On The Cost of Getting Hit By a Car

I was hit-- although more accurately tapped, but still contact between a big metal object weighing more than a ton and me, who weighs a lot less than a ton-- by a cab a few months ago. I was in a crosswalk, in bright colors during the daylight; the cab was making a left turn. The cab, with a passenger inside, drove off doing that shrug thing that means "sorry not sorry" as I yelled expletives. I got his medallion number but was so annoyed when I called 311 that I gave up reporting it. Apparently I had to file a police report, but since he was gone and I wasn't injured, the hassle seemed too much. I just wanted to report him for reckless driving or something, but that was not an option. Traffic is already a mess, but considering so many of these stories involve people being hit by cars making turns, how much worse would it be if there are no turns at all when pedestrians have the signal to cross (like letting all four corners cross at once, even diagonally, while motor traffic is stopped)? Would that not be safer?

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm 0

On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

@peutetre You're totally confirming my fears. Part of the reason I always had so many days left at my non-profit job was that it was hard to take them! Non-profits tend to be rather understaffed, so there was always the excuse that there wasn't enough office coverage at peak times. But at least in the end I'd get paid for several weeks (I mean, they were non-profit jobs, so it's not like it was a really lot of money but very helpful for me.)

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 11:33 am 2

On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

In the unlimited vacation situation, does one get paid out for unused days somehow? How would that even work? I've relied on the vacation-day payout at previous jobs as a bridge between one job and the next (I've worked on the borders of academia and non-profit stuff, so pay sucked but we had very generous paid time off, usually starting around 4 weeks a year.) I've never worked anyplace more than 2 years, due to project-based contracts, so that's my perspective on vacation days. But my mom, who worked for a state government with generous time off, also accumulated a massive chunk when she retired. In other words, unless I truly could take the full amount I'm used to getting, I'd expect a higher salary to offset the lost money in the end.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 11:16 am 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

@umlauts Speaking as someone from the non-profit world, so I might hopelessly out of touch with the time scheduling in corporate-land, but two months doesn't sound like that long of a time? Is there a reason you wouldn't be able to defer taking the new dream job while you finish your current project? A less desirable alternative is to finish your current gig while also already taking on some responsibilities for the new job, if for example there were things that desperately needed attention immediately (I know someone who did such a thing for a few months: it was hell, but in the end she finished her short-term big project and got the great job.)

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

@Allison I buy tights from dance stores: they tend to be indestructible. I just bought four pairs of Capezio's black mesh because they were on sale (buy 3, get 1 free). They're not cheap ($22.50) but do last a long, long time. They're not really what I think of as "mesh" but a fantastic, opaque tight with a little bit of texture and a sexy as hell back seam. Also, I think they're really comfortable.

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm 0

On MacArthur Day is the Best Day! Joy Money Recognition Joy

I actually know one of the winners! And cool to know that nice people who do good work do sometimes really get recognized.

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm 0

On If You Have to Pee, Pee in a Baby Store

@Lily Rowan I think the key, when peeing in New York hotels, is looking for ones with big lobbies. There are tiny Holiday Inns downtown where I'd feel awkward trying to pee, but the midtown Sheratons, or even the fancy ones like the St Regis and Peninsula are totally fair game. And if they have lots of conferences, all the better, because clearly you're a befuddled tech person just there for the seminar. And the cool hotels with cool bars, because if they're serving lots of booze they've got to have a place to pee.

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm 2

On 40-Hour Workweek My Aunt Fanny

I've had two union positions: one as a grad student, which gave me vastly better health insurance than grad students at other institutions I knew (our stipends were still crap, though.) And then at a major cultural institution in New York. The HR department there hated the union and was, in general, incompetent. The union gave me the confidence to ask for what I had been promised when hired, and what the incompetent HR people kept trying to deny me (namely, benefits.) Once I discovered the magic words that seemingly solved all my HR issues, life was better. And those were: "Dear [Incompetent HR Minion]: Based on your previous emails, I would like to confirm that you are denying me the benefits guaranteed in my union contract based on your administrative error? Thank you." I would get a call about an hour later from someone higher up in HR saying things had been fixed. It was great! Adding: oh, despite the union, I worked way more than 40 hours a week. All of us did.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 11:42 am 0

On How Bad Does Your Landlord Have to Screw Up to Justify a Month’s Free Rent?

I moved earlier this spring, and I got 2 weeks rent comped because the apartment was very, very dirty when I moved in. It's not like there was trash or leftover furniture or anything like that, it just needed some good scrubbing (I had just bought the Clean Person's book so wanted my new life in my new apartment to be sparkling and fresh.) So having a ceiling collapse or constant leaking or any of that really should count for something. But, I have a somewhat unusual circumstance in that I know the owner (not the owner or his manager) of the building, so things get fixed promptly for me. I'm not sure if the same deal would have been cut for someone else in the building. The abatement went in part toward paying for cleaners to come in, but the rest helped offset my moving costs overall, which ended up being a nice bonus after the initial irritation.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 10:47 am 0

On How It Feels to Pay Off $70,000 in Debt

Get the prescription sunglasses! That's not even a frivolous expense: it's a legit medical need. And you might be able to use FSA money for it, too, if that's available to you. And, again, congratulations!

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm 0