Horrible Jobs

by Grace aka costofcollege

In advance of Labor Day on Monday, let’s talk about jobs.

You may not be surprised to learn that middle managers are some of the unhappiest workers.

… In a new study from researchers at Columbia University, of nearly 22,000 full-time workers (from a dataset from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions), they saw that 18 percent of supervisors and managers reported symptoms of depression. For blue-collar workers, that figure was 12 percent, and for owners and executives, it was only 11 percent.

What’s so bad about a middle management job?

All of the downsides of being a subordinate, combined with all of the downsides of having to tell people to do things they don’t want to do.

What’s your opinion?  Are you or have you been a middle manager?  What is the worst job you ever had?  And what did you learn from that experience?

There will not be a post on Monday, Labor Day.  But we can keep our conversation going here.

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184 thoughts on “Horrible Jobs

  1. Hmmm…in one job I was a supervisor and it was hard as we underwent an organizational change that was targeting our department in large part because new executive management couldn’t get their minds around the benefit. This was exacerbated because our interim manager didn’t feel that he could be “honest” about the benefit as that was not PC, and he was using this as his opportunity to “get back” at some of his previous peers for grudges he held. This lead to massive layoffs in our department and a horrible environment to work in.

    I had another job where the manager needed to know more than anyone else and always be right so she (1) tore into anyone who asked too many questions or appeared to be seeking too much guidance in how she wanted something and (2) tore into anyone who did something other than the way she would have done it. As you can see, you could not win. If you could not read her mind, which was never consistent, then you became a target to be forced out of the department. Yes, this meant that every single person became a target, it was just a matter of when.

  2. Continuing the thread a bit from yesterday, because I am really starting to question my job/career:

    Lauren wrote: “I am surprised that someone would have the guts to say something to ATM, but they might have been trying to be helpful. We had 360 reviews at one large american bank, and someone wrote that my manager should wear lipstick. She was furious. This feedback is all anonymous since it comes from peers, managers and staff. The truth is that her appearance held her back from very senior management positions. She didn’t wear any makeup for a very long time.

    It may not be popular, but there is an expectation that a Managing Director of one of the largest banks in the US should look like a MD. I think there is tolerance and policies to accept all kinds of people/looks etc, but you can’t look like you are just going to the gym with a suit on instead of workout clothes.”

    The intention was exactly this – well intentioned and trying to be helpful, honest (albeit sexist) advice on how a “manager/leader” should look. Instead of saying it in a more couched way (She needs to look more professional/authoritative), the advice – in writing – was “ATM needs to wear more make-up, maybe put her hair in a bun, wear a skirt and heels”. I know who reviewed me but don’t know who said exactly what (although I can guess). My issue with the advice is that no such MD/managerial position exists for me at this company but I’m supposed to act as if there was one and that the feedback is sexist. Why I am still here – The rest of the feedback in the report was very positive and constructive. I’m the primary breadwinner for my family, the advice was well intentioned and it does reflect reality in this industry not just this company.

  3. My worst job ever – McDonalds. Second worst – cleaning out chicken coops for a lady who raised show chickens.

  4. And how can I forget the helljob in healthcare IT, where I discovered that the healthcare world lives somewhere in 1990 when it comes to computing technology. Most of the people there had those jobs because they were either too incompetent to work in the real world, or wanted to become Wally. Everyone at that company was depressed and bitter. Everyone in my immediate group left within a year of my leaving.

  5. “My worst job ever – McDonalds”

    Really? I liked working at McDonald’s. It was energizing to see those huge lines for the lunch rush and just to work the line down, taking and filling orders. And, of course, free McDonald’s food with a 15-year-old boy’s metabolism is pure bliss.

  6. ATM – I echo the comments from yesterday that that is TERRIBLE. Boooooooo!

    BUT if you want to comply with the directive, I would do it in the way that is easiest for you. I think ‘dressing up’ is easiest by wearing a pantsuit, although if you are working for a bank or similar white-shoe place, then skirts may be looked on better (I know of one trust company where the women have to wear skirts). Heels – oog. I have problem feet and CANNOT wear heels, but if you can, try for a wedge or something easier to walk in. For makeup, it depends on what the perceived issue is – I find that if I put on red lipstick then I give the illusion of having Makeup on and don’t need to do anything else, but I have relatively high-contrast features.

    Also please feel free to email me if you want to brainstorm! :)

  7. ATM – I see this as a paradox. On one hand, if someone can see something that is negatively affecting your career and honestly believes you don’t see it, wouldn’t you want them to point it out? On the other hand, when that something is not skill or knowledge based (need to improve your presentation skills, for example), is it appropriate to raise the issue?

  8. ATM – this would infuriate me to no end. I have this “how does how I look affect how I do my job” thing going on… but I’ve only ever worked at places where I don’t need to look the part to get the part. It appears you do need to look the part. I’d go for the easiest route possible – light make-up that can be done right before you walk in the office (just mascara or lipstick), and add pants suits or skirt suits (make a uniform for yourself). Heels can take a hike on their own. If I’m on my feet all day, or sitting at a desk, I don’t need the heels (alternative, stuff a pair in your desk and where them when absolutely necessary).

    Again, take with a grain of salt. I have a rebellious streak that gets me in trouble – I don’t play well with others when I’m told to be something I’m not. I sit here in khaki colored jeans, dansko clogs, and an AT Loft “t-shirt” (not really, but it’s a cotton short sleeved shirt with a square neck). It’s Friday, and yesterday I broke out the suit pants and fancy blouse for the meeting with the big-guns. I was overdressed, but I was running the meeting.

  9. Thanks L. I ended up spending a ton at Saks on more pant suits (really hate skirts) and blouses with the help of a stylist. (unreimbursed) Got a make-over at Bobbi Brown and bought a ton of makeup that I now dutifully wear. (unreimbursed) I need more shoe choices, but my foot problem is making that a challenge. I also need more blouses now that I have to have more of them dry-cleaned. I’ll check out the links you sent yesterday.

    Austin – It is a paradox. I do value constructive criticism when it is skill based. When its appearance based, its a lot harder to take. What I don’t get is why I would appear more authoritative wearing lipstick and a skirt. Imagine telling a short bald man that appearing taller and with hair would improve his career. Should he wear lifts and a get a toupee or implants?

  10. “(I know of one trust company where the women have to wear skirts).”

    This seems sexist and so out of date, we’re not in the Mad Men era

  11. I remember in college a professor told the women in class to wear a skirt suit for interviews. Some reason this infuriated me, this isn’t 1950.

  12. I can understand the frustration in thinking that how one dresses should be irrelevant to work performance, but if a guy got feedback saying that, if he wants to advance in his career, he should trim the shoulder-length hair into something more respectable and start wearing a necktie, is that actually sexist?

    Now, if there’s no real opportunity for advancement at the place, then that’s also frustrating, but presumably that’s not news to anyone. On the other hand, if it’s true, who cares about the feedback? Just ignore it.

  13. ATM – what foot issue do you have? I find that getting flats that *look like heels* helps – more structured flats or pointier toes.

  14. I really like clothes, makeup, shoes, purses and other things like that. And if my employer ever made a comment about my appearance other than something that did not comply with the dress code, I would unleash a fury upon them. It really is not okay that they said anything. Even if they were trying to be helpful. I am seriously furious for you. This is not a paradox. They are just entirely inappropriate and need to cut it out.

  15. Cat – trust me I totally agree. I’m just not in much of a position to do anything about it unless I leave. And, frankly, I expect it to be very similar elsewhere in this profession, so leaving may not solve the problem.

  16. Milo has a point…sometimes the men’s appearance issues are different. We had a fresh college grad who was told – (1) calm the unruly hair – it looked like he just rolled out of bed most days (2) facial hair should be trimmed regularly – again it would get long and uneven (3) no tongue bars when making presentations to outside clients (4) tshirts are not appropriate under a suit and ties are not worn with golf/polo shirts. He was really miffed as he wanted his performance not his appearance juged. He balked, but slowly made the changes.

  17. I talked to a woman at a corporate job (business professional) in Louisville. She said at a review they commented on her shade of eyeshadow! (and no, I don’t think she was wearing something that looked like she was ready to go clubbing).

  18. ATM – You’d think lawyers would be more careful about that sort of commentary.

    There is one female partner on my husband’s team and she is a terrible dresser and I don’t think she wears make up. She however told a female associate at her review that she had to work on being “less Midwestern in personality”. I think this woman would never comment on appearance because she obviously doesn’t see it as important, but for some reason felt like being from the Midwest needed to be toned down.

  19. I can understand the frustration in thinking that how one dresses should be irrelevant to work performance, but if a guy got feedback saying that, if he wants to advance in his career, he should trim the shoulder-length hair into something more respectable and start wearing a necktie, is that actually sexist?

    Right. There’s a lot of talk that Rob Ryan (an NFL defensive coordinator) has never been offered a head coach job because of his appearance.

  20. one of my friends said at their office there was a woman who would take her shoes OFF and walk around barefoot. The company had to talk to her about it.

  21. L – yes the sneakers do not help. =) Everyone knows about the plantar fasciitis and I try to switch into wedges in the office and wear sneakers only if my foot is killing me or for the commute. Thanks for the links!

  22. The worst job I ever had was Kmart (cashier and layway at xmas time). Customers could get nasty. It definitely helped keep me on the college path.

  23. I have been told I am very Midwestern (and I am!). Basically very straightforward with little
    capacity to bull$hit. And no regional accent.

    There’s a big difference between a required dress code (must wear a tie, need to wear a suit, facial hair must be neatly trimmed) and the comments ATM got about makeup. Unless you work for MAC, an employer can’t require makeup.

  24. And no regional accent.

    then this isn’t me ;) too close to kentucky

    RMS can vouch for that

    On vacation, one person asked if I was from the Carolinas

  25. The worst job I ever had was working retail. I was good at it, but I always felt I was wasting my brain. Now, if I got paid more, I probably wouldn’t think twice about wasting my brain. The second worse was working for (more like with, he wasn’t my boss) a guy who believed that women had no place in science or consulting. He pretty much told me I was the “Affirmative Action” hire. I lasted a year and a half, and left because (1) the commute was killing me and (2) I got a better paying job doing less. I now have a higher degree than him, and a job with better prestige.

  26. Winemama and anyone else – to switch to a less controversial topic (kidding), what is the regional/local reaction to the Kentucky county clerk being jailed for contempt for not issuing marriage certificates? You can imagine the NY Times commenters take on it.

  27. most people around here (on my fb feed anyway :) think she should have been required to step down sooner since she was not doing her job. Only a few conservative Christians think she was in the right.

  28. and people are joking that if the situation involved firearms and her refusal due to pacifism then all hell would break loose.

  29. Indiana and Kentucky have been getting quite the bad reputation in the national press lately, we’re not all homophobic here

  30. My worst job was like AustinMom’s, with the boss whose management style would have met every definition of “emotional abuse.” Thus triggering the telecommuting, when I decided that no job was worth my self-respect.

    Oh, and Austin — following up from the school post the other day, later ES means AM daycare for DS, but later HS wouldn’t just switch the problem to DD getting up early anyway — even if we leave with DS @7 or so, she’s old enough to get herself to school/bus, so she could sleep an extra hour or so.

    @ATM — I missed yesterday, so sorry to hear of your commentary. You would not want advice from me, because I am far too contrary for my own good in those kinds of situations. Just don’t cave on shoe comfort — get the doctor’s note as suggested, find the most professional “comfortable” shoes you can, and call it good. Also, consider custom-molded inserts — I got them for my running shoes, after years of heel pain and arch pain and shin splints and problems with the balls of my feet and you name it, and they have been a godsend. I now use them in any other shoes in which they will fit, including ski boots.

  31. Winemama – of course not and I hope you didn’t take my question as implying that. I was hoping to hear some other angle or local color or history on the issue, that’s all. I was surprised to hear how difficult it may be to remove her from office, if it goes that route.

  32. I think Clerk Davis should have resigned if she didn’t feel that she could perform her duties. Since that didn’t happen, I really don’t know what the correct response is–I don’t think that, as an elected official, she could easily be fired. But then, what IS supposed to happen in response? What is a clerk, anyway? Executive? Judicial? Where do the checks come from. And is this, more or less, the same way we ended up with the 82nd Airborne integrating Little Rock’s Central High School?

    I would just like to point out, probably to nobody here, but maybe to the aforementioned NYT commenters, that there are many instances where one political side selectively enforces or ignores the law. Some of the examples in this piece are more fitting than others:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/09/04/remember_the_law_is_only_sacred_when_it_furthers_a_liberal_value_127987.html

  33. one person shared a duggar meme that says “if the confederate flag offends you how come I can’t say the pride flag offends me”

    if this person was not family I would delete them

  34. Winemama – of course not and I hope you didn’t take my question as implying that.

    oh no, not at all. just hate how some people must view this area after all this

  35. “I think Clerk Davis should have resigned if she didn’t feel that she could perform her duties.”

    exactly

    if someone didn’t believe in drinking alcohol, don’t get a job at a restaurant (that serves it)

    I know this law just changed, but if you can’t do what you’re paid to do, resign

  36. I don’t know what she meant by Midwestern personality – if it was referencing being direct/blunt , the woman who expressed that opinion would be the pot. I once wore a skirt to a holiday team party and this woman partner said to me “next time wear pants.” I think she meant it in a “you don’t have to get dressed up for us” sort of way but I suppose I could have been offended. To me holiday party = somewhat dressy.

  37. Milo – I was surprised the judge put her in jail instead of fining her. That’s not what the plaintiff’s requested and I agree with the article you posted that it will only harden positions. If Clerk Davis was not Christian, I don’t think we’d see a lot of support for her position.

  38. lawd, down the rabbit hole, clicked on the link from the meme I shared “team duggar fb page”

    “Ex-Lesbian Gives the Church Strong Advice..the most important thing church leaders can do to help those who struggle with same sex attraction.”

    how does one become ex-lesbian? I kind of thought you are or you aren’t

  39. ATM, those comments are offensive.
    I would have been pissed. I’m sorry you went through this when you hit the review. We’ve met and I definitely did not have that impression when we met in person. The only reason they even had the nerve to write that is that the culture of your employer in their homeland would tolerate this kind of nonsense.

    I know that my manager never would have received that feedback in a review that wasn’t anonymous from an American bank. Ever. HR would not allow something like that to be put in a review. It might have been communicated by a female colleague or mentor during lunch or coffee.
    I understand ATM’s current employer because I worked for a different bank from the same culture. There is little filter when they want to say something, and there are very few women in senior positions in this country’s financial firms.

  40. Milo,

    She’s elected so she’d have to be impeached but there is not enough pressure to do that in KY. He didn’t fine her as donations would cover her fine. The only option was jail.

  41. A few weeks ago, I would have listed lice lady as a bad job. I’ve sent a lot of time and money in my local lice place and it is not as bad as I thought. It’s gross, but you can practically charge whatever you want if the community will pay it. The work is non stop, and the demand is overwhelming in communities that can afford to pay for this service.

    My friends in California we’re dealing with the same issue with their daughters when we went to visit. They found a lice lady in Kauai. Imagine what she charges!!! My local person charges $80 an hour or $90 on weekends. Bay Area was slightly more expensive, but my friends paid much more in Kauai because she seemed to be the sole person offering this service.

  42. I am a middle manager, and I find it to be much, much more rewarding than being a lower-level employee or even a higher-level indiviudal contributor. Working with people, keeping them motivated, delegating, balancing skill sets to make a strong team – these are things that I enjoy. Sure, I still have a boss and I have to enforce company policies and programs that I don’t like, but that’s not a huge deal. I feel like I have a lot of control and autonomy and the ability to make decisions. And I try to let the managers under me have that too once I know that I can trust them.

    It helps that I am managing professionals. I would hate to manage a large clerical staff.

  43. “If Clerk Davis was not Christian, I don’t think we’d see a lot of support for her position.”

    It would be perfect timing if we could get some clerk, somewhere, to refuse to issue concealed carry permits.

  44. Completely and utterly off topic. I’ve spent at least 3 work hours watching IT people in Arizona futz with my computer. At least I’m getting paid to be unproductive.

  45. “Shall we talk about Trump next? We’re on quite a roll.”

    he’s an asshole, what else is there to say?

  46. Rhett – I wonder what my umbrella insurance carrier would think of the Tarzan Boat.

    We may need ADA to offer her professional opinion as it does look like a trip to the ER waiting to happen.

  47. “I don’t know what she meant by Midwestern personality – if it was referencing being direct/blunt , the woman who expressed that opinion would be the pot.”

    I suspect it was the opposite end of the spectrum: “Midwestern Nice.” Where everyone is polite and says hi on the street and deferential and all of that. I suspect the male equivalent would be “grow a pair.”

  48. ADA’s already condemned conventional trampolines on here. Adding a bunch of trampolines angled at 45 degrees onto which the user jumps from elevated platforms intending to flip into water of unknown depths? What could possibly go wrong?

  49. he’s an asshole, what else is there to say?

    I nominate Winemama for Quote of the Day.

  50. I honestly think I’d vote for Trump. I’m not in favor of his position on immigration but I’m all in favor of more aggressive trade deals, higher taxes on the rich, etc I also like that he says what he wants vs. Jeb! or Cruze parsing everything so as not to offend their billionaire sugar daddies or Grover Norquist.

  51. It’s nice to know Trump is almost universally despised. Now if we can only get a candidate to run against Hillary who is not so bad that I am compelled to vote (write-in) for Angela Merkel.

  52. I am envisioning a matchup between Trump and Bernie Sanders. I would vote for Bernie Sanders in that case.

  53. ” I also like that he says what he wants ”

    That’s what everyone who supports him likes. It’s just a perception of authenticity in a time when people from across the political spectrum are extremely distrusting and resentful of anyone who reeks of Establishment and disingenuousness. Trump will ultimately flame out, but the surprising success that he’s enjoyed so far does not bode well for some other candidates who are seen as the Establishment’s insiders.

  54. I liked being a middle manager in my engineering firm. It was a small company, so the levels were basically people who did the work, project managers, VPs (who managed the PMs), and CEO/COO/President. Liking it ended the day that I had to recommend which of my team members to lay off and then got laid of myself.

    My worst job ever was my last year as a lifeguard. I had worked at the private swim club where my family were members for several years, but then they outsourced the management to a company that managed pools all over the area. Since I was also the swim team coach, my pool’s director basically told them they had to hire me and assign my shifts around scheduled team practices & meets, and they found every way possible to punish me for it.

  55. ATM – I have had plantar fascitiis, and I have also had surgeries for a neuroma in one foot and now have one in the other foot. I can’t wear heels or anything with a pointy toe, and definitely no ballet flats. My new favorite shoes are Alegria – no-to-low heel height but with plenty of support, wide toe box, fun styles & colors so that I can feel like I’m still able to wear cute shoes, but also available in plain black. These are my favorite:
    http://www.alegriashoeshop.com/Alegria-Paloma-Black-Napa-p/pal-601.htm

  56. I worked at a job where a certain baseline knowledge of state and federal law, as well as basic familiarity with the state was necessary. A new manager was hired from out of the country, native of a rather patriarchal culture. He would give research assignments that were actually impossible to accomplish, which were to be accomplished with out clarifying questions. I gave my notice and the other technical specialist quit a week later.

  57. Also, ATM, I’m betting dollars to doughnut that that advice was from a man. I don’t think a woman would say “maybe put her hair in a bun”. More likely “should wear her hair up” or “get a better blowout” or something.

  58. One of my worst jobs was Spencer’s Gifts in high school, where a surprising number of creepy men would come up to my sweet, shy, 16 yr old self with vibrators asking me to explain what they were for.

    Other was working as an examiner for a federal agency where I had to travel with the most dysfunctional group of people. It was the most bizarre experience of my life. Alcoholics, screamers, malcontents and sycophants all in a big white station wagon for a week at a time.

  59. RMS – I’m highly confident some of the comments – not the bun comment – were from women from an older generation that do not have children or whose children are grown. I’ve often found the generation of women that came ahead of me are often tougher on women employees, and more insistent on looking the part, than men. Don’t get me wrong, without a doubt, some of the comments came from men.

  60. I worked as a volunteer (for under 2 hours) at a phone bank for a controversial cause I believe in. We were calling friendly people (in theory – they had supported the cause in the past). It was pure misery to me. I hated the feeling that I was bothering people in their homes, they weren’t always friendly to the cause, sometimes they wanted to argue and I was too naive to not engage. I left and vowed to give money and not time the next time I was approached.

  61. All my workplaces have been very careful not to make discriminatory sounding comments so the kind of comments ATM faced at review time were just not done. If any feedback regarding “softer” issues not directly related to performance had to be delivered this was done informally and even then the manager delivering these was so uncomfortable that I tended to say “I know, what you are getting at…”. Almost all people received feedback/coaching on softer issues – right from things like email writing style, how to run a meeting more assertively even when you are not in very senior position, style of speaking – right down to the exact words that should be said or not said.
    On dress codes these used to be quite rigid but I’ve more to more casual workplaces so what’s acceptable has become blurry. Some of those comments are so vivid that many jobs later – I still have that feedback in mind as I do my job.

  62. Here’s a fun and mildly relevant fact: 3/4 of trampoline injuries occur when there are multiple kids on the trampoline, and small kids are disproportionately represented in severe injuries. So, the Tarzan Boat, would probably cause me some angst, but I wouldn’t keep my sober 16 year old from playing.

    Yesterday, I found out that the school does not allow any activity on site before school (no running in the field, no hopscotch, definitely no playground equipment). It “riles the kids up” too much before class. The bus kids who get there 10-15 minutes before the bell are required to stand still and wait in line. Today, I am even more appalled that every parent thinks this is totally normal and acceptable.

    Other new policies that I am not in love with: no spaghetti straps allowed. Because the sight of my 6-year old’s shoulder might keep her classmates from having a safe and distraction free learning environment? We live in a mild climate and 1/2 of her dresses tie over the shoulders. I’ll probably wait until we are a few weeks in before I throw a temper tantrum over that.

  63. ” It “riles the kids up” too much before class. ”

    This logic is probably also used to justify revoking recess.

    And people wonder why kids are getting fat…

    Ada – how many grades does your school cover? That may be geared towards 8th graders who may be well endowed and spaghetti strap tanks can be very revealing if sized incorrectly. Though it’s pretty stupid to hold a 1st grader to the same standards as an 8th grader.

  64. It’s probably difficult to have one rule about spaghetti straps for a district’s high schoolers and a separate rule for the Kindergarteners. Also, if tank tops are not allowed for boys (assuming they’re not), then it gets harder to justify spaghetti straps for girls.

    “3/4 of trampoline injuries occur when there are multiple kids on the trampoline”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/31/the-terrible-teens

    A teen driving with other teens in the car, for example, is four times as likely to crash as a teen driving alone. (The risk for adult drivers, by contrast, remains constant with passengers or without them.) This effect is often attributed to distraction or peer pressure; kids, the story goes, egg each other on, until, finally, they wind up in the E.R. But Steinberg, who has conducted all sorts of experiments on adolescents, both human and rodent, sees the problem as more fundamental. What matters is the mere presence of peers, or really even just the idea of them.

    In one experiment, Steinberg asked subjects to play a video game that simulated ordinary driving. He found that teens took more risks when their friends were around—by, for instance, running yellow lights—whether or not they could communicate with them. In another experiment, Steinberg told his subjects that their actions were being watched by other adolescents, in another room, when in fact the other room was empty. The results were the same. Mice, for their part, can’t taunt other mice or call them wusses; still, the presence of peers is enough to stimulate risky behavior. Brain-imaging studies show that being watched by friends activates teens’ reward centers; this, Steinberg theorizes, primes them to seek out still more rewards, which leads them to do things like duct-tape malt-liquor bottles to their hands. “In fact, the recklessness-enhancing effect of being around peers is strongest when adolescents actually know there is a high probability of something bad happening,” he writes.

  65. I am the quintessential individual contributor. I was terrible as a middle manager. I should have been fired in the years when I had that duty, or at least given proper training. Subordinates resigned. So obviously I was discouraged and depressed in that role, and had no advancement prospects.

    However, I love my current middle management role as Nana. It helps that I have been given wide discretion by senior management to operate as I see fit in their absence and even though my trainees have wild mood swings, pepper me with questions, and make frequent messes that have to be cleaned up, they seem to find me a supportive and encouraging supervisor.

  66. Worst job…don’t think I have one. All the things I have done for pay for > a week (that being the requirement, not that I quit in that short a time):
    Paperboy
    Little League Umpire
    Printing pressman
    Security for concerts/sporting events
    After-school youth sports coach
    Loading dock worker, two different places
    Delivery guy for a small manufacturing business
    Campus escort (not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter) to prevent college women from being assaulted when walking from e.g. the library to the dorm
    waiter
    paralegal
    college admissions officer
    freelance translator
    then, finally, various entry, mid-level, and senior-level corporate finance jobs

    Never worked retail or fast food.

    Some bosses were better than others, sure. But I’ve worked very successfully for at least two people that (many) others wouldn’t go near. I simply figured out what was most important to them, and did that. I’m also technically good at what I do.

  67. My worst job was detasseling corn. It usually hit 95 F with 95% humidity later in the day and we had to be ready for the bus at 4:30 AM. Travel time was unpaid. But I only did it for 3 weeks and the fact that I lasted the season was a positive point in future interviews. The main thing I learned was that I did not want to detassel ever again, and the woman I worked beside, the mother of 5 children whose oldest I knew from high school, was working on the gambling boats in the evenings on top of getting up at 4:30 AM to detassel, so my life could be worse.

  68. Our schools allow spaghetti straps and other skimpy clothes in elementary school.

    The middle and high schools have separate policies. It works and it’s easier for each building administration to share and explain the policies to the kids in their building. It’s age appropriate.

    Our schools were very hot last week and I almost melted when I went inside to pick up something yesterday.

    I understand why there might have to be building specific policies based on age, temperature control and ability to enforce.

  69. This logic is probably also used to justify revoking recess.

    Yup. A parent told me that we have less recess than last year because “you know, the learning and the testing and stuff.” Gah.

  70. Most of our schools are like that. I *love* that my kids’ school has one teacher out there as playground monitor (to pacify the district) and the lets the kids play before school. It’s really only 15 min, but it helps a lot of them sit. Mine love being dropped off a few minutes early to play with friends.

    Our school is also k-8 and says tank tops are ok (I have heard 3 fingers wide? Seems…. ridiculous, but whatever) but also has the anti-spaghetti strap rule. I figure it’s mostly for the middle schoolers. There seems to be some selective non-enforcement in k/1, and then they start reminding the kids so that by 5th or so they don’t have to send kids home over it.

  71. Absolute worst job was a job going door to door to solicit donations for an environmental nonprofit. I thought I’d have fun, get exercise, etc. In reality, the company wanted us only to include our door to door time (not the 30-60 min at the front *and* back end of each shift for getting to the areas we were canvassing, discussing our plans for the evening, etc.) for hourly pay. So you want to pay me for 4 hours to have me do 6 hours of exhausting, thankless work? Only job I ever quit. After 2 days.

    I got a job after that in the university catering department. Decent pay. Reasonable work. Perk of bringing food home that never got served. :)

  72. Ada, you might observe to see whether the policy is selectively enforced. I wasn’t sure whether Lego guy swords on T-shirts would violate the policy but our school has ignored it. My view is that they are “fencing” so it’s a sports T-shirt.

  73. I forgot dorm cafeteria dishwasher / line server. Actually fun; learned and used a lot of Spanish

  74. ATM, have you tried custom inserts? I used to have PF really bad and I got custom inserts made about 10 years ago and haven’t had any problems since then.

  75. On school justifications….this week I was told that the kids have group quizzes because Common Core requires it.

  76. I won’t be doing drop off this year – so it will be hard to see how much the rules are actually enforced, especially among the small kids. DD is in a difficult enough place as a “new kid” that I wouldn’t actually put her at the center of anything. However, I really have a problem with the idea that girls’ knees, thighs and shoulders are distracting to the educational environment and that the solution is to police what girls wear.

    Anyway, with the absence of a previous frequent commenter, someone needs to be in the principal’s office, arguing with authority and writing about it here. (Written with nothing but affection regarding previous commenter).

  77. Some of the third grades were fairly well endowed to the point the teachers are sometimes telling parents, your daughter needs a bra. We have the no playground, etc rule here too before and after school. It is a liability issue for the school. However, kids enrolled in before and after care can because there is a caregiver supervising “age appropriate” play. We have one first grade teacher that has up to 4 recesses a day in her classroom. She says once they get the wiggles, you might as well give them 5 minutes of recess that gets it out of their system or fight the wiggle for 20-40 minutes until the next scheduled break of gym, music, lunch, etc. As the year goes on she weans them down to the 2 they have in second grade.

  78. Tulip – my cousin had a similar job in NYC. She worked probably like 60-80 hours a week, but got paid for the equivalent of 30 of them. She got out of that job as quickly as she could and is quite happy in her new position.

  79. Search Dr. Joe Frost and his research on play and playgrounds. Most schools ignore his research, but those who don’t have kids who benefit.

  80. Why are all dress codes written/enforced because “male students will be distracted”?

    No one is telling male members of the species that skinny jeans are against the dress code.

    I think the job I would like the least is a school administrator who has to answer to hundreds of angry students and parents when it comes to dress code. Somehow I don’t think “Because I said so” would cut it.

  81. Okay – this is probably going to sound incredibly naive/provocative – but when and why do girls “need” bras? After several decades in one, I am still a bit uncertain why we wear them (other than to avoid the look of not wearing a bra).

    I remember scrubbing on a lift/enhancement surgery once, and the surgeons being so proud (and earnest) that the woman wouldn’t ever need a bra again. I suppose they were referring to the fact that she did not need any lifting of her parts anymore. However, I couldn’t really imagine a 40 year old going around without a bra simply because she had some surgically provided perkiness.

    So, why does a 8 year old ever need a bra? What bad thing will happen if she doesn’t have one?

  82. I have never figured out what a bra is for. WHen I wear one, I feel like I have rubber bands around my chest. My “Tshirt bra”, which I wear at work because dang work blouses are all made out of kleenex, makes me feel like I am wearing boob mittens.

    My DD is 9 and shows no sign of anything. When she saw an endocrinologist recently, I was told she would likely not be at that point until around 12 or so.

  83. I wear a bra because I find the movement issue uncomfortable otherwise. As far as I can tell in the younger set, from a kid perspective it signals you are older or more “mature” and seems to be seen as a positive rite of passage. From the adult perspective, I have zero idea what adults are “distracted” (I can’t even think that without much of a shudder) by a developing 8 year old.

  84. Worst job ever – telemarketing. DialAmerica. I occasionally get a call from them still and my heart bleeds for these poor souls.

    ATM – That totally sucks, and life shouldn’t be that way but at some point you have to decide whether you are going to play the game or not. You can not play the game but you may miss opportunities because of it. Not right, not fair, but the way it is.

    RE: recess – I walked to school and we played on the playground before school while the poor saps who rode the bus got stuck waiting in the cafeteria. When it was cold they kept us in the boiler room until school started. Don’t know why we couldn’t mix with the bus riders. I think that taking recess away as punishment is about the worst thing you can do especially for a naughty kid who would likely be well served by the physical activity but I think since the after school arrangements are so different, staying after school isn’t really an option any more. Do they even do detention at all anymore?

  85. RE: the need for a bra – I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say nipples? Also again regarding nipples I suppose with some clothing there could be some chafing.

  86. Oh and ATM, I have always found Born shoes to be exceedingly comfortable and I have terrible flat feet, and a bunion. Their pumps are sensible and well made.

  87. Moxiemom: true, but my 6 year old has them, and so does my 2 year old son, and their outlines are sometimes visible through both of their shirts. So, why is that okay? I think bras may have made more sense when everyone wore more extensive undergarments, such as undershirts and camisoles.

  88. You are right Ada, though I would guess that “alert” nipples on a young girl are interpreted differently than those on a boy. Its funny that I never really thought about this. Will ponder further.

  89. Excellent question, Tulip, excellent question. They don’t call them “lululemon moms” for nothing!

    I wear a bra in part because if I wear one with some lining/padding, I actually look like I have something on top (which, sadly, I don’t really).

    Never underwire, though. I can’t stand underwire.

  90. I have always wondered this – if a woman feels she has to wear an uncomfortable bra solely to cover nipple outlines, how is that different from being required to wear hijab?

  91. I do think that if you are going to be doing anything remotely vigorous the support helps, even when young. I think there is a big difference between a bra and a hijab – the first of which is that a bra doesn’t cover your face, the second being is that no one is required to wear a bra.

  92. I developed late (16) and usually didn’t wear a bra until then except with white blouses that tended to be see-through.

    Once I developed, I was a D or DD cup and not wearing a bra was uncomfortable even for mildly bounce-inducing activities like going up/down stairs. It was even more uncomfortable when nursing DS1 and still more uncomfortable when nursing twins. My friend who had breast reduction surgery (much bigger than I am) had it for that reason and is very happy with the results. The weight of your breasts constantly pulls at your ligaments. Flower Bali underwire bras sell in volume because they are engineered to provide excellent support.

    After twins, I was down to a B or C cup and bras were kind of optional again. I suspect those of you asking the question are in that range. US bra sizing is suboptimal compared to UK sizing, where cup sizes commonly go up through letters J or K. I read that our sizes are limited because of rationing decisions during WW II that never got undone; I don’t know if this is true.

  93. IN many Muslim countries, women are not required to wear hijab but feel strong social pressure. In this country, we don’t have a law saying you have to wear a bra, but women feel strong social pressure to wear one even when not needed for support. How is that different? Both are about covering what society deems erotic.
    BTW, hijab does not cover the face, just the hair.

  94. Mooshi – “boob mittens” LOL. I wear a bra for appearance sake but I don’t need one unless I’m going running. I take my bra off as soon as I get home. I never wear underwire.

    DD wanted a bra more for appearance sake when she turned 12 or 13 than because she needed one. She now wears push-up and underwire bras which she doesn’t really need (she’s small chested like me) and seem really uncomfortable – but if it doesn’t bother her, it doesn’t bother me.

  95. Well Mooshi there are always societal norms that most of us follow. There is a big movement to allow women to go topless because men can. I’m not of that ilk. I will also say that a bra doesn’t limit your activities the same way in which a hijab might. Some women actively choose the hijab even when they don’t HAVE to wear it. I don’t think the bra is a symbol of oppression. Rhett thanks for the link.

  96. I think that girls in middle school grades need them socially even if they don’t need them physically. If you are changing for gym class and you are wearing an undershirt or nothing at all, you are probably going to be teased.

  97. Following up on Rhett’s link, if your daughter is well-endowed, maybe get her fitted by an expert who will help her choose a bra with straps and band with no/minimal elasticity. Pay up- good bras (Flower Bali and higher quality) are moderately expensive but may save her from long-term back and shoulder pain. Be open to breast reduction surgery. Y’all know I’m no fan of breast augmentation, but breast reduction surgery is one of the most helpful and least risky surgeries out there, probably because of the people who choose it.

    This has been today’s public service announcement on bra physics.

  98. I wear a bra at all times because it is uncomfortable for me to go without. Movement being the main issue, but even sitting on the couch these days I prefer to wear one as they are not as perky as they used to be & I feel more physically comfortable.

  99. I wear a bra for the reasons identified by WCE above.

    The no-bra look is not a good one long-term:

  100. Well, if you ask question -why wear bras?, then you don’t really need them. The rest of us, we know why we wear bras.

    I was a complete tomboy when I started developing. My mom made me wear sports bras. I was then free to continue horsing around comfortably.

  101. “Well, if you ask question -why wear bras?, then you don’t really need them.” Agreed.

    I think a young girl who’s just beginning to develop and is wearing a thinner t-shirt looks, for lack of a better word, inappropriate if she goes bra-less. Maybe I’m horribly judgmental or sexist to think that way.

    My worst job was probably the one that involved cold-calling all day. Oh that was painful.

  102. I definitely wear a bra every time I leave the house – it would readily apparent if I wasn’t. I don’t wear one in my house, most of the time. I suppose I wear one because it sends the wrong kind of signal to be my age and position and not wear one – I don’t actually believe that it prevents sagging, and it doesn’t make me more comfortable. This is why the surgeons confused me – they implied that if sagging wasn’t an issue, that women wouldn’t wear bras anymore. However, I imagine that middle-aged woman, post “lift and enhance” continued to wear a bra.

    Somebody studied this, and said bras don’t help http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/women-bras-study-france-false-necessity_n_3062114.html Also, the National Geographic Topless Section is brought to you by the fascinating reality show: “Breastfeeding from Menarche to Menopause, with Short Breaks for Many Pregnancies.”

    However, I don’t know what my reasons to wear a bra have to do with why an 8 year old should wear one. (And if my eight year old had breasts, I would have her wear one, too. My feminism doesn’t need to be demonstrated on her body).

  103. IMO, uniforms make all the what’s appropriate or not issues go away. Less hassle for parents, students and administrators. In the home country where all students wore uniforms there were rumblings that kids wouldn’t know how to dress appropriately out of uniform. That is so not true. You can be in uniform till your mid to late teens and still be trendy as ever in adulthood (as I found was the case with many of my friends),

  104. My worst job was babysitting for a family with a 10 year old flasher – I was about 14 myself at the time and had no idea how to handle it or tell his parents.

  105. “My mom made me wear sports bras. I was then free to continue horsing around comfortably.”

    DD just wears sports bras, and tells me that’s what her friends wear. I know this because a while back, she asked me to take her shopping for bras.

  106. “Should he wear lifts and a get a toupee or implants?”

    This question sounds quite a bit different at this point in the discourse.

    A friend who is, shall we say, not tall, told DW and me that he always tries to have client meetings in his office, or a conference room there, where he can make sure everyone is seated, and he has his own chair that puts his butt several inches higher than everyone else’s.

  107. DS’s school has strongly recommended wearing deodorant (no sprays). The counselor mentioned that she hands out mints to kids who don’t brush their teeth :-0. I am glad the counselors are on hand because they are very active in making sure kids go through middle school and puberty without too many ripples. DD is on the older end for her grade having just missed the cut off date. I see this being problematic as far as going through puberty before her peers. I did try to get her into the grade above since she tested well but I wasn’t successful. I hope she adjusts to changes without too many issues.

  108. DD is on the older end for her grade having just missed the cut off date. I see this being problematic as far as going through puberty before her peers. I did try to get her into the grade above since she tested well but I wasn’t successful. I hope she adjusts to changes without too many issues.

    The gender difference here is fascinating. The thought process is totally reversed with boys – most people want their sons to be among the oldest in their grade.

  109. I wouldn’t worry too much, Louise. There’s considerable variability in the onset of puberty. It’s not like all girls go through it right on their 12th birthday. Some girls may hit it younger than your DD.

  110. The reason for the gender difference is because of the gender difference. Girls outpace boys in development, particularly during the middle school years. I was always a little startled to see so many tall, mature-looking girls contrasted with shorter, skinny boys during 5th and 8th grade graduation ceremonies.

  111. I think when elementary or in a private school the lower school cuts off at 6th grade the early blooming girls can feel very awkward. But with the advent of middle schools starting at 5th or 6th grade rather than the junior highs of my youth, the problem is less acute. DD, to your point, for a girl of with no significant learning emotional or sensory processing issues, even a modern academic kindergarten is suitable at 4 1/2. Sept 1 cutoff for most girls is a recipe for boredom and an early cynicism and distaste for the educational system. And after all, the pecking order skills required for a girl to be on the top end of the social heap have nothing to do with physical size or development – they have to do with learning how to be a queen bee or to identify the queen bee and figuring out how to stay in her orbit or avoid her scrutiny. And the skills to be a successful pupil have as much to do with reading the teacher and not making waves as with fulfilling the meager academic requirements of early elementary school.

  112. Here there is a strong feeling that boys with summer birthdays should be sent to school the next year. And it is not strictly the summer, the birthdays can be from the spring onwards. As far as I can tell, it is not with a eye towards sports but that a six year old boy has more maturity for full day kindergarten. It was different from Boston where I didn’t see any parent or the daycare voice this issue at all. When I moved, I got a lot of “do you think your kid # 1 is ready ?”. I said that kid # 1 passed the kindergarten readiness evaluation done by the school quite nicely. The other mothers looked at me with a look that said “you poor ignorant thing – you are clueless aren’t you”

  113. Louise, I took DD for her annual checkup and I spoke to ped about the obvious physical difference between the girls in her camp bunk and school. There were two girls in DD bunk that are at least 3 or 4 inches taller than most of the other girls. Their bodies look like teenage girls, and there are a few girls that still look like 4th graders. These are 10 girls born the same year, and going into 6th. My ped said that there are large differences between the girls that will enter puberty in 5th vs 8th grades. Even if your daughter is one of the oldest in her grade, she might physically mature as early as some of the girls that are actually younger.

  114. This reminds me of what we see with DD’s softball team; they seem to not come from the same gene pool as most of the other girls in the league. Her teammates, with a few exceptions over the years, have been significantly smaller than the girls against which they’ve played; coming up to about the shoulders of their opponents has been pretty common. I’m guessing this is a combination of maturing later, and just being smaller.

    There was one team they played one season that seemed similar in size. We knew one girl on that team, and talked to her parents, and found they were playing up, i.e., it was a U10 team (for girls 10 and under) playing in a U12 (for girls 12 and under) league.

  115. “DS’s school has strongly recommended wearing deodorant (no sprays).”

    I think it’s about the 5th grade, but in my kids’ school, all the kids get “the BO talk” from the counselor. I think the counselor talks about a lot of aspects of body changes in puberty, but what the kids seem to mostly get is that with puberty, getting sweaty starts to mean also getting stinky, and they need to be considerate of others and not foist their BO on others. Thus, what they mostly get is the need to start wearing deodorant, and to shower after PE.

  116. Finn, our softball team is the opposite. We’re first year 12U and the other teams’ coaches always ask if we’re second year. We have a lot of tall (and developed) girls on our team.

    We got a letter home when DS was in 5th grade asking parents to have their kids use deodorant.

  117. DD, our club is not big enough to have first year and second year 12U teams. For a couple years, we just had a single 12U team, with about half the girls on the team young enough to play 10U. We then had an influx of girls that allowed us to split and have separate 12U and 10U teams.

  118. Finn, we didn’t plan it this way, it just happened. When we moved up from 10U, we lost one girl who was younger and wanted to stay down, and two other younger girls moved up to stay on the team. One is the coach’s daughter so she didn’t have a choice :). We’re actually our club’s only 12U team this season, which caused some problems because they wanted to make us take every free agent, which would’ve put 17 players on the team.

  119. DD, for the upcoming season, we’ve had an influx of girls because the school coaches have encouraged all the girls who were on the school team to find club teams, and several of them joined our club.

    We’re at the cusp of having enough girls to have two teams, but the coach is concerned about having enough pitchers and catchers for two teams. Several girls have caught in the past, but all the girls are being encouraged to pick positions and specialize, so those girls, who were part time catchers, are being pushed away from catching.

    Given this, what the coach is considering is dividing the team into three, and having two of the groups show up at each game, so all the girls who show up can get significant PT.

    I can see the pitchers and catchers specializing, but I don’t see the need for the specialization at the other positions. I think learning multiple positions makes the kids better at whatever position they play, and the skills, other than pitching and catching, aren’t that specialized by position (with the possible exceptions of second basemen turning the DP, and stretching for the first basemen).

  120. “Speaking of horrible jobs, have you risen to your level of misery? I know my dad hated middle management at Caltrans.”

    I have spent my entire career trying to avoid this fate, successfully so far.

  121. is anyone around this morning?

    I have a question, I’ll post it on today’s post as well

    DH’s grandfather is going through end of life care (currently at home)

    they are worried the grandparents will burn through any savings on his care, leaving nothing for his wife.

    I know they can gift some money to their children without tax implications (13,000 each maybe plus spouse)

    what have you all done in this situation to protect the grandmother’s assets?

    they are saying medicare won’t kick in for some expenses yet

  122. “I was always a little startled to see so many tall, mature-looking girls contrasted with shorter, skinny boys during 5th and 8th grade graduation ceremonies.”

    Ditto. I thought 5th grade was noticeable — they had the kids paired off to walk up to the stage, and some of the pairings were so disparate that you had to wonder if they did it on purpose (looked like a 3rd-grader walking with a HS senior). But 8th grade girls — WOW. There were several who truly looked like they were walking across their college graduation stage. (And several others wearing stripper shoes, one of which was in actual hot pants. I guess I am an old fuddy-duddy.) The boys just weren’t even in the same league.

  123. winemama –

    Medicare does not have income or asset qualification rules. Medicaid is the program that people are usually talking about when they try to reduce assets to qualify.

    The 14K yearly exclusion for gifts applies for taxes only. In general (and state laws vary), a yearly gift of more than about 1200 made within the five years preceding the qualification date (the date that one applies for Medicaid – usually to cover nursing home care) with be added back in calculating the assets for medicaid eligibility.

    Your grandmother will be able to keep her home and some of her personal or joint assets (usually something like 100K – again state rules apply) and a car and he will still qualify for Medicaid. As a practical matter, most middle class (I mean regular middle class, not UMC) people put the affected elder into a nursing home while there is still at least half a year’s worth funds before eligibility because you can get into a better facility when you pay initially – then the facility won’t kick you out when you go onto Medicaid. Also, after qualification most of his pension and SS income will go directly to the nursing home or Medicaid – she will retain pension income in her own name and a small portion of his to live on as well as the assets. SoFL Mom’s mother in this situation had insufficient funds without family help to maintain her house and pay the taxes and upkeep, although once he passed her income was somewhat restored.

    If they are committed to caring for him at home, it may be a while before they assets get spent down enough to qualify for in home coverage by Medicaid, but similar rules apply. There are some home services that may be paid for by Medicare (no income or asset rules), especially if he has kidney problems – there has been some liberalization of the rules recently, but again it depends on the state.

  124. How near the end of his life is he, wine? If the doctor will authorize hospice, that will cover some custodial care costs that Medicare wouldn’t otherwise cover.

  125. winemama – hospice status is a technical one for Medicare – it means that certain medicines and most non palliative measures are not reimbursed – but as RMS said, equipment and some visiting nursing and home health aid stuff WILL be covered in home – none of that requires income and asset qualification. Medicare is grappling with how to deal with someone who lives longer than 6 months in hospice status – that is something that will have to be defined better as the aging population grows. However, it is important that your grandmother and your parents’ generation understand fully that hospice means most of the treatments he was getting will not be given or paid for anymore.

  126. Finn, specializing at that age is ridiculous, IMO. And even pitchers and catchers should be able to play other positions.

  127. it is all very confusing. this is the first long drawn out illness his family has had to deal with.

  128. They should ask for a local hospital social worker or elder care advocate to help with all this, and the most worldly/knowledgeable (if trusted by the others) of the family should probably get involved as facilitator to help grandmother understand it all.

  129. @Winemama — I am sorry to hear that. As usual, you can’t go wrong following Meme’s advice, and I’m glad that someone with actual knowledge weighed in.

    On a completely different note, from the Bad Mom Diaries: I just got a call today that school is closing 2 hrs early because of the heat, and all after-school activities are canceled. My first thought: hallelujah! Because Back-to-School night tonight conflicted with my fantasy football draft. :-)

    And, yeah, I really didn’t think it was that hot. Giant weenitude. But today it works in my favor, so whatever.

  130. “especially if he has kidney problems – there has been some liberalization of the rules recently, but again it depends on the state.”

    He is in end stage renal failure. (Indiana)

  131. This may come across as blunt/grim in an online forum, but I am truly sympathetic to the difficulty of long illness, financial concerns, and aging caregivers. Someone with end stage renal disease (needs dialysis) will not survive long without it. From what you are writing (he is able to be certified by hospice), it sounds as though he is already near the end. Unless the family assets are already quite small (and he should apply for Medicaid now) it may not be necessary to worry about burning through them. The median time from Medicare certified hospice to death is 20 days. In Southern California, you can get a medical assistant (toileting, medication administration assistance, hygiene) for under $150/24h. Depending on what hospice will cover, this may be much cheaper and more sane than nursing home placement.

  132. Wine, one way of protecting MIL from being bankrupted by FIL’s care is for them to get divorced. Not necessarily an option a lot of people would consider, but I’ve heard of it being done.

  133. “Medicare is grappling with how to deal with someone who lives longer than 6 months in hospice status”

    A relative was kicked out of hospice for not dying within 6 months, and is now in a LTC home. Meds were stopped while in hospice, and I don’t think they’ve been started again after leaving hospice.

  134. Ada mentioned dialysis, which leads me to wonder if that is discontinued in hospice. Our experience was that all meds, other than those prescribed for the comfort of the patient (e.g., pain meds), were stopped in hospice, where the emphasis was on making the patient comfortable, not extending life.

  135. Wine, I’m sorry your family is dealing with this.

    On a tangential note, it’s interesting how many patients I’ve seen who went on hospice did better after all their meds were stopped. I think most older people are on too many meds anyway, and I think there comes a point when the body can’t process them anymore.

  136. Winemama – one problem with the divorce idea is that unless both attorneys are on board for the 100%/0% division of assets, it may not work. A colleague of mine counseled a potential client that the most she could expect would be 70% and that would be pushing it.

    Another idea is to see an elder law attorney and see if they have any other ideas for asset protection – in MA until recently you could use an income-only trust, but now you have to look into getting an annuity for the benefit of the healthy spouse instead.

  137. he has also been diagnosed with dementia

    doubt they would go for the divorce idea, but with above, don’t know that it would be an option any way

  138. “Our experience was that all meds, other than those prescribed for the comfort of the patient (e.g., pain meds), were stopped in hospice”

    MIL is under the impression that Medicare D will take over the meds

  139. Wine, the thing about hospice (as Mémé points out) is that you get only palliative care. If he goes on Medicare hospice, he won’t get anything other than pain meds and a few other things to keep him comfortable. It’s either/or. If he’s not on hospice, then maybe (I don’t know the details) Medicare D will cover some of it. If on hospice, then just palliative care.

  140. that is my understanding as well. She thinks they will cover some stuff like blood pressure meds

  141. Well, could be. I don’t know. The only thing I remember checking on when Mom started hospice was whether they would cover antibiotics for urinary tract infections. The answer was yes.

  142. Wine, my relative who went into hospice stopped receiving blood pressure meds once in hospice, along with all other maintenance meds. To my knowledge, the only meds received while in hospice were pain meds for comfort.

    Sounds like you and your MIL do not have the same understanding. You might want to get clarification for your GFIL’s particular situation.

  143. In the case of RMS’ mom, I don’t think the antibiotics fall under the category of maintenance meds, and addressing an infection would probably improve comfort, so I can see that being covered.

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