Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8257874 times)

grandep

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20750 on: August 06, 2018, 03:30:23 PM »
I agree with the two above posters that plastic bags are super easy to just stop using, so why not? But I think Kyle's point was that all of this political capital and willpower is being spent on changes that really don't have a large impact because it's become a pet issue to some people.

Plastic straws and plastic bags make up a tiny fraction of global plastic waste, and yet they receive a disproportionate amount of attention from environmental campaigns. So politicians can implement a straw/bag ban and say they are "green"/"environment friendly" without doing anything that would actually, you know, help the environment in a meaningful and long-term way (like a carbon tax).

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20751 on: August 06, 2018, 04:32:49 PM »
I agree with the two above posters that plastic bags are super easy to just stop using, so why not? But I think Kyle's point was that all of this political capital and willpower is being spent on changes that really don't have a large impact because it's become a pet issue to some people.

Plastic straws and plastic bags make up a tiny fraction of global plastic waste, and yet they receive a disproportionate amount of attention from environmental campaigns. So politicians can implement a straw/bag ban and say they are "green"/"environment friendly" without doing anything that would actually, you know, help the environment in a meaningful and long-term way (like a carbon tax).

Plastic bags, at least, get a disproportionate amount of attention because it was a very visible form of local trash.  Environmental measures are easier to push if you pick something that actually affects the voters on a daily basis.  Sure, all plastics end up being problems in the ocean, but people don't live in the ocean.  Except for Aquaman.

AccountingForLife

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20752 on: August 06, 2018, 06:04:35 PM »
Buying vehicles they don't need, that get less than 20 mpg, to commute 60 miles a day to work. Complaining they don't make enough money when they are actually paid competitively for their position.

AccountingForLife

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20753 on: August 06, 2018, 06:25:56 PM »
Only one IT person at the company right now, who happens to be the owner. We're going on over a month now of e-mailing back and forth, and him refusing to setup my new laptop so that I can do my job. Just recently, he was talking to another co-worker and said "I can jump on a remote connection and help you fix your computer anytime." I'm also no longer allowed to update our Accounting software, because it is a "waste of resources."

When I asked my immediate boss about it, mentioning that I need access to our Accounting software to you know, perform my job as an Accountant, he said that the owner was so busy that he doesn't have the time to grant the access. Keep in mind this is a two minute task of uploading a config file...


dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20754 on: August 06, 2018, 06:39:17 PM »
Only one IT person at the company right now, who happens to be the owner. We're going on over a month now of e-mailing back and forth, and him refusing to setup my new laptop so that I can do my job. Just recently, he was talking to another co-worker and said "I can jump on a remote connection and help you fix your computer anytime." I'm also no longer allowed to update our Accounting software, because it is a "waste of resources."

When I asked my immediate boss about it, mentioning that I need access to our Accounting software to you know, perform my job as an Accountant, he said that the owner was so busy that he doesn't have the time to grant the access. Keep in mind this is a two minute task of uploading a config file...
Sounds like someone doesn’t want you looking too closely at the books

AccountingForLife

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20755 on: August 06, 2018, 07:46:17 PM »
Only one IT person at the company right now, who happens to be the owner. We're going on over a month now of e-mailing back and forth, and him refusing to setup my new laptop so that I can do my job. Just recently, he was talking to another co-worker and said "I can jump on a remote connection and help you fix your computer anytime." I'm also no longer allowed to update our Accounting software, because it is a "waste of resources."

When I asked my immediate boss about it, mentioning that I need access to our Accounting software to you know, perform my job as an Accountant, he said that the owner was so busy that he doesn't have the time to grant the access. Keep in mind this is a two minute task of uploading a config file...
Sounds like someone doesn’t want you looking too closely at the books

That would make sense if I wasn’t the CFO.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20756 on: August 06, 2018, 07:54:36 PM »
Ya, why the assumption that reducing one's impact is all about carbon emissions?
There's a strong correlation. The things which involve high carbon emissions generally involve other pollutants from mining and manufacturing, and fossil fuels enable us to use large amounts of other resources. For example, a holiday to Bali requires hundreds of tonnes of aluminium, plastics and other synthetics, copper and steel for the aircraft, then the buildings of the airport which must be built and then maintained and cleaned, the tarmac made of concrete (causes emissions in cement manufacture and in concrete setting after pouring, etc) or asphalt (more fossil fuels), all the many and various airport vehicles from tugs to cargo trucks to maintenance vehicles to fire trucks, then of course your hotel and...

So the emissions caused by burning the jet fuel for your flight are a good indication of a whole shitload of other emissions and pollutants and resource use and environmental impact from that trip.

The correlation is not 1:1. We can have carbon emissions without other impacts, and we can have other impacts without carbon emissions. But the correlation is good enough.

All the pieces matter, yes. But the big pieces matter more. You know the parable of the big and small stones in the jar?

PDM

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20757 on: August 07, 2018, 02:38:16 AM »
Ya, why the assumption that reducing one's impact is all about carbon emissions?
There's a strong correlation. The things which involve high carbon emissions generally involve other pollutants from mining and manufacturing, and fossil fuels enable us to use large amounts of other resources. For example, a holiday to Bali requires hundreds of tonnes of aluminium, plastics and other synthetics, copper and steel for the aircraft, then the buildings of the airport which must be built and then maintained and cleaned, the tarmac made of concrete (causes emissions in cement manufacture and in concrete setting after pouring, etc) or asphalt (more fossil fuels), all the many and various airport vehicles from tugs to cargo trucks to maintenance vehicles to fire trucks, then of course your hotel and...

So the emissions caused by burning the jet fuel for your flight are a good indication of a whole shitload of other emissions and pollutants and resource use and environmental impact from that trip.

The correlation is not 1:1. We can have carbon emissions without other impacts, and we can have other impacts without carbon emissions. But the correlation is good enough.

All the pieces matter, yes. But the big pieces matter more. You know the parable of the big and small stones in the jar?
But the plane would have still been built regardless of whether they took the flight. And maybe the flight would have gone with just an empty seat? Maybe over a long enough time frame it might influence demand for aircraft being built. Maybe not. Later aircraft are more fuel efficient now but an much older plane has all that embodied energy so might be better if less efficient?

I have real difficulty with this kind of environmental accounting if the end game is creating green guilt while not really solving any actual problems.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 03:31:48 AM by PDM »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20758 on: August 07, 2018, 06:38:18 AM »
I have real difficulty with this kind of environmental accounting if the end game is creating green guilt while not really solving any actual problems.
Whereas refraining from using single-use plastic bags or buying chintzy doohickeys solves actual problems? All measures taken by an individual are, by their nature, only token measures towards wider problems. That does not mean they are worthless.

The point is not to solve national or global problems, but to not personally contribute to making them worse, because that's the right thing to do. If I refrain from using insulting speech towards Aboriginals, for example, this is not going to stop them being disproportionately charged for, convicted of and sentenced for minor crimes, and mistreated in prison. But at least I'm not contributing to the general atmosphere of casual racism, which casual racism makes police arrest them where they would not have arrested white people, which casual racism makes Crown prosecutors charge them where they would not have charged white people, which casual racism makes magistrates give them custodial sentences where they would not have done so with white people, and which makes prison officers mistreat them where they would not have mistreated white people. I didn't help things but at least I didn't make them any worse.

"It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support." - Thoreau


If you concern yourself with any matter of public import, consider the 80/20 rule, and focus on the most significant parts, not on the insignificant parts, even if the latter prove more useful in virtue signalling.

plainjane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20759 on: August 07, 2018, 09:14:19 AM »
If you concern yourself with any matter of public import, consider the 80/20 rule, and focus on the most significant parts, not on the insignificant parts, even if the latter prove more useful in virtue signalling.

But if I care about the environment, it may be easier to convince people to stop using so many plastic bags than it is to get them to get rid of their car.

I don't get why certain words are suddenly bad. I'd prefer that organizations tell me what their stance is on things that are important to me. Is it sufficient to ban plastic bags? No. But charging people to use them so that it's clear that they aren't actually free (in cost or consequence)? Again, not enough, but it makes sense to be part of a larger plan.

Virtue signalling that you think that protecting and restoring the environment is good. Refraining from insulting speech is a great first step. But you can do more than just not make something worse. You could make a comment back 'not cool man', 'wow', 'that's an interesting comment', for not much more effort and actually make a difference. Because you've signalled what you think is virtuous behaviour and thus told them their behaviour is crap.

Being a hypocrite is bad. But if we just say everything is 'virtue signalling' as a shorthand for some kind of thing you don't like? How about - by showing people what we think, we normalize it, make them think that it isn't that hard for them to do it, and then perhaps take even bigger steps?

Why is it that the group of people who think that fighting for social justice is bad also don't think that it is good to be virtuous?

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:15)

Prairie Stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20760 on: August 07, 2018, 10:16:12 AM »
The plastics thing is a nice distraction. Some 55% of our carbon emissions come from our homes and workplaces, how we build and power them and transport ourselves around. Another 21% comes from industry - ultimately, from making the stuff we buy or use, from roads to clothes to doohickeys. That's 76% in things which have to do with our non-food consumption.

By focusing on things like plastic bags, we conveniently distract ourselves from the most important stuff. It's like the doctors working on a bruise when you have a compound fracture of the leg. But I guess it gives people warm fuzzies.
What is your solution instead? Should we ignore all problems and not fix the ones we can?

If you have a meaningful way that I can reduce my environmental impact, feel free to share. Please, don't bother to list industrial, I deal with that in my work life, we (I get to see and meet many people working on different issues) already have many plans and solutions going; some of them are already adding up. What is missing is the personal side, we already have plans underway to fix the 76%, we can use help on the remainder though from regular folks like yourself. 

Since I became employed I've had the opportunity to work with two very large industrial programs. One has already reduced GHG by several hundred thousand tonnes/year the industrial sector, I do the part of the audit, another was focused on an entirely seperate concern and I was involved in the low level validation.  My latest project is focusing on reducing GHG, I'm on a team spanning many companies and countries, I have no idea how many people are involved. Its focus is to reduce GHG by tens of milions, but I still use reusable bags.

It would by hypocritical to spend all my time on the big stuff and use that as validation to skip the small stuff.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20761 on: August 07, 2018, 12:09:47 PM »
If you concern yourself with any matter of public import, consider the 80/20 rule, and focus on the most significant parts, not on the insignificant parts, even if the latter prove more useful in virtue signalling.

But if I care about the environment, it may be easier to convince people to stop using so many plastic bags than it is to get them to get rid of their car.

I don't get why certain words are suddenly bad. I'd prefer that organizations tell me what their stance is on things that are important to me. Is it sufficient to ban plastic bags? No. But charging people to use them so that it's clear that they aren't actually free (in cost or consequence)? Again, not enough, but it makes sense to be part of a larger plan.

Virtue signalling that you think that protecting and restoring the environment is good. Refraining from insulting speech is a great first step. But you can do more than just not make something worse. You could make a comment back 'not cool man', 'wow', 'that's an interesting comment', for not much more effort and actually make a difference. Because you've signalled what you think is virtuous behaviour and thus told them their behaviour is crap.

Being a hypocrite is bad. But if we just say everything is 'virtue signalling' as a shorthand for some kind of thing you don't like? How about - by showing people what we think, we normalize it, make them think that it isn't that hard for them to do it, and then perhaps take even bigger steps?

Why is it that the group of people who think that fighting for social justice is bad also don't think that it is good to be virtuous?

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:15)

Yes, and I think that it helps for many many people to do baby steps, as much as we like to talk about face punches here.

Honestly, I think for many people, the thought processes can be like this:
recycle
wait, I have to pay for plastic bags?  Okay, I'll reuse my bags
That's not too bad.
Hm...maybe I shouldn't buy sparkling water and recycle the bottles, I could make my own and reuse the bottles
I should take a fork and spoon and coffee cup to work so that I don't have to use plastic
Huh, it's not so hard to wash cloth napkins
Geez, why does all this produce come wrapped in plastic?
Little Johnny just showed me a pic of a turtle with a straw in its beak from a field trip.  Crap.
Do I really need to drive to the store today?
Oh, man, that mini-SUV would be so nice, but it doesn't get any better gas mileage than my 12 year old Corolla
Look at all these people on their summer vacations in Europe and Hawaii!  A 2-hour drive and a camping trip isn't so bad for the environment.  We should maybe stick to one flight per year.
Gosh this drought is lasting forever.  Let's get a bucket to collect shower water and take navy showers.
It's gonna be a hot one.  Have to remember to close the curtains on the south facing window during the day.  Should probably cook dinner in the instant pot instead of turning on the oven.
That was a cold winter - let's see how much it costs to insulate the floor and replace the old windows with dual pane.

etc etc etc

shelivesthedream

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20762 on: August 07, 2018, 02:23:39 PM »
The Wheaton Scale has been a very helpful concept for me: https://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-wheaton-eco-scale/

Hirondelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20763 on: August 07, 2018, 02:29:15 PM »
The Wheaton Scale has been a very helpful concept for me: https://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-wheaton-eco-scale/

Even though I like his way of thinking, I'm put off by the fact how he calls 5 billion people level zero and continuous by mentioning measures that many of these 5 billion probably have never heard of while doing way less harm than the people 2-3 levels above them buying organic food.

He should've just included the western world population cause his list of examples isn't relevant in most of the world.

Jouer

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20764 on: August 07, 2018, 02:41:45 PM »
I agree with the two above posters that plastic bags are super easy to just stop using, so why not? But I think Kyle's point was that all of this political capital and willpower is being spent on changes that really don't have a large impact because it's become a pet issue to some people.

Plastic straws and plastic bags make up a tiny fraction of global plastic waste, and yet they receive a disproportionate amount of attention from environmental campaigns. So politicians can implement a straw/bag ban and say they are "green"/"environment friendly" without doing anything that would actually, you know, help the environment in a meaningful and long-term way (like a carbon tax).

Plastic bags, at least, get a disproportionate amount of attention because it was a very visible form of local trash.  Environmental measures are easier to push if you pick something that actually affects the voters on a daily basis.  Sure, all plastics end up being problems in the ocean, but people don't live in the ocean.  Except for Aquaman.

Exactly.

Plastic straws/bags are to the environment as lattes are to personal finance. Ya gotta start somewhere. And that somewhere has to be something people understand and/or see.

Doing something is better than doing nothing. Sometimes it's about getting the ball rolling...easing people into the issue. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good (and other such buzz-phrases).

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20765 on: August 07, 2018, 03:05:55 PM »
I agree with the two above posters that plastic bags are super easy to just stop using, so why not? But I think Kyle's point was that all of this political capital and willpower is being spent on changes that really don't have a large impact because it's become a pet issue to some people.

Plastic straws and plastic bags make up a tiny fraction of global plastic waste, and yet they receive a disproportionate amount of attention from environmental campaigns. So politicians can implement a straw/bag ban and say they are "green"/"environment friendly" without doing anything that would actually, you know, help the environment in a meaningful and long-term way (like a carbon tax).

Plastic bags, at least, get a disproportionate amount of attention because it was a very visible form of local trash.  Environmental measures are easier to push if you pick something that actually affects the voters on a daily basis.  Sure, all plastics end up being problems in the ocean, but people don't live in the ocean.  Except for Aquaman.

Exactly.

Plastic straws/bags are to the environment as lattes are to personal finance. Ya gotta start somewhere. And that somewhere has to be something people understand and/or see.

Doing something is better than doing nothing. Sometimes it's about getting the ball rolling...easing people into the issue. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good (and other such buzz-phrases).

And the lattes come in disposable cups. Overlapping analogy.

js82

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20766 on: August 07, 2018, 04:37:54 PM »
The Wheaton Scale has been a very helpful concept for me: https://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-wheaton-eco-scale/

Even though I like his way of thinking, I'm put off by the fact how he calls 5 billion people level zero and continuous by mentioning measures that many of these 5 billion probably have never heard of while doing way less harm than the people 2-3 levels above them buying organic food.

He should've just included the western world population cause his list of examples isn't relevant in most of the world.

I agree, and I think there's one other big miss in the article here: Not enough emphasis on impact.  We gain a lot more as a society from reining in the worst problems than we do from poking at people because their produce isn't organic.  Push for a switch from Coal to other sources of power, and convince the guy driving a massive, 12 MPG SUV to switch to a newer vehicle that gets 30 and you've done a lot more than shaming a Prius owner into bike commuting or getting someone to spend tens of thousands on rooftop solar.

It takes a lot of vegetable gardens to offset one dude who decides he needs a big-ass SUV.

plainjane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20767 on: August 08, 2018, 04:24:04 AM »
We gain a lot more as a society from reining in the worst problems than we do from poking at people because their produce isn't organic.  Push for a switch from Coal to other sources of power, and convince the guy driving a massive, 12 MPG SUV to switch to a newer vehicle that gets 30 and you've done a lot more than shaming a Prius owner into bike commuting or getting someone to spend tens of thousands on rooftop solar.

It takes a lot of vegetable gardens to offset one dude who decides he needs a big-ass SUV.

wrt coal - how much of that was the horrible smog days and literally seeing statues start dissolving vs. the flight of so much manufacturing? I am old enough to remember the multi-day smog alerts in Toronto, but not the full narrative of what actually happened. I'm pretty happy that the recent Toronto heat wave has just been muggy, and not that yellow/green sky colour.

And to be fair, some owners of big-ass SUVs _also_ have gardens, because people are complex. I don't have a car, but I also fly to New Zealand every 2 years.

js82

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20768 on: August 08, 2018, 04:50:04 AM »
We gain a lot more as a society from reining in the worst problems than we do from poking at people because their produce isn't organic.  Push for a switch from Coal to other sources of power, and convince the guy driving a massive, 12 MPG SUV to switch to a newer vehicle that gets 30 and you've done a lot more than shaming a Prius owner into bike commuting or getting someone to spend tens of thousands on rooftop solar.

It takes a lot of vegetable gardens to offset one dude who decides he needs a big-ass SUV.

wrt coal - how much of that was the horrible smog days and literally seeing statues start dissolving vs. the flight of so much manufacturing? I am old enough to remember the multi-day smog alerts in Toronto, but not the full narrative of what actually happened. I'm pretty happy that the recent Toronto heat wave has just been muggy, and not that yellow/green sky colour.

And to be fair, some owners of big-ass SUVs _also_ have gardens, because people are complex. I don't have a car, but I also fly to New Zealand every 2 years.

1. Re: Coal - we're better at controlling particulate emissions now, but it still sucks compared to other sources - both in terms of CO2 per energy unit, and in terms of other impurities that end up in the atmosphere - it's still the filthiest power source there is.

2. I agree re: people being complex - and that was kind of my point, though I may have articulated it poorly.  My intended point was that we should focus on behaviors that are both high-impact, and that we actually have a chance of changing.  This is why things like cost-effective, more-efficient (not necessarily even electric) vehicles are a big, big deal.  The changes we have the best odds of adopting over the long run are ones that minimize inconvenience - this is why investing developing low-cost renewable energy solutions for our power grid and building affordable EV's are such a big deal - the technology merely has to reach the point of cost-competitiveness, and it will be adopted in droves.

onlykelsey

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20769 on: August 08, 2018, 04:57:02 AM »
I was chatting with a co worker after we got ~10k bonuses on top of our generous salaries last month, and he confessed that he still wasn’t on track to max his 401(k)!  We have no match, but still!!!

grandep

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20770 on: August 08, 2018, 08:25:50 AM »
The Ecomodernist Manifesto is a good read for intelligent, environmentally-minded folks like most Mustachians. I recommend reading it if you haven't already.

The Wheaton Scale has been a very helpful concept for me: https://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-wheaton-eco-scale/

Organic produce is not the environmental panacea that the author believes it is:
Quote
Despite strong public perception of organic agriculture producing better environmental outcomes, we show that conventional agriculture often performs better on environmental measures including land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution of water bodies. There are, however, some contexts where organic agriculture may be considered appropriate.

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/is-organic-agriculture-better-for-the-environment
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 08:39:58 AM by grandep »

thesis

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20771 on: August 08, 2018, 11:11:22 AM »
These aren't so much things I've overheard at work as they are quirks of my company's retirement portal.

1. any change in 401k contribution is sent to the employee via snail mail. There's no way I have found to stop this. It seems changes are so extremely important that they must be sent by mail because who checks the 401k portal?

2. I'm fairly certain I just over-contributed to my 401k a little thanks to only being able to specify %, but the system did not stop me from doing this. It's as if the company who wrote this software decided that people actually reaching the contribution limit was an edge-case that happened so rarely it wasn't worth building the product to stop contributions at specified amounts by year.

3. After dropping my contributions to 0% because I hit the limit, I immediately got a message suggesting I enroll in the program that does an automatic 1% increase every year up to 10%.

4. This is more about benefits than retirement, but there is no ability to front-load HSA contributions; I can only do equal monthly contributions. Email doesn't communicate emotions well, but the benefits department seemed a bit confused when I asked about this. Ya know, why would anybody want to do that? Maybe HSAs are only designed to work this way, I'm too lazy to research law, but it's still annoying.

:headsmack:

:)

momcpa

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20772 on: August 08, 2018, 11:27:56 AM »
Re 'over contributing' to a 401k:   The last paycheck of the year had a different, higher net amount.  I looked at all the deductions and the 401k contribution was lower ???  I asked payroll about it.  They said that I had hit the limit.  I said NO, I was old enough to qualify for the additional amount allowed.  Their excuse was that the computerized system probably didn't know how old I was.  What?!  It's computerized.  It has all of my information.....most importantly, it has my birthdate.  So I voiced all of that to payroll.  They said that probably I was the first and only person to hit the limit in our organization.  I knew that we were a small company, not a lot of employees, but there are people that make substantially more than I do.  How could I be the first? 

Tells me a little about 'who' contributes, and 'how much'.

thesis

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20773 on: August 08, 2018, 11:42:14 AM »
Re 'over contributing' to a 401k:   The last paycheck of the year had a different, higher net amount.  I looked at all the deductions and the 401k contribution was lower ???  I asked payroll about it.  They said that I had hit the limit.  I said NO, I was old enough to qualify for the additional amount allowed.  Their excuse was that the computerized system probably didn't know how old I was.  What?!  It's computerized.  It has all of my information.....most importantly, it has my birthdate.  So I voiced all of that to payroll.  They said that probably I was the first and only person to hit the limit in our organization.  I knew that we were a small company, not a lot of employees, but there are people that make substantially more than I do.  How could I be the first? 

Tells me a little about 'who' contributes, and 'how much'.

Awesome. XD

marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20774 on: August 08, 2018, 12:32:27 PM »
HR sent out a notice letting us know that the IRS (finally) has a new calculator out to check withholding with the new tax laws. Looks like between the tax laws changing and my husband's new job not having a pre-tax option, we're getting a big bill in April. It was the kick in the pants I needed to change my 401k from post to pre tax. It won't be much, but it'll help a little.

The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.   

RWD

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20775 on: August 08, 2018, 12:39:29 PM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...

shelivesthedream

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20776 on: August 08, 2018, 12:44:43 PM »
The Ecomodernist Manifesto is a good read for intelligent, environmentally-minded folks like most Mustachians. I recommend reading it if you haven't already.

The Wheaton Scale has been a very helpful concept for me: https://paulwheaton12.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-wheaton-eco-scale/

Organic produce is not the environmental panacea that the author believes it is:
Quote
Despite strong public perception of organic agriculture producing better environmental outcomes, we show that conventional agriculture often performs better on environmental measures including land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution of water bodies. There are, however, some contexts where organic agriculture may be considered appropriate.

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/is-organic-agriculture-better-for-the-environment

So what? I've still found the concept of the Wheaton Scale very helpful. Is this a more acceptable explanation? https://wiki.earlyretirementextreme.com/wiki/ERE_Wheaton_Levels

marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20777 on: August 08, 2018, 12:47:58 PM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...

Bi-weekly.

RWD

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20778 on: August 08, 2018, 12:57:10 PM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...

Bi-weekly.

Ouch.

monstermonster

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20779 on: August 08, 2018, 01:13:02 PM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...
Bi-weekly.
Hey not everyone needs a million to retire! Perhaps she makes in the $20,000 annual salary range, so she's saving 6% of her salary... or is focused on paying off debt, or some other goal. Or maybe she needs a little help to do the math.

FIRE@50

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20780 on: August 08, 2018, 01:16:38 PM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...
Bi-weekly.
Hey not everyone needs a million to retire! Perhaps she makes in the $20,000 annual salary range, so she's saving 6% of her salary... or is focused on paying off debt, or some other goal. Or maybe she needs a little help to do the math.
I think the $20 comment is more telling. The HR person is basically saying, without saying it, that a lot/most are saving zero.

Sir Tom of Ato

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20781 on: August 09, 2018, 08:22:41 AM »
Not quite from work, but I am in college, and I have a friend (and housemate) who is getting married this summer.
He is about halfway through the 5 years for his undergrad (multiple majors), and he plans to go to grad school afterward. All good stuff, though of course it means he won't be earning much for a number of years at least, and then he will definitely have loans.

His educational aspirations aren't what I am writing here about, though. The other week, he mentioned his honeymoon plans. His soon-to-be wife apparently really wants to go to Disney World, and so their (presumably) week-long honeymoon will be at Disney World. But they aren't just paying for that. They are staying in one of the actual Disney World hotels. He mentioned the name which I then looked up, and it costs WELL OVER $900 PER NIGHT. That means they will definitely be spending a minimum of $1,000 per day for their honeymoon at a crowded park, if you count the overpriced food and entrance fees.

Now, he also just bought a car (used, cheap, and good condition at least), and I happen to know that his summer job made him enough money for rent, utilities, food, and I guess that car, but not much else. His future wife does not have a job yet, that I am aware of.

So I went to their wedding registry website to see what kind of gifts they were looking for (maybe a nice set of kitchen knives? I like giving people those lol), and it basically said "we don't want gifts, we want your money" but nicer. I asked my friend about it, and he told me "yeah, we are basically going to use all of the money we get at our wedding to help offset the cost of the honeymoon."

I think I'll get him the kitchen knives.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20782 on: August 09, 2018, 08:42:13 AM »
I told a few coworkers today they could contribute more than our required 2% to their 403bs (we are required to put in 2%, company puts in 10+% depending on year of service).
Only 2 of them in the conversation knew this. The rest were intrigued at the idea.


My sister is a corporate financial advisor for a big name company.  When I said that I "wasn't quite maxing my 403b" she was absolutely shocked. Then, I found out she thought "maxing" meant maxing your match (which isn't a thing for me), not the $18,500 the government limits. She said she'd never heard of anyone doing that.

Goldielocks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20783 on: August 09, 2018, 08:43:40 AM »
^^  I wish I could give them the advice to delay marriage until everyone has finished their undergrad, and likely first masters degree.

I know many people marry earlier than that.  I did, DH was not yet finished, and it is the reason for the advice -- It sets up this weird dynamic where something other than the marriage has to come first in one's life, right off the bat, and then the person with the shorter years in school (wife) ends up being the sole income earner, another challenging aspect for many guys, and especially for those who come from backgrounds where marrying early is common.

I received a lovely set of knives as a wedding present, all my university friends got together to buy me a small set of good knives.   I still use them 24 years later and think of my friends often.

Hirondelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20784 on: August 09, 2018, 08:55:45 AM »
I never understand why people feel the need to get married before they even finish undergrad and have a job that can actually pay for their wedding..?

Sir Tom of Ato

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20785 on: August 09, 2018, 08:57:57 AM »
^^  I wish I could give them the advice to delay marriage until everyone has finished their undergrad, and likely first masters degree.

I know many people marry earlier than that.  I did, DH was not yet finished, and it is the reason for the advice -- It sets up this weird dynamic where something other than the marriage has to come first in one's life, right off the bat, and then the person with the shorter years in school (wife) ends up being the sole income earner, another challenging aspect for many guys, and especially for those who come from backgrounds where marrying early is common.

I received a lovely set of knives as a wedding present, all my university friends got together to buy me a small set of good knives.   I still use them 24 years later and think of my friends often.

That makes a lot of sense. As for me, my girlfriend and I have a vague plan of maybe 3 more years before we marry. She has an extra semester to do after I graduate, and I might end up doing a masters as well, so we aren't rushing anything.

Also, I'm glad to hear about your knives! That's exactly why I like giving them. People should be able to use them for many years, and I feel like that is the point of a wedding gift. 24 years from now they won't remember me having paid the equivalent of a meal on their honeymoon, but they could still be using the knives which cost the same amount.

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20786 on: August 09, 2018, 09:01:00 AM »
^^  I wish I could give them the advice to delay marriage until everyone has finished their undergrad, and likely first masters degree.

I know many people marry earlier than that.  I did, DH was not yet finished, and it is the reason for the advice -- It sets up this weird dynamic where something other than the marriage has to come first in one's life, right off the bat, and then the person with the shorter years in school (wife) ends up being the sole income earner, another challenging aspect for many guys, and especially for those who come from backgrounds where marrying early is common.

I received a lovely set of knives as a wedding present, all my university friends got together to buy me a small set of good knives.   I still use them 24 years later and think of my friends often.

That makes a lot of sense. As for me, my girlfriend and I have a vague plan of maybe 3 more years before we marry. She has an extra semester to do after I graduate, and I might end up doing a masters as well, so we aren't rushing anything.

Also, I'm glad to hear about your knives! That's exactly why I like giving them. People should be able to use them for many years, and I feel like that is the point of a wedding gift. 24 years from now they won't remember me having paid the equivalent of a meal on their honeymoon, but they could still be using the knives which cost the same amount.

Another vote for good quality knives.  We asked for a very high quality bread knife on our wedding registry, and it might be my favorite gift so far - and we also got a kitchenaid mixer, rice cooker, and several other nice kitchen things.  Of course we're very grateful to the people who gave cash as well, but damn if I'm not irrationally happy every time I pick up that knife :)

SynestheticSymphony

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20787 on: August 09, 2018, 09:11:00 AM »
...but damn if I'm not irrationally happy every time I pick up that knife :)

Should this sentence scare us? XD

rockstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20788 on: August 09, 2018, 09:20:31 AM »
Call me the grinch, but they'll probably just return the knives and get the cash anyway. Most couples are living together and so already have what they need for the home. I don't mind giving cash for weddings. The honeymoon sounds absurd, and Disney is not my thing, but if I knew them and liked them, I'd give them what they ask for.

I married in undergrad and we did grad school married as well, and it was wonderful. Admittedly, we started college late, and we both had full time jobs and no debt the whole time, so maybe a little different than these folks. We were given a large gift to help pay for our wedding, but we didn't need it.

I do make more than my husband, and always have, but it's never been an issue (or much of a topic of discussion), so I can't really comment on that aspect.



Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20789 on: August 09, 2018, 09:23:15 AM »
...but damn if I'm not irrationally happy every time I pick up that knife :)

Should this sentence scare us? XD

Maaaaybe?  Nah, I'm sure you're fine.  I don't know where you live, after all ;D

I bake almost all of our bread from scratch, so having a good knife makes a ton of difference.  I think this is the one: [link=https://www.amazon.com/Tojiro-Bread-Slicer-270mm-F-687/dp/B004LVIO3O/ref=sr_1_4/134-9285627-2794216?ie=UTF8&qid=1533827937&sr=8-4&keywords=tojiro+bread+knife]click[/url].  Goes through like butter.  Especially after my old crummy knife, sawing through and ruining the crust.

Sir Tom of Ato

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20790 on: August 09, 2018, 10:08:18 AM »
Call me the grinch, but they'll probably just return the knives and get the cash anyway. Most couples are living together and so already have what they need for the home. I don't mind giving cash for weddings. The honeymoon sounds absurd, and Disney is not my thing, but if I knew them and liked them, I'd give them what they ask for.

I see what you're saying, but in this particular case, I know that they were both living in the dorms last year, and the guy has been renting as one of my housemates this summer, so they don't really have much in terms of household supplies for when they move in together later this month (they are both from halfway across the country as well, so it is unlikely they will be flying back here with a lot of stuff). Also, I know the guy likes cooking (I don't know his fiance very well). I just have a hard time convincing myself to give money when I know all of it will just go toward Disney World...maybe I shouldn't have asked him about that!

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20791 on: August 09, 2018, 10:14:42 AM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...

Bi-weekly.

Ah so $100/week will get you to $2 million after 40 years not too shabby

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20792 on: August 09, 2018, 10:16:06 AM »
Not quite from work, but I am in college, and I have a friend (and housemate) who is getting married this summer.
He is about halfway through the 5 years for his undergrad (multiple majors), and he plans to go to grad school afterward. All good stuff, though of course it means he won't be earning much for a number of years at least, and then he will definitely have loans.

His educational aspirations aren't what I am writing here about, though. The other week, he mentioned his honeymoon plans. His soon-to-be wife apparently really wants to go to Disney World, and so their (presumably) week-long honeymoon will be at Disney World. But they aren't just paying for that. They are staying in one of the actual Disney World hotels. He mentioned the name which I then looked up, and it costs WELL OVER $900 PER NIGHT. That means they will definitely be spending a minimum of $1,000 per day for their honeymoon at a crowded park, if you count the overpriced food and entrance fees.

Now, he also just bought a car (used, cheap, and good condition at least), and I happen to know that his summer job made him enough money for rent, utilities, food, and I guess that car, but not much else. His future wife does not have a job yet, that I am aware of.

So I went to their wedding registry website to see what kind of gifts they were looking for (maybe a nice set of kitchen knives? I like giving people those lol), and it basically said "we don't want gifts, we want your money" but nicer. I asked my friend about it, and he told me "yeah, we are basically going to use all of the money we get at our wedding to help offset the cost of the honeymoon."

I think I'll get him the kitchen knives.

Isn't valuing an experience over stuff an important concept though? (given, this is totally a ridiculous experience given their financial/job status)

I totally like the way the trend is going to give money instead of *things*... but that's just me.

PS. I did get a lovely ceramic knife for Xmas once from a sibling. It started my new love affair with ceramic knives...

Sir Tom of Ato

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20793 on: August 09, 2018, 10:30:14 AM »
Isn't valuing an experience over stuff an important concept though? (given, this is totally a ridiculous experience given their financial/job status)

I totally like the way the trend is going to give money instead of *things*... but that's just me.

PS. I did get a lovely ceramic knife for Xmas once from a sibling. It started my new love affair with ceramic knives...

True. I don't want to devalue the experience for them. I guess it is just hard for me to swallow the fact that my hypothetical money contribution, along with the contributions of all my friends, are just going to end up paying for some hotel...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 10:32:45 AM by Sir Tom of Ato »

marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20794 on: August 09, 2018, 10:32:49 AM »
The HR lady I spoke to in trying to get it switched strongly suggested that I make sure I'm putting at least $20/paycheck into retirement. She seemed very proud that she was putting in $50/paycheck. I directed her to @monstermonster 's book. Hopefully she'll see that she can put more away.

Wow... Are you paid weekly, at least? $50/week might get you to $1 million after 40 years...
Bi-weekly.
Hey not everyone needs a million to retire! Perhaps she makes in the $20,000 annual salary range, so she's saving 6% of her salary... or is focused on paying off debt, or some other goal. Or maybe she needs a little help to do the math.

I don't know about any debt she might be paying off, but she makes in the 50k range (our salaries are public info) and I see her going on a lot of vacations/ to concerts..etc. Goes out for lunch everyday too. Hopefully, she takes some of what I said to heart and it helps her.

Slee_stack

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20795 on: August 09, 2018, 10:32:58 AM »
CW1 just bought a fancy new car.  Probably a slightly above average cost one.

I've spoken to CW1 in the past and they readily admit they should know more and be better about spending, but just can't do it.  They are smart technically but intentionally bury their heads in the sand regarding money.  I've tried to to convey some basic suggestions, but its 'too hard'.   Its frustrating.  These willfully ignorant types tick me off down the road when their hands outstretch for help.

CW2 brought up CW1 and talked excitedly about the new car.  I told CW2 it would have been nice if CW1 could have at least found a nice few years old car.

CW2 explained...well you HAVE to buy a first NEW car sometime.

Someone else here just rolled in with a new 'track' version corvette or something.  Its amazing how much money is sitting in our parking lot.

A lot of very smart, remarkably idiotic people here.  More than a few even recognize their poor habits yet keep on keeping on.

Goldielocks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20796 on: August 09, 2018, 10:38:09 AM »


I do make more than my husband, and always have, but it's never been an issue (or much of a topic of discussion), so I can't really comment on that aspect.

The weirdness in pay is partly from DH earning ZERO, for more than year, and living off the wife's (low, because first "career" role) income.

I found that a differential in income, even if fairly large, matters less as people age, and if they have been earning their respective incomes for a while before getting together, because a low income is still self supporting / validating.  That's different from a student virtual "ZERO" income for an extended period of time. 

Sir Tom -- I agree that pooled money gifts are not great.   There is zero memory of the people attached to the gift.  It just avoids bad gifts, is all.   I do give cash at weddings, but usually for people that I don't know very well personally, or well enough to buy a gift for, or logistically I don't see them normally, and can't physically get an actual gift to them, so money at the reception is a lot easier for everyone.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20797 on: August 09, 2018, 10:48:22 AM »


I do make more than my husband, and always have, but it's never been an issue (or much of a topic of discussion), so I can't really comment on that aspect.

The weirdness in pay is partly from DH earning ZERO, for more than year, and living off the wife's (low, because first "career" role) income.


We've been in this situation a few times; both with my husband not working and me not working. It's never been weird at all. Our marriage has always been a partnership with pooled resources- who makes the money is of zero consideration. There has always been a reason for no income (student, recently laid off, medical, haven't found a new job after a move, etc) - neither of us ever didn't work out of laziness. 

Prairie Stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20798 on: August 09, 2018, 12:34:25 PM »
Isn't valuing an experience over stuff an important concept though? (given, this is totally a ridiculous experience given their financial/job status)

I totally like the way the trend is going to give money instead of *things*... but that's just me.

PS. I did get a lovely ceramic knife for Xmas once from a sibling. It started my new love affair with ceramic knives...

True. I don't want to devalue the experience for them. I guess it is just hard for me to swallow the fact that my hypothetical money contribution, along with the contributions of all my friends, are just going to end up paying for some hotel...
Get over it, they'll be returning the knives for cash. Giving them knives is just an inconvenience, you accomplish nothing but annoyance for the sake of feeling smug.

The entire point of the registry is to avoid the gaffe you are committing. Now they have to feign a smile and do an awkward thank you for something they didn't desire at this point; don't be a jerk and tell them how they'll appreciate it in the future either. Have you ever received a gift you didn't want? Like wool socks when you're five, five year olds don't want socks, they want toys and games (I want wool socks, but I'm old). I give my five year old socks because thats how kids learn to feign smiles so they can avoid creating scenes in the future when unwitting gift givers think the world should conform to their values and not to the recipient. Don't worry, she still gets toys (I'm not a real ginch).

Its still an idea I dislike (an overly expensive honeymoon, ugh), but don't compound the errors. We can teach people to become mustachian, don't force it on them.

Jouer

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20799 on: August 09, 2018, 12:48:36 PM »
Isn't valuing an experience over stuff an important concept though? (given, this is totally a ridiculous experience given their financial/job status)

I totally like the way the trend is going to give money instead of *things*... but that's just me.

PS. I did get a lovely ceramic knife for Xmas once from a sibling. It started my new love affair with ceramic knives...

True. I don't want to devalue the experience for them. I guess it is just hard for me to swallow the fact that my hypothetical money contribution, along with the contributions of all my friends, are just going to end up paying for some hotel...

When giving a present, it's not about what you value/want. It's what the giftee values/wants.