On Working Over the Holidays Horror Stories

Oh man. The year after I finished college, I was living at home and working almost full time at a movie theater (attached to a mall), and then come fall also at a calendar kiosk (within said mall). There was a stretch in there where I worked 11 days in a row - most of them going straight from one job to the other - that included 1) Thanksgiving, 2) Black Friday, and 3) the fourth Harry Potter movie release. It remains in the top five worst week(ish)s of my life.

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm 1

On "The Cost of 'Daddy I Want a Pony'" as Experienced by Josh

True story: back when iPohnes were newish, my sister used to ask my dad for a pony and an iPohne. (She was a grown up, it was a joke. Or at least the pony part was.) For Chanukah that year he got her a My Little Pony and stuck a post-it on it saying any phone he got for her would be similarly to scale.

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 11:38 am 2

On How Many Safety Nets Do You Have?

This has always terrified me - especially since my first Real Grown Up Job vanished when I was ... 24? They went out of business, I was laid off, and I had basically no savings because, well, 24. LUCKILY I was living with my sister and she could float me rent free while I was job searching, and it only took me about two months to get a new job (with a higher salary!). Anyway, my only debt is student loans, thankfully; and now that I'm living in an apartment and neighborhood I like, I've had fairly little lifestyle creep - which means I can squirrel away money into savings, and have enough to cover me for at least six months if I find myself suddenly unemployed (OH GOD PLEASE NO). I do think about the things I would have to dial back if that happened (cut way back on the amount of food I order, goodbye Stitchfix, etc, goodbye cable...) but I think I would be okay. After that are the credit cards. I have two, and rarely use them, but I think I can put about $10k total on them if need be. And ... I don't know what's in my 401k. Not much (I really need to raise my contribution, sigh), but probably a few thousand. But parental/family help is not an option. :-/ My sister can't afford to help out anymore (fair, I am 31 now and not 24, and responsible for my life) and moving to my dad's house is not an option from lots of reasons, ranging from my industry just not being in his (very isolated, rural) area, to serious mental health issues (mine, not his). So basically, I thiiink I could make it about a year, maybe a bit more living on credit, if need be, but I am TERRIFIED of said need.

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm 0

On 24-Hour Daycares Accommodate the "Forever Clock"

@HelloTheFuture Good thing I grew up in NY - my sister started babysitting me when we were about 6 and 10. (My parents called child services to find out what the minimum was and were told that there is none, but if something goes wrong when a young kid is babysitting they're gonna get in trouble anyway. Luckily my sister was 10 going on 35, and nothing ever went wrong.)

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 11:34 am 0

On Good Morning! How'd Y'all Sleep?

Ugh, I might be type four. :-/ Though some of it is seasonal - during fall/winter I feel like I never fully wake up. (Some of that is vitamin D deficiency. This year it's been bad enough that I actually went to the doctor about it. So it's probably not all my internal clock...) Aside from that, I tend towards owlishness. I work an office job so I've adapted - I'm usually in bed around 11:30 and up around 7:30, but I feel like I don't become very productive until about 11. My peak office productivity is probably in the 2-4 range, and I often get a burst of energy around 8 or 9 at night. (And left to my own devices I will sleep 8 to 10 hours. I think my ideal schedule would be 10 AM to 2 AM.)

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 11:23 am 0

On "How Are You?" "Busy."

@Elsajeni Ha, I'm basically doing exactly the same thing - answering with "I'm sorry to hear that!" instead of trying to play misery poker.

Posted on November 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm 1

On "How Are You?" "Busy."

I was actually talking to my therapist about this yesterday (kind of). It feels like there's a pressure to always be that busy and stressed, like when someone says "oh my god, my work is CRAZY and everything is TERRIBLE," the only answer is "Me too!" Like it's a game where whoever is having the worst time wins. But man, what a crappy prize for winning: misery. Bleh. I don't wanna play anymore.

Posted on November 7, 2014 at 10:11 am 2

On The Cost of Things At My Annual Physical

I always get a receipt for my copay, because six years ago my doctor's office forgot to note down that I'd paid, and it had been cash so there was no record, and they spent the next year calling me asking for that $15 that I had already paid them. I finally convinced them to just "waive the fee" - a fee I had ACTUALLY PAID! - and they stopped. Until last year, when I went for my physical and they told me there was a really ancient $15 fee on my account. Womp womp. (It's only $15; this might be the only time in my life I've ever stood firm on something like this because of The Principle Of The Thing. I really did pay!)

Posted on October 19, 2014 at 10:53 am 0

On Love and Nostagia for the Cheaper Stuff

@LookUponMyWorks I do it with just the fried egg on top and the yolk eventually breaking and mixing in. (There is a Fancy Authentic Ramen Place a block from my apartment, and that appears to be how they do it, except their ramen also has many other things in it, and also isn't 5-for-$3 packages.) Bonus tip if anyone needs it: I'm a vegetarian, and basically no ramen flavors are fully meat-free, so I throw out the flavor packets and just use a veggie bouillon cube instead. Toss it in when you turn the water on to heat so it's nice and brothy when you drop in the noodles and they can take on its flavor.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm 0

On Sympathy Flowers

@Marille When my mother passed away, the friend who watched my cat while I was at home with my family also stocked my fridge with food I could heat up, plus baked goods and wine. (She also cleaned my apartment.) It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me.

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm 1