Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 5653665 times)

druth

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16350 on: December 23, 2016, 10:29:12 AM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16351 on: December 23, 2016, 10:56:59 AM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Wow, and this is accounting for work related costs also? Wow.

Oh I left out one of the best parts: He is one of the very few people left with a company car with fully paid gas, insurance and maintenance.  Could have saved a TON of money over the years but it was obviously used to inflate said lifestyle.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16352 on: December 23, 2016, 11:00:02 AM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

It is permitted but he said something along the lines of his best option is to stay here I terms of salary.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16353 on: December 23, 2016, 11:06:07 AM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

It is permitted but he said something along the lines of his best option is to stay here I terms of salary.

Sometimes, depending on the setup of the pension, it can be a huge disservice to yourself if you leave after retirement age for a new job--espeically if the new job is for a short term.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16354 on: December 23, 2016, 11:48:56 AM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

Is the pension increasing as he delays taking it?

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16355 on: December 23, 2016, 05:01:32 PM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

Is the pension increasing as he delays taking it?

It likely does as a matter of percentage and also because the base salary will be higher.  Those old-school pensions are really golden handcuffs in that way.  It's usually a calculation like:

years of service * highest annual salary * SomeConstant

Since each year your highest annual salary likely goes up, and your years of service go up, it's like exponential growth (at least more than linear)

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16356 on: December 23, 2016, 05:05:53 PM »
Employee A asks employee B why he isn't retiring eventhough he is fully vested and ready to collect pension equal to 60% of salary for life.  Employee B says pension isn't enough, will still have $1400 shortfall each month.  By my estimation, this means he is spending close to 85% of his salary to maintain his lifestyle and apparently he can't give up any of it.

Couldnt he just leave and get another job and still get all the money, or do the pension rules prohibit that?

Is the pension increasing as he delays taking it?

Yes, but he would probably be dead by the time it caught up to said fancy pants lifestyle.

Helvegen

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16357 on: December 24, 2016, 11:29:48 AM »
As someone who works in an office filled with 18-35 year old nerds, I have a really hard time picturing how anything would get done if we suddenly had women walking around the place in leggings.

It would probably trigger a company-wide alert by the end of the day.

Several women wear leggings at my work on the regular, but very few of them who do have BMIs under 30. Better just to look at your screen.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16358 on: December 24, 2016, 11:39:41 AM »
Coworker in building says they don't want to take a promotion because the increase in salary will negatively impact the amount of aid their child will receive for college.  TBH, I'm not completely familiar with the FAFSA process but this seems like a bad idea for the long term.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16359 on: December 24, 2016, 03:30:44 PM »
Coworker in building says they don't want to take a promotion because the increase in salary will negatively impact the amount of aid their child will receive for college.  TBH, I'm not completely familiar with the FAFSA process but this seems like a bad idea for the long term.

The FAFSA formulas essentially work like a tax. You get to exclude some income, like the standard deduction and exemption. Then anything over that amount is called the Adjusted Available Income (AAI) and it gets "taxed" along a progressive scale towards your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The top "tax" rate on income is 47%. So for a parent whose kid is currently eligible for financial aid, in the 25% federal tax bracket, and let's say a 6% state income tax bracket, who also falls into this top rate on AAI for FAFSA (definitely feasible for these brackets to coincide, as an AAI of $32k+ falls into the 47% bracket for EFC), will experience an effective marginal "tax rate" of 85.65% (I added 7.65% for FICA - that's SS and Medicare taxes). So the effective marginal "tax" rate isn't over 100%, but it's getting damn close.

Just for fun, it is actually feasible for an increase in income to actually decrease aid under two scenarios for dependent students. Neither of these are likely to apply to your coworker.

1) If a dependent student's parents could have filed a 1040A or 1040EZ, or didn't have to file any taxes, and their combined income was less than $50k, then the student qualifies for the simplified EFC calculation. Under this simplified EFC calculation, all assets are excluded from the EFC calculation.

2) If a dependent student's parents meet the above conditions, in addition to having an income less than $25k, then the EFC is automatically zero.

These two exceptions are GREAT news for Mustachians who retire before their kids go to college.

Keep your total income under $50k and all of your assets get excluded from the EFC calculation. Your assets are "taxed" at ~12% (there's a "standard deduction here that varies by age and stuff but it's not that big by Mustachian portfolio standards - up to $30k at most). So if you've got $1M in assets, it would normally add $120k to the EFC, but that portion gets dropped to zero! (You still have an EFC from your income).

Keep your total income under $25k and your EFC is zero!

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16360 on: December 24, 2016, 04:03:51 PM »
Coworker in building says they don't want to take a promotion because the increase in salary will negatively impact the amount of aid their child will receive for college.  TBH, I'm not completely familiar with the FAFSA process but this seems like a bad idea for the long term.

The FAFSA formulas essentially work like a tax. You get to exclude some income, like the standard deduction and exemption. Then anything over that amount is called the Adjusted Available Income (AAI) and it gets "taxed" along a progressive scale towards your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The top "tax" rate on income is 47%. So for a parent whose kid is currently eligible for financial aid, in the 25% federal tax bracket, and let's say a 6% state income tax bracket, who also falls into this top rate on AAI for FAFSA (definitely feasible for these brackets to coincide, as an AAI of $32k+ falls into the 47% bracket for EFC), will experience an effective marginal "tax rate" of 85.65% (I added 7.65% for FICA - that's SS and Medicare taxes). So the effective marginal "tax" rate isn't over 100%, but it's getting damn close.

Just for fun, it is actually feasible for an increase in income to actually decrease aid under two scenarios for dependent students. Neither of these are likely to apply to your coworker.

1) If a dependent student's parents could have filed a 1040A or 1040EZ, or didn't have to file any taxes, and their combined income was less than $50k, then the student qualifies for the simplified EFC calculation. Under this simplified EFC calculation, all assets are excluded from the EFC calculation.

2) If a dependent student's parents meet the above conditions, in addition to having an income less than $25k, then the EFC is automatically zero.

These two exceptions are GREAT news for Mustachians who retire before their kids go to college.

Keep your total income under $50k and all of your assets get excluded from the EFC calculation. Your assets are "taxed" at ~12% (there's a "standard deduction here that varies by age and stuff but it's not that big by Mustachian portfolio standards - up to $30k at most). So if you've got $1M in assets, it would normally add $120k to the EFC, but that portion gets dropped to zero! (You still have an EFC from your income).

Keep your total income under $25k and your EFC is zero!

Wow, that really is great news.  Hope it's still true in a couple decades :-P

johnny847

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16361 on: December 24, 2016, 04:22:57 PM »
Coworker in building says they don't want to take a promotion because the increase in salary will negatively impact the amount of aid their child will receive for college.  TBH, I'm not completely familiar with the FAFSA process but this seems like a bad idea for the long term.

*bunch of stuff about FAFSA*

Wow, that really is great news.  Hope it's still true in a couple decades :-P

Haha that's the rub right? People definitely shouldn't retire now with a portfolio size that is dependent on the FAFSA rules remaining the same more than a couple years out at most.

By the way, the requirement of could have filed 1040A or 1040EZ can be a bit of a problem. It requires you to not file schedule D (for capital gains) - so no [EDIT: just selling] buying or selling of any securities. You can, however, receive capital gains distributions and dividends without having to file schedule D. So this is one corner case where you might actually be better off with a high dividend yield fund as opposed to a broad market fund.
And if I remember correctly you can't take any HSA withdrawals either, though I could be mistaken. And there are definitely more things that require the 1040.

Still doable if you plan it right though =)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 10:16:40 AM by johnny847 »

Psychstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16362 on: December 24, 2016, 07:30:58 PM »
Coworker in building says they don't want to take a promotion because the increase in salary will negatively impact the amount of aid their child will receive for college.  TBH, I'm not completely familiar with the FAFSA process but this seems like a bad idea for the long term.

*bunch of stuff about FAFSA*

Wow, that really is great news.  Hope it's still true in a couple decades :-P

Haha that's the rub right? People definitely shouldn't retire now with a portfolio size that is dependent on the FAFSA rules remaining the same more than a couple years out at most.

By the way, the requirement of could have filed 1040A or 1040EZ can be a bit of a problem. It requires you to not file schedule D (for capital gains) - so no buying or selling of any securities. You can, however, receive capital gains distributions and dividends without having to file schedule D. So this is one corner case where you might actually be better off with a high dividend yield fund as opposed to a broad market fund.
And if I remember correctly you can't take any HSA withdrawals either, though I could be mistaken. And there are definitely more things that require the 1040.

Still doable if you plan it right though =)
I think even HSA contributions kick you off of 1040A and EZ.

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scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16363 on: December 26, 2016, 04:11:32 PM »
I had a good story at work before the holidays.   My colleague and her partner decided to send one of their children to a private school in the hopes that he would work harder and improve his marks.    The private school costs around $30K/year in tuition fees.

Unfortunately, the school is located on the other side of the city.   After a few months of commuting, they decided to buy a second home closer to the school, so they wouldn't have to commute cross-town if they didn't feel like it.

In truth, I'm not completely sure what to make of this.



scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16364 on: December 26, 2016, 04:59:46 PM »
yes, well they *are* a bit more consumer oriented than me.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16365 on: December 27, 2016, 09:19:54 AM »
Scottish,

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that their 'consumer' orientation could be a reason why they have a child that lacks a work ethic.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16366 on: December 27, 2016, 10:25:21 AM »
yes, well they *are* a bit more consumer oriented than me.

They are ridiculous wealthy, right?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16367 on: December 27, 2016, 10:30:07 AM »
My colleague and her partner decided to send one of their children to a private school in the hopes that he would work harder and improve his marks.    The private school costs around $30K/year in tuition fees.

I'm not sure I understand the logic behind this decision. If your kid doesn't give a shit about school, achievements, self-improvement, etc. then how is throwing $30K at the problem going to fix it? Is the kid old enough to be reasoned with and understand that without good grades it is unlikely he can continue his spendypants lifestyle? Maybe a drive through the ghetto is in order.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16368 on: December 27, 2016, 10:55:22 AM »
I had a good story at work before the holidays.   My colleague and her partner decided to send one of their children to a private school in the hopes that he would work harder and improve his marks.    The private school costs around $30K/year in tuition fees.

Unfortunately, the school is located on the other side of the city.   After a few months of commuting, they decided to buy a second home closer to the school, so they wouldn't have to commute cross-town if they didn't feel like it.

In truth, I'm not completely sure what to make of this.
Wait! What do they plan on doing with the other offspring when they're staying in the second home? More details, please.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16369 on: December 27, 2016, 11:40:30 AM »
My colleague and her partner decided to send one of their children to a private school in the hopes that he would work harder and improve his marks.    The private school costs around $30K/year in tuition fees.

I'm not sure I understand the logic behind this decision. If your kid doesn't give a shit about school, achievements, self-improvement, etc. then how is throwing $30K at the problem going to fix it? Is the kid old enough to be reasoned with and understand that without good grades it is unlikely he can continue his spendypants lifestyle? Maybe a drive through the ghetto is in order.
A drive through the ghetto or an underprivileged neighborhood isn't the solution. Kid needs to walk the streets and maybe live there for a week. Or volunteer at least 5 hours a day for a few weeks. Then kid may realize what he has is not normal.
Source: I've taken college students to low-income neighborhoods to volunteer. I don't call them ghettos as that word has a historical meaning.
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johnny847

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16370 on: December 27, 2016, 11:45:37 AM »
My colleague and her partner decided to send one of their children to a private school in the hopes that he would work harder and improve his marks.    The private school costs around $30K/year in tuition fees.

I'm not sure I understand the logic behind this decision. If your kid doesn't give a shit about school, achievements, self-improvement, etc. then how is throwing $30K at the problem going to fix it? Is the kid old enough to be reasoned with and understand that without good grades it is unlikely he can continue his spendypants lifestyle? Maybe a drive through the ghetto is in order.

The logic is faulty but I still understand the decision. Many people would rather throw money at a problem than put in time and effort

scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16371 on: December 27, 2016, 02:57:54 PM »
I think their kid *is* doing reasonably well at school, he's just not overachieving.    I've noticed that a lot of parents - especially parents who immigrated to Canada - really want their kids to overachieve.     Acceptance at a popular Canadian university often seems to be the difference between a 95% average and a 96% average - which is really no difference at all.   Fortunately the universities are starting to ask for more involved applications including community involvement, portfolios showing projects the kids have done and so on.

They aren't fabulously wealthy, but do have 2 good engineering type incomes.    By nature they are real estate investors and more comfortable with real estate than the stock market or bonds.     So I can see the second home purchase as an investment, it's just that there's no rental income attached to it.

kayvent

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16372 on: December 27, 2016, 10:38:08 PM »
I think their kid *is* doing reasonably well at school, he's just not overachieving.    I've noticed that a lot of parents - especially parents who immigrated to Canada - really want their kids to overachieve.     Acceptance at a popular Canadian university often seems to be the difference between a 95% average and a 96% average - which is really no difference at all.   Fortunately the universities are starting to ask for more involved applications including community involvement, portfolios showing projects the kids have done and so on.

They aren't fabulously wealthy, but do have 2 good engineering type incomes.    By nature they are real estate investors and more comfortable with real estate than the stock market or bonds.     So I can see the second home purchase as an investment, it's just that there's no rental income attached to it.

In certain provinces (cough like Ontario) mark inflation is rampant. Graduation classes where there are a shocking amount of students with 95+% averages are not uncommon. It is really a corrosive system. Kids go to university with A grades and discover they are really a C or B student.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 10:39:55 PM by kayvent »

scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16373 on: December 28, 2016, 08:19:16 AM »
Yeah, tell me about it.   It drives me nuts.   I think a lot of it is the drive to make your kids over-achieve (maybe this isn't the correct term - but I mean to get good marks by whatever means necessary so you can get into that engineering/pre-med/law program) rather than to make your kids excel (get good marks by being really good).

 Is it different outside of Ontario?   We've been here since shortly after the kids were born.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 08:22:02 AM by scottish »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16374 on: December 28, 2016, 08:35:59 AM »
A drive through the ghetto or an underprivileged neighborhood isn't the solution. Kid needs to walk the streets and maybe live there for a week. Or volunteer at least 5 hours a day for a few weeks. Then kid may realize what he has is not normal.
Source: I've taken college students to low-income neighborhoods to volunteer. I don't call them ghettos as that word has a historical meaning.

Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16375 on: December 28, 2016, 08:59:15 AM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16376 on: December 28, 2016, 09:15:53 AM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
"You're telling me that I can just sit here all day and you pay me this much for what comes out my head?"

scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16377 on: December 28, 2016, 09:51:28 AM »
LOL, that was a great realization.   For me it was:

"Do you mean to say that you'll pay me time and a half to work on this cool project on the weekend?"

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16378 on: December 28, 2016, 10:14:42 AM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
"You're telling me that I can just sit here all day and you pay me this much for what comes out my head?"

Some days this is the thing that amazes me most at work. Half the time i'm literally making stuff up as I go yet somehow to them it's worth a ton of money.

momcpa

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16379 on: December 28, 2016, 10:27:58 AM »
Along those lines, I have a Bachelors in Accounting and the CPA designation.  I've worked for my present employer for over 26 years.  It's a small, family owned business that does quite well.

Just last night as my husband and I were talking about some retirement details, I said "Yes, one of these days they are going to find out that I've been pretending all along"!!

I'm NOT.  But sometimes it just seems that I don't really know that much more than other people here, but I guess as long as they think I do........good for me !!!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16380 on: December 28, 2016, 01:57:02 PM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
"You're telling me that I can just sit here all day and you pay me this much for what comes out my head?"

Some days this is the thing that amazes me most at work. Half the time i'm literally making stuff up as I go yet somehow to them it's worth a ton of money.

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16381 on: December 28, 2016, 02:15:44 PM »

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.


Well said - I value my doctor's opinion about whether a lump on my neck is cancerous or not more than I value my auto mechanic's opinion.  This is reversed when it comes to the funny noise coming from the rear passenger compartment.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16382 on: December 28, 2016, 02:38:56 PM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.

One of my old students got a full ride to Columbia for law school and graduated near the top of his class. He told me his secret was that his dad owns a roofing company, and he spent his teenage summers on a crew finding out what happens if you don't work hard in school.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16383 on: December 28, 2016, 03:24:37 PM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
"You're telling me that I can just sit here all day and you pay me this much for what comes out my head?"

Some days this is the thing that amazes me most at work. Half the time i'm literally making stuff up as I go yet somehow to them it's worth a ton of money.

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

Climate Science.

There, I said it.

stoaX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16384 on: December 28, 2016, 04:09:30 PM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.

One of my old students got a full ride to Columbia for law school and graduated near the top of his class. He told me his secret was that his dad owns a roofing company, and he spent his teenage summers on a crew finding out what happens if you don't work hard in school.

Ain't that the truth.  I've heard people say that they don't want their children to work but rather focus on their studies.   If I didn't work during college I think the time might have been spent partying instead of studying.  And I learned a lot doing menial jobs - such as how to deal with difficult people, how to show up on time ready to work, how to do more than a half-assed job.

But this is just one man's opinion.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16385 on: December 28, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »
Quote
Climate Science.

There, I said it.

Are you mocking the deniers or the scientists?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16386 on: December 28, 2016, 05:22:44 PM »
What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

Reminds me of this great article: http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16387 on: December 28, 2016, 05:42:06 PM »

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

I think a good education is transferable in the sense that it should teach you "how to learn," and the confidence to approach the unknown and figure it out.  It was probably more true back when people got true liberal arts educations.  Getting a specialized degree, which is much more common these days, is far less transferable.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16388 on: December 28, 2016, 09:11:27 PM »

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

I think a good education is transferable in the sense that it should teach you "how to learn," and the confidence to approach the unknown and figure it out.  It was probably more true back when people got true liberal arts educations.  Getting a specialized degree, which is much more common these days, is far less transferable.

It's less transferable because the absolute last thing taught at the undergraduate level is "how to learn". It's particularly true in the liberal arts. What is taught in the liberal arts is how to parrot back exactly what your instructor says, no matter how erroneous. In the sciences at least there are actual experiements.

The people who have the confidence to approach something unknown and figure it out are the people who were given unsupervised access to Tinkertoys, chemistry sets, sewing machines, art supplies, a kitchen, a home laboratory, or a wood or machine shop as kids. Not all of the kids who grow up that way end up with university degrees, but they do become badass independent thinkers. And they know how to learn long before they set foot on a campus.

Humans learn problem solving by solving problems. Not by studying theory, memorizing answers, enhancing their vocabulary, or filling in circles on a multiple choice quiz. Very few universities offer that kind of problem-solving approach. I'm told Harvard Business School is one that does, or used to.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16389 on: December 28, 2016, 10:14:32 PM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.
"You're telling me that I can just sit here all day and you pay me this much for what comes out my head?"

Some days this is the thing that amazes me most at work. Half the time i'm literally making stuff up as I go yet somehow to them it's worth a ton of money.

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

It goes the other way as well. I've seen people tell my husband that they understand history better than the people who have Ph.D.s in the topic. This attitude seems to come from either having a family oral history that contradicts current expert opinon or through the fact that the person is an avid (and often indiscriminate) reader of history. (Or from being an engineer, which apparently gives practitioners knowledge over all domains.) Similarly, I know many people who believe that they know quite a bit more about medicine than those slackers who graduated with an M.D. instead of pursuing their GoogleMD.

It's wrong to dismiss elite knowledge in the same way that it is wrong to assume that medical school or a Ph.D. (or a degree in engineering) gives someone knowledge of fields outside of their domains.

marty998

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16390 on: December 28, 2016, 10:43:38 PM »
Quote
Climate Science.

There, I said it.

Are you mocking the deniers or the scientists?

I am mocking the generic opinion piece writer who has never set foot in a lab before but tells the masses it's a gigantic hoax and conspiracy because it was cold outside last Tuesday.

It is despairing to witness the disparagement of scientists who commit their lives to the advancement of the human race, only to be cut down by ignorant assholes looking for a headline.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16391 on: December 29, 2016, 12:27:00 AM »
Hear, hear.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16392 on: December 29, 2016, 01:03:32 AM »
Yeah, tell me about it.   It drives me nuts.   I think a lot of it is the drive to make your kids over-achieve (maybe this isn't the correct term - but I mean to get good marks by whatever means necessary so you can get into that engineering/pre-med/law program) rather than to make your kids excel (get good marks by being really good).

 Is it different outside of Ontario?   We've been here since shortly after the kids were born.

I heard that UBC is doing two things:  not accepting challenge exams for grade credit, as many students with a second language were challenging that language (instead of taking the course) getting high grade and using it as one of their averaged classes for getting in.

I heard that UBC gives kids from Alberta 3 percent more on their average, which is to help make it equal to the BC grade inflation.

They are also looking more closely at kids that take on line courses after already passing that class, just to get grades up.

Lastly, they have an essay / personal profile portion that allows them to select students not based solely on GPA, and prevents them from being sued because of it.  (My opinion why)

So -- if the elite universities are starting to do this, IMO BC has definite grade inflation.   My daughter and nephew are in grade 12 and we see it, too.   an 88 percent average and is in the top 15 percent of his class.    When I graduated, that would have been in the top 5 percent of students in your class.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16393 on: December 29, 2016, 07:05:23 AM »
Yeah, tell me about it.   It drives me nuts.   I think a lot of it is the drive to make your kids over-achieve (maybe this isn't the correct term - but I mean to get good marks by whatever means necessary so you can get into that engineering/pre-med/law program) rather than to make your kids excel (get good marks by being really good).

 Is it different outside of Ontario?   We've been here since shortly after the kids were born.

I am only familiar with New Brunswick's and Ontario's systems. NB has less extreme inflation but has more pertinent issues like rampant illiteracy and activiely tries to kill streamlining and AP courses at its schools.

Having lived on the fringe of university politics, the universities in the Maritimes (many among the top rated in the country and some THE top rated in their category) have an internal (and non-disclosed) weighing system for provinces and some high schools. This makes the inflation that much more pointless.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 07:10:57 AM by kayvent »

scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16394 on: December 29, 2016, 07:21:42 AM »
Quote
I am mocking the generic opinion piece writer who has never set foot in a lab before but tells the masses it's a gigantic hoax and conspiracy because it was cold outside last Tuesday.

Yeah, it's pretty sad.   I'm more or less agnostic (i.e. wait and see to the predictions), but client scientists definitely know more about it than the typical opinion piece writer-denier.    Lately the climate scientists have been making their data and tooling available publicly which is a huge step in the right direction.

This is an example of the degeneration of news reporting brought on by the internet.   I guess we have to take the bad with the good though.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16395 on: December 29, 2016, 07:36:18 AM »

What people pay professionals for is the background knowledge, well developed intuition, and perspective that allows the random crap you make up as they go along to be viable, reasonable ideas that actually work in the real world. That kind of perspective isn't built cheaply or overnight, and it's one reason that a well educated professional opinion is worth more than someone else's less informed opinion.

It's become fashionable in this day and age to pretend that all opinions are created equal. But they aren't. A person who has taken the trouble to accumulate a great deal of knowledge in a specific area (including a basic familiarity with things that have been proven NOT to work) can pull an idea out of his or her ass and have it be better than the well considered but uninformed opinion of someone who has not bothered to inform himself or herself of the facts.

Education alone cannot make an idiot or a jerk into something besides an idiot or a jerk, and some people manage to attain more than others given the same level of academic preparation due to innate differences in creativity, opportunity, or work ethic. However in the select domain to which the education applies the person who has a background and working knowledge of a problem is better prepared to deal with it competently than one who does not.

A common misconception among people with lots of "book-larnin" is that education is universally transferable, and that the skills and insight one can gain in university is necessarily helpful or practical when trying to, say, repair a car or teach children how to play the piano. The extreme contempt displayed by the urban educated elite during and after the last US federal election is an illustration of the relationship between education and knowledge: one can study one subject for decades and yet be completely ignorant of the conditions and facts that apply in another region or economic circumstance.

I think a good education is transferable in the sense that it should teach you "how to learn," and the confidence to approach the unknown and figure it out.  It was probably more true back when people got true liberal arts educations.  Getting a specialized degree, which is much more common these days, is far less transferable.

It's less transferable because the absolute last thing taught at the undergraduate level is "how to learn". It's particularly true in the liberal arts. What is taught in the liberal arts is how to parrot back exactly what your instructor says, no matter how erroneous. In the sciences at least there are actual experiements.

The people who have the confidence to approach something unknown and figure it out are the people who were given unsupervised access to Tinkertoys, chemistry sets, sewing machines, art supplies, a kitchen, a home laboratory, or a wood or machine shop as kids. Not all of the kids who grow up that way end up with university degrees, but they do become badass independent thinkers. And they know how to learn long before they set foot on a campus.

Humans learn problem solving by solving problems. Not by studying theory, memorizing answers, enhancing their vocabulary, or filling in circles on a multiple choice quiz. Very few universities offer that kind of problem-solving approach. I'm told Harvard Business School is one that does, or used to.
My psychology upper division classes taught me more about research and learning than my biology classes and I was better prepared for research articles in sciences than many of my biology major classmates in grad school.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 09:52:04 AM by Gin1984 »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16396 on: December 29, 2016, 08:49:18 AM »
My psychology upper division class taught me more about research and learning than my biology classes and I was better prepared for research articles in sciences than many of my biology major classmates in grad school.

Isn't it funny how that works?  I learned the most about how to read a scientific article, and write about it concisely in my animal genetics class, not my required technical writing class.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16397 on: December 29, 2016, 10:35:11 AM »
Perhaps I could have used a more "politically correct" term... whatever. I think you're right though, simply viewing the way others live may not actualize the idea in their minds. What really motivated me to do well in high school/college was that I worked a retail job in high school and got to experience shitty work for little pay. Great incentive to NOT get stuck doing that the rest of my life.

I don't think enough high school kids really experience middle class (or below) labor.  During high school I stocked shelves at the local grocery store for minimum wage, then the summer after high school I worked in a plastic injection factory assembling Honda Accord parts as they came right out of the machine (so hot), and then during college I worked in a nasty, oily machine shop.  Finishing college and getting an office job making 4x as much is so rewarding I can't even describe it.

One of my old students got a full ride to Columbia for law school and graduated near the top of his class. He told me his secret was that his dad owns a roofing company, and he spent his teenage summers on a crew finding out what happens if you don't work hard in school.

I've got couple-friends who both have PhDs in engineering.  Our older kids are the same age so we used to hang out back in the day.  When they were two, my friend was pregnant with #2.  Her husband's dad got sick/ injured.  So her husband went back home to help out for two weeks.  She was working full time, exhausted, and pregnant.  And doing it all herself for 2 weeks.

We had her over for dinner 2x, so that the boys could play and she could rest.  I'm not sure who I felt more sorry for.  Her, or the hubby. Who was taking over his dad's POOL SERVICE BUSINESS in AUGUST in PHOENIX for two weeks while his dad recovered.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16398 on: December 30, 2016, 08:38:56 AM »
I've shifted from the GPs I was working at where they were all sensible with cash to A&E which is a complete change.  One of the old GP's drove there grandparent's passed down tidy skoda fabia estate and the other a secondhand volkswagon golf.  In A&E all the doctors seem obsessed with german cars, thankfully most are buying second hand but still looking at 20-30k models.  The healthcare assistant however I overheard discussing her new green 1.0l petrol vauxhall corsa she bought on finance to which I chimed in that I'd just bought a low mileage (<30,000) 1.3 diesel one for 3,000.  She asked me what colour and I told her silver, but even if it was pink I still would have bought it, it was a good deal.  It boggles the mind, she makes barely more than the list price of the car a year in wages and I make closing on 3.5x the list price and only one of us thinks it sensible not to buy new.

The other recurring theme of A&E is the god awful number of takeaways during nights/late shifts.  I understand it fucks with your organisation skills and your appetite and will power working nights, but a takeaway is almost an hours earnings for me, not worth it.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #16399 on: December 30, 2016, 09:33:03 AM »


The people who have the confidence to approach something unknown and figure it out are the people who were given unsupervised access to Tinkertoys, chemistry sets, sewing machines, art supplies, a kitchen, a home laboratory, or a wood or machine shop as kids. Not all of the kids who grow up that way end up with university degrees, but they do become badass independent thinkers. And they know how to learn long before they set foot on a campus.



THIS. Yes, yes, yes.

Let your kids learn by mentally problem solving and trying things out with their hands. I clearly remember being 6-7yo and taking apart rusted bicycles, old radios, tools etc. 

This freedom gave me the basis for looking at an item anf mentally figuring out how it worked. Needless to say this has been a tremendous ability to have and has saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars that I would had had to pay someone in order to fix things around the house, cars, garden equipment etc.

Let kids learn by doing not just by reading. And not only that, but be a part of it, they will appreciate it.
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