Open Phones: Advice Roulette

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

telephones (exlibris/flickr)

Need advice? Call in to ask for one piece of advice, and in exchange, give some advice to another listener in need. It can be advice on anything. Maybe it's job advice on this May Day, maybe you need help deciding what college or graduate school to go to, maybe it's relationship advice, an ethical quandary, or ANYTHING else. 

Get advice, give advice. Call us up at 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692. 

Comments [44]

thatgirl from manhattan

john paredes - graduate and get a good job/life experience first. puting off getting your first post-undergrad job, even for a degree, does not make getting to a career easier. even thought they're more lax now, good grad programs didn't used to admit recent undergraduates, preferring those with experience in the world. i know a lot of undergrads want to avoid this job market, gambling on there being a better one 2 or 4 years down the road; but that's just it--waiting by incurring more debt is gambling. you'll appreciate grad school that much more after beginning your adult life, and the responsibility associated with that.

david from brooklyn - your honesty is wonderful, but take a cue from all the women who need eventually take leave for pregnancy: if you need the job until your anniversary, then say nothing to anyone. you can never gauge your co-workers' loyalty/ability to keep a secret accurately, and giving advance notice could hasten your dismissal. two weeks' notice is standard, and you shouldn't feel guilty and provide more when it's detrimental to the outcome you want. keep schtum!

May. 02 2012 05:05 PM
Arthur Geiger from Brooklyn, NY

To the lady with the bedbug problem: A simpler answer to your problem may lie with a simple non-chemical non-toxic product available on line called Cedar-cide. Check the website--[] maybe without the caps. It is safe with animals and people. By the way I am not connected with the product or the manufacturer but am a satisfied user. It's made from cedar oil and you can use it to get rid of moths too. Good luck!

May. 02 2012 02:55 AM

To the potential law school student:
There are many articles you should read regarding law school debt and the job market. Do a search on the NYT. Also NY Mag has an article dated March 4 2012 about former law school students suing law schools. The former students claim the schools are intentionally manipulating statistics to show higher employment numbers. It is a must read and at least one of the schools you mentioned on air are being sued.

To the people with baby sleep issues:
A regular schedule is the most important thing for naps and bedtime. And your baby must fall asleep on his/her own - no rocking or other tactics. My favorite book lays it all out - schedules etc. I followed these schedules and my kids both slept through the night by 4 months and took regular naps. And I was able to plan my life around it. Also there are many other books - try Mindell and Karp. But I like the contented baby approach the best. Gina Ford is the author.

May. 01 2012 07:39 PM


Don't dye your hair if you don't feel like doing it. Just go to a good stylist and get a smart cut. If your silver hair is more pepperl-ish, though, consider treating it so that it's totally sharp. Do update your wardrobe and accessorize with your experience and wisdom. Best of luck!

May. 01 2012 06:56 PM
Regine from Southeast USA

What advice can you give to a 35+ artist dying to move to NYC to start an a art career?

May. 01 2012 02:55 PM
1st time mom from NYC

For the mom with the sleeping question, I recommend this book: The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy by Kim West and Joanne Kenen. It's very practical and helpful, but doesn't recommend letting your baby cry it out.

May. 01 2012 01:21 PM

Karen, don't dye your hair. Just get a stylish cut. Go to a young hairdresser who comes recommended, and let them use their judgement. Also, have a young friend go with you to shop for some new clothes.
Yay! Sounds like fun! Can you post your before and after photos when you're done?
Good luck with the work hunt!

May. 01 2012 12:54 PM

Mommy! I feel your pain! I have 7 year old twins and I cannot emphasize enough how important sleep and naps are! In our sleep deprived nation we have put this onto our children without realizing because we do not value sleep for ourselves. I know that I am preaching but I cannot emphasize enough how important sleep is. I highly recommend reading the book by Marc Weissbluth MD "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" it very clearly outlines how to help your child to sleep. It was very helpful to us but every child is different and you must work with the child you have. As a first time Mom you have probably been regaled by all the Mommies out there who's newborns were sleeping through the night almost immediately, lucky them but probably not as amazing as it all seems. A three month old is too young to be "sleep trained" but you can make sure that you have them on a regular schedule, this will end up being a key factor in sleep. Talk to your paediatrician to rule out any medical reasons for sleep interruption and read a few books while you are rocking your baby to sleep. It was not easy for us as my daughter was a cryer vomiter (TMI?) so CIO was not an option and yet my son has always been a champion sleeper. Good luck!

May. 01 2012 12:24 PM
Rich Gawron from Upper West Side


I LOVE how you are thinking! Unfortunately I think the bugs can live a LONG time without food. I had an infestation years ago in my place on 78th and Broadway and did a ton of research. Below I provide a recommendation on how to immediately decrease or stop nightly bites, then 2 methods you can try on your own BEFORE contacting a professional (look for Bed Bug specialist... possible heat related instead of chemicals).

Sleeping Better At Night
Put an air mattress or clean mattress on any floor that has enough open space. Around the mattress put a rectangle of double sided tape, ensuring the edge closest to the mattress is pressed all the way down. If they crawl over they get stuck, if the crawl under, they get trapped as it gets narrower. This has the advantage of capturing them for analysis.

Your Own Extermination BASIC
You could try a thorough cleaning with a steam cleaner (I got one for like 80 bucks at Bed Bath n Bey). Do NOT use the flat carpet steamer - too weak. Just use the sharpest, pointiest attachment that makes the strongest jet. Get ALL cracks, corners holes, etc..

Your Own Extermination ADVANCED
The bugs do not tolerate heat well and start to die above 113 degrees F. So, if the room is small enough you may be able get rid of them by renting a powerful enough heater (gas? Propane?) to get the room temp above 140 (to 160) degrees F (the bugs can hide in cracks so you need to raise the temp above 113 to get in the cracks.


May. 01 2012 12:21 PM

Love this segment.

Karen: Took me the better part of two years to grow out my hair, but I have tenure. You're looking for a job? The hard truth? Dye it! But get someone to put in a semi-permanent rinse that will fade easily once you have the job.

Sam: All my friends are lawyers and they hate it and are looking for ways to retire early. That said, the only school you mentioned that may lead to something in law is Rutgers, and that's a long shot. And if it's going to leave you 120K in debt, think about another path.

Jimmie: I went back to school late in life too. There are plenty of people like you in colleges and universities now. I know; I teach them. Go for it! Unlike Sam, I can encourage you because there is a future i the field you'd like to enter.

May. 01 2012 12:19 PM

Brian & producers: 1) Would you consider re-mentioning this segment on tomorrow's show, in case advice-seekers had forgotten to check this page? There's so much heartfelt advice here that deserves to reach its addressees. 2) Would you consider a future show call-in on ageism in the workplace, which could mention the different attitudes toward dying grey hair seen below?

May. 01 2012 12:16 PM
Vanessa from NJ

To the woman with the baby. Buy The Sleep Lady book it will help tremendously. And start sleep training that baby NOW before u lose ur mind and baby becomes dependent on sleep "crutches" like rocking etc. nothing worse than a 2 yr old who won't nap without a whole system or excessive rituals! Good luck!

May. 01 2012 12:14 PM
Suzanne from Manhattan

To the law school applicant -- I practiced law in NYC for 35 years. Most of my colleagues and I would agree tthat Rutgers was the best law school you mentioned. However law graduates today are having great difficulty finding employment. The schools all have placement offices. Find out which has the best placement assistance and record of employment. Since there is not that much difference in the schools you mentioned, Brian is right that the student debt you wind up with is a major if not determinative consideration. Despite people's impressions, law is often not a very lucrative profession. Best of luck!

May. 01 2012 12:13 PM
Mary from NYC

Do not dye your hair! There is real strength in saying this is who I am, and guess what, I have grey hair. There can be perceived weakness in pretending to be what you are not. And lots of upkeep to do something that rarely looks natural.

May. 01 2012 12:05 PM
MK from Hoboken NJ

Hair dye? woman in harlem: I'm in exact same boat.

Kindly suggested: advised:

Dye your hair if this will make you feel more confident, more gracious, more positive., more YOU, the real

Don't dye your hair if, in reality, you will feel as though you sold out.

There are LOTS of folks -- employers, etc.-- who are same age as we are...and
they don't give a HOOT 'bout your hair, your nail length, color of your skirt, what TV shows you

THEY want smarts, confidence, professionalism, ability, knowledge, experience is a definite plus.
And they want trustworthy folks who are willing to get the job done.

That's what sells; that's what gets the job.

Best of luck and keep on keeping on. Strong women rule... and especially the ones
who don't give in to social pressure. That's a lot of hype.

Stay true: you know what to do.

May. 01 2012 12:05 PM
Paul from Orange, NJ

To the Law school student, I agree w/Brian, save your money and focus on a niche specialty (construction law, handicap accessibility, etc)
To the gray haired woman: Use hair dye like a highlighter, blend it in for a stylish salt and pepper look
To the bed bug lady: Buy a cheap new mattress until you can upgrade, throw out the infected one. Your theory about blood may be correct (I dont know either way) but the experiment is probably not worth the anxiety.

May. 01 2012 12:05 PM
Tony from nyc


If you cant figure out how to make money with a government regulated license that you get when you are an attorney, you have no idea how bad you will do in the "free market" competing with people in china and India and who knows where else they work for $1 an hour till they fall and die..

Buy that degree and pass the bar and get out there learn how to steal your money like the rest of the successful lawyers out there...

May. 01 2012 12:04 PM
Deb from Brooklyn

To the new mom: My baby had the same sleep issues. At about 5 months we tapered in cry-it-out sleep training: let them cry for 2 mins, then 5, then 10 etc... That way you both can get accustomed to it! Took some time (weeks? a month?) but at 4 yrs old she sleeps really well now. Don't wait! YOU need sleep too. Good luck. :-)

May. 01 2012 12:04 PM
Ralph Wild Larkin from New York

Advice for Sam:
This is a no-brainer! If he wants a job as a lawyer in the New York metropolitan area, he should attend a Tier 1 school and study like hell to be in the top 25% of his class. If none of the schools that he was accepted to are Tier 1, he should seriously reconsider an investment in law school.

May. 01 2012 12:04 PM
Penny Jones from Little Italy

To Jimmy,
Your advisor was being polite and timid. It is absolutely too late and too time consuming and undirected to go to college, and from experience, being around the young, eager things will be depressing. HOWEVER, there are many FREE trade schools and programs--plumbing, computers, air conditioning, all kinds of repairs. Look around and avoid the tuition schools. The free programs exist where there is a shortage of specialist workers. My husband discovered them when he was advising high school kids who didn't have access to going to college. Poke around until you find the skill that's attractive to you and you should do very well.

May. 01 2012 12:03 PM
SkeptiGal from brooklyn

Karen! I'm a 30 year old artist and i've spent perhaps too much time thinking about style and women. I love seeing women with grey hair walking around the city. To me that weird taupe color that grey hair becomes when deyed brown is much more tragic than the natural beauty of silver and grey. If I was you, i'd make sure you have some good, well fitting clothes, some appropriate makeup suggested you by an expert, a good hair cut and call it a day. Nothing is more fabulous. Also, here's a HUFFPO article about the current grey hair trend, you may actually be a hipster:

May. 01 2012 12:02 PM
David from Brooklyn from Manhattan

Work Advice

At the end of August I will be leaving my job to travel to China. I've been at my job for the past five years and I don't want to leave until my anniversary and quarterly bonus. I'm afraid to tell my coworkers and my boss because I've seen past coworkers let go early when they gave more than two weeks notice. But I don't like lying to my coworkers about my future plans. What should I do?

May. 01 2012 12:02 PM
John Paredes from Bushwick, Brooklyn

Hey, Im an undergrad at Baruch College and going to be done with a economics degree in December my question is what should I do after I graduate? Should I go for a masters degree, a PhD or just find a job and worry about graduate school later.

Thank You All

May. 01 2012 12:02 PM
Jim Polichak from Long Island from Long Island

For Jimmy the Bartender
Back in 1970 I went to Hofstra as a junior while my father was a sophomore there.
He eventually graduated law school at 72.
Still, I'd suggest you try to get a job at a bartending school to see if you enjoy teaching before you invest the time and money in an education degree.
My son got his Mixology degree as a fall back between his BA & PhD.; then he went to law school also.

May. 01 2012 12:01 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, I've noticed you always get to start these advice roulettes w/your own q., & then the last caller doesn't get to ask for advice. That doesn't seem fair--you get advice every time, & then the person at the end of the advice chain is left hanging. Why not let the last caller ask *you* for advice?

May. 01 2012 12:00 PM
Martha Kolko from Montclair, NJ

What to do in NJ? Make a reservation at the Highlawn Pavilion. Ask for a table with views of NYC! :) Walk over and see the 911 Memorial before or after your meal.

May. 01 2012 11:59 AM
Grant from Harlem

For Jimmy the bartender... Teacher Assistant program.. It'll be a start and you only need a high school diploma.

May. 01 2012 11:59 AM
Amanda from Brooklyn

Apply for the Teaching Fellows Program-- if you get in, they will pay for your degree and guarantee you a job.

May. 01 2012 11:58 AM
Katie from Manhattan

To the young man considering law school: DON'T GO unless you get into a top 14 school! Get a job, retake the LSAT and try to get a score in the 170s! I graduated from Columbia Law recently and it hasn't even been that easy for people to get big law jobs as a student at the 4th best law school in the country recently.

To the woman going back to work- Check out Charla Krupp's 'How Not to Look Old' for some insights.

May. 01 2012 11:58 AM
Brick City!!

I am from Brooklyn so if you are going to visit one place in NJ, no way, forget Montclair! I would go to Newark, the biggest city in NJ! Take them to the 4 corners, Broad and Market, an awesomely hopping shopping area where you can find the most fantastic t-shirts and sneakers. Eat fried chicken at Je's or sandwiches at Hobby's. Take them to the Ironbound and go to Portuguese seafood restaurants like Seabra's Marisqueira or an authentic Basque meal at the bar of Casa Vasca. Take the summer boat tour organized by the City Hall and ride along the Passaic River and learn about the history of Newark's riverfront!

The second choice, "little India" in Jersey City on Newark Avenue between Kennedy Boulevard and Tonnelle Avenue.

Doesn't this sound more Jersey-tastic?

May. 01 2012 11:58 AM

The caller asked if she should die her hair. If the job is in technology she should as age discrimination is rampant in this field.

May. 01 2012 11:57 AM
Amy from Brooklyn

My brother, who is a lawyer, recently told me that his firm is only hiring from the absolute top law schools. He was of the opinion that it's not worth paying for law school unless you can get into one of the big names. So you may want to rethink going to law school entirely. Not to mention, from all the ex-lawyers I know, it's not a career path with a lot of job satisfaction.

May. 01 2012 11:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian isn't a guidance counselor, but maybe Sam should talk to one at his school, who might know things about the various schools Sam got into that he could take into consideration.

For the caller w/bedbugs, if you hire an exterminator, try to find one that's environmentally conscious.

May. 01 2012 11:57 AM
K from NY, NY

For the future law school attendee, I would suggest he goes to the cheapest school possible. Do not believe the hype! Most new lawyers do not graduate with big firm jobs making lots of money. Only attend CUNY if you would like to do non-profit work. From someone who has already attended law school and is working in the City I have to ask are you sure you want to go to law school? My real advice is to take a year off, work and experience life! I promise you law school can wait!

May. 01 2012 11:55 AM
@OdileW from NYC

I love this advice roulette! Do this more often!

May. 01 2012 11:55 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

dye your hair! it's a simple way of giving yourself both confidence and reasonable doubt on the part of your younger competitors!

May. 01 2012 11:53 AM

To the pre-law person: I agree with Brian: save your money but work your a$$ off to become THE best student in your program -- and invest in a good suit, so that you stand out as a job candidate for those crucial summer firm gigs that will determine your full-time firm job after graduation.

May. 01 2012 11:53 AM
Tony from Miami

To the caller asking about which law school to go to. Of the schools that he was admitted to, he should go to none of them. He will find it difficult if not impossible to get a job that will allow him to service the debt.

May. 01 2012 11:52 AM
sasha from NYC

Seriously consider why you are going to law school. It is very hard to get a job after you graduate, so I would seriously consider your future goals. Many law firms in NYC only look at people who went to top tier schools, so figure out which school has the best programs and opportunities for your interests.

May. 01 2012 11:51 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

if sam is just finishing undergrad, i'd recommend he get out in the working world in some fashion and work for a few years before he attempts law school. a good friend has said that studying the law is incredibly detailed, but comes down to common sense. a better sense of the world would serve him well (and i'm kind of surprised that a law school would admit someone this early!). best of luck.

May. 01 2012 11:51 AM

Bed bugs can live up to 1 year without feeding. Unless you plan to be gone that long, you should just have them professionally removed.

May. 01 2012 11:51 AM
Tony from nyc

Law school, any law school if worth every penny, assuming you pass the bar...

You get a government regulated license to steal,,

Almost as good as Doctors license, doctors are better cause they get to over bill insurance, medicare and medicaid...

May. 01 2012 11:51 AM

"things to do in nj"

Talk about a "hidden gem" --

went to an amazing birthday party there. intimate, wonderful restaurant and the sculpture garden seems to be one imaginative and wealthy person's ambitious vision -- fully realized

May. 01 2012 11:51 AM
oscar from ny

My advise to this world is that they should prepare for the coming of jesus nd palssss

May. 01 2012 10:41 AM

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