Have money? Hire a sugar baby / ManServant! Want someone to be nice to you? Pay them! Is this the natural, though cynical, extension of a market economy?
Our very own Jazmine Hughes is in the New Yorker magazine being brilliant about our secret fantasies as grown-ups, which have far less to do with sex than with work and money:
UNLIMITED TIME OFF FROM WORK FOR VARIOUS PRESSING MATTERS “Excuse me, boss?” you say, as you knock on an already open door, since your company believes in open-door policies, catered lunches, and summer Fridays. She—it has to be she, because you’ve always worked for a woman—looks genuinely happy to see you, and encourages you to take some freshly cut fruit, because you live in a place where harvests are bountiful. “Take as much as you want!” she says. “The harvests were bountiful!”
You don’t hesitate with your request. “I noticed this morning that I’m getting pretty behind on my issues of The Economist,” you say. This is not a lie. You regularly read The Economist, and you find typos every time, too. “Could I have a few days off to catch up?” Your boss gives you ten, and some more fruit. …
TRADER JOE’S PEANUT-BUTTER CUPS GO ON SALE “Marked down to $3.50? I better get two!”
A MEET-CUTE, WITH PERKS You’re walking down the street, furiously tapping away on the screen of your Latest Coolest Phone model, when you bump into an actual model, one not famous enough to place but well known enough that your nemesis, whom you haven’t seen since third grade and who walks by at this exact moment, does a double take. The model apologizes, and holds out his somehow muscular hand for a handshake. You two stand on the street and talk easily, like old friends or familiar neighbors who talk to each other only in the elevator, and he eloquently explains to you the difference between a traditional I.R.A. and a Roth I.R.A.
To this, I can only add, “free Diet Coke in the office,” “someone really old who lived a full, happy life dies and leaves me all their frequent flier miles,” and “Babygirl teaches herself to read, preferably while figuring out how to use and clean the potty, leaving me free to write novels and/or watch British miniseries.” Also maybe “waffles burn calories.”
Okay, so now you know how to get a freelance gig—and you got the offer. Congratulations! The next thing you need to know is how to be the best damn freelancer ever, the person who aces the business parts of freelancing as well as the doing-the-work parts of freelancing.
— From The Washington Post, examining companies that have policies geared towards work-life balance.
I don’t know if they found the one dog walker making it work, or if that’s a good example of what most dog walkers/sitters in Orange County earn.
I got a postcard from DogVacay, tagline “Dog boarding just got awesome!”
Sometimes the Gray Lady does a good deed. I mean, she spends a lot of time preening, and baiting us with the travails of the city’s most obnoxious, narcissistic 22-year-old as he searches for a $3700-a-month apartment big enough to decorate like an Orientalist bordello, complete with a huge oil painting of himself. But sometimes she also manages to help an unfairly fired pregnant woman get her job back:
Ms. Valencia, who earned $8.70 an hour as a potato packer for Fierman in the Bronx, was told by her supervisors in August that she could not continue working unless her doctor gave her a full-duty medical clearance. (Ms. Valencia, who had a miscarriage last year, was told by her doctor that she should work only eight hours a day, no overtime.) Lawyers for Ms. Valencia said the company had violated New York City’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Her story was the subject of a Working Life column on Monday.
My god, what employers will try to get away with when they think nobody’s looking. Sadder still is that most of the time, nobody is looking. If you’re working while pregnant, know your rights.
Last year, a Gallup poll found that a lowly 30 percent of Americans are actually happy at work, and many complained of “bosses from hell” as a major reason. The truth is that it’s difficult to be a good manager. A good manager should, ideally, both direct your work and help you grow in your skills and career. She should be supportive, provide timely feedback, and help when you are stuck. She should be able to do all of this on top of the work that she needs to do herself. It’s said that people are promoted to the point of their incompetence, and this is especially true when it comes to management, since dealing with people is a skill that few people actively cultivate. And there are so, so many ways to be a bad manager.