On Madison Is A Great Small City, Unless You're Black

@Allison I find the technical bits of finance interesting and the nitty gritty of people's financial lives fascinating, as it's a topic that I have found to be rarely discussed out in the 'real world'. I like the insight some Billfold pieces give into the realities of people's financial lives and yes, I am aware that class, race, background and so on impacts on that in every single case. I don't enjoy articles which are needlessly unpleasant about rich people or push an agenda of guilt. I am totally willing to admit that this is a question of personal taste, and I know I need to just slink off quietly (I do know I'm not the boss of the Billfold, really). However. I commented here because I was disconcerted by what I perceived as several unnecessarily nasty responses to a comment, which was after all just an observation about a moment of awareness. And this sort of underlined the feeling I have had recently that the Billfold is less open and willing to hear different viewpoints in its discussions and therefore less friendly and personal.

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 10:20 am 1

On Madison Is A Great Small City, Unless You're Black

Okay, I think this has finally persuaded me to quit reading The Billfold for good. I have commented before on what I see as a shift in focus from personal finance to politics and 'shame', and I stand by that, but the unpleasant tone of the comments on this and other pieces, and the shooting down of opinions and perspectives is too much for me. Referring to Jake Reinhardt's comment and subsequent replies, I fail to see how respectfully describing a personal moment of awareness is in any way denying someone else's experience. I find the implied message that certain people aren't allowed to speak or have opinions really troubling. I have been seeing versions of that message in various places around the site recently, including on the "Economics of Dating - OK Cupid Edition" piece, where someone disturbingly comments that "the devil always has enough advocates as it is. No need to add to their numbers for play". This I take to mean "your view is not my view. Therefore don't express it." I rarely, if ever, see really nasty opinions expressed on the Billfold - and if you look back through my posting history, I have been active in trying to combat them (ref: jquick!) But I feel that the Billfold is not a friendly and welcoming place to debate and discuss any more, because it seems like anything except the "accepted viewpoint" attracts attacks and nasty comments. I'm only one person and I do realise that the loss of my readership isn't important at all in the grand scheme of things. But the Billfold has for over 2 years been my go-to place for interesting, engaging content and a friendly, open community who have consistently challenged and informed me. And I feel this has disappeared, and I suppose I just wanted to say how sad that makes me.

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 5:09 am 3

On Chatting About A New Era

Congratulations Meaghan. I've enjoyed your accounts of the war with your landlord very much - here's to a hopefully non-creepy, very efficient landlord in Portland! Off-topic, but I've got to say....did I just read that "Doing Money" will be resurrected? I am so excited about that. I'm going to be honest and admit I've pretty much stopped reading the Billfold in recent months, because of what I perceive as a shift in focus from personal finance to political issues - I have disliked the unpleasant tone of several articles about wealthy people, plus while I recognise it's important to acknowledge privilege and am glad that this is now more openly discussed in the media generally, I don't like being 'shamed' constantly about it. I was finding myself coming away from reading some articles just feeling guilty rather than informed, inspired or with a refreshing perspective on a facet of someone's financial life. But the prospect of a new "Doing Money" series would entice me back, for sure - please interview all the 50 people who wrote in, I will read them ALL!

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 6:37 am 3

On How to Make Buying Things More Like Having Experiences

@Vib G Yor Urgh, stuff. I hate things and don't want to tie them to experiences at all for the reasons you state. I love cleaning and chucking out and I don't want emotions anchoring me to a pile of crap cluttering up my space. I admit that I quite like my engagement ring, but that's small.

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 11:44 am 1

On So You Want to Quit Your Job and Open a Bar

Bars combine the worst aspects of life: drunk people, tedious people, lecherous people, fightin' people, spewing people. And that's without even factoring in the beer stench. So, no. I would not like to be responsible for one. Signed, a former barmaid.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 10:06 am 1

On Cosmo Quiz! What's Your Workplace Personality?

I recently discovered Myers-Briggs because a friend went on about it. I took it 5 times on 5 different websites and all of them said I'm INTJ. I would be extremely resistant to being profiled at work - it's ostensibly to "see where you fit into a team!" and "help us help you!" but I'd not be keen on bosses and colleagues having a roadmap of my weaknesses/assumed weaknesses. No need to broadcast information or have others make assumptions.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm 0

On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

@Tripleoxer @nell Wow. So employees are essentially penalised for being ill. That’s motivating and presumably great for company loyalty. Disclaimer: I am from England and this is…not a system we have here, hence my question. I get 5 weeks paid vacation plus bank holidays (8 days) and unlimited sick days, which is pretty standard.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm 0

On Infinite Vacation? What About a Mandatory Pre-cation?

"And instead of end-of-year cash bonuses, top performers get personalized packages delivered to their houses. The packages include fancy chocolates, confetti poppers, bottles of Champagne, and a hand-written letter from a superior about what makes the employee so valuable. Oh, and they come with grants of equity in the company." Cute. Actually I'll take the cash, thanks.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm 2

On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

Sounds like an underhand way for companies to control employees even more. Which sounds better to a manager, a defined 3 weeks use-it-or-lose-it vacation or "unlimited vacation" which is always going to be self-limiting because employees are too scared to take it? No thanks. Incidentally, what the hell re: having to take vacation days when you're ill? Is this actually a thing?

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:19 am 2

On Every Job I’ve Had: Indoor Bouncy House, Defense Contractor, Traveling Nerd

I can confirm that the universal rule of weirdos at child-related jobs is 100% true. I spent two summers as a "senior welfare leader" at an English language learning school for kids, and most of my time was spent dealing with staff who were, er, not so conducive to the childrens' welfare. Like the guy who suggested that we all play a game where points are allocated based on who we slept with, and the 14 year old French girls gained you maximum points. Or the guy who would pop up in the dormitories, roll onto his back and put his legs above his head whilst slapping his own bum and shouting. Frankly even £1000 per hour would have been insufficient pay for that job.

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm 0