Author Topic: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas  (Read 4032 times)

lemonlime

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I love askamanger.org. Came across this Ask The Readers today:

http://www.askamanager.org/2015/07/ask-the-readers-my-coworker-cant-afford-the-gas-to-get-to-work.html

I feel bad for the guy who is the topic of the story. It sounds like he is having a tough time. That said, I am really surprised by the number of commenters who feel like looking at his budget should not even be a consideration. I get the feeling that you can't blame someone who is having a rough time for wanting a little comfort (there is a whole line of conversation about buying candy bars and cigarettes), but to suggest that it is never worth giving up little things so that one can afford to get gas to go to work blows my mind. There's a lot of "they deserve it" in there, and to me that is very reflective of buying deeply into the mindset that is marketed to us, that we deserve everything that a seller is selling, and that it is blasphemy that one would even consider asking someone to voluntarily make a choice about not purchasing those things.

Just blew my mind. Reading it, I really felt like everyone is brain washed.

slugline

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 03:12:39 PM »
It's woefully-incomplete stories like this that probably prompted the post on how to write a case study on the Ask A Mustachian board.

lemonlime

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 03:50:30 PM »
Sure, I mean, that's not a personal finance blog. I was just surprised, and surprised that I was surprised, that the people who were suggesting that it was conceivable that he had a spending problem were shouted down by people who saying that people deserve to buy stuff they don't need, and sometimes, can't afford.

a1smith

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 10:09:11 PM »
I thought the 4th post was pretty good:

Quote
KJR
July 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm
This is tricky because there could be a whole host of other things going on in his life, including budgeting or other personal issues that you and his fellow co-workers wouldn’t be privy to. My best (and really only) recommendation would be to talk to him about possibly getting in touch with your EAP if you have one. I know ours offers a free session with a financial counselor. Hopefully some other readers will be able to offer some ideas on additional resources. This really is a tough situation, and I hope he’s able to find some relief!!

He mentions budgeting, talking to a financial counselor, and if there are other things going on the Employee Assistance Program may be able to help with that.

gReed Smith

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 05:39:53 AM »
He can afford gas.  He chooses to spend his money on other things.  Maybe it's rent and medicine for a sick baby, which is sympathetic.  But, without knowing the whole story, I assume it's video games and takeout.  You can't solve this guy's problem without seeing his whole budget.

sheepstache

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 06:28:45 AM »
Yeah I was impressed by some of the comments. Especially the person talking about how they don't like the thinking that forces binary choices and the debate about whether making assumptions is useful or not. Very meta :) But yeah I see some of the same stuff I see in other comments, that if something won't work in a big way it's hopeless to look at it at all. Like, everyone piling on about how terrible public transportation probably is where he lives, but he would only have to take it one day a week.

Reminds me of a Humans of New York photo where the guy is saying sometimes he walks five miles to work and back because the subway fare is worth a gallon of milk for his family. My god you can't imagine the hue and cry whenever a comment suggested the idea of his getting a bike, because "not everyone can do that!" Like, we are talking particularly about a dude who can walk ten miles, he most likely isn't disabled or unfit in a way that would prevent him from riding a bike. Or all these other objections about like maybe he doesn't have a place to store it, the initial cost of the bike, etc. It's this weird thing where if there could be any objection at all to an idea, don't even suggest it. And it's not like this was in response to dismissive put-down comments, like, "He should just get a bike!" where they could be considered to be defending him. /rant

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 08:21:34 AM »
If you read the whole comments the original letter writer came back to explain why the guy is short on money. His wife died and his MIL was watching their young kids and then the MIL died.  He lost his wife's income and then his childcare in a very short period of time.

EricP

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
If you read the whole comments the original letter writer came back to explain why the guy is short on money. His wife died and his MIL was watching their young kids and then the MIL died.  He lost his wife's income and then his childcare in a very short period of time.

This is why life insurance is important, even for low income or stay at home spouses.

MoneyCat

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 09:59:11 AM »
If you read the whole comments the original letter writer came back to explain why the guy is short on money. His wife died and his MIL was watching their young kids and then the MIL died.  He lost his wife's income and then his childcare in a very short period of time.

This is why life insurance is important, even for low income or stay at home spouses.

Not everyone qualifies for life insurance.  I didn't qualify because of a chronic medical condition I have.

onehair

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 10:38:04 AM »
That poor man.  He may be still grieving and not thinking clearly.  With the double blow of his wife's death and his MIL's death which also took his childcare he is likely reeling.  When too many emotions are at play you can't think too logically.


gReed Smith

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Re: Guy has tough situation, but commenters are crazy consumer sukkas
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 12:59:09 PM »
That is in fact very sympathetic.  But getting to work that 5th day of the week is probably worth putting gas on the credit card if he still ahs that option.  Who knows how deeply his finances have been crushed though.  His situation is probably beyond the help of a blog comment section.