@jr I am in Silicon Valley. I stayed the first year because I wanted the experience of the project I was running, and then I got sick. I'm picky about telecommuting, but I expect I will have a decent offer in 3-6 months.
@jr Not all of them. I work for a very big one and haven't seen a raise in four years despite two major promotions (engineer with a graduate degree -> manager -> "Director" title). I was looking for something new a year ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and had to go out on long term disability for treatment. I go back to work on Monday, and I've been interviewing for the last two months while I've been recovering. The only way I'll see a raise is if I show them a competitive offer from another company. Why on earth would I stay? It's good to be comfortable enough to wait for the right thing, but I am highly motivated to get out.
Oakland here - I don't smoke or vape, but I started to use edibles instead of ambien a few years ago. My dispensery has a lot of high quality, consistent options and I probably spend $20 to $30 a month. It is also right across the street from the police department which felt a little weird at first but makes it very safe.
We have one because we have DSL. There's no actual phone plugged in, but we pay for the line.
@Gef the Talking Mongoose We actually just rejoined a few months ago specifically for the hotel discount - we got married and were putting up a bunch of people and saved something like $600 because of the membership. I worked my way through school dispatching for AAA in Los Angeles and knew of several people who bought a membership for an infant, because their babysitters would drive them around and they wanted coverage for whatever car the kid was in.
If something like that happens again, you might want to look into AAA - you can join on the spot and get the benefits immediately. The membership follows the person, not a car, so it's good for anything you're driving or riding in.
I did want to be an air traffic controller. I worked my way through college and a few years when I tried to start a business by dispatching tow trucks for AAA in LA and then San Francisco. I was really good at it (consistently one of the top 2 volume dispatchers in California) and loved it, but there's no career there. The next step is either 911/police dispatching or air traffic control. I didn't want to do 911. I don't know if it's changed, but at the time they required you to be younger than 29 (I think, it was a long time ago) and I was too old by the time they lifted the hiring freeze.
I got really lucky - a good friend is an excellent professional pastry chef and she offered to do the cake at cost for our gift. So it's going to run me about $100 for a hundred people, which is beyond reasonable, and we know it will taste good (meyer lemon cake with homemade berry preserves for the main cake, red velvet groom's cake). If she hadn't made that offer we would have gone with fancy cupcakes.
@peutetre Yeah, this is what I see. Just because his parents are rich doesn't mean a) they're going to stay that way or b) they're going to pass anything through to him.