On This Is Terrible, But: The Pain of Tipping People Richer Than Me

@thirtysum I second this. One can hate the tipping system, but it is the rule of our land and the system we must work with. If tipping is a key factor in how someone, anyone, makes money in a certain job, one should tip appropriately regardless of any additional unrelated factors you may have knowledge of. Would you offer someone a lower salary because you know she has a rich husband or a trust fund, even though both your budget allows it and the job responsibilities dictate a higher rate? Or better yet, would you want an employer to do that to you if you found yourself in that situation?

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 10:33 am 0

On What Your Sex Life Has to do with Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg

@nf I've told people for years that I refuse to use that site because of it's poor design, glad to finally see I'm not the only one who notices!

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 10:26 am 0

On 2013 Median Household Income is 8 Percent Lower Than 2007 Income

1999 - Freshman in high school, got my first real job bussing tables at the local family restaurant, where we ate probably 3 times a week (including lunch, my mother probably went there 5 - 6 times a week). This both established my need to eat out half the week and work my ass off in order to afford it. 2007 - Midway through grad school in the arts, continued working that winter/spring in high end retail, think I was making around $13/hour, plus free coffees and treats from the delicious cafe next door. I spent the summer in DC on an unpaid internship, sponsored by mom, second year of her also sponsoring adult big city rents, made me want to barf every month writing the check even with the knowledge that the money was transferred over. The fall brought another unpaid internship and two paltry TA stipends, but I was hopeful that my museum gig was going to work out and thought I'd be swimming in it with at $35k job by May (flash forward, that job went poof) 2013 - Finally "getting ahead" in my fallback career, though still feeling stretched beyond my means due to work expenses. Making about $65k, but spending a third of take home on my sales job because my employer and industry sucks and thinks it's ok to force 100% sales commission employees to pay their own way. Started to realize I was spending my own money to fill the coffers of someone else, started to get bitter.

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 10:18 am 0

On It's Not the Clocks That Are the Problem

I had no idea other people felt the same way about meetings destroying days. I'm such a mess this way, if I find myself with anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes before a scheduled meeting and the task before it is complete, I cannot compel myself to do ANYTHING productive because I know that I will be interrupted when the meeting shows up. OR after meetings I need a lot of time as well, or else the day is over and I can't get started up again because what's the point, I'm going to be interrupted by the end of the day and everyone leaving. That said, I have always known that "autonomy over my time and schedule" is a big big big thing for me, almost to the point where I can't work a fixed schedule. Talk about hard to find a job that allows that :-/

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm 1

On The Beach: A Bargain or A Bummer?

@jenny0 Not only that, but nearly everyone is vitamin D deficient, and I spent too many years afraid of skin cancer and loaded on spf that i ended up with critically low D levels (we're talking a 7, my doctor had never seen a level so low). The darker one's skin, the more time in the sun needed to get beneficial levels of natural D. In the summer, I strive to get 20 to 30 minutes of "unsafe sun exposure" on days when the sun is out, cutting down my need to take supplements, but together (sun and supplements) my life has completely changed for the better. There is something to that idea that a tan on someone makes them look "healthier," when balanced and done so intelligently, they often are...

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:46 pm 0

On How Evangelical Christians Do Money: On Tithing

Serious question - do Jews tithe?

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 8:59 am 0

On A Pick-Your-Brain Fee?

Related, I have been in transition/trying to figure out my next step for a the last six months or so, and thought I had a really great idea that I discussed with some people close to me (my roommate/bestie, my other bestie, my sister) and decided to ask another close friend - like hang out several times a month, know each other's inner thoughts, way more than just acquaintance kind of friend, but still new (known each other less than a year). He joked over text that his consultation fee was 10%, then when we got together for drinks mentioned it again, and this time made it pretty clear he wasn't kidding, that his feedback on the skeleton of an idea I had would be 10% of the resulting business. I was miffed - are we not allowed to run ideas past our closest friends for their thoughts and opinions?!

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm 0

On Is Air Conditioning Worth It?

@Josh Michtom - bear with me, it may sound ludicrous at first, but your argument assumes that the way you deal with heat and humidity is the norm, and that the only thing outside of this norm is infants/old people/"unhealthy" people, whatever that may mean. This argument starts to sound like those people who are like "look, I get that diets are hard, but I'm just saying it's not impossible to eat less and exercise more and not be a fatty." There's a tinge of moralizing, whether you intended or not. I'm a healthy human, slightly chubbs as Americans are wont to be, but not obese, no major or minor health issues other than seasonal allergies (for which an AC and closed window is a godsend). What I am, though, is "very sensitive to heat" and "mega-gross hyper sweater." My roommate can walk around the city at 80+ degrees and 50%+ humidity and he looks and feels just fine - he is comfortable, or at most "a little warm," no visible sweat or other physical markers of hot or overheated. I walk two blocks in the same weather, I have visible sweat pouring down my face. Just last weekend, just standing in less than described weather, I had sweat dripping down my back into my ass crack - tmi? That's just the point. My body physically reacts, and what can I do? Not much, other than get naked or retreat to some air conditioning. The reason I bring up my roommate is that when he first moved in, our only source of contention was the AC - he was like you, content to live without it, having done so for many years, and not keen to pay for the added expense either. We worked on compromising constantly, allowing for warmer days and cooler nights, finding the right temp where we can both function, and you know what? He hasn't changed his preference, he could still live without it, but he has seen that I'm not some lazy person who doesn't care about the environment and loves to burn money. I'm just trying to not look like a beet red faced, covered in sweat person, trying to find my breath in my day to day. I need to look professional for work, I'd like to look attractive to my dates, and I'd like to sleep and live in an environment that doesn't oppress me. Maybe natural selection would have phased me out. I grew up in the South, so maybe I would have been a worthless human who died in a heat wave because they "just couldn't take it." But thankfully we have the technology to allow me to be a more productive human.

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm 0

On The Art of Asking for a Discount

Ugh, this rubs me the wrong way. In reflection I think I come from a very different pole of this retail sphere, where the examples above are mostly related to a) larger stores/companies and b) larger, one time purchases. Whereas I spent years managing a fine wine shop where a) we were small and independently owned and b) we were looking to cultivate repeat customers on (relatively) smaller purchases. But that does make me want to point out this difference, that maybe there's room for asking and discounting in some areas of commerce, but not all. I completely resented the people who asked for freebies or discounts or what have you. The majority of them ask in a way that is entitled, arrogant, and really hammers down exactly where I stand in their hierarchy - at the bottom, at their service. When the owners take home as much money as the customers (or less), and they're often in the shop themselves, there is something not just rude, but downright personal about asking for special treatment for no reason other than because you're a "good guy" or just because you have the gall to ask. But you know who does get perks and such? Actual good guys. You become a regular, you treat me like a human, you're kind and considerate to the people who work at the store and other customers alike, guess what? You get free bottles, you get a "just because" discount, you get a free wine key, you get to sample the stupidly expensive bottle we have open in the kitchen, you get let in after hours to grab a few extra bottles for your party and you get to take them on the honor system because I truly know and believe you're a good guy who's good for it. Again, I realize it's a different world from the Best Buys and Nordstroms out there, but some people need reminding of that, and perhaps should consider the benefits of shopping small.

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 11:11 am 5

On Our Problem With Being Overworked

I wish there was a little more coworker solidarity on this front. I've always struggled with being the only one in a small business or on a small team who takes sick days or outright refuse to do unnecessary extra work, even though I know my coworkers complain about not being "able" to do those things. We all drive around (outside sales) and when it's going to drop a foot of snow starting at 2pm, I have the attitude that I'm not a hero, and I'm not saving lives, so I take myself off the road before the snow starts, and do what I can from home. My coworkers, on the other hand, keep working and end up stuck on the highway for three hours trying to get home. They all call me, bored and angry in their cars, but there's direct and indirect pressure to work work work and very few are willing to stand up to that and say enough is enough. Therefore I end up looking like the only one who isn't "working," and my manager gets angry that I'm not "putting in as much" as the others, despite the fact that my numbers are fantastic. He can't just look at the numbers and be happy that I'm up up up, he needs to believe I'm putting in the hours.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm 1