Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 4939431 times)

Pooperman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10650 on: September 19, 2015, 08:43:31 PM »
smoke a joint (a whole joint)

So do people not smoke a whole joint at a time?

"Today's episode has been brought to you by the letter joint."
"Joint isn't a letter."
Today's episode has been brought to you by the number 3. That's how many joints I've smoked today!"

LOL! For those who don't get the reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbueiDkMXdc

Not that far off considering it's been about 10 years since I saw that.

TomTX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10651 on: September 19, 2015, 08:58:42 PM »
So, I have a co-worker who has 56 years of service. You read that correctly. Not 5-6 years. 56 years. In the same job. He retired sometime in the '90s and came back to work like 3 months later. He's getting a pension with medical, he's getting social security, his wife is getting social security. His job isn't particularly critical  or high end, and he's not really passionate about it.

The unofficial/grapevine explanation is that his "Honey-do" list reads more like "War and Peace" and the only peace he gets is at work... *sigh*

He loves to mess around with money. Perhaps, he loves talking about messing around with money, keeping the funds scattered across a dozen different places and with a half dozen financial advisors (apparently his wife has DIFFERENT financial advisors) - it seems like every few weeks there is something that he needs to mess around with, and after asking his paid advisors, he'll then want to ask ME and talk by way of stock tickers and ETF tickers. He's been doing this random investing for decades, starting with the tech boom in the'90s, which he rode up...and down. Heavily down, as he was in individual stocks like Dell.

I did sit down with him, found the most reasonable Vanguard product for his actual needs (VBIAX) - after that, each round of discussion I just listen politely for a bit and when he asks me what I think he should put whatever current chunk of money in, I just say "Whatever that Vanguard fund we agreed on" and move on with my day. Or when he asks me what I think of the latest market move, I'll just shrug and tell him again that I'm really not watching day-to-day or month-to-month. I'm not worried about it.



Since SWMBO and I both work in traffic, we find ourselves taking photos of traffic devices and signage, vehicles and occupants, and discussing the merits/challenges of the traffic network just about everywhere we go. Not having to solve the problems is our vacation. Coming home with the ideas and observations makes us more open.

I recommend you vacation in Salt Lake City and drive through the intersection at Bangeter and 3900S.... I can't totally explain it but it's very cool. The left turn lane instead of being in middle crosses behind the other traffic before the intersection which has the net result of cutting 1/3 of the time out of hey he light cycle (since you no longer  need a left turn light).

I love the concept, in Michigan they call it the "Michigan left."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left#Applicable_traffic_studies
[/quote]

Sounds more like some variant of a continuous flow intersection since the crossover for the left is BEFORE the intersection, not after.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/aus/us290/continuous-flow.pdf

Astatine

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10652 on: September 19, 2015, 10:27:06 PM »
I've got one.

Well paid coworker goes from fascination to fascination spending tens of thousands. For a while it was motorcycles. Had to have several. Spent tens of thousands on new motorcycles. Then it was model trains. Spent thousands. Then it was hunting. Spent thousands. Then it was musical instruments. Spent thousands. I think fishing was in there for a while too.

Must either have a warehouse to store all these hobbies or I need to get in on the possible downstream fire sales each time he switches hobbies. Buy, clean, and resale. I know someone else who had a coworker who had a revolving list of hobbies and he was downstream of the sell-offs. Some nice stuff could be had for cheap as the coworker scrambled to raise money for the next round of new things.

No idea about their finance specifics but I know I could have retired on what I estimate their income to be long, long ago.

That boggles my mind. See, I jump from hobby to hobby to obsession to hobby. There's no such as thing a lifelong hobby to me. But... it doesn't need to cost much. I got obsessed with knitting for a couple of years. I was out the cost of needles and some cheapish acrylic yarn (and most of my friends ended up with a scarf). Then I got obsessed with trying to understand economics. This was pre-MMM so instead of borrowing from the library, I was out the cost of a few books. Photography? I bought a low-ish end digital camera for a few hundred dollars, read a few photography articles online. And so on.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10653 on: September 20, 2015, 09:18:15 PM »
Overheard on the way to work. Not antimustachian, but funny so what the hell. So two ladies on the street were walking kinda slowly so I only heard part of the conversation. One said to the other: "When I say the dicks were out. The. Dicks. Were. Out!" Someone had an orgy that weekend (it was on a Monday)!
Walking slowly, as in, limping? Sorry, couldn't resist.

On the sportier side of it, the S2000 is a great investment (seriously! No, it isn't VTSMX). I drove a Miata hard for 4 years and 60,000 miles and sold it for about $3,500 less than we paid for it. Not too bad, all things considered--less than $1000 a year in depreciation, and a lot of mileage on there. Corvettes don't depreciate that much if you take care of them and don't pile on miles...

I just don't understand the stuck up rich person stigma associated with a convertible.

/Rant
I drove the shit out of an S2000 for a few years and only lost $2K on the sale. And I managed to get decent mileage out of it, 25+, near 30 sometimes, just by shifting up to keep RPMs down. Still kinda miss it, but love the Volt even more in its own way. \m/
Would like to have another convertible someday. Maybe. ;)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 08:13:18 AM by zephyr911 »
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dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10654 on: September 20, 2015, 09:52:42 PM »
This thread has turned into a real downer. I come here to mock your ridiculous coworkers. Post more of that for my entertainment!

Sorry! I'm done.

I have pretty awesome coworkers who are frugal and talk about retirements and pensions, though they do get excited about new shoe stores. However, I was talking with a friend the other day who was complaining that her friend was stingy. Her stingy friend actually saves up money to buy things like furniture instead of using the furniture store payment plans. *gasp* Of course I laughed and told her I agreed with her friend. AND I almost always buy used things and have never actually bought furniture from a furniture store.

Drove past a furniture store here today and saw a sign that said 8 years interest free!!!

I didn't know pressboard furniture would last 8 years... ;) Their furniture is okay - we have some. Just teasing about their sign. Definitely not heirloom quality stuff but it's lasted a decade. Didn't want to spend big money on great furniture while we had small kids in the house. Everybody is past that so we'll buy something nicer next time. Will certainly pay with cash and not necessarily from there. ;)

Loans on furniture are insane to me! I mean it's one thing to put it on a CC, but to "finance" it through the store? What the... FWIW, I have quite a bit of furniture from IKEA and it's all held up very well.

We financed our bedroom furniture. I told the salesman that I wanted the set for X out the door including taxes. He said he wasn't sure. I told him he could do it cash or finance, whichever gave him a bigger cut. He took the finance and I paid it off when I got the first bill. The worst part was when they said they couldn't do the deal but they could for $175 on top of it. I started to leave and the manager said "you're willing to walk over $175???" I said "of course." They gave me the deal.

I never understood why some people say things like that.  "It's just a dollar, man, who cares?"  Ok, then you give me the dollar if it means nothing to you.  Scale up appropriately

Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10655 on: September 21, 2015, 08:24:57 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.

Yes - these two statements. We have an old Kindle with the "digital ink" display. Thing will go forever on a charge. Can't read them in the dark but I like to read on it better than our modern tablets with the backlit display. Less fatigue. The old Kindle was much cheaper and offered less potential distractions to the child than a newer tablet with frequent potential notifications popping up - FB, Twitter, whatever else...

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10656 on: September 21, 2015, 08:27:54 AM »
This comment inspires me to go take a dump, because it was shitty. Thanks!

Gawd, everyone here is like a seventh grade girl experiencing hormone mood swings for the first time. Get over it ya'll.
It's a little ironic to follow a poop joke with accusations of immaturity, wouldn't you say?

Also, it's "y'all". As in, "you'all." Fun with contractions!
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frugalparagon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10657 on: September 21, 2015, 08:57:08 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.

Yes - these two statements. We have an old Kindle with the "digital ink" display. Thing will go forever on a charge. Can't read them in the dark but I like to read on it better than our modern tablets with the backlit display. Less fatigue. The old Kindle was much cheaper and offered less potential distractions to the child than a newer tablet with frequent potential notifications popping up - FB, Twitter, whatever else...

I read on my phone a lot. I just log out of the Facebook app so it won't interrupt my reading by telling me it is the birthday of someone whom I taught in seventh grade six years ago.
I blog about Mustachianism during the child-raising years at frugalparagon.com.

seanc0x0

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10658 on: September 21, 2015, 01:40:21 PM »
As someone who missed this digital book technology era while in school, I'm jealous of kids who won't have to carry around a backpack/arm-full of books.  I saw this coming about 10 years ago shortly after I finished college, and think it's awesome.  It COULD be one of the better uses of new technology (I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it).  But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.
And it means that schools have to re-buy (sorry licence, they never own) the books each year - how else can the publishers make $10/year/student on copies of Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath ?

A friend lectures intro maths at university and they are required to do quizzes using an electronic clicker thing that comes with the $100 textbook. That way you are forced to buy the new edition of the textbook covering all the breakthroughs in introductory algebra that have been made in the last 12 months.

I'm taking a couple classes while working (I work at a University, get one free class per term), and fortunately I don't have to use a clicker. They sell separately for $55 here.

I did have to pay $200 (!!!) for a new French textbook with a special code that gives me access to a website that we're required to use for the class. You can't buy just a code, so they get the full price and shut down the used market. The marginally cheaper version on Amazon also doesn't include a code.  It's a huge scam, but if you want to take the class, you gotta pay.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10659 on: September 21, 2015, 02:10:30 PM »
I did have to pay $200 (!!!) for a new French textbook with a special code that gives me access to a website that we're required to use for the class. You can't buy just a code, so they get the full price and shut down the used market. The marginally cheaper version on Amazon also doesn't include a code.  It's a huge scam, but if you want to take the class, you gotta pay.

I went through the same thing for a Finance class - you needed to get the access code in order to get to the online quizzes and supplementary material from the publisher. So, either spend $200 on the book, or $75 on a used copy and $150 for a fresh code. Nice of them to sell it separately.

lemanfan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10660 on: September 21, 2015, 02:21:58 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10661 on: September 21, 2015, 02:48:49 PM »
It's usually not a quid pro quo situation, but publishers pay the writer 20% for textbooks (it's usually 10% for non-textbook books), this is coming from a friend of mine that used to be the head of the math department of a major public university. He mentioned going to a conference held by a major textbook publisher that was absolutely loaded with top shelf alcohol and food. He swears he never took a kickback, but well, there are opportunities for writers to get comped or other things.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10662 on: September 21, 2015, 03:13:21 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

I work at a university and from what I've seen there's not a lot of kickback to the department for selecting books.  The reason schools are switching to online resources are not usually financially backed.  They're convenient because you don't have to grade, the software grades for you.  Students get immediate feedback (which they like).  There is some financial benefit...  if the department was hiring TA's to do grading, then they don't need to do that anymore, they're just passing the expense on to the student.

There are pros & cons, but as always in the textbook industry, price is a con. 

lbmustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10663 on: September 21, 2015, 08:51:52 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

College instructors get no "kickback" for selecting their course books, unless it's a book they personally wrote. Maybe the department gets money...? I don't see a dime for it though.

lemanfan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10664 on: September 21, 2015, 11:20:07 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?

MoonShadow

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10665 on: September 22, 2015, 12:34:05 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.

Yes - these two statements. We have an old Kindle with the "digital ink" display. Thing will go forever on a charge. Can't read them in the dark but I like to read on it better than our modern tablets with the backlit display. Less fatigue. The old Kindle was much cheaper and offered less potential distractions to the child than a newer tablet with frequent potential notifications popping up - FB, Twitter, whatever else...

I do this too.  I bought a used Kindle 3 several years ago, and was so impressed with the device that I bought another for my homeschooled teens to use.  And the number of freely available, pre-1915 classics is incredible.  I literally have several hundred of these classics that I may never live long enough to read sitting on my kindle; from Anne of Greene Gables to the Wizard of Oz trilogy to Don Quixote, and so on.  The disadvantage is that, as you get a lot of titles on a kindle 3, it takes the device longer and longer to switch pages.

theadvicist

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10666 on: September 22, 2015, 02:22:23 AM »

I do this too.  I bought a used Kindle 3 several years ago, and was so impressed with the device that I bought another for my homeschooled teens to use.  And the number of freely available, pre-1915 classics is incredible.  I literally have several hundred of these classics that I may never live long enough to read sitting on my kindle; from Anne of Greene Gables to the Wizard of Oz trilogy to Don Quixote, and so on.  The disadvantage is that, as you get a lot of titles on a kindle 3, it takes the device longer and longer to switch pages.

Can't you 'archive' books so that they are still on your account (and available forever) but not actually sitting on your device? I have a Kindle Touch (ink display), but don't know what model it is otherwise, but I can certainly archive to free up memory (I love those free classics too!).

Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10667 on: September 22, 2015, 07:30:32 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

You can download all (or most) the classics from different websites - can't you just copy them on the Kindle via USB, or is that "DRM and environment" crap so crappy that you can't even change the data on your own device? (OK, you don't own the data on your Kindle anyway, Amazon does and can delete whatever they like btw.)

theadvicist

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10668 on: September 22, 2015, 07:34:46 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


I'm in the UK, lecturers are not particularly well-paid. And a first year History 101 course? There are a lot of students! Of course, they'll tell you it's the best work available, and I'm not saying they were bad books... but when every lecturer has written THE text you need for their course, well, if it were very specialist areas, maybe. But for first year undergrad courses, I do think they are motivated by self-interest (and I don't blame them one bit!)

meg_shannon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10669 on: September 22, 2015, 08:39:51 AM »
I did have to pay $200 (!!!) for a new French textbook with a special code that gives me access to a website that we're required to use for the class. You can't buy just a code, so they get the full price and shut down the used market. The marginally cheaper version on Amazon also doesn't include a code.  It's a huge scam, but if you want to take the class, you gotta pay.

I went through the same thing for a Finance class - you needed to get the access code in order to get to the online quizzes and supplementary material from the publisher. So, either spend $200 on the book, or $75 on a used copy and $150 for a fresh code. Nice of them to sell it separately.

I had a couple of classes like that. I graduated in 2009 so maybe it wasn't as bad. I refused to play the game. I took zeros or asked if I could write an extra paper. Most of the time those stupid electronic clicker quizzes and online homework amounted to 5% or less of the overall grade. Still graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10670 on: September 22, 2015, 09:56:37 AM »
Then why the expensive selections?

Often the "definitive" textbooks are more expensive.  And many times, professors just don't look at the cost when selecting a textbook.  Our department specifically does consider cost, but even still, the books we required are $60 for half a book.  So for the first year of physics students will need to buy $120 worth of books.  It's the cheapest option we could find that was a good textbook. 

OpenStax offers free textbooks, but...  they're not quite there yet (well, the physics one anyway - I haven't looked at the others).  It's like they were afraid to leave any tiny detail out of the book.  It's so crazy long and cumbersome.  For an introductory textbook, you don't need to go so in depth.  I've found the longer a book is, the less likely students are to read it.  I'm hopeful with feedback, they'll keep editing the book down to a reasonable length.  And at that point, our department will gladly require the free textbook. 

I've never been fond of professors requiring their own textbook...  it seems uncouth.  I understand that they wrote a book because they thought it was better than the other books and that's probably why they required it.  But I've never had a great experience with that situation. 

minnie76

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10671 on: September 22, 2015, 10:06:56 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.

He is probably only making $85-90k in his current role so there is no way this was a positive business case for him.

rockstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10672 on: September 22, 2015, 10:19:14 AM »
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


HOLY MOLY! My employer would probably have to have been actually abusing me to get me to leave before the two years!

MsSindy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10673 on: September 22, 2015, 10:31:01 AM »
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


HOLY MOLY! My employer would probably have to have been actually abusing me to get me to leave before the two years!

Based on his crappy logic and reasoning skills, he's probably going to make a lousy lawyer, too!

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10674 on: September 22, 2015, 10:32:58 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.

He is probably only making $85-90k in his current role so there is no way this was a positive business case for him.
For $130K, I can find a way to be interested. That's fucking insane. What was he doing *before* they put him through school? Couldn't he just keep doing that?
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MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10675 on: September 22, 2015, 10:42:06 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.

He is probably only making $85-90k in his current role so there is no way this was a positive business case for him.
For $130K, I can find a way to be interested. That's fucking insane. What was he doing *before* they put him through school? Couldn't he just keep doing that?

Even if he found a job that would pay way more as a lawyer, I still think this is a jackass move for him to do. Sure, you have to pay back the company, but you do realize how good you have it and that you have a company willing to pay for your education for a degree that doesn't really help the company (since your job doesn't require a law degree) and that you only have to work for 2 years...I know that Target and GE require 3 years for their MBA students. Basically you just pissed away a tax-free (unsure as to this, a tax accountant might be better at answering this question) $65k a year.

Pylon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10676 on: September 22, 2015, 10:42:50 AM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10677 on: September 22, 2015, 10:45:55 AM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

I can't wait to retire and spend more time on the MMM forums!

minnie76

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10678 on: September 22, 2015, 10:48:20 AM »
Quote
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


HOLY MOLY! My employer would probably have to have been actually abusing me to get me to leave before the two years!

Based on his crappy logic and reasoning skills, he's probably going to make a lousy lawyer, too!

I completely agree.  His old job sounds very similar to what he is doing now.  In both cases he was tasked with analyzing business cases for the company....

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10679 on: September 22, 2015, 11:34:35 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

We had a professor who would release the same text, but with paragraphs randomly re-arranged every year.  He would give quizzes with questions based on paragraph number in his book, this way you couldn't use the one from the previous year.  That was for differential equations in first year, so class size was a couple hundred.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10680 on: September 22, 2015, 12:06:40 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

We had a professor who would release the same text, but with paragraphs randomly re-arranged every year.  He would give quizzes with questions based on paragraph number in his book, this way you couldn't use the one from the previous year.  That was for differential equations in first year, so class size was a couple hundred.
Okay, that I call an asshole. Not only because auf peoples costs, but also because of paper waste.

I think I would have done something like nicely giving him back his books - after the year shredding all the now paper-waste to really tiny bits and blowing it into his house.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10681 on: September 22, 2015, 12:14:25 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


I'm in the UK, lecturers are not particularly well-paid. And a first year History 101 course? There are a lot of students! Of course, they'll tell you it's the best work available, and I'm not saying they were bad books... but when every lecturer has written THE text you need for their course, well, if it were very specialist areas, maybe. But for first year undergrad courses, I do think they are motivated by self-interest (and I don't blame them one bit!)

I would also expect that the book they wrote is the one they are most familiar with.  And therefore feel most comfortable structuring lessons around and opening up discussions.  I don't mean to imply laziness ... just efficiency.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10682 on: September 22, 2015, 12:15:07 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?

Laziness. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10683 on: September 22, 2015, 12:22:42 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?
Planet money is on point as always.

FatCat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10684 on: September 22, 2015, 12:32:38 PM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

People who have already worked their whole lives and retired in their 70s are of course going to say that's what everyone should do. To say otherwise would be to admit to themselves they may have made a poor decision that affected most of their life. But then he enjoyed his job so maybe he would have worked as a doctor his whole life even if he already had millions in the bank to start with. To people who enjoy their jobs,  the idea that somebody else might not enjoy their job is usually considered a sign of that person's poor character.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10685 on: September 22, 2015, 12:49:20 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


I'm in the UK, lecturers are not particularly well-paid. And a first year History 101 course? There are a lot of students! Of course, they'll tell you it's the best work available, and I'm not saying they were bad books... but when every lecturer has written THE text you need for their course, well, if it were very specialist areas, maybe. But for first year undergrad courses, I do think they are motivated by self-interest (and I don't blame them one bit!)

I would also expect that the book they wrote is the one they are most familiar with.  And therefore feel most comfortable structuring lessons around and opening up discussions.  I don't mean to imply laziness ... just efficiency.

Yeah, I have very little respect for college professors. I remember at college, I was part of a small committee (me and one other person) that looked at why our school had so little used books available and the long and short of it is that professors couldn't be bothered to call the bookstore and tell them which textbook they were using, and so by the time that they ordered them, there weren't many used books available. These are professors that largely recycle the same syllabus, and use the same textbook ...or if not the same one, then a newer edition of it. But instead of emailing their request on a timely basis, they would ignore multiple phone calls and emails from the bookstores.

Joggernot

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10686 on: September 22, 2015, 02:42:48 PM »
I'm much older and we had a prof who used his own DRAFT text book.  We had to pay for his "mimeographed" copies at full price ($40 when $20 bought a weeks groceries).  After being in the program another year, we all figured out that his text wasn't very good, but it made him money.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10687 on: September 22, 2015, 03:04:02 PM »
That's so contrary to my experience. I had several professors who wrote books so that they could give them to their students for free, and nobody that assigned their own book to profit off it.

FatCat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10688 on: September 22, 2015, 03:55:11 PM »
That's so contrary to my experience. I had several professors who wrote books so that they could give them to their students for free, and nobody that assigned their own book to profit off it.

This was more similar to my experience. The books written by the professors were the cheapest. They had a printing room where you ask for them to print the book for the class you were taking and you just pay the printing fees. The teachers didn't make anything from it.

I also remember several professors telling the class not to buy any textbooks for their class but that the college had mandated that all professors must have required textbooks in the syllabus so that the bookstore can make more money.

Tjat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10689 on: September 22, 2015, 05:31:14 PM »
I'm much older and we had a prof who used his own DRAFT text book.  We had to pay for his "mimeographed" copies at full price ($40 when $20 bought a weeks groceries).  After being in the program another year, we all figured out that his text wasn't very good, but it made him money.

I'm 30 and this was my experience undergrad. The professors would just steal other people's articles and photocopy them (poorly - like half the pages were lopsided) and have the bookstore hole punch and put in binders. Then sell for $60

Grad school was all Harvard Business School. The textbooks listed in the syllabus were either never needed or could be purchased used and then resold at 80%

Megma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10690 on: September 22, 2015, 06:30:40 PM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

That surprises me, you would think he could volunteer if he enjoyed being a doctor so much! There are lots of places in need of doctors from rich/resourced countries to provide treatment and training for locals. My boyfriends grandfather is a retired surgeon and now does trips to other courries to help train doctors there or run clinics (he loves it but is now in his lat 80s and can't dot as much). Quit working for the money and improve your world!
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notquitefrugal

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10691 on: September 22, 2015, 07:26:09 PM »
College instructors get no "kickback" for selecting their course books, unless it's a book they personally wrote.

I had a business professor who was listed as author of the textbook. It was obviously authored by somebody else (with a different cover--there were several obvious signs, which I can't remember now), and the damn thing looked like it had been copied and bound at some cheap knockoff of Kinko's. I'm not sure how he got away with that--maybe he licensed the other author's work, but I'm surprised the department let him do it.

Edited to add: Sounds like I'm not the only one!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 08:03:59 PM by notquitefrugal »

PMG

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10692 on: September 22, 2015, 08:52:50 PM »
Re: textbook conversation:  I've had profs at my community college and again at private U be very supportive of students sharing textbooks and taking the cheapest route.

I've learned to wait a good week into classes to verify that we really need the textbook, then I ask if I can use an older edition.  Usually that's a yes and it's no trouble. The one instance it wasn't ok the prof loaned me an extra copy they had.

I've done a couple kindle versions on my phone.  Considered getting a kindle just to reduce backpack weight, but it didn't make sense this semester. Kindle versions are usually images of the pages, not formatted for e reading. I've only viewed them on my phone and computer but for a large text book with multiple columns of text that is ridiculously uncomfortable and difficult to read. Not user friendly at all.

I did one time get a free preview of a kindle textbook for an online class. I completed the entire class in the 7 day preview. I was not going to spend that $70. Hah.

Overheard:  "Not having a bank is so much more difficult than I thought.  I can't buy anything online."

druth

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10693 on: September 23, 2015, 07:29:40 AM »
I have had two profs assign their own text book.  One was clearly a professionally published work, and was one of the legitimately most used books on the subject.  The proffessor held a raffle at the begining of the year and gave a few copies away. 

The other was at UW-Eau Claire which has textbook rental for everything, so he may have gotten 20 royalties off of it, but only the first year he taught it.  By the way I think this is a great solution to a lot of the textbook scam problems going on now.  Make them rentals, charge it to the department.  We did not have new editions every year, but so what?

I also know somebody who wrote a text book.  He uses it in his class and gets royalties.  He buys his class pizza at the end of the year and that pretty much wipes out any royalties he gets (not that much).

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10694 on: September 23, 2015, 08:10:24 AM »
The best "textbook" I had in college?  A professor's hand-written lecture notes/outlines, which he also scanned and posted online for students to download and review.  It covered 100% of the material we needed to know, had zero stuff we didn't cover, cost the students nothing, and cost the professor very little (the only extra work he had to do was scan them in).

Rural

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10695 on: September 23, 2015, 06:42:08 PM »
That's so contrary to my experience. I had several professors who wrote books so that they could give them to their students for free, and nobody that assigned their own book to profit off it.


 This is what I'm doing currently. The open textbook movement is really getting huge. My book should be ready next semester, fingers crossed. It will be free to students unless they want to print it out.  I won't get any kickback since it's free, but I did get grant funding to pay at roughly my salary rate (or maybe a tenth of it) for all the extra work.


There are good and bad ways to do the textbooks thing. There are even good and bad ways to do the electronic resources thing.  I'm using an electronic resource now that costs $35 – but it's the only thing students have to buy for that class. It adapts to them and what they already know as they work through it, so it doesn't bother them about the stuff they already know. We're doing regular class as well as working in the software, but it allows for much more individualized instruction that I can do on my own with so many students.


 When I teach the big survey class, I use one of the free online textbooks, because there are some good ones available in my field. Not everyone likes an online book, though. – I always make sure to make it very clear that's what we're doing on the first day in case students want to switch class sections. A couple always do.  And, of course, the only way to do a free textbook is to do it electronically. Paper comes at a price.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10696 on: September 23, 2015, 07:10:57 PM »
Honestly, a lot of the people on the forum don't understand cars or that people could be car enthusiasts. I've noticed some of the same things you, but I just learned it's better not to tell everyone on here I like cars. Plus, mob mentality and the internet, easy for everyone to be perfect on here - at least you kept it real about your choices.

We are car people. We are fortunate that my husband's job means his cup runneth over with performance cars to drive, regular track days, and all-expense paid trips to racing at almost every level. I'm not exaggerating when I say that has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars in experiences and car depreciation (he fills his car quota at work so he doesn't need to constantly change our car at home to satisfy that part of his personality).

But it is one of our values, so we also save money in other areas in order to attend events ranging from Cars and Coffee ($20) to Le Mans ($4500).

There are car people around for whom car culture is, in some way or another, a deliberate line item on a budget, but it's still easier to be quiet on the forums than risk the facepunches from those with different priorities.

Malaysia41

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10697 on: September 23, 2015, 10:07:38 PM »
The best "textbook" I had in college?  A professor's hand-written lecture notes/outlines, which he also scanned and posted online for students to download and review.  It covered 100% of the material we needed to know, had zero stuff we didn't cover, cost the students nothing, and cost the professor very little (the only extra work he had to do was scan them in).

Ghandi Puvada.  The man was a wizard at teaching digital logic 101 and digital logic 102.  The university tried to oust him for failing to do research. IIRC, the undergrads rose up and collectively, "Oh, hell, no!" and he stayed.  Loved that guy. 

That whole course was contained in his very straight forward, easy-to-understand photocopied notes. 

(sorry for the foam - I usually abstain from frothing, but I had to give a shout out to da'man, the venerable, Mr. Puvada).
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 10:09:21 PM by Malaysia41 »
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nick69

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10698 on: September 23, 2015, 10:22:48 PM »
I've got one.

I've got a co-worker, whose male, single ~45yrs old,  buys lunch everyday, goes out to the pub 3 to 4 times a week, regularly spends more on booze/smokes then I do on rent and regularly complains that he/we need a pay rise as he struggles to pay off his credit card and make ends meet since he got a mortgage.   I and others in our office have told him that or pay is actually good considering the market rate for our field and that most of us (not me) have mortgages and are coping well enough.  The difference is that he isn't getting good returns on his investment and isn't managing his money well.  He jokingly asked us how much better better off could he be and I offhand said about $1000 a month maybe more; he just looked at me like I was talking witchcraft...

So I explained:
1) He has a 3 bedroom house in a nice location and he only uses 1 room.  He can easily rent out the two spare bedrooms for an extra ~$800 p/m income.  He dismissed the idea as he didn't like the idea of living in a share house, he would rather just have 2 empty rooms and more privacy.   Alternatively I said if he doesn't want to share he could rent a small place much closer to work for ~$200 p/w and lease out his whole house for probably ~$500 p/w - Nope - it's his house and he's going to stay there.

2) Make lunch or bring in leftovers - Nope - he doesn't like cooking so he would rather spend $100 p/w buying lunch.

3) Spend less money at the pub by not drinking at the pub - Nope - I asked why doesn't he just invite his mates over for a drink as it's not like has has a Mrs to complain, he would be spending $50 for a carton of beer instead of $10 a pint and he wouldn't have to worry about how to get home from the pub after a few drinks.  Nope - the pub is worth the extra money as it a nicer place to drink in.

4) Cut back on smokes or buy them cheaper - Nope - he cant kick the habit and he has to have the premium ones that taste the nicest and he has to buy them from the local store as its the most convenient even if it's more expensive.

5) Pay off the Credit card ASAP or balance transfer it to another bank with lower interest - nope his current one has all the rewards points and it's somehow bundled with his other accounts so it would be too annoying to move...

I just shake my head and move on as at the end of the day its not my problem...

Jack

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10699 on: September 24, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
The high-rise building I work in has a gym (complete with exercise bikes) that's free for tenants' employees to use, as well as a separate (very expensive) "spin class" business. It also has reasonably-secure covered bike parking.

So I'm in the elevator with a lady who works at some law firm on the floor below mine. She looks me over -- I'm wearing a neon yellow t-shirt, shorts, cycling gloves, cycling shoes and carrying a pannier, so about the only way to make it even more obvious that I'm a cyclist would have been to carry my helmet -- and she asks me if I do the spin class. I resisted the urge to laugh derisively and go off on a tirade about how stupid a concept "spin class" (and especially, paying for it) is, and instead merely said "no, I ride an actual bike."