The New York Times’s 22,000-word piece about Dasani, an 11-year-old who is part of an “invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America” has been making the rounds on the internet, and yes, is most definitely worth reading.
Is the rent too damn high? A Harvard study says yes, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
In a study led by David DuBois of HEC Paris, people who were observed choosing large coffees, pizzas, and smoothies were rated by others as having higher status. They scored an average of 4.98 on a 1-to-7 scale, versus 3.03 for people who chose the small size. Technically, the study doesn’t apply to managers: The researchers were studying obesity among underprivileged populations, and they found that extra-large food servings can serve as markers of social status. So for policy makers, the research suggests that there might be benefits to altering people’s perceptions about portion size. But this advice jives with the idea of wearing the clothes for the job you want, not the job you have. To take it one step further, surround yourself with the trappings of the salary and lifestyle you want, not the one you have.
This story from QZ says that the size of your latte is a signifier of your status at work—bigger means more power. Well, bigger means more power because people who order the largest size of anything can generally afford to do so. Also: “surround yourself with the trappings of the salary and lifestyle you want, not the one you have” sounds suspiciously like people who like to live beyond their means, so order that large latte if you want it and can afford it and not because it makes you feel important.
Also, good morning! If it’s snowing where you are like it is here, hope you’re somewhere warm with a nice hot drink.
Photo: Jeff Meyer
Mark Wagner is a collage artist who uses dollar bills as his material. While watching this, I kept thinking, “ahh, isn’t it illegal to destroy currency?” (Yes.) But it’s art.
Today in “uncommon jobs,” Orange Coast magazine has an interview with a professional herper (basically a person who charms and removes snakes from people’s properties) named Jason Magee. Magee says he charges a flat rate of $115 to inspect properties and remove both nonvenomous and venomous snakes.
New York magazine has by-the-numbers look at shoplifting, including a list of the most frequently stolen items.
According to the Washingtonian, a survey by management consulting firm Accenture showed that a third of workers who leave their jobs say that not liking their boss is one of their main reasons for switching companies.
In our survey of 13,500 area employees, we asked about truly horrible bosses. Among the common complaints: supervisors who yell or throw things, who take credit for an employee’s work or micromanage, who emotionally or sexually harass, who expect staff to be on call 24-7, who show favoritism, and who are incompetent.
Here is what some things people said about their horrible bosses:
“A guy at my old company used to make his employees ask before they could use the restroom—and he would time them. If they were gone longer than five minutes, he would add the time up at the end of the week and make them use vacation time.”
That’s insane, and I would move on to another job ASAP.
“I had a boss who would stand behind me and watch me type. When I made a mistake, he actually shook my chair while I was in it. I left that place in a hurry.”
I would too.
“A manager wrote all the female employees’ cycles on the whiteboard so the team would have a warning of when the women were in a bad mood.”
“My old boss would walk around with a small baseball bat and a huge switchblade. He kept pictures of the employees he had terminated pinned up in his office.”
Goodbye forever! More here.
How were your weekends?
I’m too distracted by Christmas Cats TV to post anything else for this thread, so maybe you should be distracted by it too? (As you can see in the screencap, there are lots of strange things happening there!)
We’ve been covering the fast food/low-wages strike, and for today (or for your reading list this weekend) add Thomas Frank’s Harper’s story to your list, who visited North Carolina earlier this summer to report on the strikes.
TSA outposts at hub airports, such as John F. Kennedy International in New York or Dallas-Fort Worth International in Texas, collect cash from smaller regional airports, then forward it to TSA headquarters in Arlington. Passengers entering Miami International Airport left the largest amount of change at security last year, $39,613, while people leaving Las Vegas — perhaps flush with slot machine winnings — forgot $26,900.21.
Passengers left $8,207.21 behind at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, $5,247.56 at Reagan Washington National Airport and a whopping $16,536.92 at Washington Dulles International Airport, the report said.
According to The Washington Post, Americans left about half a million dollars in forgotten change while going through airport security last year. My plan of action of going through airport security is to dump everything I have in my pockets into one zippered compartment of my carry-on rather than in the bin, though I suppose if you don’t have a bag or carry-on with you, it makes it easier for you to forget (I also imagine people rushing to their gate and leaving their change behind on purpose).
But the most interesting part of this story is that the TSA hasn’t figured out what to do with the money besides fix some signs at the cost of $6,000 because the cost of spending that money could be greater than the money collected:
A similar measure Miller introduced in the last Congress, H.R. 2179, would have awarded the money to United Service Organizations, Inc., the nonprofit that runs in-airport lounges for military personnel. The Congressional Budget Office estimated [pdf] that collecting, accounting for and transferring the money to the USO would cost $1.2 million — $700,000 more than the actual amount collected.
Photo: Dan Palushka
What are your estimates?
With their unparalleled eye and broad-reaching sense of fashion, what they offer isn’t just technical skill, but a certain transformative promise; a clear vision of the way you want to look right now and the ability to make it happen. The Duchess of Cambridge’s newly darkened hair and side-swept layer of fringe may not involve such a radical change—but after seeing it crowned by a diamond tiara en route to a diplomatic reception last night, it’s hard to argue with the politics of her unfailing royal polish.
The cost of Kate Middleton’s haircut + coloring: $984. Vogue comes to the Duchess’s defense by arguing that Middleton is a high-profile person who is in front of a lot of cameras and since she visits a high-profile hair professional, the costs are just what they are.
I am no stranger to expensive haircuts—my own costs $50—but besides the professional cutting your hair with the clear vision and all that, what else goes into a $984 haircut? The serum made from a flower that grows in a single place in the Amazon rainforest? Shampoo made from kitten tears? I’d like to know.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
At Newsweek, David Cay Johnson takes a closer look at the Detroit ruling lifting protections on state pensions, and explains some of the history that has led to the shortfalls all across the country. This, of course, is a huge deal for retirees who’ve worked who are bracing for pension cuts.
At Deadspin, Drew Magary talks about the items on his daughter’s Christmas wish list and it’s very, very funny, mostly because his daughters asks for things like, an American Girl Doll that won’t be on the market until next year