On Shopping, Travel-Wise: Are You An Ester Or A Nicole?

@Lily OH MY GOD. That book is total, freaking AMAZEBALLS. I mean, I kind of laughed at some of it (the author was a very strange child) and it is very Japanese, but I want to go home right now and TIDY. Also, Nicole, I totally bow down to you and your spreadsheet. I'm taking a vacation in a couple of weeks and I've been doing something half-assed to prepare. You could totally be a consultant of some sort. I mean, if Marie Kondo can help people tidy, you could help people pack.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm 0

On "Never Ask Something of Someone Who Isn't Happy:" Advice for Women Seeking Raises

Yes, yes, yes! One of my previous bosses was notoriously cranky in the afternoon-- he wouldn't eat lunch and then would get totally hangry-- so everyone in the office knew not to ask him anything when he was like that. I would bring him back a snack from the fancy snack place before asking for whatever I wanted. Of course, this was a known thing and became an office joke, so he generally knew that someone bringing a snack was going to be accompanied by a request for something. But the general idea of not asking grumpy people for things holds.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm 0

On Are Business Cards Out of Style?

@rhinoceranita Another happy Moo customer! I didn't spring for the Luxe ones, and even the cheaper ones are great.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:47 am 0

On Have a Terrible Time Traveling? Good! You're Supposed To

@swirrlygrrl Yes, on the one hand, some of the fees seem understandable (charging for baggage or meals), although those fees have led to everyone having a more unpleasant experience onboard due to the scram to board, additional fees to board early, and the resulting delays. And you can't pay extra those delays. The linked New Yorker article made the point very well that yes, maybe flying is more accessible to more people, but that the system has swung to an intolerable extreme. Things have been degraded so far that it actually isn't possible to buy your way out of the misery, not unless you can fly private. Also, the mergers, which are a related aspect of all this, certainly aren't making flying cheaper or more accessible. Smaller regional airports have lost service or now are served only by one airline, making prices far more expensive than they were a decade ago. Both American and United have recently significantly cut service to Cleveland, as one example. A ticket that used to cost me around $400 to fly from New York at the holidays was pricing over $800 this year, and those were for connecting flights at awful times, while in past years those were prices for direct flights at convenient times. So yeah, this maybe is one of those first world problems, etc. etc. But, as the linked article concluded, "The conditions of carriage may lack the importance of other, more pressing social issues. But when an airline like JetBlue is punished for merely trying to treat all of its passengers decently, something isn’t right." And to me, it seems completely indicative of broader and more unsettling trends: that public or commonly used services are degraded (see public schools, infrastructure, health care) and only the wealthy should expect anything decent. I don't want to live in a society like that.

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm 0

On Sharing Time: How Much Did You Spend on Presents This Year?

1. $500ish? I'm scared to tally things. 2. $150. This gift is worth it and I think it's perfect for the recipient. 3. $3, although I'm not actually sure who it's for... Hmmm. 4. No budget, hence my confusion as to the total. I'm flying blind here. 5. N/A 6. Credit card, but will be paid off in full when the bill comes. This is a new card, will help me meet the minimum spend requirement that will get me a free year of Amazon Prime. It's a no-fee card, so I think this is a good deal/appropriate use of credit cards, right? 7. God no. I have no idea what to spend. I certainly spent too much this year, but at the same time, feel like it's not enough.

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm 1

On The Search for an Unpillable Sweater

@tw0lle Yes to the randomness of some sweaters being great. 2003ish or so I bought a cashmere sweater from Lands' End. It was perfect. I still wear it, with only very minor pilling. It was so good at the time that I ordered another one-- in black, thinking, yes! I have found the perfect sweater-- and that one sucked. Pilled, somehow looked worse after just a few washings. Same style, same number, just a different color. There was no logic to it. That said, sometimes Lands' End has really good sweaters. And great sales-- hold out for nothing less than 30% off with free shipping.

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm 0

On 'Maybe You Have a Rich Husband?'

@Theestablishment I totally agree with you. People working at nonprofits, no matter their pay grade, deserve to be compensated fairly. For a CEO-level job, the pay should reflect the major demands on time, skills, and accomplishments of the post holder. There was some kerfuffle in the news recently about the pay of top staffers at the Detroit Institute of Arts recently, but considering what Graham Beal has done to protect that institution, he deserves every penny and more. A lesser leader would have ruined the place. But the lower-level employees should be paid well, too, because otherwise you're either getting people who aren't terribly good at their jobs, lots of turnover because good people flee for better salaries so no institutional memory, or only people from well-off backgrounds.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1

On The Business of Yoga Studios

@polka dots vs stripes The Y isn't super cheap in New York. The 92Y runs specials around $79/month, but from what I've seen, there are just a couple of yoga classes a day, so could be a problem depending on schedules and the kind of yoga someone is looking for. One of the cheaper ways is probably signing up for Classpass, which is $99/month for unlimited classes at a bunch of different fitness places. The catch is you can only go to a single place three times a month, so it's not good for people with favorite teachers or studios. And you have to book in advance, and there's a 24-hour cancellation policy otherwise you're charged $20 (not good for people with unpredictable work schedules, for example, or childcare issues). There's also the "Yoga Pass Book": it's a whole bunch of different yoga places and you can go to each studio twice. But that's TWICE per studio for an entire year. It's super cheap, though (under $50), especially if you buy it later in the year. But again, not for anyone looking for consistency. Thinking about it, given the sheer number of yoga places, you can usually try out a bunch of new student specials and the like for more than a year, and get by cheaply that way.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm 0

On 'Maybe You Have a Rich Husband?'

@xiaolongbao I was actually told by an HR person at a place that rhymes with Schmetropolitan Schmeum of Schmart that the job I was applying for was a "trust fund job." It required a PhD. It was 31 hours/week (so not full-time, although a full-time job at the Met is 35 hours/week, I think) and paid $25,000 or so (it was 10 years ago or so, and I've tried to repress the details). Fuckers.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 11:25 am 0

On An Interview With Someone Who Got Fired for Not Having a 'Hunger for Marketing'

@beanwavves Exactly. The day jobs of creative types have tended not to be at cool companies. Being a Word Processor at a big law firm used to be perfect for this: fairly well paid, solid benefits, and flexible hours (like weekend or 2nd or 3rd shifts; you were expected to be there for your solid 8 hours otherwise). Was it eye wateringly boring? Hell yes. Did you get any social cache from being a drone at a law firm? Hell no. Did it pay the bills and not be so taxing, outside the boredom, that you couldn't do the art stuff later? Yes. Also, Google and those places give you those perks because they don't want you to leave work. They do your dry cleaning because you would otherwise never have a clean shirt because you'd never make it home when the cleaner is open.

Posted on December 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm 2