This article by Kelly Marages sums up my angst and annoyance with the way being cheap has become being chic. There is NOTHING more frustrating to hear about how people who used to be (and may still be) millionaires are ‘cutting back’ and ‘eating leftovers’ or ‘not eating out’ as much…I could really not care less if fewer people are eating at Le Grenouille or the 21 Club or that more people than ever are packing their lunch. I’ve been eating my lunch out of a brown paper bag since I was a child. There was a time when I thought I was fancy pants and could afford to step out of the office and buy my lunch, but I quickly learned that’s just a quick way to drain your bank account and pack on the lbs. Americans do need to be saving more but this shouldn’t be a trend…it should be a cultural overhaul! As a society we’ve been over spending and over using every resource for WAY too long. It’s something that our entire culture encourages and that our capitalist market and economy require. I think articles that use titles like “Recessionistas” and talk about Recession Chic really down play how important it is for people to take our economy and overspending and living beyond our means seriously. They belittle the problem-give it a cute name, and make it seem like this is all temporary…it’s not…at least it shouldn’t be. We need permanent change…as individuals and as a society.
The author also makes a great point-if you can’t eat out, then DON’T. I’m guilty of posting ‘cheap eats’ but, in my defense…I think my cheap eats, at least so far, are actually cheap…not pretend $40 pre-fixed meals that some of the better restaurants in the city are trying to claim as ‘cheap’. For $40 meal to qualify as cheap, it needs to feed me for at least three days…or make me so sick I can’t eat for three days. When I was a student in London, my friends and I used to hit Mr. Wu’s all-you-can-eat buffet on Sundays. It was £4.50 and made us all so sick we couldn’t eat for two days…now that’s a cheap eat and it wasn’t even for the recession!
I’ve read this article before (even though they have edited and reprinted it this week) and thought that it made some interesting and very valid points…especially about how quickly you realize how little you need so many of the things you spend the most money on.
At most full-time jobs I’ve had, my first thought upon the close of the workday was to get to the nearest bar and drink until the previous eight hours had been permanently obliterated from my memory. Hence, happy hour. This can run up quite a bar tab, especially after several months of building up a tolerance (not to mention the hard miles on your liver). I also ate out every single day, often two or three times, both because I had no time to cook and also because after sitting in a windowless room for eight hours and then in traffic for two more, I was so understimulated that I needed sensation, any sensation. Heroin would have been ideal, but most of the time I settled for Taco Bell. Same with intermittent shopping sprees. When you’re miserable, you buy things. It’s the American Way; whatever your problem, there’s a product that can solve it. Have a bad day? Buy some jeans! Just realize that your best years are a distant memory? Buy a big car! This is why a lot of people who make six figures still live check to check—perhaps this 50-inch plasma screen/Louis Vuitton bag/waterfront condo will make my soul hurt less?
I also love the idea of this guy sending a boss who fired him flowers with his first unemployment check…with a lewd drawing of course.
Union members of an Electrical company in South Korea have opted to reduce their wages by 20% in exchange for no layoffs. An innovative way to deal with the employment crisis and economic downturn we’re all in. I’d love to see more American companies offering employees options like this. Of course, I’m not sure that US workers would make the same choice.
In her second posting, Roxana describes what happened during the two weeks at the law firm between being given the news and her final day. Grim news from recruiters and no job leads. Friends have told me prospects are even more grim when you look in other cities like Chicago, DC, and LA. More power to my legal brethren.
Very short article with 5 super quick tips to help you cope with a less than ideal job situation. I’ve been there…Momo is totally there right now and I believe this list can really help. I have so many friends who are working longer and hating their jobs more and more which is only natural when you have less and less time for your self, your family, and your friends. Exercise is the best way to relieve stress so make sure you take at least a little time for yourself. It keeps you focused and your mind clear-exercise has even been shown to increase brain function. It’s a win-win! You feel better about yourself, your day, and everything that follows. The other point I would stress is to take at least a little time-even if it’s just once a week-to figure out what you want to do next and find a better job. I HATE job hunting, I HATE cover letters, and I HATE resumes-but if you’re hatred of your job is worse than your hatred of these tasks, they become easy to do! The week before I was laid off, I retooled my resume, dug up an old cover letter, and put a list of jobs together off Idealist.org. I actually enjoyed doing it all because it reminded me that there are other jobs out there and that I’ve got a decent resume and mad skillz. It also helped me clarify what I really hated about my job (most everything), what I loved (my coworkers), and what I should avoid in the future (jobs with no direct, no growth, or that depend on the manic throws of the stock market for existence).
I’ve seen sites like this for law firms but never a site that was so broad in scope! I think it’s a brilliant idea. It’s one thing to look at stats for a potential employer when trying to figure out if you’re a good match but this can take you much deeper! Being able to read employees’ testimonials about how much they love or hate their jobs and employers is pretty pimp. I can’t wait to have a possible employer to look up! I haven’t done much digging so let me know what y’all think.
As much as an ‘office’ is the last thing you want to think about when you get home from work, it has become the most important room of the house/area of the apt for people trying to freelance, applying for jobs or even just doing taxes. Here’s some inspiration from Apartment Therapy. My home office is just so glamorous that I can’t share it…it would just upset everyone…and would enrage the green eyed monster in all. Truth be told, my ‘home office’ (it’s just a desk…dare to dream-we might get a file cabinet!) makes me feel like I’m in pre-school again. We have one of those elfa systems (I feel like I’m in that opening bit of “fight club” where the camera pans and the entire apartment is Ikea furniture with the little names and blurbs) but it was set up by and for my boyfriend…who’s 6ft 7inches. Needless to say, I’m not near 6ft 7inches…no offense to any ladies out there who are…you’re big and beautiful and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise…so the desk dosn’t really fit me but I’m making it work and looking for some inspiration myself. I like my work spaces to be challenging! It reminds me of my childhood home…my dad was a carpenter so there were rusty nails and power saws everywhere…the fact that I survived with all of my limbs is a miracle. HAPPY WEEKEND Y’ALL!