Office Small Talk: An Illustrated Typology

"I'm not sure I like California," my mom said the last time she was out here to visit me. "You can't order coffee here without them asking you how your day is going." She's a New Yorker. She insisted that her barista didn't really care how she's doing, and that this polite inquiry was just wasting her time.

The Torture of Giving Critical Feedback at Work

Hands down, my worst work experience to date was trying to tell someone they have a bad attitude. This someone was my coworker, Ruth, and technically, I was her supervisor even though we were the same age. My boss directed me to give her this feedback during her annual review.

Three Economic Terms to Help Explain My Coffee Addiction

Maybe you've heard the financial wisdom that cutting out buying coffee is a good way to save (e.g. yourlatte factor). Here are three economic concepts to remember when putting yourself through this, or similar mental anguish over how you spend your money.

Gets, Regrets, and Good Decisions: Jobs I’ve Said No To

There are many reasons to say no to an offer. Sometimes it’s not a good fit; the position isn’t exciting, the company culture isn’t right, or the salary is too low. Sometimes, after going through the interview process and envisioning what your life will look like in the position (that you’ve yet to accept), your real priorities become clear. I’ve had a few opportunities to say no to job offers, which I recognize is an enormous privilege, and it hasn’t always been a good thing. There are a few types of jobs that I’ve said no to.

How Did You Get That Awesome Job?

It always seems like a fluke when you hear how someone else got her job, so we polled a few folks to hear some stories.

How to Enjoy Being Bad at Something

The basics of how to enjoy being bad are simple: Pick an activity you enjoy doing for fun but are pretty bad at, and laugh when you mess up.

Getting Your Email to Behave

I hate email.

Why Do We Spend Money On Things That Don’t Make Us Happy?

My friend Kate used to annoy me in a very specific way. I’d invite her to do something fun—like a nice meal or a performance—and she'd say that she couldn't afford it, and then spend money on something else equally expensive and unnecessary. It took me a while to understand that it wasn't personal to me—Kate and I just had different ideas of how we wanted to spend our money. If how we spend our money is such a clear reflection of our priorities, shouldn't we try to spend it in ways that make us truly happy?