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.

How We Talk About Low-Wage Workers

Sarah Jaffe has an opinion piece in The Washington Post about the way the labor strikes has been covered in the media—often not at all, or placing emphasis on poor, low-wage workers as "some exotic Other rather than our neighbors, our family members and ourselves."

Jeggings Are Ruining Everything

OMG, we started putting Lycra in all of our jeans and now our money isn't made of old jeans anymore! Turns out they make money from plain old first generation cotton now. Shame on us.

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.

H&M’s $99 Wedding Dress

H&M debuted a wedding dress with a shockingly reasonable price last week, and you know what? That kind of white looks awful on me [St. Patrick's Day shout out] but it is still pretty cute. I APPROVE.

Don’t Forget Your Change

TSA outposts at hub airports, such as John F. Kennedy International in New York or Dallas-Fort Worth International in Texas, collect cash from smaller regional airports, then forward it to TSA headquarters in Arlington. Passengers entering Miami International Airport left the largest amount of change at security last year, $39,613, while people leaving Las Vegas — perhaps flush with slot machine winnings — forgot $26,900.21.

Passengers left $8,207.21 behind at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, $5,247.56 at Reagan Washington National Airport and a whopping $16,536.92 at Washington Dulles International Airport, the report said.

According to The Washington Post, Americans left about half a million dollars in forgotten change while going through airport security last year. My plan of action of going through airport security is to dump everything I have in my pockets into one zippered compartment of my carry-on rather than in the bin, though I suppose if you don’t have a bag or carry-on with you, it makes it easier for you to forget (I also imagine people rushing to their gate and leaving their change behind on purpose).

But the most interesting part of this story is that the TSA hasn’t figured out what to do with the money besides fix some signs at the cost of $6,000 because the cost of spending that money could be greater than the money collected:

A similar measure Miller introduced in the last Congress, H.R. 2179, would have awarded the money to United Service Organizations, Inc., the nonprofit that runs in-airport lounges for military personnel. The Congressional Budget Office estimated [pdf] that collecting, accounting for and transferring the money to the USO would cost $1.2 million — $700,000 more than the actual amount collected.

Makes sense.

Photo: Dan Palushka

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.

In 2014 Our Government Is Still Filing Retirement Paperwork by Hand

In Boyers, Pa. there are 600 people who work in a limestone mine, but they're not digging out natural resources or anything like that—they work for the Office of Personnel Management, and their job is to process the retirement paperwork of U.S. government workers. They work in a mine because they need the space, and they need the space because they need room for 28,000 file cabinets. Though it's 2014, the majority of the paperwork is still processed and filed by hand. David A. Fahrenthold explains how this came to be in his appropriately titled story for The Washington Post, "Sinkhole of Bureaucracy."

Goodbye Job Titles, Hello ‘Holacracy’

Zappos got rid of its corporate hierarchy, and thus, its managers and job titles to adopt a new approach it is calling a holacracy, and though it is an interesting concept, what I'd really like to know is how everyone is getting paid. We look at job titles to help us gauge what we should be earning when applying to jobs, but if there are no job titles, and everyone is part of a governing process that decides what people should be doing, does that mean everyone gets paid the same? Also, "lead links" sounds suspiciously like the role of a manager. A rose by any other name, etc.

Neighborhoods in U.S. Cities the French Government Warns Its Traveling Citizens to Avoid

The Washington Post has a list of 16 cities in the U.S. that France warns their citizens about, with reasons or advice to stay vigilant. The advice is generally to keep an eye out on your pocketbooks when in high-tourist areas like Times Square in New York, but it's also about avoiding areas like Harlem in NYC, Anacostia in Washington D.C., the West Side of Chicago, and Inglewood in Los Angeles (see a trend here?).