@Natalie I prefer Lyft as well. I've never had a bad experience with a driver. They're not always available when I need them...but for all I know they're being sabotaged by Uber at the moment I need them and all of their drivers are busy.
Tell me how to only spend $150 (or the Chicago-equivalent) on food!
I have to agree with most posters here. It's, unfortunately, something you need to take up with HR or your supervisor's supervisor, and/or get out. Your supervisor seems incredibly inept. Yeah, the market's not fair, but you have to do your best to treat your employees fairly. And the fact that he/she doesn't see how this could be viewed as discriminatory makes them seem incredibly naive. Where I work, we have to go through an HR salary analyst before we post a job, so that the salary reflects an appropriate level for education, experience, and also what others in the organization are making. They have to sign off on the salary before we offer it. This kind of thing, as far as I can tell, would never be allowed to happen where I work. It sounds like you don't have that kind of resource at your job. It could get contentious if you take things up with HR. I wouldn't blame you if you just quietly walked away. So so sorry this is happening :-( Anybody have any idea about whether this is something that could be reported to OSHA?
Honestly, I don't think you can make the wrong choice here. If the desire to go to grad school is strong, it will still be there in a couple years and you'll have some money saved up (you'll save more if you don't get rid of your roommates). On the other hand, I think it really helps to have the energy/drive of a 24 year old to deal with a rigorous grad school program. Maturity also helps, but you sound very mature. I was in grad school for a very long time and the long nights of studying/writing got physically tougher as the years went on.
@rhinoceranita Good point! The flip side is that you end up taking the lower offer when you really need that job. I was able to negotiate up a little when I took my current job, but ultimately, ended up haggling over $1200 (in relative terms, not that much) and finally gave in and took the job because I REALLY needed it. I hired someone who needed a work visa and they took the very first offer. I would not recommend that, even if you do DESPERATELY need a job. They could have gotten more - we made a low-ball offer assuming they would negotiate up. You should at least *ask* if the salary is negotiable if you're in a desperate situation.
It doesn't look like it has 100% coverage, but here's some info about how to get rid of marketing mail, etc. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email I'm not sure it works if you, say, bought something at Restoration Hardware using a credit card. That's usually how I end up with catalogs.
@TreeTownGirl So I think you should be able to go to HR or your supervisor and get more info on the actual review process. Just tell them you would like to know what kind of a meeting you're walking into. I would go into the process with documentation: Compare your official job description (what you were hired to do) with what you are actually doing now. Outline all of your duties, the projects you've finished, goals you've accomplished, etc. If your boss says no raise, or a smaller raise than what seems reasonable, tell him/her graciously, that - given all you've accomplished and your extra effort - you were hoping for something more like an X% raise. They can come back and say that nobody is getting that kind of raise, or that the decision has already been made, or that they disagree with your self-assessment, etc. Best case scenario is that they will take what you said seriously and bump it up. Worst case scenario, you can spin it to ask your boss to help you set some goals to help you get the kind of raise you want. Then next time you can come back and say, "See the goals we set together and how I met them??!!"
@polka dots vs stripes Agreed. I like the discussion of choices: e.g., they enjoy eating out, but traded it for not having a real kitchen.
@OllyOlly Thankfully, my current boss was kind enough to get me a parking pass for my interview, otherwise it would have cost about $35. But I did have to drive 6 hours round trip!
@notnefkat I have a friend who is living in a distant land and I'm saving up to go visit them. I also have ~$40,000 in student loan debt. I figure this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to this part of the world, and I'm paying above the minimum on my loan payments, and if I wait until I am debt-free to travel and live my life and do cool stuff, I will be much much older than I am right now. So eff it: I'm going on that trip.