Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Industry Practices

via Unsplash

I've had a lot going on at the office recently, making it a bit difficult to find time to blog! I've also been finding this summer rather languid and listless-feeling, I've been wanting to laze around every weekend instead of writing or going out and about. I haven't even really been reading that much either, just watching a lot of TV shows or Youtube clips. (For the latter category, I've recently been obsessed with the delightful "Gourmet Makes" series from Bon Appetit. Claire is the best!) Between all that and my recent bout of writer's block, I don't think I'll be posting here too often in the next few weeks, unfortunately. Hopefully I get inspired to write more soon! 

There's recently been a bit of industry gossip, thanks to yet another employment discrimination lawsuit against Jones Day, a biglaw firm well-known for a somewhat... atypical... approach to associate compensation, which had also been a central feature in another high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit. The full complaint for this newer case can be read here, brought pro se (without the formally assistance of another attorney) by two former Supreme Court clerks, who are also a married couple, and who both previously worked at Jones Day, with some overlap in their respective tenures at the firm. The firm has made a possibly unwise public statement in response to this newer lawsuit. 

This particular firm is perhaps becoming a bit well-known for arguably heavy-handed responses to employment  discrimination litigation brought against them. Their full answer to the complaint in the other, larger-scale case can be found here, and it's... a lot. The firm is representing itself in that case, rather than hiring outside counsel. I suspect that means they'll do the same in this newer case as well. 

One of the primarily allegations in this new case is that Jones Day's parental leave policy, which sets different caps on the maximum amount of paid leave available based on whether the associate is the mother or father to a newborn, discriminates on the basis of sex. Mothers allegedly get a maximum of 18 weeks, while fathers allegedly get a maximum of 10 weeks.

In practice, most biglaw parental leave policies for attorneys have the same practical implications as this alleged Jones Day policy, though they're often framed in more gender-neutral language. A longer period, often in the zone of 14 to 18 weeks, is available to new "primary caregiver" parents, while a shorter period, as little as four weeks - the number at my previous biglaw firm - is available to "non-primary caregiver" parents. As an aside, regardless of the amount of leave available, it's also not uncommon for both primary and non-primary caregiver parents to take less than the maximum time allotted, for fear that it'd harm their future prospects at the firm. During my time in biglaw, one of my "non-primary caregiver" colleagues ended up taking four days. There are a lot of distressing facts about how parental leave is treated at biglaw firms.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Reselling with TheRealReal

The four items I dropped off at TheRealReal, three of which they accepted. 

As I mentioned in early June, after letting certain more pricey unwanted items in my closet (which I knew that neither my sister nor any of my close friends would like) collect dust for years, I finally decided to try reselling them in the only sufficiently low-effort way that would suit me: I took them to one of TheRealReal's brick and mortar shops here in NYC and dropped them off for consignment in the last week of May. Now that all the items they accepted from me - three of the four things I brought in - have been sold, I am writing about my experience reselling with TheRealReal. 

Overall, I was very satisfied with my TheRealReal consignment experience. My only real goal was to resell these items after having spent as little of my time or effort as possible to accomplish that goal. I didn't have a specific price in mind for anything I sent in. The most important thing to me was that each of the items would find a buyer, and if I only got paid a nominal amount, that was fine by me. Hopefully, the buyers of each of my things will get far more use out of them than I did. Like I did with one of my items, these buyers may even someday send the items back to TheRealReal for another round of resale when they're done with them.

Some of my items were extremely old - I purchased two of them, the Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag and the Ferragamo Varas, nearly a decade ago - and I didn't think there was much of a market for anything I gave to TheRealReal. I had no interest in continually listing or re-listing the items myself on places like eBay or Poshmark until I found a buyer. (I was actually shocked that my items sold out so fast, within a month or two of being posted for sale!) Plus, I find the chore of shipping things out far more annoying and tedious than most people would, so that was something I preferred to avoid, which left me with basically no other practical option besides dropping off these items for consignment in person. 

In terms of whether my experience is a representative one, keep in mind that the items I sent in are probably some of the most modestly priced ones in TheRealReal's entire product catalog. Just from my limited experience, I could see that they take longer to scrutinize and process some categories of items than others. And as you'll see, the pricing of your items by TheRealReal will affect the commission rate. Among other bloggers I read, Elaine (part one, part two) and Kathy have also posted in some detail about their experiences selling with TheRealReal. Both of them seem to have more experience than I do with sending in items from a wider range of categories, so their posts might be more helpful than mine, if you're thinking of consigning something.

Please follow the link below to read a step-by-step account of my TheRealReal reselling experience!