As I was leaving work last night, I overheard this conversation. All three are engineers, with 1-2 kids each. Having a stay at home wife is a status symbol around here, all three follow that logic too. This conversation was about home buying.
CW1: I really need at least a 4 BR home, plus an office.
CW 2: Or you can get a 5 BR and convert one into an office. then you'd have an extra closet to store stuff.
CW 3: Don't forget, you need at least one extra room to store all the kids toys!
I think I began convulsing as I walked past this conversation...
A few weeks ago, one very young and loud co-worker talking to a peer:
Young CW 1: If you see our dept manager, please let me know, he's been avoiding me and I really need to talk to him!
CW2: Why do you think he's avoiding you?
Young CW 1: Well, I asked (another peer) to let him know I needed to talk to him. I didn't buy a home warranty program when I bought my former rental a few months ago, b/c my friends did and they had horrible experiences with the warranty program. My central air unit just died, and I need to finance a new one now, b/c I don't have any money, so I need to talk to our dept manager to get a raise.
Since this Young co-worker advertises everything she does very loudly, I know that she bought the house from her former landlord, it's her first purchase, and it needs work. She thinks she got a good deal, but she didn't shop anywhere else, b/c moving is too expensive. She figures in a few years she can sell it and move to a bigger, better house anyway. Then she proceeded to spend $2,300 on a scratch & dent SS fridge, b/c it was one of those french door ones and the original price was $3K, so it was a good deal! Yes, this was a financed purchase as well, barely a week after closing. She drives a late model Honda Accord, also financed. Her role is hourly, not salary, and the benefits package is much leaner for hourly employees. The hourly rates are not high at all, probably $15/hr. She leaves early on Fridays all the time.
Her peers all support her decisions, and loudly comment back on the good deals and what else she should spend money on. Money she clearly does not have! Wish I could have heard the conversation w/her boss about that raise. The company is notoriously stingy on raises, and hourly employees do not qualify for the bonus plan. Not to mention that we don't live in a world where you get a raise b/c an unplanned expense popped up!