Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Workday Reading: February 4, 2015



1) In the past four years, 30 lawsuits have been filed challenging the legality of unpaid internships.  With two coming up on appeal, Politico asks: Is this the end of the unpaid internship?

2) I love the chic details on this faux-leather satchel from Forever21. But what I really love is that it comes in your choice of cognac, black, or grey for just $33.

3) The New Republic tackles the workplace policies that make it difficult for women to be both mothers and career women.

4) I love everything Viola Davis wears on How to Get Away with Murder.  Chief among my favorites: This stunning McQueen dress and this gorgeous Cushnie Et Ochs peplum blouse.

5) Love a good argument? Check out these Rhetological Fallacies to make sure your argument is sound.

6) My new favorite work-appropriate nail polish shade is Nails Inc. Mayfair Lane.  It’s a gorgeous pink.  I also like their greige shade, Porchester Square.

7) Four Reasons You’re Ruining Your Chance at a Promotion.

8) Looking for work dresses that cost under-$100?  This Anne Klein dress with a cowl-neck and elbow-length sleeve is amazing.  I also like this dotted faux wrap dress; it has a breezy quality.  This short-sleeve dress from Ellen Tracy has a pleated waist and comes in six bold colors.

9) Town and Country has helpful tips on restaurant etiquette.  Good manners are always professional.

10) Bloomingdale’s has some sweet shoes for under-$150.  I love how the texture on these Enzo Angiolini pumps keeps basic from being boring.  These Coach pumps mix cognac and black in a chic way.  And if you need flats, try these grey Ivanka Trump d’Orsay flats or these casual, bow slingback from Lucky.

11) Many American jobs require licenses.  Michigan requires 1,460 days of training to work as an athletic trainer; 26 to work as an EMT. Anyone else see a problem here?

12) When I think of St. John Collection, I usually think of septuagenarian socialites lunching in Georgetown.  But this gorgeous white, peplum top and this knit suit in shimmering grey have me rethinking that.



  1. GoGoGo says:

    Those Town and Country restaurant ettiquete tips are classy. I like the fact that it encourages people to be considerate of their friends’ budget when ordering for the table, if you’re not picking up the tab. A lot of the etiquette stuff you’ll see does the opposite. They’ll scold that it’s rude and cheap to split the check anything but down the middle, that people should plan to spend extra to cover what the table wants or decline the invitation. I never liked that. This is a way classier approach to the issue of friends of different budgets.

    February 4, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Agreed. Especially if you live in DC, there’s always such a wide variety of pay scales gov’t vs. private and all.

      February 4, 2015/Reply
  2. kelsey says:

    Not to say that there aren’t ridiculous licensing requirements that exist but I think the EMT/trainer thing is kind of apples and oranges. Are you maybe thinking of paramedics? While very important, EMTs are usually part-time, often volunteer, and are not providing advanced life support like paramedics do (which requires a lot more than 26 days of training…). Athletic trainer is often a full-time job and there’s lots of opportunities to cause damage.

    February 4, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It depends on the community when it comes to EMTs and Paramedics. Some smaller communities use them in ambulances because there aren’t enough paramedics. Or firefighters who have only been trained as EMTs respond to calls, etc. But my guess is that because Michigan is such a sports-driven state given the colleges and pro-teams, someone lobbied for this.

      Also, When I first moved to DC, I was shocked to find out that the paramedics expected to take care of me in an emergency were barely making minimum wage.

      February 4, 2015/Reply
      • m says:

        As an EMT, maybe I can clarify? Paramedics actually do fall under the EMT umbrella – depending on your state there are either 2 or 3 different levels of EMTs: Basic, Intermediate (some states skip this), or Paramedic. EMT-Bs (Basic) is what the article is probably referring to, in my state they require about 180hrs classroom training plus ride-along experience; whereas EMT-Ps (Paramedic) require about 1600hrs classroom plus more extensive ride-alongs. Ambulances are either BLS (basic life support) or ALS (advanced), which staff EMT-Bs and EMT-Ps respectively. ALS is required for any “serious” call, and often times communities staff only BLS trucks and paramedics respond in a separate car if the call warrants it. Clearly the practices as far as staffing vary significantly by municipality but the EMT-B/I/P certifications are fairly equivalent across state lines (a uniform national certification also exists).

        February 4, 2015/Reply
        • Liz says:

          m, please correct me if I am wrong here, but I was always told that only a paramedic, not an EMT, could break skin (e.g. insert an IV). Is that correct?

          February 5, 2015/Reply
  3. thb says:

    In regard to #12, I have noticed this trend with St. John as well. I think as women have moved into positions with higher pay grades at a younger age St. John has heeded the need for classy, looks good on anyone, yet contemporary professional suiting. Meaning St. John not only feels great to wear and requires minimum care, but looks great. Great professional investment pieces. The FEW I own are usually purchased at half price thru Nordstrom Twice a year. I would never pay full price, that would NOT be good wardrobe management.

    February 4, 2015/Reply
  4. KM says:

    I’m really on the fence about the un-paid internship debate. I used a scholarship to help finance my Hill internship and I worked after hours at a paid job during a district office internship. I’m currently doing an un-paid internship in the legal field and working a paid position part-time while completing school. On the one hand, it’s frustrating to have to work multiple jobs to cover expenses while interning. However, most entry level jobs require “experience” which is hard to get without internship experience. I feel like a lot less internships would be offered if employers have to provide compensation..?

    February 4, 2015/Reply
    • Monica says:

      I feel like this is a case of the position of intern being abused. An internship is supposed to be a learning experience, and so in some industries it makes sense to have an unpaid program where lots of experience is given in exchange for meaningful work. To be an unpaid gopher doesn’t seem educational, it seems like the bosses used the program as a way to get free work for a little backstage access.

      I was happy to learn that my company in the tech industry offers 12-week paid internships in several departments, and the interns give presentations to each other about what their project was and what they learned as part of their exit interview. This seems to be more in the spirit of an internship, paid or not.

      February 4, 2015/Reply
      • Belle says:

        Agreed. I think some offices, even on Capitol Hill, are just using unpaid interns as coffee makers and tour guides. You need to give them substantive work so they develop some skills. The internship should be of at least equal benefit to both parties.

        February 4, 2015/Reply
        • GoGoGo says:

          Agreed with all. It’s complicated and interesting.

          I don’t know what I think should be legal and illegal, but I have thought about what I would do if I were ever in a position to run an office’s internship program here in DC.

          I like the idea of limiting interns’ hours from 9 to 4. That would make it more manageable to work an evening shift job. I was a Hill intern-slash-server and I was happy with that arrangement, but it was only possible because my restaurant boss was understanding and let me arrive at 5:45, which is too late for most restaurants and bars. If you kick all interns out at 4pm to make it equitable, you’ll also remove the pressure to work late for appearances sake, a bad “phantom work” habit that many staffers seem to maintain well into their careers.

          Every intern should leave with at least one substantive writing sample, like, one press release. And it really should be something that goes out, published. Almost certainly, it will take way more staff time to produce that in editing and coaching than it would have for the staffer to write the release themselves. That’s to be expected, and it’s fair, because they’re owed the feedback and experience for their unpaid time.

          I love the idea of doing a presentation as an exit interview. Independent research projects, awesome.

          I guess in general, I do believe a system where internships are fair and good experiences for all is a better system than no internships.

          February 5, 2015/Reply
          • Belle says:

            My office was always pretty good about making time for them to take a paid gig. We also referred them to any opportunities to phone bank for the GOP or do paid grassroots work. They always started out with the scut work, but by the end they were writing letters, press, etc. We also tried to send them to hearings and what not if they were interested in the topic.

            It always made me crazy when I met staff who didn’t even know there interns names. I was really lucky with both my private and public internships to be thought of as part of the team, and I think that’s really how you have to treat the interns.

            February 5, 2015/Reply
  5. Katie says:

    “When I think of St. John Collection, I usually think of septuagenarian socialites lunching in Georgetown.” Stunning sentence that gave me a great mental picture- just a little hat tip on some excellent writing!

    February 5, 2015/Reply