Weekly News Update

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The Careerist ponders diamonds and pearls at the office.  (I say, hooray for pearls.)
– Two different bloggers sing the praises of drugstore dupes for higher-market things — Capitol Hill Style talks about her favorite drugstore brightening powder, and Pretty Shiny Sparkly talks about her favorite drugstore bronzer. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to research a new blush for myself and found this interesting gallery of the 6 best and 6 worst blushes from Total Beauty.  Amazingly I own almost all of the ones on the “worst” list.  Harumph.
Ask a Manager tackles the fragrance-in-the-office question.  (Here’s the Corporette post on wearing perfume at work.)
– For those of you with billables (and on the East Coast) — are your billable targets being adjusted after the hurricane? Above the Law points out at least one firm that is adjusting the targets.  Along those lines, The Careerist has a list of seven hang-ups sure to kill your attempts at rainmaking.
Above the Law shares one exhausted BigLaw mom’s departure memo.
– For those of you flying the friendly skies – do you know the fastest way to “elite” status?  Mommy Points shares her tricks (hat tip to Road Warriorette).  Similarly, Savvy Sugar has some tips for how to save money on clothes.

Did we miss anything? Add ’em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you!


  1. My office had no power for monday-wednesday (we’re in lower manhattan) and no heat thursday, friday and monday. The firm requested everyone come back in on Thursday. Secretarial staff who came in Thursday and Friday get an extra day of vacation next year. The attorneys just got told to try to make up the missed billable hours by the end of the year. Because there’s 8 weeks left, so it’s only 5 extra hours a week, guys! Yea, the attorneys were pretty pissed.

    • doesn’t that make sense though? If the secretaries came in, they got something for it ( a day off) If attorneys came in, they also got something (not having to make up the missed billable hours)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Not really. We have to make up all the hours for the entire week, even though not everyone could get in (no trains), and our computer network and remote server were down until mid-Thursday (making it hard to do any work) and pretty much everyone had to leave by 4:30 on Friday because buses stopped running downtown after dark (no traffic or street lights). So realistically we could have billed about a day’s worth of time actually in the office, but we still need to make up the time for the rest of the week, whereas the secretaries still get paid for the whole week even though they only had to be there 2 days and get the extra vacation day.

  2. I just read the ATL article on the exhausted BigLaw Mom’s departure memo. Was anyone else totally surprised to find out that she had a husband at 8:00pm?

    I was convinced, based on context, that she was a single mom until that line.

    • That was my initial thought, too. Where was he at 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., and if she picked up the kids from daycare and made dinner, why is there even a negotiation about who puts the kids to bed? I don’t see this as a BigLaw problem so much as a marital problem.

      • Meg Murry :

        I knew she wasn’t a single mom by the comments made yesterday, but yeah. Martial and time management problems along with a sucky job – not the job’s fault she can’t handle her 2 kids that her husband doesn’t help with.

        1) Where is the husband? If he won’t help during the day – give him the crying baby at 4 am, or 6 am while you make a bottle.
        2) If you know you have to leave work at 5:30, why aren’t you getting into the office until 9? Streamline your mornings so you can leave earlier and avoid rush hour. You obviously aren’t getting any actual work done at night beyond 1 hour, so work that 1 hour then spend time doing tasks to make your mornings easier like laying out the kids clean clothes. If you leave earlier, you won’t have 8:15 TRAFFIC either.
        3) Boo hoo, must be nice to just quit. Not to snark on other women, its hard to be a working mom, but I often wish I could just quit, but if I did my family wouldn’t have health insurance or be able to pay the mortgage (on a modest house). So be grateful you even have that option.

        • Boo hoo to you Meg. My attorney friend quit her job and lives in a small apartment rather than a house. We all make choices.

          • Anonymous :

            No matter much we downsize and cut back… we still need benefits. My husband’s company doesn’t offer them, so here I am!

      • I definitely saw that as a marital problem, too- first, she described doing all the work in the morning, then doing all the work in the evening. I would imagine that if there was a better balance of responsibility, then holding the job might be easier.

        Or maybe, he has an even more high-powered job than she, and is NEVER home, but brings in a hefty salary. In which case, I wonder why they don’t have some help with the household. Her quitting her would be a bigger economic loss than a housekeeper or nanny.

    • I wish she hadn’t focused so much on how she’s the sole caretaker for her kids, because that has really shifted the conversation to how it’s her fault and her marriage sucks and she’s disorganized and inefficient.

      The truth is, many women at large law firms are efficient and organized and have supportive spouses. (Like, say, me.) And we also feel like we are on a hamster wheel. I regularly work past midnight. I miss my kids’ bedtimes all the time. I DO push back on work. I DO fix lunches before bed. But biglaw is biglaw. If you want to have any other significant commitment in your life, you’re going to be unhappy.

  3. FWIW, here’s my post on What To Wear To An Office Holiday Party.

    West Coast version, maybe.


  4. There’s perfume and then there’s PERFUME, on that subject. My favorite PERFUME is a Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier men’s cologne, actually, but it’s way too strong and provocative for office wear. My favorite non-caps perfume is a little L’Artisan number called Dzing! which smells pleasantly like paper and straw. The pour une Ete is another I wouldn’t think twice about wearing to the office, or any of the Bulgari ‘tea’ scents. Or some of the softer Serge Lutens like Boxeuses. Etc…

    Once you break away from the department store counter you can find a lot of office-friendly, interesting, sometimes a little avant-garde perfumes that won’t stink up an elevator. Or if you like a particular perfume, that perfumery probably makes other scents you’ll like that may be more office-friendly. Kenzo Ca Sent Beau is (IMO) really inappropriate for most occasions involving more than 2 people or taking place before 9PM, while their Parfum d’Ete is less ostentatious and a lot classier than most shampoos.

    So it’s not hard to find something more personal but not much stronger than a scented deodorant (how many people who argue against perfume in the workplace wear those, I wonder). A hint of Bandit (by no means a full spray!) is a great way to borrow a touch of swagger for an interview. A little Shiseido ‘energizing’ fragrance can help de-gloom a gray and drizzly day. And L’Artisan is always game to make you smell not quite like anything you’ve ever smelled like before, which may or may not be pleasant but is always interesting. Still scratching my head over their ‘soured milk’ fragrance.

    And heck, if you DO want to smell like deodorant, there’s a whole class of perfumes for you – ‘amber.’ (That’s almost a joke. I’m not a fan of talc but it sure is popular.)

    Perfume’s a fun hobby and it’s sad when it gets dismissed because people aren’t aware of the variety and versatility out there.

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