On Should You Treat Job Interviews Like Hostage Negotiations?

Re: The tricky salary question. While I was laid off earlier this year, I met a man who had worked as a hiring manager for two decades at a well known tech company. He also advised that if, in an interview, they bring up salary, you should say, "Are you making an offer?" although he did not say to add that bit about "fishing" (which I would NEVER do). He said that when you, the interviewee, make the statement about the offer, the interviewer would always back down and say no. Then it was your job to say, "I understand you are looking at salary ranges, but I prefer to discuss compensation at a later stage. I know you will also be offering a benefits package, and I think it is important to consider everything on the table and not just the base salary. I'm sure we can come to an agreement that will satisfy both of us if we reach that stage." I gave this line a lot of practice in my interview preps and then tried it for reals...and it went really well, and I got the job (though probably not just for how I answered that question). So I pulled it off. I think it might depend on the vibe of the interview and possibly how important a position you are interviewing for.

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm 3

On Would You Ever Tell a Friend That They Were Making Bad Financial Decisions?

I have found I'm largely ineffective in helping. I would gladly help out close family but wouldn't give advice to my friends. Maybe because I'm more invested if my family fucks up. For example, I've tried to help my sister, at her request, with some financial stuff, but she never seems to follow through and then starts to do things that I clearly state to her are mistakes. Keep in mind--she asks me my opinion, and I frankly tell her, "Do not do that, that is stupid." First, she wanted to sign a lease on an apartment she could afford IF she was willing to be on a very tight budget and forgo things like cable and internet (I helped her map out a budget). I told her, "Do not do this, I do not think you can stick to this budget." She did it anyway, never moved in to said apartment, paid rent on it for half a year, then eventually got a friend to take over her lease. Next up, she wanted to move in with a guy she just started dating. "Under no circumstances do this," I said, "do not put your name on that lease." She does it anyway, lives with him for two weeks and finds out he's abusive, leaves, and is still stuck paying half the rent for an entire year. And now, she is going to marry her boyfriend of six months in June. "For the love of fucking god do not do that," I said, but she's already picked up several thousand dollars in debt planning said wedding, so, yeah. She's bipolar and on meds, but I can't worry myself sick over her making gigantic financial mistakes. I guess I'll have to live the ostrich life and keep my head in the sand, because really, what CAN you do if you see someone trainwrecking? Pretty much nothing. And I admit I'm very resentful, because when she makes these massive mistakes, my mother ends up stepping up and giving her money. My mother therefore has absolutely nothing in savings, meaning I will be the one who has to care for her in her old age, and I resent that very much. Maybe that makes me an awful person. But this is my life and I'm having a hard enough time saving for my own old age and emergencies, let alone supporting someone else because of all their fuck-ups. Draw a line!

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm 0

On How a Couple Merging Finances Does Money

How can you POSSIBLY be paying so little in rent??? ::pouts in $1300 studio in Del Ray::

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 10:34 am 0

On Traveling Lighter

Thanks for the rec! I recently scored a new job that requires a little traveling (just 3 or 4 days away, 2 or 3 times a year) so this is perfect for me, I won't have to worry about checking bags and losing luggage. Also, I now live closer to DC, so it's feasible for me to go up to New York or Boston for a weekend away, and this is perfect for that sort of traveling. Great rec!

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 10:02 am 0

On Coffee vs Diet Coke vs a Pure, Uncaffeinated Life

I'll be a huge asshole here: I do not drink any caffeine, ever. All I ever drink is water, with the occasional juice. I recently swore off the booze, but even before that I very rarely drank any alcohol. Because I've never been a coffee drinker, and was not a big soda person either, I am extremely sensitive to caffeine. When I get bad headaches, I like to take the Excedrin Migraine-strength pills, because they knock it out, but they have caffeine in them, so I can't take them after noon or I'll be up screaming all night. It's an interesting life. No caffeine, anti-depressants, and regular exercise means I sleep like the dead every night. And dude, it's totally worth it. Sleep more!

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 11:20 am 1

On Job of the Day: Fake Patient

"Our eyes met across the crowded hat store. I, a customer, and she a coquettish haberdasher. Oh, I pursued and she withdrew, then she pursued and I withdrew, and so we danced. I burned for her, much like the burning during urination that I would experience soon afterwards." As a fun aside, Malloy is my coworker's father, and we were all quite tickled to hear of his fake-diagnosis-turned-real-diagnosis at UVA.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am 0

On Job of the Day: Spokesperson For Death Row

For those who enjoy true crime, Texas Monthly can be regularly relied on to provide fascinating (and also horrifying) stories about false convictions, unsolved mysteries, and crooked police/courts. Thanks for the link!

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm 1

On Weird Al Becomes Wired Al And Everyone Wins

Come on now, Al's parody "Whatever You Like" is the anthem for broke-ass young people. "Tater tots, Cold Duck on ice, and we can clip coupons all night, and baby you can have whatever you like…" "You like Top Ramen? Need Top Ramen? Got a cupboard full of ‘em, I’ll keep ‘em comin’,You want it, I got it, go get it, just heat it dump the flavor packet on it and eat it." "My chick can have what she wants…at Walmart, she can pick out anything she wants." And the ultimate: "It's all about the Washingtons." Yes it is Al, yes it is. My personal favorite will always be "Fat." My god, was that the most perfect video or what? And "Party in the CIA" is so freakin' catchy.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:23 am 0

On Family Plan Shame

I'm 27 and have been living on my own since I was 21, but I'm still on my mom's family plan. She and my sister have smart phones but I have an old fashioned flip phone, and Mom insists my part of it is less than $20, so she just covers it (even though I keep offering to send her money). I do pay for my own phone, but in the last 11 years, I've had exactly 3 crappy flip phones. And I'm proud of it! I'll never have a smart phone! (In fact, she bought me one when we switched to a new plan and I made her take it back. Never!)

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 8:45 am 0

On Millennials and Tiny Houses: A Match Made in Heaven

I LOVE tiny houses and would love to have one. My dream one is about $50,000 which is so affordable…but land where I live (Charlottesville VA) is sky high. :( Some day I will have my tiny home, skylights, wrap around porch, and built in bookshelves!

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm 0