On Transparency At Work

I would continue, like you, not asking the suppliers for additional samples. The next time your manager brings up your sample budget, ask him or her to be specific about how much you have to sample. Then explain that a number of the suppliers have complained about being asked for additional samples. But if your manager says that your sampling is going above and beyond the 2% or whatever that's allocated, I think you're going to need to decide whether you can get by with fewer samples or want to ask the suppliers for more. Remember, the suppliers also have a vested interest in reducing the amount of free product they give you - so the 2% may be industry standard, but sales reps asking for more may be industry standard, too.

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm 0

On I Was a Victim of Fraud and I Don't Care

I once had this happen to me with a Bank of America debit card - my wallet was stolen and the thief went to three or four gas stations before I managed to cancel the card. Their purchases triggered three or four NSF fees...and it gets worse. They refunded the money right away, but despite my police report for the stolen wallet, Bank of America later decided they didn't believe the charges were fraudulent, and took all the money back without warning. Obviously if I were the sort of person who couldn't be bankrupted by four gas station purchases, I might have pursued this further. Instead, I just warn everyone about the evils of BOA every chance I get.

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm 1

On WWYD: The Obnoxious Coworker

So many thoughts! Also, a question: how did your boss come to tell you that you were being a Heather? Did he/she just happen to be in your office? Or did your co-worker tattle on you? Because obviously the latter would be...strange. You say that you share an office with this person - is it possible to ask to move offices? Even something as simple as the guy breaking your concentration with frequent, loud phone calls could be an acceptable reason, depending on what your job requires. You just need to document your reasons for wanting to make the move. Actually, documenting them might be a good idea anyway. If your working conditions are uncomfortable, having a paper trail can be useful. BUT I am not sure that all your objections are totally reasonable? For instance, while I don't think we should spy on our co-workers' computer screens, the argument can be made that you shouldn't be checking your bank balance or conducting any other personal business on your work computer. And I suspect that "Can I ask you a question?" is the result of your co-worker's realization that he annoys you, and he's trying to ask if this is an ok time to interrupt. (Your obvious irritation may be at the root of your boss's "Heather" comment, too.) So...no, you're never required to share your personal belongings with your co-workers. But you are required to TRY to get along with them, no matter how much they annoy you. It is, hands down, the worst part of being a grown-up.

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm 1

On Meanwhile in Florida

Says the man who perpetrated the biggest Medicare fraud in history...

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am 6

On WWYD: Using a Family Connection

I have two answers to this. First of all, it's perfectly fine to let them up on their offer to do your taxes. I'm guessing the tax professionals are paid a salary that isn't commission-based, unlike the wealth management professionals whose services you have already used for free. As others have pointed out, this offer was clearly a calculated decision on the part of the firm, and if you're happy with them, you should return the favor with referrals and any future [paid] business you might have for them. But I have to add that I agree with Tuna Surprise: you shouldn't have asked them to look over your taxes. I don't know anything about the ethics code for CPAs, but I imagine liability alone would preclude them from "signing off" on taxes they didn't prepare. So you put them in a situation where they had to choose between disappointing a client and giving away their service. It's good that this wasn't a friend, but it isn't fair to put someone in that position.

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm 2

On Wait You Don't Watch Hulu for the Commercials

I've been wondering about this for a while, especially now that Netflix produced original programming without commercials. So let me get this straight, Hulu: I pay AND I have to watch ads? It's true that Netflix doesn't have a lot of the most recent/most popular movies and shows available for streaming, but it's hard to see what distinguishes Hulu Plus from the OnDemand feature I already get from my cable company.

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm 0

On WWYD: The Rude Toll Collector

In general, I try not to complain about workers with crappy jobs because lots of people are rude to them and who knows what his or her previous customer was like. BUT! If you're correct and her mistake wasn't a mistake but intentional, and she does it once a day all year, that's more than $200, assuming a five-day workweek. And if she really is intentionally short-changing drivers, I bet it's not just once a day. I don't think I believe that's happening, it's pretty conspiracy-theorish to me, but who knows!

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm 0

On WWYD: Thanking Your Host

@probs That's totally correct. I'm ashamed to say I did this recently - I stayed with a "friend" (acquaintance?) for two months because I was transferred both temporarily and on short notice. It was horrifyingly uncomfortable, but we're both extremely WASPy so we made it through without confrontation. I accepted this scenario only after exploring every other possibility, including finding another job where I lived. I respect the writer's desire to see the project through, but everyone will be better off if she (or he) tries to find a local job. Aside: if the wife is doing Paleo, I forgive the snipes. Does that diet have a proselytism component to it? I am SO tired of hearing about it and Whole 30 everywhere I turn. Yet another reason to avoid this scenario.

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm 1

On What to Get for a Person Who Wants Nothing for Christmas

You're right - it's so easy as a kid because a) you want all these things that your friends have or you see on television between cartoons and b) you have no idea how much these things cost relative to your parents' income. Everything I want now is way too expensive to ask for as a gift (otherwise I'd probably already have it). So to me, one of the nicest gifts I can receive is a gift card to some place I already spend a lot of my money - the grocery store, Target, etc. Because that frees up my money to be able to do something I couldn't otherwise afford, even if it's just extra money in my savings account.

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 10:32 am 0

On Oh Preacher Ramsey, Deliver Us from Debt

@wallrock I thought it was the smallest total balance? So that you'd have one thing totally paid off (therefore not earning interest) before moving on to the next, which makes sense. Is that not it? Because agreed - paying off a lower interest rate first without regard to balance makes no sense.

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm 0