Every year on Good Friday Catholics around the world celebrate the Stations of the Cross, a ritual which traces back to early pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Usually the "stations" are a series of small plaques, reliefs, or statues inside a church, but in many parts of Europe networks of small shrines were set up around various cities to allow the faithful to make their own mini-pilgrimages without the expense or danger of traveling to the Holy Land.
My local Catholic church in Washington, D.C., however, has taken a more radical approach, using the story of Christ's betrayal and crucifixion as an allegory for the changes gentrification has wrought on our neighborhood. [...]
Mike: After reading some of the conversations we've had with high-earners, you got in touch with us and said you wanted to talk about what it's like to not earn a lot of money. Can you introduce yourself?
Broke Person: So, I'm 25, I live in the Midwest, I work and live at a camp/environmental learning center, and I earn just shy of $15,000 a year. It's pretty seasonal work, so I earn most of that between late April and early November. The winter can be pretty lean in terms of what we do for work, so most of us supplement it with a second job. Last year, I [...]
I'm under water. My money escapes me. I'm going through a period of austerity. I'm facing temporary cash flow issues. I reject the arbitrary assigning of value to paper and metal objects. I left my wallet at home. Money is its own master.
Whether you're headed to a wedding (even your own) or just a barbecue, you may interact with someone who is unemployed. Do you offer a hug? Should you feign laryngitis and walk away? It can be stressful for the employed, or otherwise economically stable, to know how to respond.
Trust me. Since I was laid off, family, former colleagues, and especially, strangers, (albeit indirectly and always unsolicited) let me know how challenging my joblessness is for them. These rules of thumb will help you handle the unbearable lightness of being around the non-working class.
JUDGE: If someone admits to being laid off, fired, let go, or otherwise not working, let [...]
In the summer of 2011, I was offered a job in Doha, Qatar, teaching English at Doha's first and only American-style community college. I took it without hesitation because I was broke. I took it because I was straight up terrified of my mother's spare futon. I took it because I was suffering from M.F.A. Syndrome.
I’d spent three years of my life getting an M.F.A. I'd sacrificed both money and the potential to make money in the name of scholarship and art. (After all, how do you get people to do something without fair remuneration? You feed them ideals. Educated people are as vulnerable to this as [...]
There is in all of us I think a tension between sharing something wonderful and keeping it secret inside you so you can enjoy it on your own. I once hid from friends and family the fact that I was watching and enjoying Friday Night Lights, because I wanted it to be mine alone. I've refused to explain where exactly a restaurant is to avoid diluting the pleasure it gives me with someone else's. But eventually, my desire to keep all joys to myself is overpowered by wanting everyone else to be happy, and I reveal the existence of the pizza place that doesn't actually have a street address, just [...]
In the heat of the Texas summer, I found myself ringing up groceries and sacking groceries and sometimes, when I absolutely couldn't avoid it, pushing grocery carts in from the grocery store's parking lot. That was my career. I had dropped out of school the year before to spend more time with my writing even though the only publications I held to my name were three reviews on a small (but well-respected!) video game site and first place in my community college's short fiction contest. One day while bagging groceries, I realized that my very gay, very avant-garde debut novel would take years to finish, would make me no money when [...]