Joy talks about the upcoming turn-in for Cadet going to college, Claire has some big news and also reflects on Miles’ birthday and 6 years of being a mother, then we take some random (wonderful!) listener Q&A!
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This is Joy & Claire: 98: Big Life Changes and Listener Q&A
Episode Date: October 28, 2021
Transcription Completed: November 5, 2021
Audio Length: 54:14 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Happy almost November.
Claire: You know, it’s hilarious to me that for the last six weeks, you’ve been like, “It’s Halloween,” and this is the week where that would actually be true –
Joy: I’m over it.
Claire: And you’re like, “Happy almost November.” Joy’s two weeks ahead of us.
Joy: I am. And you know why I’m so obsessed with dates right now is we’re turning Cadet in soon. The anticipation is horrible. I don’t want it over, but I just want it over. Now I’m realizing as a puppy raiser, if you’ve done it before, the anticipation is killing me. I’m just watching the calendar but trying not to watch the calendar because all the puppy raisers are like, “Try to just enjoy this time. Don’t grieve the loss yet. Try to just enjoy it.” I’m like, yeah, but okay.
Claire: What day?
Joy: November 12. You’re just doing this countdown. So It’s hard not to do a countdown. My dad does this all the time when there’s a big something or if they’re going on a vacation, he sits and counts the day. And then he’ll be like, “Two more days,” and then “One more day.” That is why I’m so freaky about the dates right now. I’ll get over it once we’re out of the woods with turn in. It’s heavy on my heart, you guys. It’s heavy on my heart.
Claire: So for this episode, we asked for some last minute “give us your random questions” on Instagram, and somebody asked if you guys are going to get another puppy. You spoke about that for a second a few weeks ago, but…
Joy: Yeah, briefly I’ll cover it. We’re definitely looking to get another puppy. The puppy raiser waitlist is pretty long, so if you’re in the groove with puppy raising for Canine Companions, they require you to get on the list right away. Meaning, if we wanted to do a succession of puppies where we got one pretty quickly after we turned Cadet in, I think we would have had to apply way earlier this year or the end of last year. So we haven’t applied yet, but once she’s turned in, Scott and I were like, yes, we want to get back on the puppy raiser list. There’s also a way that you can be what’s called a finisher, which sounds very weird. So there’s puppies that go into the prison, and there’s a prison puppy raising program that also need the puppies to be outside getting socialize and have the outside experience and outside world experience. So there’s puppy raisers who will do finishing for the dogs, so if that’s something I can get on that we can do sooner, then we’ll ask if we can be a finisher for a dog. But the answer is “yes.” We definitely want to do this again. After everything we’ve gone through with her, the experience has been so positive. It’s hard work but so rewarding in so many different ways. We’ll keep you updated.
Claire: Very cool. So what is the turn-in process. I know we’ll probably talk about this five more times.
Joy: Five million more times. As I know so far, and it has changed since COVID – what they used to do and what I actually experienced when I graduated with JT, they have this huge graduation ceremony where all the puppy raisers bring their puppies for turn in. They have this huge parade, like turning in your puppy, and they make a big deal out of it. It’s their way of saying “thank you” and recognizing puppy raisers and giving them the attention they deserve. It’s really cute. They give them these graduation gowns. It’s pretty adorable. They call it the matriculation for puppy raisers. And on the same day, they have the graduation for the dogs who just went through team training, which is what JT and I did. You get this – it makes me cry thinking about it. If Cadet were to graduate, we would be invited to the graduation ceremony where then the puppy raiser hands the leash over to the graduate on stage. It’s really sweet, and everybody cries. JT’s puppy raisers did that to me where they walk on stage and hand me the leash and everybody cries. There’s not like a dry eye in the house. It’s very, very sweet. So that’s the big to do. Now what I believe and what we’ve been told is we go and we have to schedule a time to drop off the puppy. So we scheduled a time on Friday the 12th. We show up. And the nice thing is we’re in touch with Cadet’s sister, so we scheduled for the same turn in time. So it’s cute, we’ll be together at the same time. Which kind of gives me some comfort that she’ll be with her sister. Not that dogs know that. But I know that. Dogs don’t really care, but I care. So we’ll be turning in with her sister Capris and her puppy raiser Dennis. You meet with the trainer, so we’ll schedule about 15-20 minutes to meet with the trainer. Each trainer at Canine Companions is assigned a certain number of dogs that they train through advanced training the entire time. So Cadet will be assigned to a trainer. That trainer will meet us, talk to us, and then every month the trainer sends you a progress report to let you know how your puppy is doing. That’s when we’ll know these are her strengths, these are her weaknesses. These are what she still needs to work on. Blah, blah, blah. And at any time during this process, you can get a phone call and be like, “She’s not meant to be a service dog, Joy. Do you want her as a pet?” That’s what turn in day will look like. It will look a little bit different. It’s not like the big to do that it used to be, which I’m actually fine with. Because it’s in between of ripping the Band-Aid but also having a little bit of time to process and hand her over to the trainer. But I had some friends who did it during COVID where I’m like, this would kill me. The trainers are up by the front door, and there’s all these kennels at the bottom, and you just put your dog in a kennel and walk away.
Joy: Yes. Because the COVID protocol was so strict. This was before vaccines. This was in 2020. And one of the girls I follow, her Instagram handle – I highly suggest you guys follow her. It’s @fosteringpuppies on Instagram. She is a Canine Companions lifer. She has been raising dogs since she was 16, and now she’s in her young 20’s. She’s adorable. She’s raised a ton of CCI dogs. She had to do that for one of her dogs in 2020. I just remember one of her Instagram stories, she opened the kennel, put him in, and had to walk away. That is truly a ripping the Band-Aid that I’m not sure I could handle. You can’t sit and meet the trainer and be like, “Bye, have fun, good luck.” So that’s what it will look like. And then we did schedule to just come home the next day because I don’t think we’re going to be in a place to want to hang out and party in California. So yeah.
Joy: So that’s heavy on my heart guys.
Claire: In a few more weeks. Not yet.
Joy: It’s a lot going on.
Claire: Today is Miles’ birthday. We’re recording this on Monday, so that’s exciting.
Joy: Happy birthday, Miles.
Claire: Happy birthday, Miles. He is six. I know a lot of you out there have been listening since before he was even born, so if you guys – I feel like every mom says this about every birthday. I can’t believe it’s already been this long. I can’t believe he’s already this old. But it really is crazy to think that he’s been here for six years. And it’s also crazy to think what I was going through on this day last year.
Joy: Oh my gosh.
Claire: I don’t remember the episode where I tell Miles’ birth story. It’s an old, old, old episode of Girls Gone WOD.
Claire: The short version is that I went into labor on Friday night and he was born on Sunday afternoon. So, it was a long process.
Joy: Please tell the story because I love the story so much. If you don’t mind. And about how the nurses were like, “No…” I don’t know who they were, but you got to the hospital and they’re like, “No, you’re not ready yet.” You’re like, “I’m not leaving.”
Claire: So I went into labor on Friday night. I labored at home until Saturday night. And then on Saturday night, I was like, I’m exhausted. I need to go in. For Evie, I had planned a home birth. But for Miles, that was not on my plan. I knew I always was going to be going in. My doula was at my house. My mom and Brandon. So we went to the hospital. We got there. I had been in labor already for like 20 hours. They checked me, and I was at a 0. If you have ever been in that situation, you know just how heartbreaking it is. They were like, “Okay, well, you can walk around. We’ll check you again in an hour or two.” So I walked the halls in the hospital for an hour and a half. It was so horribly brutal. Now looking back, I know it was because Miles was really not engaged. Something was going on in my pelvis. There was a bone-to-bone situation happening in my pelvis, and it was horrible.
Joy: And didn’t he also have – there was a separate sack that was preventing him from –
Claire: Yeah. The way that his placenta was set up was it had an extra lobe, I think. Anyway, he never was able to drop.
Joy: Yeah, yeah.
Claire: Anyway, he was just not interested in being born. So then afterwards, after I walked around and was horribly in miserable pain, I came back. In the triage room, they check me again. “You haven’t moved. So we can give you some pain killers and send you home.” I was like, “I am not leaving here without a baby. What are my other options?”
Joy: Change that answer.
Claire: They’re like, “Okay.” So they admitted me, gave me some morphine. The nurses 100% didn’t think I was really in labor, even though by this time I was 41 weeks. They were like, “Okay, we’re going to give you morphine,” and they gave me morphine, and it was like they were trying to kick me out of what they thought was false labor. And it didn’t kick me out. It made me groggy, but I was still having contractions. At one point the nurse came in and she was like, “You weren’t supposed to still be having contractions.” I was like, “Lady, I don’t know what to tell you.” She was not my favorite. And then my midwife was really great. She came in and was like, “What do you want to do? How do you want to do this?” I got moved into a room that had a tub. Labored all night, and then the next morning they checked me again and I still was at like a 1. I was like, I can’t do this anymore. I have been in labor for 35 whatever hours. I’m exhausted. Right before the checked me, she was like, “Let’s talk about this. What’s the plan?” I was like, “If I’m not going to be pushing in the next hour, I need an epidural.” She checked me and she said, “So you’re at a 1. So you know it’s not super likely you’re going to be pushing in the next hour.” I was like, “Okay, I want drugs.” Which was fine. I feel like this is so common for pregnant people where you have a decision in your head. You’re like, “I’m going to do it natural. This is what my body was made for.” And I agree with that. I went on to have a home birth with Evie that was unmedicated. Honestly that experience was so much less intense than going through the whole thing with Miles. Anyway, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having those beliefs about yourself because I think they’re true. And I think it’s setting yourself up for thinking “I can do this. My body knows what to do.” And then if you don’t have that experience, it really can cause a ton of self-doubt and a ton of doubt in your body, which I went through for years after having Miles. So then, the midwife was like, “Shift change is about to happen. If you want an epidural, you have to get it right now.” I was like, “Yes, great. I’m just going to go to the bathroom.” So I go in to go pee. The anesthesiologist comes into the room, and I’m in the bathroom. He’s like, “Is she in there?” I’m naked in the bathroom peeing, and I’m like, “Hold on, I’m coming out.” Like, “Do not leave.”
Joy: Don’t you dare leave.
Claire: I knew that if he walked out of the room, a new anesthesiologist wasn’t going to come back for another couple of hours probably after they did rounds and everything. I was like, “Get him in here right now.” The guy was like, “Okay.” I have never in my life felt more relief than when I got the epidural. Ten out of ten, would do it again.
Joy: Ten out of ten.
Claire: It was great. I loved it. And yeah, then Miles was born like four hours later. They put me on Pitocin, and I went from a 1 to a 10 in four hours.
Joy: God. And I just remember you telling me that your hands were sore the next day.
Claire: Oh my gosh, my whole body. My biceps were sore from baring down.
Joy: Everything is clenched. You were like, “My hands were sore.”
Claire: At the time, I was like, if I had not been a CrossFitter and been used to this amount of soreness, I would be alarmed.
Joy: Something is going on. This is very concerning. If I hadn’t done 30 back squats in a row at one point in my life.
Claire: So that’s the nutshell story of Miles’ birth, and now he’s six. It’s crazy. Then of course, the big thing was that it then kicked off about eight months of postpartum depression. Every time I talk about my birth story with Miles, I always want to bring up that postpartum depression happened to me. It can happen to anyone. It has nothing to do with your birth story. It really doesn’t. I was healthy, Miles was healthy. It took a long time, but there was not any trauma associated with it really. That’s something that people have a misconception about, that if you have a “normal, healthy birth” – people think postpartum depression only happens if you had a birth trauma, and that’s not the case. There was an episode that I did a couple years ago with Noelle from Coconuts and Kettlebells where she talks about her postpartum anxiety and I talk about my postpartum depression – we’ll do a link to it in the show notes, but that’s where I really go deep into what happened, how it felt, what I did. But the thing I always tell my new mom friends is in the first couple weeks, and really the first month, it’s really normal to not really know what day it is, not really remember did I eat, did I not eat. Don’t really know what day it is because you’re up all the time. But it’s not really normal to not feel like you’re present in your life. That’s sort of an amalgamous way to describe it, but if you’ve ever been there, you understand what I mean. It’s normal to not really know what’s going on. It’s not normal to feel totally detached. I wish that was a distinction that someone had told me. Hey, you’re going to feel tired and confused, but you shouldn’t feel detached. “Shouldn’t” is a strong word. If you feel detached, that might be a red flag, and that might be something you want to talk to someone about. Just get your feet back on the ground a little bit. I wish that someone had – I try to voice a lot of what I consider to be red flags but didn’t really know how to advocate for myself. A lot of people around me were like, “Yeah, of course. You’re tired, you’re confused, you’re overwhelmed. That’s normal.” I wish that someone had said, “But do you feel like your future still exists?” And I would have been like, “No, I don’t. I feel like this is my life now. I feel like I’ve lost myself. There’s no way to ever find myself again.” Yeah, I think that for me – it’s different for everyone, but for me that was the distinction was feeling so detached and so certain that my life would never feel normal again. That can happen also – for me, postpartum depression happened pretty much immediately, but it can happen any time technically I think the diagnostic criteria is anywhere in the first year. But I definitely had friends describe what I would consider to be postpartum depression well into the toddler years. So that’s my plug for postpartum mental health. Resources are out there. Don’t just wait until your six-week checkup where you fill out that little worksheet where it’s like, “Have you been sleeping more than normal?” And you’re like, I don’t sleep. Why are you asking me these dumb questions?
Joy: Yeah, the questionnaire’s not super thorough and I wish more medical professionals were trained in at least having a mental health professional intervene at that point to at least do a little more thorough evaluation.
Claire: And six weeks is a long time to wait for an evaluation too.
Joy: I will link to some resources for postpartum mental health in the show notes. And then Niki Brazier is going to be on our Girls Gone WOD episode this week. It’s a part two because the part one we just got to talking, so we had to do a part two. And she’s also going to talk about her experience with postpartum anxiety, so be sure to listen to that one.
Claire: All that to say, we’re really happy that Miles is six. He’s so great. Getting out of five has been so fun. I feel like he’s really coming into his own. He’s just becoming so much more aware of the people around him and their feelings. He’s really starting to – not worry about other people, but just notice them and how his actions will affect other people. It’s just been so great. And kindergarten has been wonderful for him, so I’m so grateful for that. He’s just so funny. He’s so goofy. But not like hyper. I feel like a lot of little boys his age are goofy-hyper. He’s this soft-spoken goofy that makes it so funny.
Joy: That’s the best kind of funny.
Claire: It really is. Oh my goodness. Okay, so for this week’s episode, like I was saying, asked –
Joy: You also have some other big news to share.
Claire: We’ll get to that. Hold on.
Joy: Okay, okay.
Claire: I have some news to share. We’ll get to that. Because somebody asked a question that I was like – I don’t know, Joy is like, “Claire!” I always forget to – so at the beginning before we hit record, we’re always like, “What are we going to talk about? Let’s get an overview.” And then half the time we end up forgetting stuff we said we were going to talk about. But I asked on Instagram mere moments ago for some random questions, and you guys have really delivered. One of them is what is the biggest change in your life recently? So Joy, do you want to take that question first?
Joy: Biggest change in my life recently was getting a new job. I’m going to make this super brief because I want you to talk more about yours. I was reflecting just this morning on this year and how 2020 was hard on all of us. It was really difficult, no question there. And for whatever reason, I was expecting 2021 to be a little bit of a relief. I think we all were. It just threw my whole life upside down. I left my job. We’re turning in Cadet. That’s been a big thing for us of having her in our lives. Scott’s probably going to change his job too. That’s kind of in the works right now. These big, big changes that were kind of unexpected. There’s also a big loss in my family this year. These are things that you’re just reminded that you just never know what the frick life is going to throw at you. But as far as the change recently, that’s probably the new job and I think collectively just changing jobs. Because I cannot stress this enough. Going from that 90 mph to 30 mph has completely changed my perspective of what is important to me and health and wellness and all of that collectively. That’s my non-answer answer.
Claire: And my answer is that I also got a new job. Woohoo.
Joy: Yay, big year.
Claire: As you were talking and you were like, “I’m going to let you get to your news,” I was like I wonder if people out there think I’m about to say I’m pregnant. No, I’m not. No. No, thank you. I am getting a new job. So a couple of weeks ago, we were posting on Instagram about how there are so many rounds of job interviews to go through. That was my post, but I was like, this is great. Everyone thinks it’s Joy because Joy is really open about her job.
Claire: I’m leaving my current job on very good terms. This is the first time I’ve ever left where I didn’t have this feeling of, I have to get out of here right now. I really am sad to be going, and I’m really excited for my next opportunity. I’m still going to be doing marketing. It’s back in the outdoor industry. It’s a pretty well-known brand. I feel like today I’m not going to share what brand it is, but I probably will eventually. I’m just really excited. It’s a company based in Denver, but it’s all remote and hybrid and still in the marketing world. I start next Monday. So when you guys hear this, I will have just gotten back from a trade show in Las Vegas. So I cannot coast in my final week. I have to go to a trade show.
Joy: Which I have to say, the last few days or week of a job, coasting is really the best and I really wish you would have had that.
Claire: It is, and I get it. I can’t do it. I have to go. I have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and get on a Southwest flight that I forgot to check into. Now I’m in Group C.
Joy: I hate that so much. Can you get the upgrade? Just get the upgrade.
Claire: For real.
Joy: I’ve done that before. I’m just like, screw this.
Claire: I normally do it. I just am out of practice and am so annoyed. So anyway, I’m going to go to Vegas. I also hate Vegas, but whatever. Going to go to this trade show. It will be fine. It will hopefully make the week go by faster. My last day will be Friday, and then next Monday will be my first week with my new job. I’m really excited.
Joy: Congratulations. Big changes. That’s so exciting. #girlboss
Claire: #girlboss No. Hashtag still working for a large corporation because I want benefits and not to be my own boss.
Joy: Benefits are great. That’s a big reason I wanted to get a job with a company is I’m not there yet. Maybe some point in my life.
Claire: I feel like a couple of years ago I had a post about this. I think that on Instagram it can be so easy to look at all these other people and think that everyone should have this goal of being their own boss and everyone’s like, “I can’t believe I spent so much time in the 9-5. Now I’m my own boss.” It’s so glamorized. So glamorized to be an entrepreneur. And if that’s your path, then that’s great. I tried it, and I hated it.
Joy: Yeah. Yes, I totally agree with that. I also would like to know the percentage, if there’ some kind of source out there, of people that are really “making it” with their entrepreneurship. I guess maybe influencers. I think influencers is the ones who are kind of glorifying this girl boss culture. And what’s your 401(k) look like? Is that through work, and is that through your business? I’d like to know. I’m super grateful. I have an amazing 401(k) nest egg because of my 9-5 job that I started in my 20’s and was there for 11 years and worked for the government. Because they match more than what you give in the government. Those are the years that, yeah, I was doing a 9-5 job, but –
Claire: Right, you were working for the man.
Joy: Yes. It’s interesting.
Claire: Even, yes benefits are important. Health insurance in America is such a crock and still having it through your employer is –
Joy: That’s not nothing.
Claire: Not nothing. Even outside it, take away all the perks. I still had such a hard time trying to be an entrepreneur. It was just not for me. I wanted that group environment. I wanted to be a part of a bigger pool of ideas and pool of leadership. I wanted to feel like I had mentorship opportunities in my same field, in my same company. And I’m not saying that those things aren’t available if you’re an entrepreneur, but it’s a little bit different and it was not something that felt like a fit for me. I’m excited to continue to work my way up the corporate ladder.
Joy: Yeah. I think that’s great. And I think that’s a good point what you said earlier, and I certainly am not trying to put down the entrepreneur life. At all. So everyone out there that’s doing their own thing, I think what I’m trying to clarify is it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. That the grass is always greener. That’s really what I’m saying.
Claire: So yeah, very exciting. Yay. Okay, let’s get into some of these questions. What is Claire’s pie book again? It’s called The Book on Pie. Highly, highly, highly recommend it. We already talked about it – Joy will get another puppy after Cadet. What’s the best pandemic purchase you’ve made? This person says, “Mine is a kitty.”
Joy: Aw. Kitty. Do you have one?
Claire: I mean, we did get a puppy.
Joy: Yeah, a lot of people got –
Claire: I wouldn’t say it was the best one though. She’s a nightmare.
Joy: She just ate your couch.
Claire: Okay, that’s another question. Someone was like, I want to hear about River eating your couch.
Joy: Yeah, go for it.
Claire: So, River ate our couch. We had to get a new one. We had this crappy couch that has a little story behind it, so let me tell you. A couple years ago, I wanted that deep green velvet couch that was all over Instagram in 2018 or 2019. I wanted it, and I was like, “I’m going to get it. Our living room is tiny. It needs a giant statement piece of furniture.” Which is incorrect by the way. [laughing] The way to liven up a tiny room is not to put a giant piece of statement furniture into it. But I was talking to my stepmom who is very into interior decorating. She was like, “Claire, you don’t want a velvet couch. Your kids are disgusting.” This was before we had a dog, but she was like, “You’re probably going to get another dog sometime soon. Velvet is not the fabric for this phase in your life.” And she was like, “To prove it to you, for Christmas I’m going to buy you this $300 version of the couch that you want.” This kind of crappy, literally I think it was $300 or less blue velvet couch. Sure enough, within a couple of weeks, I was like, “She was right.” Velvet shows all the snot, all the yogurt that was on the face. Because kids are just fluid. They’re so sticky. Velvet really just shows stickiness. So I was like, alright, I’m glad for that lesson. And it’s still a perfectly good couch, so we’re just going to keep it and deal with the messy looking couch because I didn’t buy it, and it will get us hopefully through this phase where everybody’s a mess. And then we got River, and she one morning ate the front corner off one of the cushions. All of the cushions are attached, so we couldn’t flip the cushion over. Then slowly but surely over the next couple days, she tore open that hole more and more until one morning I came out. The way that it works is that River sleeps in a crate, and Brandon takes her out on a walk in the morning. And then there’s normally a 20–30-minute window after Brandon leaves and before I get up. We just give her a bone, a big chew toy, and then just let her hang out in the living room. We get everything up off the floor. We take everything away that she could possibly chew on. Because if we put her back in her crate, she barks and then everybody wakes up. I came out, and she had just torn off the whole cushion like it was a lid and had pulled out all the stuffing. So that was the end of that couch. Now it lives in our garage until free dump day, which is in like three weeks.
Joy: Oh my gosh, River.
Claire: I also don’t want to pay $100 for something like junk collection to come pick it up.
Claire: So then I found a $100 couch on Craig’s List, which also turned out to be a thing because this person had no memory of how she got it into her apartment. She’s like, “I don’t know. My boyfriend did it.” We could not get it out. We had to hoist it over the balcony.
Joy: Way, of her house?
Claire: Of her apartment.
Joy: Of her apartment.
Claire: She lived on the second floor. Granted, the first floor was a garden level, so the second floor was only a half of a story up. But we literally had to hoist it over her balcony because we could not get it out her front door.
Joy: Oh my gosh.
Claire: She was like, “I don’t know how they got it in. My boyfriend did it.” I’m like, “Did he assemble it in your apartment?” She’s like, “I don’t think so.” I’m like, “I think yes.”
Joy: Oh my gosh. How do you not know that?
Claire: Maybe he got it in through the back balcony. The only way it could have happened is if they had taken off her front door, which maybe they did. She was not into that idea of two strangers coming over and being like – because the post was like, “You have to move it.” We totally trashed her entry way trying to get it out of there, but whatever. So anyway. My best pandemic purchase was not a couch. I would say probably the puppy. I feel like we didn’t buy that much stuff during the pandemic.
Joy: Yeah, I feel like I bought a kit of Dazzle Dry that I was really excited about back then because that was $90 for a nail polish kit. That’s kind of a lot, but at the same time I remember thinking I don’t buy anything right now and I like nail polish. But then I would also say I probably did buy a good pair of leggings at Lululemon or I’m pretty sure I got a couple of really good pair of sweatpants from JoyLab at Target. I remember buying these things again. I normally don’t buy a lot of things. I try to use what I have, so I try not to have an excess of clothes. I do the one in and one out thing. But I remember buying these things being like, it’s a pandemic. I was going into work, so I had work clothes. But I remember comfy clothes was a big piece of the pandemic, as all of us were just wanting to be comfortable and soothed by clothing. So that’s what I would say.
Claire: Totally. Okay. If you couldn’t drink coffee, what would you drink in the morning?
Joy: Probably chai. I’d probably be like a golden milk latte, or some type of chai mix.
Claire: I don’t love the golden milk.
Claire: I tried to make it work. That turmeric taste, I just don’t like it in a drink. If I couldn’t drink coffee, I probably just wouldn’t drink anything in the morning. I don’t know.
Joy: I have to have a hot beverage though. That’s kind of the thing.
Claire: I probably would just drink tea. If you could have a drink with anyone dead or alive, what would the drink be? No, no, no wait. I did not see this coming. If you could have a drink with anyone dead or alive, what would the drink be? This is from Tilly. Great question Tilly.
Joy: Tilly, way to just throw us for a loop.
Claire: And way to know what I actually want to answer.
Joy: Exactly. It’s great, it’s great. I mean, my go-to is a good class of wine. Like a Tempranillo. I like Tempranillo.
Claire: I had this amazing grapefruit margarita over the summer, and I’ve just really been craving it ever since then. So I would go back in time and have that grapefruit margarita. Then I went back to that same restaurant maybe a couple of weeks later and I ordered it again and it wasn’t the same. Whoever that bartender was that nigh –
Joy: Don’t you hate that where it’s so specific to the bartender. But I don’t know what is going on with me lately. Maybe it’s just that I don’t really drink that much, but in the past few years, if I even have a tiny bit of hard alcohol, I am done for the next day. I can feel it, and it’s really sad because I can’t even rally with one drink of hard liquor. So wine it is.
Claire: I’ve actually gotten that way with wine.
Claire: If I drink wine, I get a migraine the next day. Womp, womp.
Joy: I was so mad one time this summer. Pretty sure I talked about it where I was at a friend’s house. It was summertime. You want some white wine, chilled white wine. I’m not a big white wine drinker. I don’t like sugary drinks at all. It just doesn’t taste good to me. White wine’s usually more sugary to me to the taste. It has nothing to do with diet. It just doesn’t taste good. I’m like whatever, I’ll just drink some white wine. It’s what she’s serving. And then the next day I felt like crap. I was just like, dang it, Joy, you’re not that old. Come on. But whatever. Alcohol’s stupid. We don’t need to drink it.
Claire: I know. I feel like my alternate answer to this would be – can it be soup? Can I drink soup?
Joy: How about some ice cream? How about a baked good?
Claire: How about a milk shake? I actually can’t drink milk because of my lactose problem.
Joy: That’s right.
Claire: People are really asking about drinks. What is the bougiest coffee drink to try? I don’t know.
Joy: Bougiest coffee drink to try. It says –
Claire: Iced Americano and chocolate and oat milk.
Joy: The bougiest. I don’t know because I don’t like a lot in my coffee. So maybe it’s like when you go to a place where they do the – what is it? The…
Claire: The super fancy pour over.
Joy: Thank you, yes. That’s probably what I would say.
Claire: That’s fair. I don’t really have an answer to that either because I don’t like a lot of stuff in mine. I usually get cortados, which I feel like is bougie. I’m ordering a cortado, and I’m like, “Um, yes, can I have a cortado. I’m going to drink it in my vintage Vespa with a side car with a pug in it.”
Joy: With aviators on. And I have shoes with no socks.
Joy: I remember back at the D.A.’s office, I’ll never forget I would go to this Starbucks, and I would say, “Can I have a coffee with steamed soy?” Back then, that’s just what I was drinking. And every single time, the guy would say, “You mean a soy misto?” And I’d be like, “Sure, dude.”
Claire: [mocking voice] “You mean a soy misto?” Like, I don’t know dude. Yeah, just correct me every time.
Joy: Okay fine, a soy misto. “Do you mean a soy misto?”
Claire: Yes, that’s what I mean.
Joy: No, a coffee with steamed soy.
Claire: You should have been like, “No, it’s different. No, that’s not what that is. I know.”
Joy: It was so stupid.
Claire: Oh, people and their coffee names. Alright. Birthday cake or birthday tacos? Definitely birthday tacos, obviously.
Joy: Birthday cake. Go ahead.
Claire: I know. Is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?
Joy: Depends. I think about riding a bike. If you don’t use it, it’s just like riding a bike. You get back on. Muscle memory stuff is pretty strong. Maybe not, maybe not. I think of – oh, Scott, bless your heart. But he always jokes – we’ll be walking by a basketball court, and he’ll be like, “I can go dunk with those guys.” Because he used to play basketball. I’m like, “You absolutely cannot. You’re going to pull a muscle.”
Claire: I’m sorry to say this. No, you could not.
Joy: It’s the same for me. Whenever I see dancers, I want to go dance. But I’m like, no, I’m going to pull a muscle. I’m going to pull something because my brain’s 25, but my body’s 44. So it’s kind of like the muscle memory with some things. So maybe light activity muscle memory. Riding a bike is light activity. Otherwise if you’re a professional athlete, you’re probably going to lose it if you don’t use it.
Claire: I’m thinking of this in more abstract terms. I think that generally speaking there is a point of diminishing returns where if you haven’t used a skill or something in a long time, I think the short answer that I would give is, yes, that’s true. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Claire: Wow, I only sleep with one.
Joy: You’re going to laugh. I sleep with my head on one. I put one over my head. And then I hold onto a big one.
Claire: Okay. I just sleep with the one under my head.
Joy: There’s something about heaviness on top of my head that makes me fall asleep.
Claire: I can’t. I also sleep on my bad.
Joy: Oh wow, that would not be good. Yeah, I’m a side sleeper. You’re going to suffocate.
Claire: You only have $30 to spend at Sephora. What are you buying? I’m texting Joy to ask what to buy.
Joy: If I only had $30 at Sephora, I would buy a pack of their face wipes. Sephora brand, I would go all Sephora brand because you’re going to get more bang for your buck. Sephora brand face wipes, preferably the charcoal ones. I think those are $12. Then I would buy a Sephora mascara or an eyeliner. Then depending on how much those were, I’d get a pack of the Dr. Dennis face wipes magical peel that I referenced on last week’s episode. That would probably be around $30.
Joy: Supermarket sweep.
Claire: For real.
Joy: And if you had any extra dollars, when you’re going through the checkout line, they do a great job of putting sample size, travel size everything to your heart’s content.
Claire: I think that’s a good idea. I think I would just go through the checkout line.
Joy: And look for little trial sizes. But sometimes they’re so expensive, where It’s like, I could get a full size of this. The markup on those is ridiculous, but yet, there you go.
Claire: Where’s the first vacation destination you want to go once the pandemic is history?
Joy: Mine is pretty obvious. I want to go back to Kona so bad.
Claire: I’ve been saying this this whole time. I really want to go to Scotland. And I would really like a beach. Let’s see here. Oh, this is a big one. Saying “I love you” for the first time – stories, advice, fears. One time in college, I said “I love you” in college to my college boyfriend and he didn’t say it back. And he never did. And we were still together after that probably for like six months.
Joy: Oh my gosh. I’m watching Succession right now. Which, you guys, I’m obsessed with that show. If you have HBO plus or HBO whatever, the app, it’s great. It’s one of the best shows on television. There’s a married couple and they’re going through some hard times right now. The wife is like, “I love you,” and he just goes, “Thank you” because he’s so mad at her. I think Ross and Rachel had that for a while or something. I think there was a Friends episode where he was like, “Thank you,” and they were like, “Aren’t you going to say it back?” But I will tell a story. I feel like I’m hesitant to share this. I might cut this out. But it’s actually really funny because when Scott and I were first dating, I was just very… I was ready to be in a relationship, but I was super scared to be in a relationship. I remember about 3.5-4 months into our relationship, we took a trip to Phoenix together. He had to do some work there, so I went with him. I was really nervous to go because I was like, oh my gosh, this is getting serious. I kind of freaked out. I remember him telling me he loved me on that trip. I had feared this so much because he watched this episode of Grey’s Anatomy with me where one of the guy nurses where, someone says “I love you” to him, and he’s like, “When I say it, I really want to mean it.” And I didn’t say it back to him at the time. I was like, “When I say it, I really want to mean it.” And I remember thinking, oh my God, did I just quote a line from Grey’s Anatomy? [laughing] But eventually, you guys, it turned out great. We love each other very much. But I just remember thinking, oh my gosh, poor Joy. You’re so young and damaged, and you literally quoted Grey’s Anatomy to your boyfriend. But that’s a funny story.
Claire: I will say, when I said it to my boyfriend and he didn’t say it back, I was devastated and I called and told my mom. My mom was like, “When you say that to someone, you are giving them a gift and you can’t expect anything in return. You need to just be okay with giving them that gift. If they say it back to you, then that’s great. But that can’t be the expectation.”
Joy: That’s good mom advice.
Claire: It is good mom advice. It is scary though. It is so scary. It’s so vulnerable.
Joy: It totally is. It totally is. Yeah.
Claire: Okay, let’s do some quick ones. What are your email styles? Are you an inbox zero or 28,000 unread messages person?
Joy: What do you think?
Claire: Inbox zero.
Claire: Yeah. I have both. My junk account is like 28,000. Seriously, what is it? Let me tell you.
Joy: Oh my gosh. Just your junk account that you give for people you don’t want your actual email to go to?
Claire: Yeah. It used to be my real account. Then over the years, it just got so swarmed by junk. It’s my maiden name email.
Joy: Oh, that’s right.
Claire: It has 25,208 unread emails in there.
Joy: That scares me so much.
Claire: But they’re all junk.
Joy: So why don’t you just delete them all?
Claire: Because that would take time. They’ll just eventually go away.
Joy: You can’t select all, delete all?
Claire: I mean, I could, but that would be ten seconds I’d never get back. Why even bother?
Joy: That’s so scary. There are so many emails just sitting there.
Claire: Who knows, maybe I might need one one day. Cheez-Its or Goldfish?
Claire: I agree. I like the plain goldfish too. Favorite holiday and why?
Joy: I do love Thanksgiving. Because of all the food. I do love Thanksgiving. I feel like it’s less pressure than Christmas because Christmas is all the gifts and the pressure to get things done. Thanksgiving is just like we’re getting together, we’re eating a bunch of food, we’re having a good time. We’re watching TV. We’re watching football together. We’re watching movies together. And then the hustle and bustle of Christmas happens.
Claire: I think before I became a mom, my favorite was Thanksgiving. But now that I’m a mom, it’s Christmas just because there’s so much kid magic and so much decorating. I like that it’s more drawn out. For the kids, it’s just so much more fun. If you had 12 big, empty cardboard boxes, what style of box fort would you build?
Joy: I would love to do a snake type of maze. So put it in a big, long tube.
Claire: Like a tunnel?
Joy: In kind of corn maze style where it goes all different ways.
Claire: I think I would do lost boys tree house style. That would be mine. Or recently we made a big cardboard rocket ship. That was cool. What’s your favorite color?
Joy: My joke answer all the time is confetti. Confetti and glitter, anything glitter. I do like red. I think that I look good in red. I just like the color red. I like nail polish red, but not political party red.
Claire: I think my favorite color is purple, kind of like an eggplant purple.
Joy: Oh yeah, that’s definitely you.
Claire: What was your favorite grade in school?
Joy: Probably 9th grade. I really liked junior high. High school is so much fun too, but if I had to think back, the in between of – and for me at the time, 7th-9th was middle school for us. I know it’s changed everywhere. But I love the transition of elementary to middle school where you’re just really figuring out who you are as a teenager. That preteen into teen identity development, but that’s when you develop some of your closest relationships. I remember having such a good time where you’re still kind of a kid but you’re trying to be an adult. Whenever I see teens of that age kind of roaming around, I’m like, oh you’re in such a fun time in life. Even though it’s also so hard. That nostalgia.
Claire: [singing] “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.”
Joy: It totally is. Where you’re looking back without thinking of the hard parts of it, but it really was magical.
Claire: I think I would have to say I loved my junior year of high school because I could drive, and I feel like my whole world just opened up. I had such a good group of friends. My home life was pretty crappy, so I just spent so much time at school, and I was really involved with my church. I was really involved in choir. I was so involved in things. It was so fun.
Joy: I remember my mom and I were talking about this recently when I was 16 and I was still driving with a permit. So at the time, you had to have an adult with you to drive with a permit. At 16, you could get your license in Arizona. I had a permit, but I would just take the car and go to my boyfriend’s house, even though it was only like a mile away. And my mom would let me go! And she was like, “Joy, I can’t believe I would let you go.” She’s like, “I was always so nervous of you getting pulled over.” I was like, “Yeah, I would just go.” Like, “I’m not going to get caught,” and I would just leave. What a brat I was. It was totally worth it to see CJ.
Claire: Oh CJ. Warm or cold desserts?
Joy: Warm. I can’t, my teeth are too sensitive for cold stuff. I’m so old. Sensodyne all the way.
Claire: Someone’s asking for holiday gift ideas. I feel like we’re going to have to do a whole episode.
Joy: Whole episode on that.
Claire: But we’re going to have to do it soon because of the supply chain issue.
Joy: For sure. Then I’ll get Scott to weigh in because he’s the best gift giver ever.
Claire: Sweet or unsweet tea? I feel like this is not a question in Colorado. That’s not a dichotomy that we face.
Joy: But I will absolutely – unsweetened. I know that’s probably really controversial. But I don’t like sweet things, yeah.
Claire: Werther’s hard candy, delicious or grandma treat?
Joy: Grandma treat. I don’t like them.
Claire: I like them because of the nostalgia of the grandma treat. Do you think actors in drunk scenes are actually drunk or just acting drunk? I hope they’re just acting.
Joy: Unless you’re watching Drunk History, which is one of the best shows on television as well. If you just want to sit and laugh at a brainless show, Drunk History is so funny. I would like to think that they’re just asking drunk. I once read somewhere – I would like somebody to clarify this. I could probably Google it. Another thing I could Google, but I’d rather you tell me. Is it illegal to drink alcohol on television? Meaning, I read something a long time ago that they can’t drink actual alcohol on TV.
Claire: Why would that be illegal?
Joy: I don’t know. Maybe not illegal, but they’re not allowed to. Or maybe the networks didn’t allow it. That was back in the 80’s, guys.
Claire: Yeah, that just sounds like an I Love Lucy thing where they had to sleep in separate beds.
Joy: Oh my gosh, yeah.
Claire: I don’t think that’s real.
Joy: Maybe they can get drunk on television.
Claire: That’s one of the things your mom tells you to get you to stop doing something.
Joy: It’s obviously not true with reality shows because everyone gets hammered. I just mentioned Drunk History, so why would that be illegal?
Claire: I was like, you just gave all these examples of when people have been drunk on television, and you’re asking if it’s illegal?
Joy: Now Drunk History is going to be pulled off television because of me.
Claire: This is one more long question. We got a lot of other cute ones. We’ll do two more fast ones. Favorite Muppet?
Joy: Oh my gosh, I love – is it Beaker? Where he goes [high pitched voice] “me me me.” I love Beaker so much. I love him so much.
Claire: I’ve got to go with Miss Piggy. She’s such an icon, such a feminist icon. Somebody asked, they want to hear you talk about Ted Lasso from the perspective of a therapist.
Joy: That’s going to be another day. I love Ted Lasso. I love Ted Lasso. But yes, another day I can do that.
Claire: Alright, this is the last one of the day. Seems like you both live such fun lives. How do you prioritize fun over chores, or are you secret productivity gurus? [laughing]
Joy: It’s so funny. This is where I’m like, social media, how do we portray ourselves that we have fun lives? I prioritize fun over chores. One weird thing about me is I love to do chores at my house. It’s very weird. So I am constantly doing chores. You could probably name a day and I did a chore that day. So I don’t save up chores. I also have four animals in my house, so I have to vacuum every day or else our house is just overrun with hair. But prioritizing… hmm. I do like to be productive, but I don’t feel like I have any other advantage as far as getting a lot of stuff done. I also try not to do the hustle culture, but prioritizing fun over chores, I would say I try to do something every day. It feels good to me to knock things off of a to-do list. That doesn’t mean I put ten things on a to-do list, and I’m like, “Every single one is done.” But I put things down that I’m like, I would like to get this done today. What’s something that I absolutely need to get done? And then what’s something that would be nice to get done? That is a personality thing, and I don’t think is universal to everybody, and I don’t think everyone is the same with that. Some people are just like, I don’t really care about getting chores done every day. I’ll just save it for the weekend. I don’t have someone that comes and cleans my house because I like to do it myself. I just feel like it kind of depends on the person. What about you?
Claire: I think an important thing with this question is understanding the differences in our daily lives as a whole. Like last weekend Brandon was out of town, my mom had the kids overnight because we had gone to a wedding the night before and then Brandon left at like six in the morning. I woke up, I walked the dog, we recorded a podcast, and I was like, “This is what Joy’s life is like every single Saturday.” It wasn’t that I didn’t have stuff to do, but all of the stuff that I wanted to do, I didn’t have to manage anyone else, and it just felt like so much freedom. I think there’s a big difference when you just think about, what do you have to work with? And so for me, prioritizing fun over chores, I can’t really prioritize fun over chores because our house is small – so many people live here. The house has to stay clean. I guess I just don’t really separate them that much. I’m sort of always cleaning. And I have some non-negotiables. Like I have to clean the kitchen every night. The kitchen has to be clean every night before I go to bed. I have some things that I just don’t care about. Like putting laundry away. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for weeks at a time. That’s sort of how I find that balance. The other thing is trying to make little moments special throughout the day so that it doesn’t feel like we have to go above and beyond to have fun. So like for Miles’ breakfast this morning, he had chocolate cake for breakfast. Or if we’re driving home, maybe we’ll stop at Starbucks and get a lemonade on the way home. These are food examples, but maybe in the middle of making dinner, I’ll come up with a way to just do five minutes of a little craft. Or we’ll do peek-a-boo around the corner of the kitchen wall while I’m unloading the dishwasher. Little moments throughout the day where I can just spend two minutes doing something that feels fun while I’m still in the middle of doing the housework or working working. I think the other big thing to remember is I have a full-time childcare helper who lives in our house. Not to say she works 24/7. She definitely doesn’t. She has her hours, and she’s really good about when she’s not working, she’s in her room or she’s out of the house. We try very hard not to ask her to help when she’s not on the clock. I think all of those things are just important to be upfront about, that we have a lot of resources that allow me to focus on fun because someone else is taking care of my kids during the day.
Joy: It kind of depends on what you clarify as fun. Not to go down a rabbit hole. But outside world objectively looking at me, I don’t know if people would think my life is that fun if they were to really follow me around for a day. I mean, I walk my dogs and I clean the house and I run some errands. But like right now, I’m not working full time, so my life probably looks really fun and exciting because I’m outside a lot and I’m doing fun things and watching a lot of Netflix. That’s just not usually reality for me. Granted, I have a lot of different things going on in my life. But I think you’re right, it kind of depends on where you are. Instagram isn’t reality, that’s also a thing.
Claire: One last question that just came in because it’s funny and it’s quick, and I think it will leave on a fun note. What would aid your survival of an apocalypse based on what is abundant in your house? [laughing]
Joy: Oh, that’s so great. I have so many paper towels. I have horded. I mean, I could clean up anything that spills, any hazardous materials, blood because I’m sure –
Claire: If you need paper towels, come to Joy.
Joy: You could just wrap yourself in it for warmth. I’ve got a lot. Come on over.
Claire: Hey, paper towels are technically sterile. You could have surgery thing going on. What is abundant in my house? Stickers. We have a lot of stickers everywhere right now, so if you need an apocalypse sticker.
Joy: I have a lot of ear plugs. I don’t know where they came from. I was looking for the pumpkin carving kit because I knew I had one, and I carved a pumpkin this past weekend, and I pulled out a huge bag of ear plugs. Just the disposable ones. No idea where they came from, but I have a ton of them. If you need one, message me. I will send them to you in the mail. If you need a pair, free of charge.
Claire: That’s hysterical. I mean, we have a lot of food. We have a half cow we get every year. We’re about to come around the horn to get our next half cow. Normally that happens in November or December. Assuming that during the apocalypse the power wouldn’t go out – I really need to get a generator in case the power goes out and we don’t lose all of our beef. Other than that though, kids craft supplies. I hope that those are going to come in handy during the apocalypse.
Joy: Stickers. Crafts. Great.
Claire: Markers. Crayons. Alright, guys, well thank you for joining us.
Joy: That was fun.
Claire: That was fun.
Joy: That was really fun. Thank you, guys, for the questions.
Claire: You can find us on Instagram at @joyandclaire_. You can find us online, joyandclaire.com. You can email us, firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to check out our other two podcasts, On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! which is our podcast covering The Great British Baking Show. And Girls Gone WOD which is our podcast that gears more towards health and fitness. Please like, comment, share, tell your friends about us, leave us a comment on our Instagram. Any way that you can help us spread the word about our podcast is super, super helpful. And we will talk to you next week.
Joy: Thanks guys.
Halloween costumes, Pablo the pig pumpkin contest, producst we are currently loving, quarantine and relationships, Joy has exciting life news, and job hunting advice.
HELLO NED DISCOUNT CODE JOY
This is Joy & Claire: 97: Fall Product Recs and Halloween Prep
Episode Date: October 21, 2021
Transcription Completed: November 3, 2021
Audio Length: 54:21 minutes
Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. It’s spooky Halloween. I feel like every podcast is saying that right now.
Claire: You’ve literally been saying that for like a month.
Joy: I know.
Claire: Not only is every podcast saying it, but you’ve been saying it since like Labor Day.
Joy: I got my Halloween costume.
Claire: What are you going to be?
Joy: I’m going to be a werewolf.
Claire: Spooky, scary.
Joy: [laughing] You know what, I was thinking of that stupid song that I’m not even going to sing because it will get stuck in our head. But that one’s way better. But I was thinking of a different Halloween werewolf song that I’m sure everybody has heard, and it’s so annoying.
Claire: Not Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.
Joy: I totally forgot about Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. If nobody knows what that is, please Google it.
Claire: It’s from 30 Rock. It’s really good.
Joy: Now I can’t stop laughing. [laughing] Okay. We just started off, and I can’t get my crap together. Now I’m just thinking of Tracy Morgan singing Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. So yeah, I’m going with a onesie. I just want to make it easy. Onesies are great. But my neighborhood is so cute. They’re having a pumpkin carving contest for Pablo the Pig. So we have a neighborhood pig.
Claire: Pablo. He’s like a neighborhood celebrity.
Joy: He really is. It’s really cute. So our neighbors are two doors down, and they developed the front yard almost into a petting zoo. Maybe I’ve talked about this before. But it’s for the whole neighborhood, can just walk by and say hi to Pablo. So they made the fence to where he can put his head out and the neighbors can pet the pig. You can feed him if you want to. He likes vegetables. I give him carrots and stuff. And they have a little camera, just in case someone gets mean and wants to try to steal Pablo. They have a security camera so they can see who is coming to visit him. But it was so sweet. We got an invitation for Pablo’s pumpkin carving party. They have all these pumpkins out next to his pen, and they want you to take a pumpkin, carve it, and then bring it back and they’re going to judge it. And then on Halloween, Pablo’s going to pick his favorite.
Claire: By eating it?
Joy: Isn’t that the best?
Claire: I want to pick favorites forever. Which one do I decide to eat first?
Joy: Isn’t that the greatest thing ever?
Claire: I love that. He’s going to choose his favorite by which one he eats first.
Joy: Exactly. So I’m not a great pumpkin carver, but I was thinking about just getting one of those kits.
Claire: But I feel like there’s some strategy here to get the pig to pick yours first.
Joy: That’s true. You just cut a hole in it and make it to where he can stick his whole snout in there.
Claire: Yeah. Or do you leave some of the guts in there? You know the ones where it looks like the pumpkin is barfing or like a zombie. Or what if you just build it with fondue or something.
Claire: Just show up with a bowl full of cheese fondue and be like –
Joy: They actually – the guys would love that. They would love that. But anyway, we don’t want to get Pablo sick. That is just the cutest thing ever. I was like, if I’m going to go to this pumpkin carving thing, I can’t just show up without a costume. That’s so dumb. So I was looking online for a onesie, and the werewolf called to me. So that’s what we’re going with this year.
Claire: I spent like 20 minutes – more than 20 minutes, let’s be honest – online this morning. I’m pretty sure I found the last kid sized Jedi robe on the internet. I’m kicking myself because we went to the Party City last week, and they had a Jedi robe. I was like, “Miles, you don’t want the Jedi robe. You need the whole costume.” And then we went home and I realized his white karate top, his Gi, if we turn it inside out it’s a Jedi top.
Claire: Just get him a little brown belt and some brown pants. Then I was mad that I didn’t buy the Jedi robe because we need an outfit, but we still need the Jedi robe. I went back, and then of course it was already gone because they only had one left and they’re sold out. Everywhere in town is sold out, so I had to buy it online. It took me forever. Amazon, they don’t even have one that is going to be delivered by Halloween. I had to order it from Party City online, and I had to pay for shipping like a chum. I could not find one. I looked on all of the – I looked on Craig’s list. I looked on all the Marketplace groups. I looked on Poshmark. I looked everywhere for a stupid kid’s – I even looked for brown bathrobes, and they were all way too bathrobe-y. Like, you could totally tell that it was a bathrobe.
Joy: He’s going to be that kid that’s like, “You’re wearing a bathrobe.”
Claire: And he’s not the type of kid who uses a bathrobe. Why would I spend $30 on a kid’s brown bathrobe he’s not going to keep wearing, instead of spending $15 on this stupid costume. So then I was like, well maybe Evie, we can put her in a bear costume or a monkey costume and just throw an infinity scarf on her and then she’d be an Ewok. But then turns out that monkey costumes and bear costumes are also really expensive, so she’s just going to be Anna from Frozen because she already has an Anna dress. It’s really cute.
Joy: That’s cute.
Claire: Yeah, so Miles is really into Star Wars right now, which I feel like – okay, right, so I’m 33, almost 34. I was born at the end of 1987. I definitely missed the first wave of the Star Wars crave. The early Star Wars movies came out in like 1980. But I do have two older brothers who were born in 1977 and 1980, so I caught it a little bit because they were into it. But I never really developed a strong feeling for it. And then when the Jar Jar Binks era movies came out, I was by that point a little bit too old to really get into it. So I pretty much just missed Star Wars. I definitely have seen the movies, but I just don’t really have a strong attachment to it. I don’t have an opinion about Star Wars. Yeah, Star Wars exists. So now that Miles is super getting into it, what happened was he has his P.E. teacher is like super into Star Wars. All of his P.E. games are Darth Vader themed.
Joy: Yeah, I think you were talking about this. Which is adorable and so cute.
Claire: So now he’s super into Star Wars We’re going through all of them. We’re watching them in the order that they were released, not in the chronological order of the story. Apparently, this is contentious about how you choose to watch them.
Joy: There’s a lot of contentious things about Star Wars. It’s a big deal.
Claire: Any time you have something like this where people, it’s part of their identity, it’s like there’s a right or wrong way. So we decided to watch them in the order that they were released. So we started with the Luke Skywalker movies, and then we went back to the Anakin movies, and now we’re up to the Kylo Ren movies. It’s a whole thing. So he’s going to be a Jedi for Halloween.
Joy: It’s one of those things that I wish I could really get into because I super respect that dedication. It’s really a big deal. Star Wars movies, it spans our lifetimes, you know. I always get really weirdly jealous when I see Comic-Con, or people just get so into the characters. Same thing with like Lord of the Rings. Did you get into any of those movies?
Claire: I mean, I’m really into Harry Potter.
Joy: That’s true. That’s true.
Claire: I would call myself one of the top three Harry Potter fans that I know.
Joy: That’s true. You’ve listened to the books a bazillion times.
Claire: And I definitely have dressed up as Harry Potter. When the books were still coming out, I would go to the midnight book release and stay up all night and read them. They were a huge part of my younger adult life. And now with J.K. Rowling being transphobic, it’s kind of caused this whole internal question of – I know a lot of people that have had to deal with this over the last few years of having these very beloved books and this whole world really that was really a big part of my life and has been a big comfort to me in times of my life. When I found out I was pregnant with Miles and I had so much anxiety about it, I would listen to the Harry Potter books to fall asleep. It’s so soothing to my ears. So I do grapple with that. I don’t have an answer to it, and I’m not going to go too far into it, but it’s something that I think about and worry about and that has definitely made me feel a little distant from that world that I once really, really found myself identifying as a huge Harry Potter nerd.
Joy: Yeah, it’s hard to tease that out because the creator, you definitely don’t agree with what she’s said and what’s she’s done, but at the time you obviously connecting to this material.
Claire: How did that change the experience I did have?
Joy: Right. You’re connected to this material that means a lot to you. It’s a fantasy world, but the creator then comes out and says some really horrible things. When you were talking about it, that’s how I feel about Michael Jackson. And I think a lot of the world can relate to that. We grew up on this icon’s music. And there’s a lot of people since then that have come out where you’re connected so much and you’ve revered their work and you’ve held them as this idol, and then when all this stuff comes out you feel very conflicted at this very odd personal level. I have no personal connection to this person, but this music meant so much to me and now I can’t look at it the same. You try to separate it into two camps somehow. I don’t know the answer. Just talking through when I heard about the whole thing with Michael Jackson, watched Leaving Neverland – which if you’ve not watched it on HBO, it is really difficult to get through. Do not recommend it if you have kids or young kids. Watch it later in life. It’s really hard to get through. I think after that, I was just like I can appreciate the time, almost the nostalgia of it. Because back then I didn’t know what I know now. Which I think Adam Grant recently said – who talked about this? Who was it? It was an interview I listened to. I listen to so many interviews. It was on Dax Shepard… B.J. Novak. He’s my new favorite person by the way. He has such an interesting take on life. He’s very, very smart. But he was saying that nostalgia was looking back on memories without anxiety. What an interesting way to think about nostalgia. When you look back, you look back on the memories. At the time, there were certainly anxious things that were going on in your life. But when we look back on the good ole days, he’s like, I think we sometimes look back on the memories without the anxiety that came with it.
Claire: You’ve talked about that with college where you look back on these college and have these amazing memories and your brain just deletes the part where you were living on –
Joy: Living on zero dollars. And so tired.
Claire: And you have to study and work and do all this, right.
Joy: Falling asleep at my desk. Crying because I was working three jobs and everyone else was partying at 9 at night, and I was trying to sleep so I could get up and go to my next job. Yeah, I look back without all of that anxiety. I just really wanted to go into Oasis [11:28.19]. Don’t look back in anger, but I won’t. So that’s what I was thinking about. The memories without the bad stuff. But as an adult, we can’t ignore the bad stuff. Okay, that was a really big tangent. But I really want to say that I admire people who can get into the Harry Potter or the Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones. I super appreciate how – same thing with sports. I love how people get into sports. I don’t have that bone in my body. I’m not such a fan of a band that I will see them five nights in a row. I won’t even really make a huge effort unless it’s like Madonna, Beyonce. Really big names, I’ll be like, oh for sure I’m going to see that person. Anyway. I just really admire, and I wish I had that bone in my body to be so obsessed with a band that I’d see them and stand in line five hours to get a ticket and get so excited about it.
Claire: I know. I think that nerd culture is so looked down on when you’re younger. When you’re in high school or even in college, you think, “Look at these nerds.” And now as an adult, you’re like, “Man, I wish I had something I was into.” I look at people who get so into dressing up as characters or drag. This is an art form. When you are dressing up in a costume that is so – like for Comic-Con or something, that is so detailed and you have put too much passion into it, I agree with you.
Joy: I just admire it.
Claire: There was a time in my life where I was like, “That’s so dorky,” and now I’m like, “That looks like so much fun.”
Joy: I admire it so much. I was at Sephora this weekend [giggle] getting some things. I walked in and the gal at the door who was greeting had the most beautiful eye makeup. I just miss those days where I would do that. I would spend hours just doing my eye makeup. I was just like, “You look really pretty, and that must have taken you a long time to do.”
Claire: I was on mute. But when Joy said that and did that little [giggle] “I was at Sephora,” I laughed very hard. [laughing] This has been Joy’s dream through the whole pandemic has been to go to Sephora to her heart’s content.
Joy: Well you guys, now you can test the products. I’ve never been happier. I’ve never been happier.
Claire: That’s all you wanted.
Joy: They have a handful of colors.
Claire: Eyeshadows and lipsticks.
Joy: Eyeshadows and products. So I need to do a new product list because there’s definitely some things I want to try.
Claire: Before we move on from being nerds, I want to mention briefly that Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, which is the podcast by Casper ter Kuile who is the author of The Power of Ritual. We had him on this time last year. If you haven’t listened to that episode, it’s truly one of the best episodes we’ve ever done. It’s such an interesting and amazing book. I highly, highly recommend it. But he was doing the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. They have a lot of statements on their website about grappling with how can you still love Harry Potter without endorsing J.K. Rowling being transphobic. If you are someone who has also been having those questions in your mind, I would highly recommend checking that out. So tell us about some products that are new, that you’re excited about.
Joy: Well, I posted about them, but if you missed them on stories – because turns out Instagram doesn’t always share what we post. Is that a thing? I’m totally kidding. That just happens a lot. I posted a couple products and I’ll share them really quick. One of them is Dr. Dennis Gross skincare. It’s called the mini alpha beta extra strength daily peel. It sounds really intense, but it’s not. I’ll link all of these in the show notes. I like to go to Sephora, and I like to talk to the employees and say, “What are your favorite products right now?” That is literally how I get most of my recommendations is I just go to the gals. They live and breathe these products. They’re around them all the time. When I was in Arizona, I went to the skincare section and the gal that was just hanging out. Of course right now it’s not super busy all the time, so she looked kind of bored. I was like, “What’s your favorite product right now?” She goes, “Oh, let me show you.” I love these so much. They’re inexpensive. It’s a great product to try. The box I think has five treatments. It’s a set of two wipes that you do at a time. So five treatments of two wipes. Just literally these wipes that you wipe all over your clean skin. It’s supposed to strip any dead surface skin off of your face. It says it’s an extra strength daily peel, but nothing peels off your skin. It just feels super soft after you do this. So you just rub it in. I did a reel on this product as well, so if you go to our Instagram and you just scroll through our reels, you’ll see me using this great little product. Again, it’s Dr. Dennis Gross skincare mini alpha beta extra strength daily peel. I get the extra strength and I’ve done it a couple nights in a row and I’ve had no irritation, and I have pretty sensitive skin. Try it out. There’s also a regular formula, not an extra strength. But I think the only one that comes in the pack of five is the extra strength. Don’t quote me on that. But they sell them in larger packets. Quite frankly, I’m not really ready to make a commitment and spend that much money on a pack of 80, so I just buy five at a time here and there. Then the other product that I love is from The Ordinary. It’s an exfoliating peeling solution. I’ll post this as well. It’s only $7. And by the way, the other one that’s a pack of five, the Dr. Dennis, is $17. So these are pretty inexpensive. And then The Ordinary exfoliating peeling solution looks like blood in a bottle. It looks really read. But I promise it’s not as scary when you put it on your face. Just don’t scare your neighbors for Halloween. Or do. Put it all over your face and use it as blood for Halloween and then you’re actually just exfoliating at the same time. So that’s again The Ordinary exfoliating peeling solution. It’s a tiny bottle of red fluid and a dropper. You just put it all over your face for ten minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water, and your face feels really smooth. So those are my top two right now that I would recommend.
Claire: Okay, I have actually started using some real-life skincare products. I’m trying to find the brand that my face oil is. I bought it when I got a facial. They upsold me for my facial. I feel like a lot of times they upsell you during your facial and then you never actually end up using the product that you buy.
Claire: The first thing that I’ve been using is a charcoal exfoliating facial cleanser. I got it at Whole Foods. But then I’ve been using this toner from Aesop. It’s this parsley seed toner. It’s really nice. I have pretty dry skin, and I feel like most toners can suck the moisture out of your skin. This is actually a very calming, nice toner. And then I have this facial oil that I’m absolutely loving. I’m going to have to post about it on Instagram because I cannot remember the dang, stupid product.
Joy: I’ll also talk about Olive & June.
Claire: Oh yes.
Joy: I’ve been posting a lot about this. Olive & June is one, I forgot to mention this. I like nail polish. I like doing my nails. I don’t do them all the time, but I think especially because I’ve been so big on ordering Olive & June, I’m like, I’m going to do my nails all the time now because I have like five bottles of nail polish. So it kind of forces me to do them. And last year I ordered during the pandemic, I was like, I’m going to try Dazzle Dry. So I will tell you really quick about how that compared. Dazzle Dry, if you don’t know about Dazzle Dry, they kind of sell it like it lasts two weeks. Or maybe it’s ten days. It lasts a long time, and the polish dries really fast. It’s a multistep system. Yada yada. By the way, none of the products that I’m mentioned are paid. I’m not getting any money.
Claire: If only.
Joy: I know, if only. Just so you know, it’s an honest review. So Dazzle Dry I like. It’s a little hefty on the price. I’m not a fan of tons of steps. The fact that you would have to buy all of their products again to get the same results. That’s kind of something that I don’t love. But I will say, I got two colors in the whole kit, and I think it was maybe around $90. Which was a little steep for nail polish, but it’s lasted me well over a year, year and a half. It will probably last me another year before the polish starts to go bad. But the thing I really like is it does give you drops to thin out the nail polish to keep it lasting longer. I think you can get a lot out of it. So for your money, I think it’s worth it. But if you’re comparing it to Olive & June, Olive & June is much more affordable. I believe right now you can get discounts. They have discount codes all over the internet because they’re really selling this stuff. I think it ends up being around maybe $70 for their whole kit and five nail polished, which is I think a really good deal. And I think with their polish you can get by with using other products. Meaning you could probably use a different top coat and be fine. You’re not having to use a special base coat or anything like that, which Dazzle Dry you do have to use their specific products to get the results that you want. I really like the Olive & June polish. It does last as long as they say it lasts. I like the poppy. It comes with this little handle that you pop on the top of the nail polish that kind of extends your grip so you’re not having to do as close to the nail – which your hands can get a little bit shaky and then your polish kind of messes up. So didn’t think I’d like the poppy as much as I did. I really like the poppy. It does make your hand a little bit steadier. But all the tools are really good. The nail file, they give you nail clippers, one of those little brushes to clean up any messes. And it comes with a little nail polish remover pot where you stick your finger in and just move it around and it takes off your nail polish. And then the top coat is great as well. The dry drops I bought separately. Those are okay. I like the Sechevite a lot better. That’s still kind of like me gold standard for the top coat that dries really fast. You can get it on Amazon. You can get it at Target. I’ll post it as well. It’s Sechevite is the name. And shout out to Jessica. One time I was like, “It’s Sechevite, I don’t know how to pronounce it.” She’s like, “You say is Sechevite.” Thank you, Jess. So yeah, that would be my quick review of Olive & June. Everyone’s like, “How does it compare to Dazzle Dry?” Honestly, I just feel like you get more for your money for Olive & June. The one thing I would say is Dazzle Dry does dry super fast. So if you’re someone who’s like, I have zero time to wait, then I would get the Dazzle Dry. You could probably build a house after you paint your nails with that stuff. Olive & June, the dry drops take a little bit longer. I had to do my nails and then kind of be chill for a while, like I watched TV afterwards, and not really do much with your hands. You can still do stuff, but you just have to be a little bit more careful. Which I don’t love. That’s my quick and dirty review.
Claire: Okay, I found my face oil. It’s expensive, guys. It’s called facial recovery oil from Eminence. It’s a tea tree oil. It comes in a little glass bottle. It’s this little yellow oil with a little green “e” with an accent over the top. I really like it though. It’s $75, so it’s expensive, but you use literally one drop a day, so it lasts for a long time. I posted about this a couple of months ago and I’m still really liking it. Suite Eleven is the name of the brand for nail polish. It’s a Black-owned brand. They’re vegan, PETA-certified, and they don’t have a lot of the toxic chemicals that other nail polishes have. Like they don’t have formaldehyde, parabens, DBP, that type of stuff. And I don’t feel like it takes all that much longer to dry. In fact, it’s very much on par with normal nail polish. I can still paint my nails while my kids are in the bath. Have them sit there in the bath for ten minutes, then take them out and dry them off, and my nails aren’t chipping, or the towel fuzz isn’t sticking.
Joy: Yeah, it isn’t making indentations.
Claire: Yeah, and they have some really cute colors, so I would definitely recommend them as well.
Joy: I’ve seen their Instagram, and I really like their colors too. Let me put a plug in too because I know I’ve mentioned it before. I still love New Wash. I’m still using it all the time. I think a lot of people – I went to get my hair done today and my hairdresser and I were talking about it because she loves this stuff as well. She’s like, “I’m so glad you’re using it. Your hair looks so much better.” She’s like, “How long did it take you to really notice a difference?” Probably 2-3 weeks, and you really have to read the directions. I feel like people who didn’t like it didn’t follow the directions. The only thing that’s weird is you have to get used to washing your hair with what feels like conditioner. You don’t get suds. It literally feels like you’re washing your hair with conditioner. That’s the only weird thing to get around. But they did give us a discount code. It’s JOY if you want to use it for New Wash.
Claire: Okay. For this weekend, Brandon went out of town. He went back to Wisconsin to visit his family. In the before times, we would go out there as a family maybe two or three times a year, and then they would also come out here another maybe one to two times a year. So we were seeing them every two or three months. Since the pandemic, we’ve only seen his mom two or three times total in the last two years and his dad only once or twice. He’s been trying to get out there more, so he went back there just himself this time. He’s been gone since Friday. It’s now Monday evening. I have to be honest, it’s been kind of nice. [laughing] I’m realizing, because I work from home – even though Brandon works out of the house, because I work from home and I used to travel a lot. In the before times, I traveled quite a lot for my job. It’s been nice to just have some time in the house by myself. Even over the weekend when I was with the kids, my mom lives really close by so she’s able to pop over. She watched the kids. Evie was taking a nap and Miles was watching a movie, so I could just take the dog for a walk. That was the hardest part is I can’t leave the house without them. It’s been nice to have some space. He gets back tonight, and I’m like, are you sure you don’t want to stay an extra day or two.
Joy: Just stay. Just enjoy yourself.
Claire: Just enjoy yourself. It’s a beautiful time of the year to be in Wisconsin. September and October are so gorgeous in Wisconsin. It’s always a very nostalgic time for Brandon because he ran cross country in high school. A lot of his really fun memories from high school are this time of year. And I feel like all of us get that nostalgia this time of year.
Claire: School and football games, that type of thing.
Claire: You and I have talked a little bit about how you and Scott – like Scott used to travel, what? 200+ days a year for work?
Joy: He used to travel a lot. A lot, a lot.
Claire: For your whole marriage.
Joy: Our whole marriage. And even when we were dating. All I ever knew was him being gone all the time.
Claire: And then the last two years not so much. How have you guys been handling that?
Joy: Pretty good. I always laugh when my voice goes up because I’m like, am I lying? We’re great. No, really. We’re doing pretty well. I think the first year –
Claire: Your voice –
Joy: Now I don’t know how to talk. Act natural. So I think the first year, we were all just adjusting to life. But I remember after the first year Scott just started really struggling. Because he was like, “I am going insane.” And that’s when I was working my job and nothing had changed for me. The whole first year or so, my life was exactly the same. Going to work, leaving the house, etc. I think for him it was really difficult because he just felt like, “I never leave the house. I’m going stir crazy.” I think for us, I don’t mean to piss people off, but I feel like our marriage got better because we overcame this pandemic together. I think that’s something that people – at least, the statistics you read is it either makes you break up or bring you closer together or something in the middle, I guess. I think that there was a lot of articles that came around. A lot of people got divorced or a lot of people broke up during the pandemic, and I just feel really grateful that we ended up getting closer and it actually made me realize, like, oh, I’m really glad I’m in a pandemic with you. If I had to be with somebody, he’s the perfect person because he’s a fixer and he likes to make sure things are taken care of. I think that was really important. But when I left my job and started working from home, that became a new dance of trying to figure out how to respect his space because I was home all the time. That was like, oh, I need to make sure I was uber aware that I was never making any noise during the day, really being respectful of being quiet. And he’s on the other side of the house. My office is on the other side of the house. We’re really far away. But what I realized is he would come in and bother me whenever. I’d be in the middle of something or writing a job application and I can just hear his footsteps coming. And I’d be like, oh my God. I’d just be like, “What do you want?” Whenever he had a break, he’d be like, “I got to ask Joy something,” so he’d come over. It was just really funny because for a while I was like, “Oh dear God.” I would just want to shut the door and hide in the bathroom. I don’t really have hide-in-the-bathroom moments anymore because I don’t really need to transition from work life to home life. There have been a couple times where I’m really trying to figure out how to respect his space and be quiet and not make noise with the dogs. And if he’s on a call, whatever, whatever. But we’re figuring it out. I think we’ve done well. And I think we’ll continue to do well because he’s going to keep working from home, I’m going to start working from home. I mean, I have for the past five months, but with my new job it will be remote for the foreseeable future.
Claire: It’s been interesting with Brandon being gone because I’m like, oh man, it is so nice to have a little bit of space sometimes. I think it’s unrealistic to think that just because you love someone and are married to them means that you want to be around them 24/7.
Joy: You know, I think there’s people out there. I’m not one of them.
Claire: If you’re there being like, “Oh my gosh, did I marry the wrong person because I don’t want to be in their presence every waking moment of my life?” I don’t think so. I don’t think that means you married the wrong person. I think that just means that –
Joy: You’re just one of those people that likes your space.
Claire: Like most of us. I would say it would be the exception to the rule to be like, “Yes, I want to be by their side every waking moment.”
Joy: More power to you. I think you are probably one of the better humans in life because I just don’t know how you do that. But I remember seeing an article. This was probably shortly after Scott and I got married. It was in Oprah. Thank you, Oprah. It was all about different types of relationships. I’ll never forget it because it was really important to me at the time. I was really struggling with settling into being married. I didn’t know what that meant. I was still kind of transitioning from this – I don’t know. I had a hard time changing my name, all the things that come with getting married. Or at least for me, I should say. I remember reading this article that was talking about all these different relationships, and one couple lived in different houses. I remember thinking, that is okay. And whatever defines your relationship and makes it work for you, that is okay. And that just made me be like, alright, I’m not going to worry about this. I’m going to make our relationship whatever it needs to be.
Claire: I think the other thing about COVID, and I think this played out in a million different ways, but a big one is that we have really had so much more time and energy for better or worse to see what other people’s lives are like. The door has really been opened to everyone’s personal. lives. I think in some ways that’s been great. I am really grateful that I don’t have to feel like I can’t – I definitely have been in professional situations before where I felt like I couldn’t talk about having kids. Or couldn’t talk about my kids. Or couldn’t talk about the fact that I was a young mom. That that would make me be seen differently. I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t worry about that anymore. So I think there are some things like that where it’s a really positive change, and I hope we don’t ever go back to feeling like we have to have that separation, between not being comfortable talking about our family at work. And I also think it’s opened us up to seeing other people’s personal lives in a way that we weren’t really ever meant to know this much personal stuff about everyone. And it’s so much easier to compare and worry. Like, “Oh my gosh, if they’re having this candlelit dinner every Tuesday night. If I’m not doing that, is there something wrong with me?” I think that in general social media – and we talked about this a couple weeks ago – we were never meant to have this much exposure to everyone around us and their personal lives and their opinions and their deeply-held beliefs. We were never meant to know these things about so many other people. Our brains don’t know what to do with it.
Joy: Yeah. So on a totally random observation, you know my parents live in Westcliff. There’s a very big Mennonite community there. Nothing makes me feel more like I need to get perspective than when we’re driving down the road and we just see a horse and carriage and they’re going to their church. There’s something very – I don’t know. I respect so much around keeping all that information about other people’s lives away. And I know there’s more to it. I want to be respectful because I’m not simplifying. Whenever we see that, I’m just reminded of how much information in society has coming at us of other people’s lives.
Joy: Let’s take a break and talk about out amazing sponsors Ned, the makers of the CBD that we love and we know and trust. Ned, Ned, Ned. I talked last time about the sleep blend. I am still using this. And this is something that I truly, truly can honestly say helps me sleep at night. You just put a dropper under your tongue 30 minutes before bed and I sleep like a baby. Remember when I said I had hotel sleep? I still have hotel sleep with the sleep blend, so I highly recommend that new product.
Claire: And I’ve been really loving their stress blend. I feel like with Miles being in school, being back in kindergarten, I feel like I’m juggling a thousand, bagillion things a day. I take the stress blend kind of towards the end of the day, maybe when I’m making dinner, because the evenings for me, like dinner time and bath time, are when I have the least amount to give but have to do the most. I’m tired. But anyone with young kids, you know the slip and slide to bedtime is the most stressful part to the day. By the time it’s time to clean up dinner, you’ve already lived most of your day but the hardest part is still in front of you. So I’m taking the stress blend maybe while I’m making dinner to try and get out in front of that, and it’s definitely helping me just feel more balanced. It’s not taking away the stress by any means. But it’s giving me a little bit more to be able to handle it and be able to take a step back and take a deep breath and create a little more space around those stressful situations. So we love Ned. We love their products. The people who founded the company are really great. They’re very trustworthy. They grow all of their hemp here in Colorado. If you don’t know about CBD, you can head to their website. They have a lot of information on their website It explains exactly what CBD is, what it does, what part of the hemp it comes from, why it does not get you high. If you are regularly drug tested, what you can expect about CBD. They have a lot of great educational resources about that on their website.
Joy: If you want to try the new destress blend from Ned, a brand that you love and trust, we have a special offer for our podcast. Every order over $40 qualifies for 15% off plus a free destress blend sample. Go to www.helloned.com/joy or enter JOY at checkout to take advantage of this offer. That’s helloned.com/joy to get 15% plus a free destress blend sample on any order over $40. Thank you, Ned, for sponsoring our program and offering our listeners a natural remedy for some of life’s most common health issues.
Claire: And thank you to our listeners for supporting the brands that support our podcast.
Joy: Alright. Can I talk about an amazing opportunity that might come my way? Okay.
Claire: I’m just nodding like, yeah, that sounds great. Talk about it.
Joy: So I have been on a bone marrow registry for about five years. I cannot remember where I registered. I probably saw… I’m thinking it might have been Jason Khalipa’s daughter when he was posting about her going through her treatments.
Claire: I feel like we did it at the same time.
Claire: I feel like it might have been at Girls Gone Rx or something. They had a tent there.
Joy: That’s a good point. I knew it was somewhere where there was a tent.
Claire: Or there was a whole summer where they had them set up at Red Rocks.
Joy: That’s true. So I registered somewhere and I remember posting about it. I actually went back in our memories and I saw the post. It was in 2017. You basically just do a cheek swab. You submit your sample. It’s very easy to do. I sent my kit in, and they keep you registered. Blah, blah, blah. So I get an email pretty infrequently, but sometimes you’ll get emails from Be the Match. It’s basically like, hey, this is what we’re doing, here’s some updates. I don’t really always read them fully, but I just stay on their mailing list. Just stay up to date with what they’re doing. Last week I get an email that’s like, “Hey girl” – no, it just said, “Urgent, please respond” or something like that. I didn’t really pay attention to it right away because I saw that it was from Be the Match and I somehow I just kind of glossed over it, even though it said “Urgent, please read.” Like an idiot, I just didn’t read the email. So the next day I was going through my emails again and I read it. It’s like, “We have identified a patient that matches to you. Please respond immediately. This is a really urgent matter.” So I called them, and it turns out I am a much for a 35-year-old female with leukemia. Obviously due to privacy reasons they won’t tell you where the patient is or any information about it, but I went through a full hour phone call with a Be the Match representative going over my health history. Really, they’re just trying to rule out if you’re an appropriate candidate. Any major health issues that could kind of kick you out of the system right away, they want to take care of in that phone call. So I spent an hour on the phone with them. It turns out I’m good to go for the next step which is a blood test. So as of this recording, I’ll be going tomorrow to get a blood test or just a blood draw where they’re going to make sure I guess I don’t have anything that’s concerning to them that would be either a risk to myself or the patient to do this bone marrow transplant. There’s a lot of things that kind of have to fall into place, but potentially I could save someone’s life and that just feels really exciting. When I got the call, I got nervous. But the representative on the phone, who was just lovely, she’s like, “How do you feel?” I love that they ask that. She’s like, “How are you feeling about this call?” I’m like, “I’m pretty excited. I feel a lot of emotions, but you go on all these registries and you don’t ever expect to be called.” She’s like, “Yeah, when you think about it. If you have a thousand friends on Facebook, only two people will get called.” It’s a pretty rare thing to be called to be a bone marrow donator. It feels exciting that you get the opportunity to potentially help save someone’s life, and I’m just really jazzed about it. Obviously, there’s a lot of steps that have to happen. I would have to go through a lot of physicals The patient’s medical team would have to determine that the bone marrow transplant would be the safest option. There’s a lot of things that have to fall into place, but if all goes that direction then I would go to a bone marrow transplant center. It might be out of state. They don’t know yet. And I would sit there for a day and do the transplant. Now a lot of people thing that how they used to do it – and they still do this method, but apparently it’s less common to do it from the hip bone where they used to do it, from that hip area. But now they do it intravenously, I guess? They take it from your arm. So you have two needles on either arm and you sit there all day. Because obviously you can’t take that much bone marrow in a short period of time. So they do it very slowly. You sit in a chair for eight hours and they get your bone marrow, and then you go on your merry way. I was added to a Facebook group for donors, which is really cool because it’s a very cool group of people who are in tons of different stages of this process. Some people are just like me where they just got the call, and then they’re going to go get the blood draw. Some people are like, “I just donated, here’s a picture. It was kind of a difficult process. They couldn’t find the right vein, but I’m so glad I did it. I would do it again.” To people kind of grieving the loss of their patient and saying, “I’ve been in touch with my patient for years, and I just found they passed away” and the emotions that come with that. So it just feels a little bit conflicting to talk about it because you do this not to get attention, but I think why I’m more talking about it is for people to get on the registry. It’s such a – I don’t want to say “easy” because I haven’t done it yet, but if I do get to that point – and regardless, if I don’t get to that point, get on the registry. Because I think a lot of people think that “Oh it’s so painful to donate bone marrow.” But from all the posts that I’ve been seeing, if you do get on this registry and you’re matched to someone, science has come a long way and it’s not as painful and you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. It’s bethematch.org. I believe you can just order a kit. From what I read on the website – and I’m 44, so I submitted my sample when I was 39 or 40.
Claire: Joined the registry.
Joy: Joined the registry. I think right now they are focusing on people ages 18 to 35. I wouldn’t say don’t go on the website if you’re older than that, but I’m pretty sure that I recently saw that they’re really focused on that age range.
Claire: The website says 18 to 40. All you have to do is go to bethematch.org. Right there on their website the very first button is “Join the Registry.” It walks you through a couple questions. Then it just sends you this little kit. It comes with a Q-tip. You saw your cheek. You send it back. It’s completely free. And then, yeah, chances are you’ll never hear from them again. But especially if you’re somebody that has a less common ancestry or you have an interesting combination of ethnic heritage, those are the types of matches that I think are a lot harder to find. And having those similar ancestral genetics can really help somebody find a match. If you’re somebody who you maybe have an interesting heritage, definitely sign up because I remember that being something that they were talking a lot about a couple years ago in the emails that I would get sent. They were like, please help us find people to join our registry who are not only white people. Not to say that if you’re listening to this and you’re a white person not to go join because you never know. But I think that it really is, you never know what the thing is that could set you apart from everyone else and help you literally save someone’s life with almost no work on your behalf.
Joy: Yeah. So thank you guys for checking that out. Alright, let’s finish off with some work advice. You guys submitted some really great advice. We talked a little bit last week, a lot last week about toxic work culture and workplaces and when to leave a job or when you’re looking for a new job. We did a post this week for advice on if you’re looking for a job, and you guys submitted some great advice.
Claire: One that I really loved, and I think that this is so critical in general in our lives, was somebody who was pretty much like, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. So a couple different people wrote a version of this, but somebody wrote, “I often see other women who downgrade themselves when writing their resume for the jobs they apply to. Get yourselves a hype girlfriend to help boost the resume and apply to jobs you feel like you aren’t ‘qualified for.’” I love that. I think that it is so true. Somebody else wrote, “Have confidence in yourself in saying you believe your qualities would benefit the company. Don’t look at the list of qualifications and say, ‘oh, I only have 9 of 10, so I shouldn’t apply.’ Really, don’t be afraid to say I’m the best person for this job.” So many people said something along those lines. It’s so true that today as women we really have been taught, don’t brag about yourself. That’s not polite. Or you don’t want to come across as being egotistic. No, you’re stating facts about yourself. You’re good at what you do. You have X, Y, Z experience. Put it out there. Otherwise they’re not going to find you. And the best way to do that is to get some hype friends. Get your girlfriends together and have them really hype you up. I’ve definitely helped some of my friends write their resumes where I’m like, hey, talk about this. I know that you did X, Y, Z thing. Talk about it. Say that you were in the running for this award even if you didn’t win it. You know, whatever the case may be. I think that was the biggest overarching piece of advice that people gave was don’t be afraid to really put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to hype yourself up. Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up and actually really brag about yourself.
Joy: I love this one that says, “Sometimes it’s okay to do a job and volunteer in a way that lets you honor your values and passions more fully. Sometimes we can get stuck looking for work that pays well and aligns perfectly with our purpose and passions. That’s cool, but not always realistic. It’s possible to find things outside work that are deeply fulfilling. This arrangement is actually pretty great for holding boundaries and not overworking.” I think that’s great advice. And I just want to comment about where I go with this is sometimes that’s where we get stuck with the comparison trap of looking at other people’s lives. Or the girl boss “follow your passion,” the MLM culture that’s kind of like, “Hey girl, you can do everything you want and you can live that dream life” and that kind of goes back to our conversation –
Claire: You can have it all.
Joy: You can have it all. Or the question we’ve had before, can your passion be your job? Not that there’s one answer on that, but it makes me think of that conversation.
Claire: I feel like with our jobs, similar to the way that we can expect our spouse to be every single role in our life, we also expect our job to fulfill every single thing that we want a regular activity to fulfill. Yeah, if your job is not a subject matter that you’re passionate about, see if you can join a club or volunteer or take a class or something to have that other part of you fulfilled. There were also some great, just very technical pieces of advice. Always have two questions prepared for the interviewer, one that pertains to their journey with the company and one that speaks to the company’s current initiatives. Somebody wrote and said, “I have a very hodge podge, diverse, work history. Even doing all the right things, the algorithm reject me right away. So I found a job board for startups, and many of the job listings allow you to personally reach out to the hiring manager. I found I was able to get a lot more interviews through this list and finally landed a great job.”
Joy: That’s Angel List. That’s a great website, Angel List.
Claire: Like we talked about last week, it can be so demoralizing to just either never hear back. Even though you spent an hour plus or more tweaking your resume and then you just send it off into this black hole. Sometimes it feels like I might as well have printed this out and lit it on fire for the amount of good that it did. I definitely have felt that way where I will send out – I remember I had a job application process where not only did I have to send in my resume but then additionally fill in my job history, which I hate. If I’ve given you my resume, don’t make me also fill it out. And then I had to answer five or six really long questions.
Joy: That’s the worst. That’s the worst.
Claire: And I never heard anything.
Joy: I hate that.
Claire: I literally might as well just have blown this into a balloon and sent it off into the sky.
Joy: I’m wasting so much time and I’m not going to hear from you. That drove me crazy too.
Claire: Put my resume in a bottle and throw it into the ocean.
Joy: You’re welcome for all this time I did for you that you’re never going to respond with.
Joy: And someone said, “Be bold. There’s nothing wrong with doing research, connecting with decision makers, and saying ‘I’m uniquely qualified for this.’ It’s only annoying if you’re not qualified. If you are qualified and the right person in the position, you’re doing them a favor.
Claire: We talked about that a little bit when you were dealing with your offer process and you were trying to negotiate some different things that you wanted. You were like, “I feel so scared. I just sent back my counteroffer.” And here are the things – even though it feels like you’re not, they expect you to do that. They expect you to put yourself out there in a job application process. They expect you to counter offer when you get your first job offer. Even though it feels like you’re being problematic, you’re actually playing by the rules. And if you don’t do those things, then I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a red flag, but you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage to the rest of the people who are doing the things. Because it’s all just part of playing the game.
Claire: Speaking of which though, somebody did ask a really good question about your new job. In this new work-from-home world, a lot of new companies are popping up that are remote. And how can you tell if the company is legit?
Joy: Speaking from me experience, I do a lot of research on Glassdoor. So if you’re not on Glassdoor and you’re job searching, get on Glassdoor. I would say the main websites I would use when I was job hunting was Glassdoor, Angel List, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn and Glassdoor were probably the primary ones, but I did like looking at Angel List. Since that listener mentioned it, I want to throw that out there too. Glassdoor is great. Now I know that there’s always going to be negative reviews, and I know that there’s people that are probably disgruntled. It’s probably like Yelp. You want to kind of take it with a grain of salt. But I would go on there just doing research about the company and the benefits and to see what people were saying about working there. It was extremely low. To me, I’m like, that’s a little bit of a red flag because there’s more companies. I kind of based it off of my previous employer. So I went to my previous employer and I look at what their reviews were, and I was like, yeah, that seems about right. There’s people that didn’t like it and they really wanted to say something about it, but then there’s people that just love it. So you’re kind of wanting to find the truth that’s always in the middle. But I would want to go to this company’s website and I would see what people were saying about working there. And then I actually went on LinkedIn and I found people who worked for the company and I asked them what it was like working there. Of course, it’s kind of a cold call to say, “Hey, I’m applying to this position at this company. I see that you’re working for them or have been” or whatever. You just send a nice email and ask them what their experience is like, or say, “Hey, would you mind jumping on a phone call.” Some people felt more comfortable talking on the phone rather than putting something in writing. I totally get it when it’s a stranger. Ugh, are you trying to bait me? What’s going on? So I did a couple of phone calls. I would reach out to people who are currently working at these places and asking them for candid feedback. I thought that was really helpful because that actually made me more confident in the decision when I was accepting this job offer because everyone had rave reviews about it. So that’s another thing I would recommend.
Claire: I think that’s really good advice. Especially if it’s a brand-new company, a lot of times you know someone who works there so you can get a sense of it. But especially if it’s a newer company, I always like to ask question too when I’m interviewing about, hey, if you are going through an acquisition, what has changed? What do you think is still waiting to change? What has changed that you’re not happy about? I think when you’re in this world where it feels like acquisitions happen every single day and new remote companies are starting, it’s so good to get real feedback from the people who actually work there and are in the bubble in the moment.
Joy: In the moment.
Claire: Alright guys. Great talk. We had some great conversations this week.
Joy: We sure did.
Claire: As always. Don’t forget, check out Ned, helloned.com/joy or use code JOY at checkout. Support the brands that support our podcast. Thank you, guys, so much for checking them out and for using their awesome products. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. We are on Facebook, which we don’t really update all that much except just sharing our Instagram posts onto Facebook. But you can also find us online joyandclaire.com. You can email us email@example.com. Please feel free to always send us a note. Anything you want, a question, a comment, a picture of your dog wearing a Halloween costume. Stay tuned because the time is coming near. That’s pretty much the only thing we use Facebook for is collecting pictures of animals in Halloween costumes. So get ready because if you are sitting there thinking, “No one cares if my dog wears a costume,” lies. We care. Joy cared.
Joy: I care. I look forward to it every time I do that post. I sit on my couch, and I scroll, and I smile, and I talk to your animals through the phone.
Claire: I wish that you guys could be a fly on the wall for Joy that entire day because it truly brings her so much joy.
Joy: It does. It makes me so happy. So happy. So thank you in advance.
Claire: And don’t forget we have two other podcasts. You can check out Girls Gone WOD, available wherever you get your podcast. And you can also check out On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! which is our super fun podcast that follows The Great British Baking Show. This week I made some sticky toffy puddings from the technical from dessert week. And they turned out great and were delicious. So come here so we can talk about them.
Joy: Love that group of words. I’ll say it again and again. Sticky toffy pudding!
Claire: Sticky toffy pudding!
Joy: There needs to be a rap song or a song made about that.
Claire: Is that going to be like your rapper name?
Joy: Sticky Toffy Pudding. Yeah, it is actually.
Claire: It would be a good name for a band. Okay, well before we get too far down that rabbit hole, we will talk to you guys next week.
Joy: See you guys. Bye.
Joy has exciting news to share! Then we talk about jobs and job searching and discuss more in-depth about how to handle toxic workplace behaviors.
DISCOUNT CODE JOY
This is Joy & Claire: 96: New Jobs, Old Jobs, and Looking for Jobs
Episode Date: October 14, 2021
Transcription Completed: October 27, 2021
Audio Length: 55:22 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. For a second, I was like, which podcast are we doing? [laughing]
Claire: Oh no. Where am I?
Joy: What am I doing? I had too much caffeine. I have a caffeine hangover. I hate when that happens.
Claire: It’s not even a hangover. You’re still in it. You’re caffeine drunk.
Joy: Caffeine drunk. Which never really happens because I tend to not drink a lot of caffeine. But I had one extra cup this morning, and then I just had a latte. It’s noon, and I’m not okay. Not. Okay. I’m drinking a hydration multiplier right now. Maybe the hydration will multiply against the caffeine. Isn’t that how that works?
Claire: I’m pretty sure that’s how that works. It will help your liver.
Joy: Okay, great. Will it help this headache?
Claire: It works when you accidentally get drunk, so it’s got to be the same thing with caffeine headaches.
Joy: Perfect. And I just had a peanut butter cup, which is sugar.
Claire: Good idea, Joy.
Joy: [laughing] Well I needed to have an emergency snack because I’m really hungry, but I’m like, ah, I’ve got to jump on the podcast. You can’t really chew. So I shoved a peanut butter cup into my mouth.
Claire: I don’t know what you should have had, but I don’t think it was that. What could you have had that would have been just… like just nuts or something? Just a big bowl of nuts.
Joy: Aw man. I thought that was a good idea. I just need a lot of calories all at once.
Claire: I mean, true. But anyway.
Joy: Anyway, let’s talk more about my food issues.
Claire: Give the people what they want. Joy’s imminent caffeine crash.
Joy: Oh my gosh. Okay. So it’s almost mid-October. Where are we? What are we doing? We’re recording on a Monday.
Claire: It’s Monday afternoon. Thank you for being here with us in the future on Thursday.
Claire: We hope you’re having a great week. You have some fun developments in your life, which we want to share. In this podcast as a whole, we really are just going to spend a lot of time talking about work cultures, toxic work cultures, jobs, new jobs, old jobs, people’s jobs, other people’s jobs. Give that a lot of the time that it deserves because I feel like going through the last… I don’t even know how to say it anymore. The times that we’re currently in and will be in for the foreseeable future.
Joy: Right, it’s no longer unprecedented.
Claire: It’s no longer unprecedented. This is the new normal, which I also hate that phrase. I feel like it’s just changed the dynamic of our relationship to our work so much. So many people are getting new jobs, quitting their jobs, going out on a limb without a job lined up, and it’s shedding a lot in realizing your work culture has maybe been very toxic. Or maybe you have a story from long ago that didn’t even have to include the pandemic, so we’re going to talk about that today.
Joy: Yes. So we’ll start with good news. I got a new job, and I’m very excited about it. So for those of you who may not know, I left my previous place of employment back in early June. It was a kind of sudden, unexpected, kind of expected turn. I took a lot of time to really evaluate what I wanted to do. It was a little scary. I think I mentioned in previous episodes that I was in a place to do that. It was not something that – I always think of Brene Brown or Elizabeth Gilbert where people would come up to her and be like, “You inspired me to just quit my life and go travel.” And they’re like, ah, that kind of scares me. Not everyone can do that. There’s a little bit of that head in the clouds mentality where it’s just like, okay, realistically what can you do? We can’t just all quit our jobs and go look for a better one. So I realize that I was in a position that I could take some time and super grateful for that. I really took the past 4.5-ish months to decide what I wanted. Most of you know that I was working on the platform – and I still am. I’m closing out my case – but I went on the platform BetterHelp, which is an online telehealth platform for behavioral health therapy. It’s a great, great platform if you are looking for therapy. I know there’s tons of podcasts that are sponsored by them. They have a discount code. We do not. Which we probably should by now. But they’re a great platform and I highly recommend them for therapy and telehealth. So I was working for BetterHelp since July and realized I really like working from home, and I really like doing teletherapy. This is actually lovely, and I do enjoy just waking up, rolling into my home office, and doing telehealth. The patient population is amazing. I started thinking more about doing a work-from-home job. Fast forward, I got a job with a company called Ginger Health. I didn’t think much of it. The whole process of applying for jobs we can talk about in a minute. Claire and I always talk about how hard it is to go through the job-hunting process and applying to jobs. I cannot tell you how many jobs I applied for that I got the automatic rejection letter where I’m pretty sure they don’t even look at your resume. As a side note, I have not had to really look for a job since I started my professional career. My first job out of grad school was a friend recommendation referral. My second job from there was a recommendation friend referral. So this is the first time I’ve had to – I know people are like, “Oh, boohoo,” but truly I’ve been lucky in that most of my jobs have been friend referrals. Like, “Oh, we have this opening. You should apply” type of thing. This was really the first time – I’m 44 years old looking for jobs, getting on LinkedIn, making sure your profile is all fancy and doing all the recommended things you’re supposed to do when you’re job hunting, just feeling like I was beat down by the process. I know a lot of people have been through that as well, so my heart goes out to all of us in the trenches looking for jobs in that sense. But I applied to so many jobs, got so many rejections, did some interviews, liked some companies, didn’t like others, really truly tried to stay true to what I knew was a fit or not a fit. There were a couple jobs I interviewed for that I was just like, I can tell this is not something that I would want to do or just not vibing with them. Well when I applied to this job, I remember not thinking much of it. Which is kind of how it always works, right? Where you’re the least attached to something. So I interviewed with them. Really liked the vibe, really liked the company. They have an amazing culture from what I can tell. I sought out a few people on LinkedIn who already work there and talked to them about what it’s like to be a therapist there. So I start at the end of November for Ginger Health. They were recently acquired by headspace. Headspace is moving into the telehealth realm, which is really exciting too. So I’m kind of in this emerging telehealth world that’s growing and growing and growing, and that feels really exciting. So I will be a full-time therapist for Ginger Health, soon to be headspace Health, and I am super jazzed. It’s exactly what I need right now.
Claire: So explain what the difference between what you will be doing and a BetterHelp. Because when you first explained it to me, it sounded like, wait a minute, this sounds like the same thing. Just more.
Joy: Yeah, so I will be working for a company as opposed to contracting. BetterHelp therapists are contract only, meaning you get no benefits. Actually, I should back up. If you work a certain amount of hours with BetterHelp, you get some benefits. You’re eligible for some of the workplace benefits – health insurance mainly. But that’s really it, and they don’t consider you as an employee. You are just a contractor. Which is great if you have a private practice because then you have a bunch of different hands in the pot. You don’t have to have you’re just working for this one company. But I really wanted to work for a company. I was pretty clear on, I didn’t want to do private practice. I wanted to work for a company where I was on salary and that I had a full benefits package. Ginger has amazing benefits. There was a bunch of things that I wanted from an employer that I just didn’t want to keep doing contract work. That is the main difference is I will be on staff with this company having the whole benefit of clinical supervision with your teammates. I didn’t get that at BetterHelp, so you kind of feel a little bit lonely where if you have a clinical question, you just were kind of on your own or you ask your therapist clinical friends about it. This is a little bit more of that team culture. You’re actually working fora. Company again. So that’s really the main difference.
Claire: And it’s not like an app where anybody off the street can just sign up?
Joy: Not right now, not right now. Mainly with Ginger, and I don’t know enough yet obviously because I haven’t started with them. But Ginger, mainly their clientele are big companies that use them for AIP [00:09:17.24] services. At the moment, that’s what the clientele is. It’s not open to the public. But my hunch is it might be changing if headspace has acquired them. Who knows what the future will look like with that? But still telehealth. Still full-time therapy, which is what I’m used to doing. But I just haven’t done that in the telehealth space. So very similar to what I was doing at BetterHelp, but just more of a company culture feel.
Claire: More structure.
Claire: Well it’s very exciting. And I think it’s also good to reiterate what you said about those 4.5 months that you were kind of figuring out what you wanted to do. That didn’t look like just reading tarot cards and doing vision boards al day. It was a lot of applications, a lot of being turned down, a lot of not even hearing back at all. I think that when you’re in the job search, it can be so soul sucking. And it really can feel so rejecting, and you can just feel like, somebody just let me do my thing. Why doesn’t anybody want me?
Joy: I’m a catch. Yeah.
Claire: I’m amazing. Where are these people? Why can’t I even get an interview? Or I’ve been in this situation where I get to that final round. I feel like, in my past, it’s always between me and one other person. And I’m like, don’t tell me that. Don’t tell me that it’s between me and one other person. I’d almost rather get screened out at the beginning than make it to the final round and then not get the offer.
Joy: Yes. Yes, it’s exhausting.
Claire: It’s exhausting. It’s brutal. And I know a lot of people are going through that right now. I was talking to somebody the other day who was asking me, what’s the deal with this Great Recession? Are you seeing that in your industry? Asking me, am I seeing that in my industry? So you guys know I’m in marketing. I have 10-11 years marketing experience. I work for a large corporation, and I’ve always worked for larger corporations for the most part. What I’m seeing in a lot of larger companies is that what’s happening is middle and senior middle – like managers and senior manager level people are quitting. Because they’re not getting paid enough or there’s no room for advancement because the pandemic changed things or whatever the case may be. Or they’re realizing their priorities are shifting. They want something new. Whatever the reason is. And instead of replacing those people apples to apples, the company is saying, okay instead of replacing this senior manager, we’re going to hire two coordinators. We’re potentially not going to promote anyone into that senior manager role. It’s just gone now. And instead, this team is a larger team with more entry level or lower-level employees. So there’s this bottleneck happening where there is this huge need for entry level – I would say less than 3-5 years of experience – type of employees, but the people that are looking are more in the 8-10+ years’ experience level. And a lot of those positions are being eliminated. That’s at least what I’m seeing in the corporate marketing world. It’s very complicated, but you’re hearing so many people, and it feels like these two disparate worlds. On the one hand, you hear these headlines of there’s this huge worker shortage. And on the other hand, you’re talking to your friends who are like, “I can’t find a job.” At least in marketing in corporate America, that’s what’s happening. It’s very frustrating and weird.
Joy: Yeah. I’ve found something similar with… well, a couple things too. When I first started applying, I just was throwing my hat everywhere that I thought was interesting and I tried to just be very open minded. At the same time, being picky. But you can’t be super picky because you just never know after applying to something that you’re like, “Oh actually, this is a job that I would really enjoy.” But I think what I expected. Because Scott is in a field where he gets job offers day in and day out. He’s just in a very different field where they are constantly offering him jobs because he works with a lot of different companies and they really like him. So I joked because I was like, “You have constant job offers, and here I am just trying to even get a response.” It’s maddening.
Claire: I have said this so many times. Brandon, who could literally kill someone at any moment at his job – he’s a surgical nurse. His job responsibilities are significantly more technical, significantly more black and white than mine. Right? We all understand the gravity of the situation when you’re in the room while someone’s having surgery and you’re in charge of getting the supplies out and making sure things are going well. So he recently started a new job. When he went to go apply for jobs, he applied to two jobs on Indeed. Just cold applied. Got two calls back, two interviews, and two on-the-spot job offers. Practically on the spot. Later that day, they called him back and offered him the job. This is not real.
Joy: It’s a little maddening. And there are definitely days where I was bitter. I look back on these 4.5 months and I had some pretty dark days that I will share with you in a mere moment. But just for advice for people who may be looking for a job – and please chime in and share your advice. We’d love to hear. We’ll post about it. But I think the main points that I learned was LinkedIn was my best friend. Really thought LinkedIn was better for searching for jobs. User-friendly. Indeed is a little bit harder. And Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter are a little bit harder to use, like filtering out what you really want if you’re specific. If you know what you’re looking for, I think LinkedIn is great for that. Really, really focus on making sure that your resume is not going to get kicked out of those automated application systems. So do some Google research around what key words that you need to use, the length of your resume. If it’s too long, it will automatically get kicked out of those automated resume systems. Some larger corporations use that to just week people out right away, so if they get hundreds of applications, you might not even get through because of that. That’s really important to research and look into. I had a bunch of people looking over my resume and refining it and editing it, so make sure you’re doing that. That was why, when I was getting really defeated, was I was like, oh my gosh I’m doing all this and I’m getting all those auto-generated emails. But the other thing that Scott and I talked about – and I had a meltdown one day in Whole Foods. It was the end of August. I had hit the three-month mark of searching, searching, searching. And at the same time, I’m trying to be mindful of taking a break. But I’m also searching. My full-time job in the past four months has been looking for a job. My days would be packed full. I’d see telehealth patients, and then in between that I’d be looking for jobs, applying for jobs, walk the dogs, take a break, see a patient, apply for jobs. Before I knew it, it was the end of the day. Time really does fly even though you’re unemployed. Because I really made it my mission to just really, really look for a job and make sure that I was doing that all the time. If felt that pressure, too, you know. I was also trying to be like, alright Joy, chill out and take a break. It was a balance, but I figured it out. I think that I also realized – after three months, I started to get worried. I felt like I was making some progress, but it wasn’t feeling like enough. Or it didn’t have as many leads.
Claire: Like 100 steps forward, 99 steps back. You get so far, and then just nothing.
Joy: Exactly, exactly. And I’d had some interviews, but I didn’t like the company or vice versa or I just wasn’t a fit. The other thing too is, hey companies, if you interview someone and you know you’re not going to hire them, can you just immediately send them a letter and say, “no thank you”?
Claire: Yeah. Don’t make us track you down.
Joy: Oh my God. There was one. I’m not going to say who it was. They completely ghosted me after I interviewed with them. It’s one thing to just say “no thank you” after you submit a resume. Most people don’t even send you an email saying “no thank you” when you submit a resume. But this team of people interviewed me and just ghosted me. This was probably 2.5 months ago when I interviewed with them. Finally last week I get an email saying you were not chosen for the position. I wanted to be like, “Duh.” Duh. Please, just be timely with that. It’s so, so unprofessional. Anyway. End of August hits, and I think I was just in an emotional space. There was a lot going on in my life. I went to Whole Foods with Scott one day. I don’t know what it was, but I got into Whole Foods and all I could think was like… you know how we had that conversation with Cherie Chan where she was like, “My goal in life is just to go buy groceries and not have to worry about it.” That’s really kind of what I truly just love about life right now is I get to just go somewhere and buy groceries and not worry about what I’m buying. I was in Whole Foods, and I had this panic of what if I don’t find a job and I’m going to have to start worrying about what I buy – this is who silly, you guys, I know. This is where I was – what if I have to start worrying about what I buy at the grocery store because I’m going to run out of my savings. I just freeze. Scott is like, “Hey, I’m going to run downstairs.” There’s a liquor store at Belmar that we always go to. He’s like, “I’ll meet you at the car.” Okay. And I just kind of go catatonic where I can’t process anything. I’m walking around the store, and I don’t know what I need, I don’t know what I want to buy. I just end up leaving, going and sitting in the car, and I just start crying. I’m bawling my eyes out, just have this full-on meltdown. Scott sits in the car and he looks at me and I’m bawling. He’s like, “Oh my God, what happened?” The last time he saw me, I was fine.
Claire: I leave you alone for 30 seconds, and you have an existential crisis.
Joy: Yes. And the other thing too was this grocery store was next to where I used to work at the vaccine clinic. I would always go to the lunch there. For whatever reason, too, I just got really angry and mad for the reasons I had left. I was like, “I’m so mad. I’m so mad.” I was just emotional. He’s like, uh… he didn’t know what to do with me. But I think the bottom line was I got over it, right. The next day was fine. I just needed to cry. But Scott was like, “Why don’t you start applying…” because I was also looking at jobs that were management level because I’ve been doing that for a long time. Also what I realized about management roles is people tend to hire from within. They tend to promote from within with those roles, which makes a lot of sense, especially coming in as a new manager from the outside is not always the easiest thing. So I think that that was something that I had to kind of – then I just kind of course corrected. I’m going to apply for jobs that are therapist positions where potentially I could move into management if I even want to. So I changed my course. But I think the whole point of that is I also kept the mantra of it will happen. Eventually someone will hire you. It’s kind of like dating. Eventually you will find the one. It’s so much like dating.
Claire: It’s so much like dating.
Joy: Where you’re waiting for someone to call. You’re like, “Do you like me?” The rejection thing.
Claire: And when you want to get an answer, you’re like, but I don’t want to appear needy. I don’t want them to think I don’t have anything else going on.
Joy: It’s such a game.
Claire: It’s so much like dating.
Joy: It’s such a game, yeah. I’m really grateful that I went through that experience. Obviously, I can look back and be like, I do feel pretty grateful – I almost want to stay abreast of what’s going on in the job market. I learned a lot from figuring out what is out there. I think that’s something I want to keep looking at or reading about jobs out there. I think that’s really important. Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you can just forget about that stuff. I’m not planning my next move, by any means, because I have the next move. But that is something that I learned, the value of seeing where the job market is and what positions are out there. It’s an interesting journey. Just from people giving me encouragement, I always knew that I’d find another job. I knew that. And if things got desperate, of course I could just keep doing telehealth. I was trying not to do that full time because I knew that I was also trying to do my best to not overwork and enjoy my time out of the full-time workspace, which I completely have. My tag line for anyone who knows me, who’s close to me, any time they’d be like, “How are you?” I’d be like, I’m living my best life. I’m having such a good time being home with my dogs, doing telehealth on my terms and just going to the neighbor’s house every day to play with the dogs. I still feel like I’m going to have somewhat of that balance. If anyone has job hunting tips to share, just email us. I think that’s something that a lot of people can relate to and we can share them.
Claire: So like we were saying before, there’s a lot of reasons that one may look for a job. And one thing we wanted to talk about also today is toxic workplace culture. We asked for people’s questions, people’s advice, people’s stories. We got a lot. I think the biggest theme I’m seeing. We’ll read a lot of the individual ones. The biggest theme that I’m seeing so far is the fact that if you are in a difficult work environment it really can impact your entire life. And it can impact your life for years to come, even after you get out of that job. I feel like there is so much gaslighting that happens in workplace culture. That’s another big thing I’m seeing is people when they go to ask for something, want a raise or ask for a promotion or even to ask just to leave a little bit early or need anything from their employer, they’re really given this response of, “Well, aren’t you just happy to be here? Don’t you like your job?” Or if they ask for help with a problem, they’re made to feel like the problem is their fault. There’s just so much where things are not a reciprocal relationship between somebody who is working really hard, wanting to do well, wanting to go onto that next level, and then when the time comes for that to happen the employer turns around and is like, “Well, what are you talking about? Why would you ever think that we would do that?” Just so toxic and gaslighty.
Joy: I also want to just briefly say that – because it reminds me of a conversation, the first episode I had on Girls Gone WOD feed when we did the relaunch with JK, is around the ability to even do this. I want to reiterate the importance of this is just not a toxic positivity girl boss statement of “just leave your job.” “If you don’t like your place of employment just leave.” That’s not what I’m saying. I think it’s just bringing awareness that you’re not crazy, that you’re not the one that is the problem, that sometimes the system is really messed up and you might not be able to leave. So what can you do to make the most of a bad situation while also possibly looking for other jobs? So I want to recognize that too that we’re not doing the whole girl boss, live your dream life because I don’t think that – most of us are in positions that we cannot just up and leave bad situations.
Claire: Totally. And that is also a theme I’m seeing in a lot of these emails. Of I knew this was toxic and I couldn’t leave. Whether it was financially I wasn’t able to look for another job. I was on a contract, and I couldn’t leave without being penalized. I think we covered earlier in the summer the situation where sometimes if you’re new in a career path or there are certain career paths out there where these sort of grunt jobs exist that you have to get through – which is stupid and toxic, but just because we think that it’s stupid and toxic doesn’t mean that that’s not the reality for a lot of career paths. The first email we got is very similar to what I’m talking about now where this person says, “I just left a very toxic workplace three months ago after working there for five years. When I look back on it, it’s the classic unhealthy relationship story. Love at first sight. Red flags that I ignored. Slowly realizing how bad it was and then figuring out how the hell to get out. The first year was great. I felt like it was where I always wanted to be and saw myself there for years to come. The next two years were when the red flags really came out, but I just figured it was part of any business. Different personalities and perspectives. During year three, I completed all the requirements for license that I had been working toward since I graduated and expected a promotion or recognition. I did get more responsibilities, but no extra compensation.” Another big theme. “My boss also started to critique everything and treated me like a child. I was a salaried worker, but If I left even a few minutes before 5, I was yelled at in front of the rest of the staff. When I came back from maternity leave, I was bombarded with paperwork, a lot of it past due and felt like I was being punished for taking time off. One month prior to leaving, I had my yearly evaluation and asked for a raise. I was told that it couldn’t be done right now, so I immediately started looking for a new job. When I handed in my resignation, I was yelled at and told it was disrespectful for me to only put in two weeks’ notice and somebody in my position should have given a month because of the workload that I had. I was also told that I should have talked to her first and she thought we were “friends” and I owed her more than that. She did not speak to me or look at me after I gave my notice and would give me messages through others. I didn’t realize how much it affected my mental health until a month after leaving when I got super upset and anxious because I needed to leave my new job about 15 minutes early and was so scared to tell my new boss as though he would surely get upset. He didn’t. I’m just getting adjusted there, and I’m so much happier.” I feel like that’s such a common thread of stories. And also the thing with the boss getting mad when you resign, huge red flag.
Joy: Oh my gosh. Well okay, so the thing that – and speaking from my personal experience too. When I started to notice some patterns that like, hmm, this feels a little off, I tried my best to put as much energy as I could into giving coworkers, people around me information about joy in the workplace. I was always an advocate for creating a healthy workplace and what that looked like. I think someone mentioned this too in one of the comments as far as like, hey, realize whether or not you’re part of the problem or if you’re just complaining all the time. Don’t play the victim. I completely get that too. Are you just constantly complaining? Or are you trying to figure out some part of a solution in the workspace? I get that. But at the end of the day, after 2+ years of what I felt like I was screaming into a void – please tell me as an outsider if you feel like “Joy, that’s not realistic.” I need to check myself too. But I would send out articles. I would send out podcast episodes. I would send out all this stuff about, “hey, we really need to incorporate this into our management team because research actually shows” – I’d listen to Adam Grant WorkLife all the time. “Research actually shows that workers will be happier. You’ll be more productive if you do these things as a management team.” And I would get crickets. Crickets. Nothing. Nada. No one would response. No one would be like “great idea.” And granted, I didn’t have a ton of power, but I also feel like does on one care?
Claire: You’re like, why am I here if you aren’t going to take any of my advice?
Joy: It starts to feel like, oh Joy is just the Pollyanna, let’s pat her on the head. Whatever. But I think that there’s only so much of that that your soul can take before then you just have to make a decision. So the piece of trying, it’s not to say jump ship the second things get bad. But how much energy you put towards how much of this I can control or at least influence versus I have zero influence, I have tried my best to influence this culture. It has not changed one bit, so therefore I get to decide now what my next steps are.
Claire: And one person wrote in and said, “Is it possible to mistake toxic work for a miscommunication because of ADHD?” Or I think you could spin that into any type of – I don’t know if you would need a diagnosis, but there are so many different ways of communicating. And I think that what you’re saying and to answer this person and those questions of perception, the answer is perception is reality. If you feel like you’re being overlooked. If you feel like you are in a toxic place. If you feel like your desires aren’t being taken seriously or you’re not being given the opportunities that you’re asking for or that you are constantly asking for help and not getting it or whatever the case may be, then that’s the reality. If you feel that way, then that’s how it is. You don’t have to go out and seek out all this external evidence. Perception is reality, and if you feel overlooked then that’s it. That’s the end.
Joy: Right, that is your experience. Again, I think there’s a lot of times where you have to talk to your supervisor or talk to coworkers or try to say, “Hey, here’s something I’m noticing. Help me understand.” Let’s go to JK’s podcast. Help me understand. Be curious. Never assume. All the things that you do in a workplace where you just try to get all the information. And then if you get all the information and you still feel like you’re overlooked or that you’re not happy – I have a weird feeling about not being happy at work. I think there’s way more nuance to that than what it sounds like, which is a whole different discussion. But if you feel like you’ve done everything that you can and your values are that you want to grow in a workplace and that you want to feel supported and heard and that you’re not getting your needs met there, then yeah, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. But everyone is different too. Some people, they want to put their head down, they want to get their job done, and they want to leave. They don’t pay attention to all that stuff. This is not just a generalized experience either.
Claire: No. But what I think I’m trying to say is, if you feel you aren’t getting X, Y, Z need met, whether that’s interpersonal, communication, opportunities for advancement, opportunities for a raise, whatever the case may be. If you feel like that need’s not getting met, you don’t have to break your back trying to prove to yourself that you’re right. You don’t have to stick it out just because other people tell you, “You should just be grateful. My manager doesn’t even let me work from home,” whatever it is. You can play that comparison game all day long. But I think that there’s so many situations in jobs where we tell ourselves, “This isn’t that big of a deal. I should just be grateful.” Yes, it’s important to gut check with the people around you that you trust. But at the end of the day, you don’t need this mounting pile of evidence before you can start looking for another job if you feel like this is not a supportive place that you want to be. And you can also just tell yourself – we talked about this about leaving other types of relationships this year too. You don’t have to wait for it to get so bad that you’re crying in your car before you’re going into work or that all you think about is whether or not to leave your job.
Joy: Yeah. I think we’re also talking more about the difference between toxic workplaces and just general workplace headaches. Workplace headaches, too, it’s going to happen, but is it where you’re leaving every day crying? Or fantasizing about leaving or finding a different job? That’s information that you want to pay attention to. The other purpose of us having this conversation is to validate your feelings. Especially as women because I think there’s a lot of us that tend to explain it away or feel like we just have to put up with it or feel like we just have to take it, and then we just grit our teeth and move through it. Especially that there tends to be more males in power above us that that will really influence our decisions too. Of, oh we’re being too emotional or whatever, fill in the blank. This is an important discussion to talk about the realities of it of how other people handled it. Validate that if you’re struggling with this too, you can always make next moves and look for other jobs, obviously, while you’re in a job. It doesn’t mean that you’re jumping ship and just being like, hey everybody, quit your job and leave.
Claire: On that note, another one of the emails, she says, “One thing I continually ran into, which I’m still trying to understand if it was really something on my end that I needed to do better at or if it was toxic, was related to career growth. I was in my mid to late 20’s when I worked there. I had hoped to have guidance from my manager at how to advance to the next level. Whenever I brought it up or asked for help or areas of improvement, I was told that it was my responsibility to come up with this plan and then manage my manager to get there. I tried this on numerous occasions, only to not receive advancements. And when I would express my frustration, I was met with no constructive feedback. It was very frustrating and may have just been a bad manager experience. But I know of many other employees on other teams that had a similar experience of having to manage themselves and struggled to come up with a growth plan without any guidance. Due to this, most people ended up leaving when they realized advancement was not a priority. Is that a bad workplace, or is that greener employees needing to learn how to take control of their career?” Yeah, that’s a great question. And also, if you’re a greener employee who needs more guidance, then that’s not a good fit for you. We have a lot of folks who wrote in on Instagram. Somebody’s dealing with male favoritism on a team that she’s been on for ten years in finance. Again, working in marketing it’s pretty even split between women and men on my teams. But I can imagine being in a field like finance or somewhere else that is typically a little bit more male dominated, you have a whole host of other problems. People being asked or expected to work in the outside of working hours, always a red flag. I really feel for this person. “My boss is toxic, and management is just waiting for him to retire. Everyone else is leaving, and I can’t leave.”
Joy: Yeah, that’s very real. That’s very real. So how do you get through that? Honestly, in those instances, if there’s people at work that you can lean on that are positive influences and that you can limit your interactions with the people that really drain you, that is something that helped me. I would really stick to the people that energize me and tried to do as little interactions with the vampires who literally suck the energy out of you. But it’s hard. Because like I said before, this is not just an easy fix. I think it’s mostly recognizing when you’re in it and then saying, alright, here’s my reality but how can I work through it if I can’t leave.
Claire: The person who wrote that, we happen to know her and I happen to know she also has young kids. Then you also have all this stacked on top where you’re also depleted in other areas of your life. It’s also so easy to isolate the toxic workplace conversation without considering other areas of your life. Like I’ve had jobs where if I had maybe not had one kids – or my one sort of toxic job that I refer to a lot. If I hadn’t been in a situation where Brandon was in nursing school and had no bandwidth to do anything, and if Miles hadn’t been really young and we hadn’t been in this financial situation that we were in, my job might not have felt so toxic because I could have had other areas of my life where I could have gotten more support or felt more space to unwind or relax. But the fact that the rest of my life was also very stressful meant that a really stressful workplace, I just didn’t have any extra resources to put towards “self-care” or trying to manage my stress elsewhere.
Joy: Was that the same time that you were going through postpartum depression? Was that before or after?
Claire: It was like right after. I was coming out of depression when I started that job?
Joy: The toxic job?
Claire: The toxic job.
Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Claire: So I had just come off of 8-9 month of super hardcore mental –
Joy: And that’s pretty freaking draining.
Joy: You don’t just get over it, you know.
Claire: And honestly, yeah. As anyone who’s gone through depressive phased in their life knows, it’s not like the switch flips off one day. It’s like one day you wake up and realize it’s been a while since you felt that way. That’s a whole other episode.
Joy: It’s a whole other episode. The way that it sounds too, which it’s not, is you’re not bouncing around in a field of roses either. After it’s over –
Claire: It was so tiring.
Joy: Yes. You’re like, I’m exhausted. I want to read another one really quick that came in messages. It says, “Perfect timing. Friday was my last day in the corporate world of 2+ years. I didn’t get paid enough to continue living in California, so while we were working from home I moved back to Colorado for my bank account, my mental health, and my relationship. A couple months ago, upper management decided I couldn’t work from home full time. Even though that’s what we’ve been doing since March 2020 and other people have been doing it for longer. I think it’s all for the best though. The job was stressing me out and had been for a while. There’s a big generational gap between old school upper management and the younger generation who actually work. Red flags. Call employees “team members.” Everyone at the company who doesn’t have a family living with roommates because they can’t afford rent. Even my boss’s boss who’s been at the company ten years had to buy a house with her sister. Boss sending message after hours and during the weekend and much more. Is there any corporate job that isn’t like that?” I really want to know that as well. I was talking with a good friend right after I left my job, and she was like, “You know, Joy. I have yet to see” – I think I’ve said this in a previous expose. But she’s like, “I have yet to see you either drink the Kool-Aide and you just become one of those Stepford people. Or you get out of that altogether.” Because she’s like, “I’ve yet to see it in any corporate culture where it is done well.” And that’s unfortunate because I think there could be such a good shift and change in people’s mental health and employee retention, all of the things that Adam Grant studies for crying out loud. Which drive me crazy because I’m like, why don’t employers watch that research. But anyway, that’s another tangent. But I think it’s hard because what she mentioned about the generational gap, old school upper management will not die.
Claire: Not literally die, you guys. Not literally die. We’re not wishing death.
Joy: We’re not 9 to 5 here. [singing] “Working 9 to 5.”
Claire: I think that’s true. And something that I have experienced personally is that if you kind of have to come in guns blazing and say, “I won’t do that.” Like if you email me after work hours – I mean, I have two phones. And everybody’s like, “Why do you have two phones? Don’t you know work will pay for your phone?” I’m like, yeah, but I have my personal phone and I have my work phone and never the twain shall meet. After 5 o’clock, I put my work phone away and I don’t pick it back up until 9am the next morning. Sometimes there’s maybe 30-60 minutes of wiggle room on either side of those deadlines if I’m in the middle of something and waiting for a reply. But I don’t pick up my phone. And I turn off my phone on the weekends. People know that they’re not going to be able to get a hold of me. And if there is an extraneous circumstance, then I can discuss that ahead of time. Of course those are going to happen every once in a while, and that’s fine. I’m willing to do that if it’s previously communicated and it’s once in a blue moon. And so that has been me coming in and saying, you can email me any time you want. That’s your decision. If you want to email me at 7 o’clock at night, that’s fine. Maybe that’s because you have kids and you had to leave early and go pick your kids up from school and this is when you’re able to get to my email. That’s your prerogative. My prerogative is that I’m not going to see that email until 9 o’clock tomorrow morning. And I had to learn that the hard way from a previous job where I would be getting calls at 5 in the morning, 8 at night with these questions. And the second that I started saying, “No, I’m not going to answer your calls anymore,” it was like, “Oh okay, then I just won’t call you at that time.” It felt so scary. And it turned out to be this pretty straight-forward fix of saying, “Hey, I don’t start work until 9. I’ll get back to you at that time.” You have to be willing to own that and own that fallout from that. I’m the type of person, I have pretty thick skin, so I know that that would be so scary for most people that it would almost cause more stress that to just answer the email.
Joy: But I think that’s important. I think about my experience, too. There was this weird culture that started to develop where it was like, who could be the most – I’m going to use an unprofessional term – ass-kissy. And be the shining star, the gold star person. It was just kind of like, why are we competing? What is that about? It felt very, very high school. It felt Mean Girls. It was one thousand percent Mean Girls. Which is unfortunate because you have all this talent. You have a lot of talented people, and it is just going down the drain because of poor management. That happens everywhere, and I think it’s just really unfortunate. It, again, employee retention, all of the things I just mentioned, but that is something that when you start to all of the sudden see that, then you think that you have to participate in that culture because you have to keep up with everybody instead of drawing boundaries and saying, “I’m not going to check emails on the weekends or take calls on the weekends.” Then it’s like, well so-and-so is doing it, so then they look like the good – anyway, it’s so crazy. It’s crazy-making.
Claire: I have a coworker like that right now who will answer your 10 o’clock email. I’m like, good for her. One day, if a promotion comes down the line and they pick her over me because she’ll do the 10pm email, then let her have it. Because if that is what’s required to move up in this business, then I don’t want it.
Joy: Yeah, I want no part of it.
Claire: You have to be willing to own that because that’s hard. I think it’s also part of the job interview process. If you’re in a job that is toxic and you decide you want to look around and you get to an interview process, you have to be willing to ask, how do you encourage work-life balance in your employees? And you have to listen for an authentic answer. And you have to be able to ask other people that work there, what happens if you get an email at 8 o’clock at night, what is the expectation? Or what happens if you get a call at 6 o’clock in the morning, what’s the expectation? And you have to be really listening for the real answer. And you have to be willing to walk away before you even get in the door if it feels like that’s not going to be aligned with what you want. And hey, if you want to work weird hours, then that’s great. You can do that.
Joy: Good on you.
Claire: Good on you. I have had conversations where someone will say, “We have great PTO here.” I’m like, I don’t need two weeks to go to Mexico. I need to be able to leave for an hour in the middle of the afternoon to go pick my kid up from school.
Claire: Right. I don’t need to be able to go backpack around Europe.
Joy: I don’t need two weeks to go to Mexico. I just think that’s funny because it’s true. You just need to be able to care for your family and drop things when you need to pick up your child.
Claire: Exactly. I need it to not be weird if I don’t answer your 3 o’clock email until 4 o’clock because I was out picking up my kid a couple days a week. Those jobs do exist. It’s just a matter of finding them and being willing to have the consequences of holding those boundaries. Because there might be consequences. The toxic job that I always refer to that I left, one day I looked at my boss and realized I don’t want her life. That, to me, was the moment where I really knew that I was done. To look at upper management and say I don’t want to make the sacrifices that it will take to get there. I don’t want that lifestyle. I don’t want to be checking my email.
Claire: It’s one thing to have so much work that you can’t finish and maybe you want to work and get a little bit ahead in the evening. We’ve all had those phases.
Joy: Of course.
Claire: But if that’s the expectation, then that’s a different story.
Joy: Yeah. That’s a good point. I was very much in that mind space too where I’m like, if this is how they’re going to operate and this is how they’re going to treat people, treat professional smart people, I want no part of this. No part of it. Again, very sad. But I had to take a really good hard look and say, “No thank you.” If this is how they’re going to treat people, I’m out. Bye.
Claire: Is it Oprah, Maya Angelou? Who said this quote? “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Joy: I want to say it’s Maya Angelou.
Claire: Yeah, Maya. And then Oprah.
Joy: And Oprah says it all the time because Maya, yeah.
Claire: Yeah. It’s like that is also true about corporate cultures. Believe your business when they show you who they are the first time. Believe the culture that they have, not the culture that they want to pretend that they have. I went into that toxic job that I always talk about, and before I started working there every single person was like, “Wow, I used to know someone who worked there, and they only worked there for a year.” Really high turnover. Famous for high turnover. And I was like, oh, interesting. [suspenseful noises]
Joy: [laughing] Careful. Really quick, I want to just point out the things that I’ve already noticed. And there’s no perfect workplace of course, but what I’ve noticed that’s wildly different from Ginger already, the place that I’m going to be working, is every single person I’ve talked to up until this point is a person of culture. Great, they hire a diverse staff. I’ve gotten lip service on that in the past where they’re like, “We need to hire more diverse staff,” but they never do it. So that was thing one. I’m like, great, they’re walking the walk in terms of making sure that they are hiring a diverse pool of people. They immediately talked about work-life balance in a way that was, again, walk the talk where they give you mental health days every month, they have a very flexible PTO schedule where you don’t have to have seniority. Which I know a lot of more startup type of companies do that, but the managers that I talk to specifically gave me examples of working with their staff to undo the damage that they have seen at previous work cultures. Meaning, hey, I’ve had to talk to some of my staff members when they were sick and trying to push through working when they were sick. Or encouraging them to take more time off even though they had just taken some time off. And trying to undo that “we have to work all the time and I can’t take this day off because I just took this day off.” Specific examples of actually saying I recognize that we are different in how we operate and that’s going to take some time to get used to was already a positive in my mind. Where I’m like, yeah, I’m probably going to have a hard time getting used to this because I came from such a different environment. But those are the things that I am already noticing that I’m like, this is why I want to work here. Last, let’s end with communication style really quick. Because I don’t want to also just make this all about, hey, if you’re unhappy leave.
Joy: So what else maybe is a nuance that could come into play here? Maybe you do need to sit down and say, “I’ve noticed some things that aren’t working here.” What are some things that you feel like people could do to maybe communicate or bring this to light and maybe make some changes? What do you think?
Claire: I mean, the biggest thing I think is boundaries. Those are so hard to do retroactively. Once you’ve been in a situation already for months or years where people around you have been emailing you, calling you at all hours of the day, expecting things of you that aren’t part of your job, that are wildly not part of your job, these things that once in a while are okay but if they’re regular parts of your day can lead to being burnt out is setting really hard boundaries around those and having the hard conversations with folks in order to put those into place and not making it feel personal to them. Maybe this is a conversation with your manager. Maybe it’s with your coworkers. Maybe it’s with all of the above. And saying, “Hey. I’ve been feeling overworked lately.” Maybe “overworked” is the wrong word. But “I’ve been feeling” fill in the blank – overworked, bunt out. “I’m feeling like I’m heading towards burn out and I don’t want to get there. I’m going to start creating some clearer boundaries around my work hours, and I’d like you to not expect to hear from me outside of hours of 9 to 5 unless there’s an emergency.” That to me is the biggest thing that you can do. And then how that’s received will tell you a lot, I think, about what your future options are going to be. I think that if your manager or your coworkers say, “Okay.” They might roll their eyes or say, “You think you’re overworked? I worked 90 hours last week.” Well, let them have that badge. You don’t need to compete for that badge anymore. Put down wanting to win the crown for wanting to be the hardest worker or working the most hours. Instead decide that you want the crown that says, “I know the difference between my workday and my home day.” Or “I have work-life balance that works for me.” Let your goal be to have a fulfilling life outside of work while still being an effective employee. You don’t have to be the teacher’s pet at work anymore. I think that’s the biggest thing that I would do. Again, I say that sort of, “Of course, just set some boundaries” because for me, that’s something I’m very comfortable with. But it can be so terrifying and feel so vulnerable because you feel like you’re putting yourself in a position where people can get mad at you or you can be seen as not being ambitious or not being hardworking because you’re willing to set those boundaries. And you have to be okay with that. I would say the only other one quick tip to lose workplace burnout that I would propose is really getting clear about your own communication style. This is where I think things like Myers-Briggs or Enneagram can really be helpful in helping you learn more about ways that other people can effectively communicate with you. The times when I’ve really appreciated things like Myers-Briggs and Enneagram – we have talked in the past about how they can be really overdone and they can really pigeonhole people. The things that I do appreciate about knowing those labels about myself is that they’ve helped me learn what communication things I just assume that everyone wants or needs or uses, only to realize that maybe this is something that’s specific to people with a similar personality type to me. So if you don’t know any of those labels for yourself, it might be helpful to figure them out and learn more about how you give and receive effective communication so that you can be aware of that.
Joy: Yeah. And I think if you’re not meeting with your manager regularly, these are things – and especially if it’s not a great work environment, maybe you’re not. Maybe your manager isn’t communicating with you at all. But if you’re having frequent meetings with your manager, these are things that you should be talking about with that person. So it’s not just kind of coming out of nowhere. But if you’re not in a position where that happens, then yeah, it may feel scary to have this conversation all of the sudden. If you’re like, by the way, these are some boundaries. But I think there’s no risk in advocating to say, “Hey, I really want to do a good job here, but these are the things that I’m considering chaining. Let’s talk about it.” So it’s not just like you’re ordering, “This is what I need. These are my demands.” Because it can kind of feel that way when you’re asking for what you need. I think it’s important. If you can help it, don’t do it on an email.
Claire: Alright guys, thank you for joining us on this journey of professional development.
Joy: Professional development by Joy and Claire.
Claire: Professional development. Professional… what’s that word?
Joy: Still trying to figure it out.
Claire: Yeah, professional not knowing what we’re doing. We hope you’re having a great week. We hope that you’re not currently sitting in a job that you hate.
Joy: Yeah, hopefully.
Claire: Send us your job searching tips. We will share them. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_, joyandclaire.com. If you are ever having a problem streaming one of our episodes through your favorite podcast app, every once in a while the feeds just get confused, the internet gets confused, satellites get out of wack, who knows what. Every once in a while, if you can’t find us for any reason, you can find all of our episodes at joyandclaire.com and can steam them directly from the website. It’s very easy. They’re always there. They’re posted there first mere moments before iTunes eventually picks them up and then everyone else picks them up. You can always find them there. And the majority of our past episodes are transcribed there as well if you are ever wanting to just read our episodes and imagine our voices in your head. Thank you so much for joining us. Please share our podcast with a friend, leave a review, and we’ll talk to you next week.
Joy: Love you, guys. Bye.