The Democratic National Committee asked fifteen cities to submit proposals to host its 2016 convention, and among the obvious contenders one is raising eyebrows: Detroit, Mich.
Conventions bring more than passionate partisans in funny hats. When delegates descend, they bring with them millions of dollars in revenue. (And occasionally some really awful pick up lines. A GOP delegate in New York tried to get me excited by saying, “Ester? That’s an old-fashioned name. I like old-fashioned women.”) Sometimes they revitalize the local sex industry! It can be a big deal to a struggling metropolis.
Here is a fun WWYD:
I’ve been temping at Company X, a large company in Chicago, since the beginning of last August. I started temping here because I’d heard it was a good way to get hired on full time, and I liked the company. While I was here, my boss fought to get me hired, but she was turned down. I decided to change careers and go back to grad school.
My last day is this Friday. I start school in June. I will probably never live in this town again, not to mention never work in this industry.
When I started out here, I was making $12 an hour. I clearly remember the interview at the temp agency — I said that I really wanted to work at Company X, and I had made about $40K in past jobs. The first, last, and only time I’d temped, it had been for $14/hour, and I expected something similar. (I had knowingly taken a pay cut, and decided to temp, in order to change careers).
“We really can’t do that,” said the woman interviewing me, “but we can start you out at $12. Would that be ok?” She did that passive/aggressive thing where she made it my choice to say yes or no, but also made it clear that being considered to temp at Company X was contingent on taking a huge pay cut. I conceded.
A couple months into temping at Company X, I was talking to a friend and fellow temp who had been brought on at the same time as me. Let’s call him George. “I just can’t take another week of this $14 per hour,” he said. “I need a raise.”
“$14 per hour?” I said. “Excuse me?”
Ever had a good hair day that made you feel like the world was a just place and everyone inferior to you deserved their lot?
Elizabeth MacBride shares a study from Stanford Business School that confirms we are monsters. More specifically: how we feel about ourselves is very dynamic, and how we feel about inequality is dynamic, too. That is, when we think we look good, we tend to feel on top and support the hierarchies that put us there. Whoops:
If you believe you are attractive, you tend to think you belong in a higher social class yourself and believe, accordingly, that hierarchies are a legitimate way for organizing people and groups. You also are more likely to believe people lower down in a hierarchy are there because they deserve to be. The research also showed that self-perceived physical attractiveness mattered more to people’s perception of their social rank than their self-perceived goodness — qualities like empathy and integrity — did.
Many people “see the social world as fundamentally stratified not only on the basis of who has wealth, education, and occupational prestige, but also on the basis of who is beautiful and attractive,” Neale and Belmi wrote.
Hot tip from the article: next time you have to advocate for yourself in the workplace, “imagine a time you felt really attractive.” So sad, so real.
Thirteen Sherpas, or professional specialized mountain guides, died this week in an avalanche on Mount Everest, while another three remain unaccounted for, and the rest of the Nepalese Sherpa community has decided to close out the season early:
The accident underscored the huge risks faced by Sherpas who maintain and prepare the icy slopes for climbers and trek the routes carrying equipment for their clients. In a season, Sherpas can earn from $3,000 to $6,000 (2,171 – 4,342 euros), which is about 10 times the average annual pay in Nepal.
On Tuesday, Nepal’s Tourism Ministry announced an agreement to establish a relief fund for guides killed or injured while climbing the mountain, one of the key concessions demanded by the Sherpas following last week’s disaster. Funding is thought to be well below that requested by the guides.
Minimum insurance cover for Sherpas on the mountain, the government said, would be raised by 50-percent to around $15,000.
Jared Frank was in Peru and taking a selfie of himself when a train passed behind him and a person kicked him in the head.
According to the CBC, Frank’s 11-second video has become such a viral sensation that he could possibly make anywhere from $30,000 to $250,000 off of it (“he was told his video could earn in the range of $2 to $16 per 1,000 views and he would get a 70 per cent share”).
Brb, walking around recording videos of myself until something interesting happens (JK, becoming a viral meme is my nightmare).
Well this is very uncool, via the NYT: “Student Loans Can Suddenly Come Due When Co-Signers Die, a Report Finds.”
The problem, described in a report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arises from a little-noticed provision in private loan contracts: If the co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy, the loan holder can demand complete repayment, even if the borrower’s record is spotless. If the loan is not repaid, it is declared to be in default, doing damage to a borrower’s credit record that can take years to repair.
The bureau said that after a co-signer’s death or bankruptcy, some borrowers are placed in default without ever receiving a demand for repayment. The agency did not accuse loan companies of doing anything illegal.
Rohit Chopra, the bureau’s student loan ombudsman, said that he did not know how common the practice was, but that a steady stream of consumer complaints indicated it was becoming more frequent. He also said companies appeared to be doing it more or less automatically, combing public records of deaths and bankruptcies, comparing them to loan records and generating repayment demands and default notices.
Sallie Mae, the largest provider of private and public student loans, did not respond for comment, if you can believe it.
According to the article, after you graduate and get a few years of credit history under your belt, you can get your co-signer removed from the loan and have it in your name only, or you can choose a new co-signer altogether. If you have private student loans co-signed by your parents, this is probably worth looking into.
The latest issue of Scratch Mag is SO GOOD and filled with women I’m obsessed with. An excerpt from Beth Lisick’s book (the best essay in the book, I think)! An Ellen Willis essay! And this amazing interview between Manjula Martin and Cheryl Strayed, where Strayed shares her advances for her first novel and her bestselling memoir, Wild ($100k and $400k, respectively), talks about what it’s like to have money now, the kind of credit card debt she went into writing these books (MUCH), and the difference between poverty and poverty by choice.
You were raised working class. Have you switched classes now?
You know when I switched classes? When I was 18 and I went to college. I mean, I think you can go to college and stay working class, but I culture-hopped. Class is so complicated. We think it’s about money, but it’s about culture, too. After the experience of college, even though I was poor all those years, I occupied a different place in the culture than I had before. I had an education. I had a subscription to the New Yorker. I was friends with amazing people who were accomplished in all kinds of fields—essentially the elites of our world. And some of those people were poor and some were millionaires.
I haven’t actually changed in that regard at all since Wild’s success. The difference is, now, in that same tribe I’ve been in since I was 18, I’m one of the people who has money instead of one of the people who doesn’t.
The interview is free to read online if you create a login. WORTH IT.
Meanwhile in the Times, did you see that Elizabeth Gilbert is selling her house because every time she starts a new book she wants a new house? I am trying to imagine what made her think participating in this piece was a good idea, god bless her. All I can come up with is that she really wants to sell that Skybrary.