On Cleaning House With Jenny

It sounds like Jenny is a hardworking and delightful person, and I hope her business idea takes off! I also don’t really like the standard I’ve noticed here in NYC, in which many people hire nannies and maids as “service providers” (which sounds nice and clean/guilt-free), when in fact it seems like the social values and norms are reverting to an almost colonial level due to an ever-growing class divide. And I have SO much more I could spill about my interview experience at Handybook. For one thing, the HR-type decisions involving hiring/firing of service providers, along with accounts payable (following up on unpaid bills), as well as the customer service responsibilities of answering all incoming phone calls, chats, scheduling appointments, resolving customer complaints — ALL of this was performed by ONE team of 3-4 people (for all of NYC), the Customer Experience Associates (I think it was called)(that was what I interviewed for). They were paid $35k/year … not bad.. until I found out that they were expected to work from 8AM-8PM shifts 5 days/week along with 1 weekend shift that they rotated. So yeah, I came in for a “try-out” day that lasted the full 12 hours. And it was terrible, in every sense. I thought about writing an article about the experience afterward, but never got around to it. Instead I can rant about it in comments sections a year later! yay…

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm 3

On Help, a Direct Mailing For a Cleaning Service Actually Worked On Me And I'm Worried It Will Ruin My Relationship

@Meaghano Yeah, go for it and tip huge! I definitely don't judge the desire to have some extra help, or the ability to pay someone to help you - I just can't even with that particular company. One thing I noticed and hated during my try-out day was how they treated their employees. They had a "three strikes you're out" policy when it came to the service people being late/no-shows, regardless of excuse, and made it a huge deal whenever they made an exception (due to traffic jam verified by client expecting the service, who called to say she was stuck in same jam). They also made fun of a lot of their employees and customers as soon as they hung up the phone, notably, by mocking someone with a Chinese accent and guffawing about it heartily. The founder and his partner are both from India, from well-to-do families. I think having maids/servants is really commonplace in upper-class Indian households, and I noticed that neither of them realized how badly they came across when explaining their business plan. Definitely born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Also the marketing guys that worked there really enjoyed picking on this one customer support guy in a really frat-bro douchey way that could easily qualify as sexual harassment (touching his hair, "pretend"-flirting with him, riling him up). He was trying to take it on the chin but I could tell it was getting to him. The people that worked there were testing my limits to see if I found 4-chan-worthy jokes funny or if I got offended. I sort of played along but was getting pissed off... ugh. When I got home I recounted the whole thing to my boyfriend and we laughed and laughed. But I really needed a job and it was a huge waste of time, too. Idk, hopefully they've gotten better, but it was super gross when I was there last summer.

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 11:50 am 0

On Help, a Direct Mailing For a Cleaning Service Actually Worked On Me And I'm Worried It Will Ruin My Relationship

Also, the founder said he came up with the idea when he was in college and couldn't find a reliable cleaning service. He then expected me to be like "whoa, I know what you mean!". Ugh, I'm still grossed out by that interview process. Yuck.

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm 1

On Help, a Direct Mailing For a Cleaning Service Actually Worked On Me And I'm Worried It Will Ruin My Relationship

OMG not to guilt trip you, but YES IT IS VC-funded, and YES, they DO underpay their employees. Also their interview process involves spending one day at their offices doing a "try-out", for which you are not compensated, as well as being subjected to the worst racist/sexist jokes and made to feel obligated to laugh. Signed, Someone who did the try-out day and turned down the offer

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm 1

On All My Grownup Jobs And How I Actually Got Them

I would LOVE to read more hiring histories like this.

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm 2

On Doing Development Work in Dhaka

This is REALLY FANTASTIC. 10/10. Really, really quality, beautiful, a spot-on critique of economic development in action yes yes yes <3

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 10:40 am 1

On Falling Into Debt After a $200,000 Book Advance

Just weighing in to say I liked reading this chat and I like Ester's voice a lot! Go The Billfold!

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 11:43 am 0

On When Your Brain Chemistry Screws Up All Your Relationships (Even at Work)

“Am I actually incapable of getting out of bed and doing my work sometimes, or am I only giving into the feeling of incapability?” This is really interesting to me. I acknowledge that I have been/am constantly low-grade depressed and when it gets bad I have trouble getting out of bed and doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Instead I may get online for hours, or if it's really bad I'll just lay in bed, despairing. But for some reason the thought that I *can't* do what I'm supposed to do, that I am physically incapable of getting up and shaking it off has never crossed my mind! Instead I feel like I have to get up and get going and shake it off, clear the cobwebs, but when I find my brain unwilling to catch up to my intention I always blame it on myself and I hate it. I've never felt that it's the chemicals' fault. I feel like I should be able to control the chemicals. I guess maybe I feel this way because I've never been to therapy? I'm not sure. The idea of drugs scares me. I want to cure myself and get stronger. And I think I am getting stronger? Little by little - I feel like I'm empowering myself to achieve things. I refuse to indulge my weaknesses. So everyone is different and in the midst of different circumstances and I'm not saying be like me or anything. I understand that. I guess my advice would be: Don't give up on yourself. Forge onward, bravely! Be tough! & etc. you can do it~

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm 0

On How to Stop Going into Credit Card Debt for the Sake of "Points"

I agree with lots of people above - I use my CC to funnel normal debit card spending through, do not touch the funds in my bank, then pay everything off in a lump sum at the end of the month. I usually spend ~$1,000-$1,200 per month and have never paid interest. This spending method is something I only started a year ago but already I've racked up enough points to get a plane ticket on the house. Recently I signed up for a better credit card that had a sign-on bonus and I'll cancel the old one. If you manage your spending correctly, this is a good thing! You get the occasional perk, they get the chance that one day you'll slip up and start paying interest.

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm 0

On Open Thread

@sergeant tibbs It's cheese, curry chicken, basil, and sweet chili sauce pizza. So good!!!

Posted on May 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm 1