Every interview that goes well lets you fall in love, just a tiny bit. You’re flushed and high off the rush of saying all the right things at all the right times. There is common ground, there is laughter. The answers you trot out every time feel organic, like you actually mean them. The interviewer has stopped checking her phone during your long-winded monologue about how you wound up in advertising when you studied Post-Colonial Lit, and is actually engaging with you. The frantic tap dance with teeth bared and jazz hands flying relaxes into a slower, smoother groove. The interview is over, but you have already picked out [...]
For almost two and a half years I worked as a virtual assistant to consumer attorneys across the country. When I started the job I fielded calls in the evening, and by the end I was a go-to box of answers to my supervisors, the one who took the hard calls and worked business hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I never needed to Google what time it was in Fayetteville, Ark. or Riverside, Calif. I knew how to spell last names without asking. Some of my attorney clients asked how I was when I transferred their calls and told me about their weekends.
The drawbacks were numerous: I [...]
I am not sporty. I put in my required hours of standing in the outfield on a softball team and half-heartedly dribbling a soccer ball down a field in my childhood, but sports are generally not my thing. A post-college move to San Francisco thrust me into a world where people were earnestly active—there were touch football games, rock climbing, disc golf. A holiday weekend meant that everyone cleared out of town by Friday at 3 p.m., driving towards the mountains in Subarus, ready to hit the slopes.
The first time I was ever on a pair of skis was in high school, and my friends still laugh to [...]
How long did we work together?
Two months? Close to two months.
Last Tuesday you went to lunch and never came back!
It was totally unexpected. We have a very difficult boss, who shall go unnamed, but you've always handled her calmly. You never lost your cool.
Oh no. I did once. I think you were out of town. It was during a project for [household brand]. It was due that day and she just stood over me for two hours. Whenever it took a while to do something, she'd start sighing really loudly and telling me to hurry up. She was saying things in this taunting way. [...]
The more I read, write and talk to people about money, the more I'm convinced that we're living in between two worlds when it comes to our money. Thirty years ago, almost half of the country participated in defined-benefit pensions that nearly guaranteed a stable income until death. And call me optimistic, but in 30 years I'm hopeful that, either through education or legislation, a majority of workers will have a 401(k) that operates much more like a pension than today's sadly underfunded species. We're currently living with all of the responsibility and none of the knowledge to secure our own financial futures; many of our parents who may [...]
For three days this December, the internet got to experience the joy of Christmas Cats TV, a 9-to-5 live stream of an elf and a grandmother playing with cats, drinking from a flask, and listening to Christmas classics. How did this come to be? I tracked down the elf to ask him.
In real life the elf is a 22-year-old Hunter College student named Andrew Rappo who lives in Westchester County in New York. He's currently working part-time at denim company Lucky Brand Jeans, but says he is leaving soon to pursue acting full-time.
Tell me about Christmas Cats TV. How did you hear about this opportunity?
When I clicked the "sure, I'll pay back this $55K" button on the student loan site, I had $10K in credit card debt. I also had no idea that I had racked up $10K on my credit cards.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night and thinking, "What do I actually owe?" My debt was spread across three cards, and I made regular, minimum payments on them.
It turns out I had much more debt than I thought, and when I discovered the exact figure, I went through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief: screaming, emotional eating, retail therapy, crying on the phone to the relative least [...]
I am a member of two organizations in New York that members love to hate: the Park Slope Food Coop and New York Road Runners. The Coop is the nation’s largest member-owned grocery store where, to earn your shopping privileges, you must work two hours and 45 minutes every four weeks. NYRR is the organization that puts on the New York City Marathon, as well as a gazillion other races in New York.
The one thing that these two organizations have in common—other than a leisure-class association with health—is that there is a certain intensity to the way people grumble about them. The coop is fascist! Their processes [...]
Ian is 24 and lives in Seattle, Wash.
How are you making a living right now? I'm a server technician ("remote hands" is a more specific name for what I do). The company I work for is based in S.F. and they have a server farm in Seattle where I live, so when they have maintenance or something they need to be done physically, I do it. I'm technically a consultant so I build hours as I work them. I generally try to work about 20 hours a week, four hours Monday through Friday. But it's in my control how much I work.
How did you get the job? My [...]
Jillian Wong is a 26-year-old Singaporean who works for a design website..
You've lived in Singapore all your life?
Born and bred, yes.
You're reading sites about the culture of money in the U.S. What makes you interested in that?
In the U.S., there is so much more consumption going on, but then again, in Singapore, people also spend a lot of money on eating and shopping. One of the things I like is finding out how other people spend their money. I wanted to meet with you to talk about the culture of money in Asia.
I have some sense of that, as an Asian-American. I know that [...]
What is your name?
How old are you?
What is your job title?
Assistant producer for an NPR game show.
What do you do at your job all day?
So there's a lot that I do. We have three different modes of production: pre-show, during show, and post-show. And it changes from month to month, week to week.
The main objective of production is getting the show on the air. For pre-production, we're working on getting ready for the live shows. A lot of that is working on the script, in terms of writing. We also work on production, the actual technical audio editing, which is pretty [...]
In the trailer just behind the post office, that's how I tell people where to find me—and it's often that I have to tell people where to find me. Addresses are no good here, though they function better for out-of-towners, like me, than for the locals. Hillsboro, West Virginia, where I live, only switched last year from using the old route model—numbered county highways—to street names, and to house numbers instead of boxes at the end of the road. The state decided to revamp the nomenclature of all its rural areas, worried that emergency services wouldn't otherwise be able to find people in need.
What the state Department of [...]
The first thing that happens is someone tells you.
It's Tuesday, it's February, it's my first day back at work after a week on vacation. I notice the candle in the foyer just as the whoosh of the door blows it out. They never did that for my birthday, I think as I walk past reception.
This is my job. It's a publisher, we make coffee table books about movies, architecture, political issues that lend themselves to stock photography. Most of us think of ourselves as writers, though that is not really what we do anymore.
Dominic is the one who tells me. He and Naomi are here already, [...]
October: Don't sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, buy sports bra and yoga pants.
Mid-October: Don't sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, ask your new employer's HR department about the gym in the building.
Late October: Don’t sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, "research" the gym by peering in the door window on your way out of the building every day.
"I don't know what's on it."
My cousin handed it to me. This was an unplanned gift. She was looking through her bag for a glove or a tissue and came up with the card instead. We had been talking about how stupidly poor I was through every fault of my own. The gift card was a consolation prize for losing this particular round of adulthood.
I took the card and put it in my own bag, where I promptly forgot about it except for when I think about it all the time. This was a year ago.
It’s January in Hollywood! The Golden Globes! Oscar nominations! Sundance!!! Or, in more immediate terms: The Nut Job, Ride Along, That Awkward Moment, and HOMEWORK. Movie critics happily gave us our syllabi at the end of last month, naming their bests-of-the-year days and weeks before some of those Bests even came out. (How is that even still allowed, by the way? Shouldn’t “best of 2013” mean “best movie that we as a public watched and discussed in 2013” and not “best thing that was screened at some point somewhere, technically, in 2013”? As far as I know, no TV critics had True Detective or the Mulaney pilot on their [...]
By my count, in the last five years, I have negotiated around three dozen job offers.
It begins like this: a company or organization would like to pay you for work, and you would like them to pay you for said work.
The crucial part here is desire. The company is offering you this work, not your friend or the person next to you on the train. And now you must decide what your number is.
None of this was supposed to happen.
She was supposed to go off to business school, and I was supposed to keep scraping at entertainment journalism and academia’s collective glass ceiling. But in 2012, we met one another in a writing class at The Second City in Chicago taught by Caitlin Kunkel, a woman who inspired us to start obsessing over story structure.
Ceda was there finishing up the writing program, while I was there with residual energy I built up from another class taught by the head of the writing program, Andy Eninger. I took his class just to get in the same room with him, [...]
We met on a gray afternoon in December; we went to her. She picked that particular Clyde's, she said, because it's her favorite place to go and meet people. She said "people," but I'm guessing she really meant "clients." We—Nate and I—are prospective clients.
We were referred to her by a trusted friend. For months, we emailed back and forth, Nate and I debating whether we needed her or not. Finally, we decided to meet face to face, to try each other on for size. The entirety of lunch was spent dispensing with small talk. Then, as coffee was served she pulled out a thick black binder. It's time to [...]
I'm in Croatia, and it's four in the morning. I have nowhere to sleep. I haven't changed my clothes in five days, which is fine because I don't actually have any other clothes to change into. This is all part of the money saving plan. Don't book places to stay—just meet people. Don't buy clothes—just smell bad.
This conundrum is a symptom of my only two modes of financial operation: Save, or spend. Blow it all, or starve. I'm either buying everything in sight: snacks, fancy magazines, toilet paper, fair trade coffee—or I am buying literally nothing for months on end, while compulsively hitting "refresh" on my bank [...]