got similarly harsh responses when I complained about a similarly grotesque office mate a few months ago. They moved my desk… but people here continue to play armchair psychologist to excuse themselves.

            White noise machine? Claim you’re distractable and require the headphones to concentrate? Claim you’re sensitive to food smells and can’t have them in your shared space and hope she eats in your break room? Keep your fingers crossed they reorg your office like mine before you commit homicide?

        • So? It’s not that weird to eat two smaller meals instead of one big lunch. You need to get over this.

        • So what?

          I sense you might be combining your annoyance at her for her not great boss habits (the seating arrangement, the yelling for you) with a completely harmless and frankly none of your business habit of hers. It’s not productive. Venting is necessary to a point, but you’re just whining now.

        • I totally understand your frustration as I am also a person who would sooner strangle a family member than listen to him or her lick a spoon or chew, but the frequency with which she eats is not your hill to die on. I am also a person who eats throughout the day, and man do I wish that I could just not get hungry. That would be much more convenient for me and my schedule, and yet, I can either choose to eat snacks at work or simply not get any work done and be miserable.

          I would do everything you can to reinstate headphones. Squishy earbuds that go in your ears,which will have a slight ear-plug effect, and white noise app on your phone. They’re pretty discrete. If you’re at all candid with her, can you tell her that the office noise in general is making it hard for you to concentrate? One ear in, one ear out? This works very well for me when I have coworkers who just won’t STFU and use their inside voices. It’s surprisingly effective.

          • I really don’t care how much she eats! I was just illustrating why the noise is so frustrating, because it’s all the time. I don’t know how this derailed into an argument about how often to eat.

          • Goodness. I’m empathizing with you! And you got your advice. White noise via headphones. It derailed because you made a point about it, and someone else called all americans fatties for eating too much hummos.

    • White noise app on your phone on all day. It’ll drown out noise from the next office.

    • Op – it’s a thing now to eat all day long. And everyone has a “medical”’reason for it when it reality it’s probably a small % if the population with true medical needs. The rest – OMG I need protein, I MUST have a constant pipeline of hummus to get thru the back breaking work of sitting at a computer. And people wonder why Americans are so fat. There was far less healthy eating 30-40 years ago yet people were thin – bc once they ate their casserole they were done eating for hours.

      • The same way everyone has a “medical” reason for being too sensitive to the normal sounds that other people make?

        it’s a draw.

      • You’ve got this totally backwards. Eating a number of small meals is generally healthier than eating one big meal. Of course the number of total calories matter, but given that your lunch will be 600 calories or whatever, it’s much healthier to break it up into many small meals. Grazing can be unhealthy if you’re eating junk, but it’s not inherently unhealthy.

        • Hmm. My doctor told me the opposite (a number of small meals keeps insulin up for longer periods of time, whereas fasting between meals allows insulin levels to drop). But we’re specifically working on insulin sensitivity.

          I do know that many people graze in order to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, and successfully eat this way their entire lives.

      • Oh good god. I’m 5’2″ and weigh 107 lbs and eat constantly. It appears that you don’t understand that while sitting at a computer is not physical labor, nourishment and protein is necessary for optimal brain function. You should consider trying it, maybe it will help you. Also, what anon at 11:15 said.

        • I was going to say the same thing. I think those of us who eat constantly stay smaller, esp as we get older.

          I have heard the thing about the insulin, but I think once you train your metabolism to work this way I think stopping would cause weight gain. In fact, that’s exactly what it seems to do for me.

      • Americans are fatter now because we work way more hours, work in less physically demanding and more sedentary jobs, and eat way more fatty and processed foods. Not because we occasionally snack on hummus or have half our lunch at 10 and the other half at 2.

      • Linda from HR :

        Are you the same person who complained about coworkers snacking too much, all those months ago? Please, worry about yourself and stop judging other people’s eating habits.

      • You care way too much about what other people are doing with their lives.

    • Can you just put one ear bud in? Put it in the ear that faces her, so you can still hear your music or whatever, and you can still hear her calling you. It obviously won’t drown her eating out completely, but maybe just enough for it to bother you less.

    • Clementine :

      Yo- I sat next to this person. You do you with regards to eating habits, but this coworker made the WORST eating noises I have ever heard in my life (what food has you simultanously crunching, slurping, and gnawing?? Tacos? sandwiches on really crispy bread? I could never figure it out.). Let me add that I’m not someone who is usually bothered by anything but people scraping their teeth on a fork, but this was like Sitcom-level ridiculous eating noises.

      I ended up using white noise (specifically 10 hours of gentle rain and rolling thunder on YouTube) for the ‘passive eating’ portions of the day and straight up headphones for the active mealtimes.

    • anon a mouse :

      Are there any open desks you could move to?

    • Anonymous :

      I kind of wonder if you can get therapy for misphonia. Maybe it would be worth asking someone about?

    • Anonymous :

      The idea of not being ‘allowed’ to have headphones in at work is the part that makes my skin crawl… she can do whatever she wants with her body (which is, apparently, snack all day) and you should be able to do whatever you want with yours (listen to music). Maybe the ridiculous restriction is what you’re reacting to and it’s just manifesting in annoyance at the noise. Perhaps take this into account next time you’re job searching?

      • Balance is back :

        Eating a lunch, however many times and however annoyingly it is eaten: a basic human function everyone gets to do at work. The form and time and place may be reasonably restricted. Can’t eat a sloppy joe at your lab bench, or an 8 course feast at the checkout counter.

        Listening to headphones, whatever is on them: a personal working preference that may interfere with the business purpose of the work, absent a formal or informal accommodation. Not everyone gets to do those; there are absolutely workplaces where this is just not part of the culture, skin crawl or not. Sucks, but that’s life.

        This is her boss. Her boss gets to decide when and where and how frequently she eats, within reason, and whether the employee, absent a request for an ADA or equivalent accommodation, gets to wear headphones. I agree: some noise machine or one headphone in, one out, should be allowed, but I’m not her boss. The OP has gotten plenty of suggestions, but is probably overreacting for other reasons.

        Caution in trying to press this issue next time you job search (again, absent an accommodation).

    • Did you take over my previous job? :

      I shared a wall with my boss and we had open doors and would talk from our desks with one another. She liked noshing on chips at 9am in the morning at times and it would drive me up the wall. I tried:
      Closing my door which would muffled some of the noise, playing music on my headphones (or white noise like rain etc) at a low volume- it helped mask some of the sound and I would tell her I had headphones in because I needed to concentrate and if she needed me to either call me out louder than normal or just come to my office. You could ask her to email you if she needs something.

      I did at times make a casual dig at it being too loud to concentrate but I had a very casual,friendly, non-boss-like relationship with her that allowed me to do it once or twice.

  27. I’m looking to use Marriott points to get away to somewhere beachy this summer, hopefully June or July. As long as it’s Zika-free and accessible from the east coast, I’m game for it. And while I wish I were more of an adventurer, for this one, I just want to sit in a beach chair with a drink and a book all day, and then go back to a nice hotel. Thanks for suggestions!

  28. Midtown hotels :

    Recs for boutique luxury hotels in Midtown NYC and at least a few blocks away from Times Square madness? The one I usually like (Chambers Hotel) is up to 350+/night right now for my dates which is a bit more than I’d like to spend.

    • Look in midtown east. Still central but not as awful of a location.

    • Michelangelo – 51st and 7th and doesn’t feel Times Square crazy to me. 5 Star that can get super expensive and other times I’ve gotten in for less than $250 – all depends on the yield for your dates.

      Sofitel – not boutique but nice. 44th btwn 5-6th so you’re slightly east of Times Square and it’s a quiet street for midtown.

    • I’ve stayed at The Moderne a few times. It’s more boutique than luxury, but it’s clean with good service and in a good location.

    • Ace Hotel

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The Refinery is such a cool hotel and the food is also excellent. 38th and 6th.

  29. Is it rude to ask someone to close their door when they’re on phone calls? A lateral just started and I’ve been assigned as her peer mentor. She’s a very loud talker and doesn’t appear to ever close her door when she’s on the phone. The noise doesn’t really bother me, I can just close my door, but the staff have complained. Several of them have asked to be moved, including my own secretary (I don’t want her to move!). I admittedly don’t close my door for every single phone call – like if someone calls me I don’t tell them to hold on so I can close my door – but I also don’t scream at the top of my lungs. I close my door when I know I’m going to be on the phone. Maybe she sees me on the phone occasionally and thinks she doesn’t need to close the door? Should I address this with her and if so how?

    • Hey could you close your door when you’re on calls? The sound travels.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yes, this. You’re her peer mentor! You’re supposed to be giving her tips like this, and she’ll probably be grateful.

    • It’s never been an issue in any of the firms I’ve worked it to close someone’s door for them if they are on the phone or being too loud. Usually it only takes a few times and the person either quiets down for a while or learns to live with the closed door. Also, would a headset help here so she doesn’t have to use speakerphone?

      • This. I have gently closed doors on some colleagues as they did their calls. No one ever bats an eye

    • Not rude, and as her peer mentor, you are in a perfect position to say something to her! You don’t even have to tell her that people complain. Just say, “As an FYI, sound travels between offices more than you might think – make sure you’re talking in a low voice or closing your door, or other people will hear every word.”

      If that doesn’t get through to her, next time she’s on a loud phone call, just go over to her office and mouth/pantomime that you’re going to close her door, then close it for her. She should definitely get the message then, and if by chance she says “Hey, why did you close my door?”, you can just say, “Oh it was one of those situations I mentioned where everyone could hear everything you’re saying.”

    • What if you’re not her peer mentor but she likes to YELL into speaker phone so that people can hear that she’s having important conversations ughghg kill me. She closes her door but it’s still so loud.

    • I was in a temp office for a while while mine was being painted, and the first phone call I took, the paralegal in a cube right outside my office came and shut my office door – clearly implying I was being too noisy. I laughed it off and didn’t think much of it because I was moving offices soon, but was that rude of her? She’s been with the company far longer, but I guess I technically outrank her. (This is a question with no consequence, I know – just curious after the fact!)

      • No, not rude. This isn’t about rank. It’s about common courtesy, working with others, and nicely handling a situation. I get the benefit of working in an office with a door. If someone in the open space outside my office is being loud, I can close that door. Likewise, they can close the door too if sound is going the other way.

      • No, it’s not rude.

    • Overthinking! Just ask politely.

  30. This was in the sidebar ad feed:

    https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/1179586?country=USA&LGWCODE=1179586000006;104033;6167&utm_source=criteo&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=lf_w_us_desktop

    1. It’s not Chrismas or even fall (even if it is still freezing).
    2. I have this in my closet (still! hoarder!) from the mid-1990s. Time to start wearing again?

  31. Do you like your Dagne Dover tote? Thinking of getting the slightly smaller size. I have heard that it’s heavy but I’m not planning to put a laptop in there, just my lunch bag, newspaper, sunglasses, wallet. Has it held up well? I’m considering the Palm (dark green) or the royal blue colors.

    • I have one from a few years ago – I think would be equivalent to the classic tote today, although it had a different name at the time. I really love it. It looks great, is easy to care for, and has great (but not too much) internal organization. It’s a bit big for my everyday use, but I love it so much that I just ordered the midi tote – in sunny yellow!
      My old one has held up really well (and I am HARD on bags) except that the vinyl is cracking at the handles where they fold down. The midi has metal loops to attach the handle, which should be more rugged.
      The only other problem that I have with the bag is that the handles are coated in a slippery vinyl and they are very difficult to keep on my shoulder, even though the handle drop is more than adequate. I think the crossbody strap on the midi tote should resolve this issue.

    • I have a midi in like olive green (I think it was last year’s spring/summer line?) and I LOVE it. I carry it to work everyday. Similar to waffles, the handles do slip off my shoulders but it has a cross body strap I can use, and I just wedge it behind me and it stays. It’s a super rugged, super nice looking bag.

  32. I hate how when you start at a new office no one tells you all the nuanced rules/norms/ways of doing things and then they get mad when you unknowingly violate one. Like I get that you’ve worked here for 20 years and maybe don’t realize it but I’m not an idiot for not knowing where to save things and the very specific way of labeling documents, could ya be nicer during my first week? #vent

    • Ugh yes. When I started my current job I asked my mentor how to mail official correspondence – not like, put a stamp on an envelope and put it in the mailbox, but where do we have labels, envelopes, etc. I was coming from biglaw where I would (and was supposed to!) give that to my assistant. Turns out she has hangups about biglaw lawyers and she acted like I was a spoiled brat for not knowing! I wasn’t above doing it – I just literally had no idea where to find the envelopes.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Confession: I still don’t know how to send mail. I mean, I ask the shared assistant to do it, and mostly just try to not mail things… I sort of hate real mail though and just avoid it. [grimace emoji]

    • Linda from HR :

      Do you read The Onion? One of today’s headlines is “New Employee Doesn’t Understand That’s Where Zack Sits” and the picture is this oblivious dude sitting in a conference room where everyone is staring at him.

  33. Just discovered that Target discontinued Sonia Kashuk’s makeup line. Her tinted moisturizer in Fair was my holy grail. Does anyone have a very close duplicate for this? It’s fine if it’s pricier but I really want to match it as much as possible.

  34. Piggybacking off of the thread up top about leaving: what if you were fired?? I’ve been fired twice for reasons that were borderline ridiculous (the first time for “not being enthusiastic enough” after being at the company 3 weeks, the second because my boss’s assistant didn’t like how I handled a situation) and I never know how to address these things in a job interview. I don’t have the 3 week job on my resume, obviously, but the other one was after working there for 3 years and being an exceptional employee in all other regards except one incident.

    I’m aware this has a very “it’s not me, it’s THEM” attitude…but it really hasn’t been me. I do good work, work hard, and am ambitious but I’m worried that these previous situations have screwed me over in ways I’m just now realizing.

    Help!

    • Anonymous :

      I totally get this. Similar thing happened to me. Bonkers, super abusive work environment, fired for a super bonkers reason. To be honest I just lied about it in interviews. More like I told a half truth, leaving out some details and framing it as being laid off. This worked. No one, to my knowledge, ever checked.

  35. Uni Curmudgeon :

    I’m feeling curmudgeonly today. There are several Instagram-worthy statues near my office at a big uni and graduation photo season has started. This means confetti and champagne corks all. over. the. place. FFS, last semester’s confetti is still stuck in the grass. That crap never goes away.

    Damn photographers/get off my lawn/clean up after yourselves!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Oh noooooo, that sounds so annoying D:

      • Uni Curmudgeon :

        This is what they’re going for (not my uni, but it seems pretty common): https://www.hercampus.com/school/pitt/how-look-fab-your-grad-photos Funny you never see any pics of the ground nearby. It’s nasty.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Grad photos are a thing now?

          • Uni Curmudgeon :

            OMG yes… there are actual lines of people in front of the various landmarks. The temptation to photobomb is damn near irresistible.

  36. Yet another anon :

    I am not on the hiring committee but I just left a boutique and can tell you the variations of I said:
    “After X years, I realized that I wasn’t getting the type of experience that I wanted/ I wanted to get out of litigation/ I wanted to expand my practice/ I wanted to serve the public interest/ my career was not lining up with my personal goals (non-profits like this line)…”

    Leaving without another job lined up happens all the time. I am not kidding when I say that every gov agency and non-profit that I interviewed with had someone on the panel that did exactly this. These places are full of big-law refugees who know exactly how toxic many firms can be and they don’t bat an eye when someone else does it.

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