Dessert Economics

Growing up, my family rarely went out to dinner due to financial constraints, and if we did for a special occasion, we never ordered dessert. My father believed desserts were a waste of money, and my mother didn't have much of a sweet tooth.

Pros and Cons of “The Uber for Housecleaning”

Lydia DePillis at the Washington Post wrote about the new "Uber for home cleaning" companies like the one I used this week. This one focuses on Homejoy, and smartly discusses a lot of the pros and cons.

Starving on Campus

College students are known for being broke, heavily in debt, and surviving off of instant ramen, but there is also an invisible population of students who have "food insecurity"—not having enough to eat on daily basis. These students are often hidden because they feel ashamed about their circumstances.

How to Make Sure You Do Not Lose Your Job to a Robot

The WaPo writes that ethics are going to be in high demand, and that robots might not have the ethics we need to solve the complicated problems of the future, like "should we program robots to make unethical decisions so that we can maintain superiority over them and keep our jobs."

Dinner Reservations: Out

Ooh-hoo-hoo, Tom Sietsema, food critic for the Washington Post, heartily bemoans the waning number of restaurants that accept reservations:

‘Dad’s Resume’

Here is an excellent piece in The Washington Post looking at an opening of a new plant in Ohio, which is looking to hire 40 people and give them a decent salary plus benefits, and how difficult it is to find the right people for the job despite a slew of resumes arriving.

Transitional Furniture

Raise your hand if you've ever owned a Lack coffee table from Ikea. Keep your hand raised if your Lack coffee table was passed on to you from a friend, or found on the street, or bought for $10 on Craigslist, where you are bound to find pages and pages of Lack coffee tables for sale.

The New SATs

The Washington Post reports that a preview of the new SAT test is out and it actually sounds kind of better?

When You’re the Know-it-all at Work

What do you do if you’re afraid that you’re coming off as a condescending know-it-all at work? Should you try to act “dumber”? Karla Miller who runs @Work Advice at The Washington Post says know-it-alls shouldn’t act dumber—they should be “strategically generous”:

They ask questions instead of spitting out answers: What do you think? Does anyone have a different idea? What if we tried this instead?

They recognize that everyone has a contribution: Great point, and I’d like to build on that by adding … Let me defer to Eloise on that topic.

They dissent politely: I see where you’re coming from, but I think …

They acknowledge vulnerabilities: I sometimes struggle with expressing myself tactfully.

They apologize as needed: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be brusque.

They laugh at themselves: Whoops, I had a Sheldon Cooper moment there. Bazinga!

At a previous job, someone who built a reputation for being a know-it-all and interrupting colleagues at work was simply told, “Stop interrupting people while they’re in the middle of talking—it’s rude.” He apologized, and consciously made an effort to stop himself from correcting people while they were talking. It’s the thought that counts.