On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

This is not universally applicable, but when I was in college and sick of earning $7 an hour for folding shirts at The Gap I decided I needed to earn more money. I tried to get a job waitressing, because I had an idea that I would make more doing that. Nobody would hire me because I didn't have any restaurant experience. So I went to bartending school. It was a totally bizarre experience on so many levels and the whole time (two weeks worth of evenings) I thought this was such a dumb idea. And it cost $750 up front. BUT I did learn how to make over 300 drinks from memory and within a week of completing the program, they helped me find a job at a fairly upscale neighborhood bar. I worked there for a little over a year and made great money. I haven't bartended since then, but the experience helped me get other jobs waitressing, and I like knowing that if I do need extra cash, bartending can always be an option for me. So even though those bartending school commercials sound weird, it worked for me! It was a skill that was easy for me to acquire, there was a great market for it, and I was well compensated.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm 1

On Five Characteristics of Good Mentors

I just want my own personal Jack Donaghy. (I also impulse purchased O Magazine this morning, so maybe I'm just having a Lemon kind of day)

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm 0

On Vision Benefits

I am pretty strict with myself about not wearing a pair of contacts for longer than 2 weeks. I used to be more relaxed about it, but then I got a horrible eye infection in both eyes and a pretty stern talking to by my optometrist. This was back in college, and the memory of sitting in my 8:30 am intro to astronomy class next to my cute lab partners while both of my eyes were nearly crusted shut is enough to motivate me to change them out regularly, even if it seems silly and of course, costs more.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 9:11 am 1

On 1 Thing Is Ruining My Life

My 1 thing is to finish reading an extremely overdue library book. My 1 thing was going to be return said library book and pay the fine, but, uh, gotta finish that book first.

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 12:06 pm 0

On "Choosing THE RIGHT School": BS or Total BS?

My friends and I spent a great deal of 11th and 12th grade obsessing over finding and getting into that perfect school - as if at 17 we knew what we wanted and where we would be most successful (not to say that some 17 year olds can't do this, but we were pretty bad at it). I ended up at a school that I hated and transferring to a school that I thought of as a placeholder while I figured out where I really wanted to go. I ended up staying at the placeholder school, because it turned out to be a good enough fit for me that I didn't really want to leave. Never mind that when my parents had encouraged me to apply there, back in high school, I wouldn't even consider it simply because it was local. It's been almost 10 years since I graduated, and looking back, I can see that I would have been happy a lot of places, places that I wasn't interested in at the time because my idea of myself was not the same as the reality of myself. My advice to anyone looking at colleges now would be to worry less about the mythical perfect school and focus more on practical realities of paying for it and job prospects. I didn't appreciate how lucky I was to be able to go to college and pay for it. I wish I had been less worried and more open minded. In the end, I am very happy with where I went to school, but I also know that it didn't matter that much, and I could have been just as happy at a number of different schools.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm 0

On Ask A Human Who Actually Practices GTD ('Getting Things Done')

I'm in the process of trying to implement the GTD system (just finished reading the book), but I'm finding it pretty overwhelming. How long did it take you to get your system up and running, and how long until it felt routine?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 9:32 am 1

On The Most Expensive Meals We've Ever Paid For

Winter break of my freshman year of college my (initially high school, then long distance, now ex) boyfriend and I decided to go out to a fancy dinner at a restaurant in the exurbs of Cleveland that looked over some not very impressive waterfalls. We exchanged terrible Christmas gifts* over our Coca Colas (being too young and scared to try to order wine) while perusing the menu, trying to decide what we could afford (this was long before the days when you could look at menus on the internets and make these decisions before it was too late to escape). The waitress suggested the surf and turf, and I can't remember exactly what shes said, but she phrased it in a way that led us to believe it would be the most economical option (I didn't yet know that anything with the words "market price" next to it should be avoided by broke college students). Our bill came back at well over $100, and although my boyfriend had said that he would pay, it turned out to be much more than he had planned for, and since I had a credit card and he didn't, I paid (my parents had approved use of the card for emergencies, and I guessed even a lobster related emergency counted). Important lessons about not ordering things you don't know the cost of were learned that night. *I gave him a coffee table book, he gave me an electric lady shaver. We both went home offended.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm 1

On Would You Pay $375 for A Night at the Museum? ANY Museum?

@OllyOlly Yes! Some of my best girl scout memories are sleepovers at various museums in Cleveland and Columbus. Definitely no cots, but still a great time.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm 0

On Are Land Lines Worth It?

@jquick Yeah, my parents have a land line and use it pretty much exclusively. They do both have cell phones (the cheapest you can buy), but those are strictly for emergencies only, and they really do not understand how to use them and refuse to be taught.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm 0

On On Hold Forever

I spent 45 minutes on hold with U.S. Airways last night when I needed to be rebooked because delays were going to mean missing my connection and ending up stranded mid journey. After 45 minutes I gave up and waited in line to see a gate agent. At that point I was pretty sure no one was going to answer my call and at least I had visual and auditory proof that the gate agent existed, as opposed to this mythical operator. The worst part was instead of terrible hold music I had to listen to 45 minutes of commercials for U.S. Airways and American Airlines (which has got to be incredibly ineffective advertising). I hope someone answered your call!

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm 1