Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 9184463 times)

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4396
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10550 on: September 19, 2015, 01:35:48 AM »
Another freelancer who was equating expenses reimbursed by a client (they give back 100% so your financial position is the same) with general freelance expenses (reduce your taxable income, so effectively discounted by 25%).

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 395
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10551 on: September 19, 2015, 05:27:56 AM »
I was homeschooled. I probably won't have kids. If I do have kids I would prefer to homeschool them. I don't mind paying taxes for the schools because I want school to be an available option for everybody because I want to live in an educated society. However, I don't believe that spending more money equates to a better education.

I don't like the way some of the schools spend the money that they receive. A friend of mine just got a job at a public school and he said they are giving every student an ipad mini this year. The students have to return the ipads at the end of the year, but still. That just seems like they are trying to think up ways to spend money.

The ipads are because the PUBLISHERS are going to digital content...way cheaper than printing books (but costs the schools nearly the same).  Its becoming a HUGE problem for the parochial elementary school my youngest is in and we've been fundraising like crazy (last 3 years) to get enough computers (desktops, laptops and ipads) that we can just take the state mandated testing!!!  Which is now all online...no more filling in the little dots in a booklet.  The public schools here give the ipads in 6th grade, 7th if you attended one of the nonpublic elementaries.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3285
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10552 on: September 19, 2015, 11:05:46 AM »
Another freelancer who was equating expenses reimbursed by a client (they give back 100% so your financial position is the same) with general freelance expenses (reduce your taxable income, so effectively discounted by 25%).

Oh god, that concept and my mom do not mesh. I'm an accountant, and I've been trying to explain this to her for that past 10 years. She does not understand. She's got a side business, teaching people computers and fixing them (southeast Michigan and need help, PM me). She uses a spreadsheet to track her income, including the reimbursements from clients for purchased equipment, etc. Expenses go in a particular drawer and are added up at the end of the year! After she messed up the spreadsheet, again, I redid the spreadsheet. Now, it's got a section for income and a separate section for the expenses, with instructions in big lettering. But since I know what the heck she did, I can convert it to a cash basis income statement for their taxes.

At least she tracks the income. All receipts for expenses go into a drawer. It used to be a shoebox, so we've made progress at least.

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1018
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10553 on: September 19, 2015, 11:13:18 AM »
Do they have to use (overly expensive) ipad's specifically?  As someone who missed this digital book technology era while in school, I'm jealous of kids who won't have to carry around a backpack/arm-full of books.  I saw this coming about 10 years ago shortly after I finished college, and think it's awesome.  It COULD be one of the better uses of new technology (I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it).  But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.

nobodyspecial

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1469
  • Location: Land above the land of the free
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10554 on: September 19, 2015, 11:32:50 AM »
As someone who missed this digital book technology era while in school, I'm jealous of kids who won't have to carry around a backpack/arm-full of books.  I saw this coming about 10 years ago shortly after I finished college, and think it's awesome.  It COULD be one of the better uses of new technology (I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it).  But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.
And it means that schools have to re-buy (sorry licence, they never own) the books each year - how else can the publishers make $10/year/student on copies of Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath ?

A friend lectures intro maths at university and they are required to do quizzes using an electronic clicker thing that comes with the $100 textbook. That way you are forced to buy the new edition of the textbook covering all the breakthroughs in introductory algebra that have been made in the last 12 months.
 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 12:35:53 PM by nobodyspecial »

lostamonkey

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
  • Location: Canada
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10555 on: September 19, 2015, 03:36:05 PM »
As someone who missed this digital book technology era while in school, I'm jealous of kids who won't have to carry around a backpack/arm-full of books.  I saw this coming about 10 years ago shortly after I finished college, and think it's awesome.  It COULD be one of the better uses of new technology (I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it).  But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.
And it means that schools have to re-buy (sorry licence, they never own) the books each year - how else can the publishers make $10/year/student on copies of Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath ?

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

We also used clickers when I was in university. You could buy them used on Kijiji which is what I did. I also bought old editions of the textbooks used.

eyePod

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
    • Flipping A Dollar
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10556 on: September 19, 2015, 05:53:00 PM »
This thread has turned into a real downer. I come here to mock your ridiculous coworkers. Post more of that for my entertainment!

Sorry! I'm done.

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

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

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

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

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

notquitefrugal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10557 on: September 19, 2015, 08:19:58 PM »
smoke a joint (a whole joint)

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

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

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

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

Pooperman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2955
  • Age: 29
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10558 on: September 19, 2015, 08:43:31 PM »
smoke a joint (a whole joint)

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

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

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

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

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

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3292
  • Location: Texas
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10559 on: September 19, 2015, 08:58:42 PM »
So, I have a co-worker who has 56 years of service. You read that correctly. Not 5-6 years. 56 years. In the same job. He retired sometime in the '90s and came back to work like 3 months later. He's getting a pension with medical, he's getting social security, his wife is getting social security. His job isn't particularly critical  or high end, and he's not really passionate about it.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Astatine

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3694
  • Location: Australia
  • Pronouns: they/them
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10560 on: September 19, 2015, 10:27:06 PM »
I've got one.

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

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

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

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

zephyr911

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3628
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Northern Alabama
  • I'm just happy to be here. \m/ ^_^ \m/
    • Pinhook Development LLC
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10561 on: September 20, 2015, 09:18:15 PM »
Overheard on the way to work. Not antimustachian, but funny so what the hell. So two ladies on the street were walking kinda slowly so I only heard part of the conversation. One said to the other: "When I say the dicks were out. The. Dicks. Were. Out!" Someone had an orgy that weekend (it was on a Monday)!
Walking slowly, as in, limping? Sorry, couldn't resist.

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

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

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

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8289
  • Registered member
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10562 on: September 20, 2015, 09:52:42 PM »
This thread has turned into a real downer. I come here to mock your ridiculous coworkers. Post more of that for my entertainment!

Sorry! I'm done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making Cookies

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10563 on: September 21, 2015, 08:24:57 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

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

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

zephyr911

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3628
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Northern Alabama
  • I'm just happy to be here. \m/ ^_^ \m/
    • Pinhook Development LLC
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10564 on: September 21, 2015, 08:27:54 AM »
This comment inspires me to go take a dump, because it was shitty. Thanks!

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

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

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4098
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10565 on: September 21, 2015, 08:57:08 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

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

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

I read on my phone a lot. I just log out of the Facebook app so it won't interrupt my reading by telling me it is the birthday of someone whom I taught in seventh grade six years ago.

seanc0x0

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10566 on: September 21, 2015, 01:40:21 PM »
As someone who missed this digital book technology era while in school, I'm jealous of kids who won't have to carry around a backpack/arm-full of books.  I saw this coming about 10 years ago shortly after I finished college, and think it's awesome.  It COULD be one of the better uses of new technology (I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it).  But I pictured it happening with cheap e-readers like a Kindle, not the most expensive tablet possible.
And it means that schools have to re-buy (sorry licence, they never own) the books each year - how else can the publishers make $10/year/student on copies of Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath ?

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

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

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

infogoon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10567 on: September 21, 2015, 02:10:30 PM »
I did have to pay $200 (!!!) for a new French textbook with a special code that gives me access to a website that we're required to use for the class. You can't buy just a code, so they get the full price and shut down the used market. The marginally cheaper version on Amazon also doesn't include a code.  It's a huge scam, but if you want to take the class, you gotta pay.

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

lemanfan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10568 on: September 21, 2015, 02:21:58 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3642
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10569 on: September 21, 2015, 02:48:49 PM »
It's usually not a quid pro quo situation, but publishers pay the writer 20% for textbooks (it's usually 10% for non-textbook books), this is coming from a friend of mine that used to be the head of the math department of a major public university. He mentioned going to a conference held by a major textbook publisher that was absolutely loaded with top shelf alcohol and food. He swears he never took a kickback, but well, there are opportunities for writers to get comped or other things.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10570 on: September 21, 2015, 03:13:21 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

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

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

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10571 on: September 21, 2015, 08:51:52 PM »
How big is the kickback to the person selecting these books for the courses?

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

lemanfan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10572 on: September 21, 2015, 11:20:07 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?

MoonShadow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2542
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10573 on: September 22, 2015, 12:34:05 AM »
I work in IT and view 95% of technology as a pointless waste that doesn't actually improve our lives, so am always excited to see a good use of it). 

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

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

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

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10574 on: September 22, 2015, 02:22:23 AM »

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

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

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

LennStar

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1189
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10575 on: September 22, 2015, 07:30:32 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

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

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10576 on: September 22, 2015, 07:34:46 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


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

meg_shannon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 168
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10577 on: September 22, 2015, 08:39:51 AM »
I did have to pay $200 (!!!) for a new French textbook with a special code that gives me access to a website that we're required to use for the class. You can't buy just a code, so they get the full price and shut down the used market. The marginally cheaper version on Amazon also doesn't include a code.  It's a huge scam, but if you want to take the class, you gotta pay.

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

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

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10578 on: September 22, 2015, 09:56:37 AM »
Then why the expensive selections?

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

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

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

minnie76

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10579 on: September 22, 2015, 10:06:56 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

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

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

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5995
  • Age: 2014
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10580 on: September 22, 2015, 10:19:14 AM »
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


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

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10581 on: September 22, 2015, 10:31:01 AM »
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


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

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

zephyr911

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3628
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Northern Alabama
  • I'm just happy to be here. \m/ ^_^ \m/
    • Pinhook Development LLC
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10582 on: September 22, 2015, 10:32:58 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

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

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

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3642
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10583 on: September 22, 2015, 10:42:06 AM »
Today a new co-worker informed me that he left his old employer right after completing his law degree (not required for this position).  His company paid all of his tuition with the stipulation that he stay for 2 years after his degree.

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

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

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

Pylon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10584 on: September 22, 2015, 10:42:50 AM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

solon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
  • Age: 1818
  • Location: CO
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10585 on: September 22, 2015, 10:45:55 AM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

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

minnie76

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10586 on: September 22, 2015, 10:48:20 AM »
Quote
He owes his former employer $130k!!! because none of the jobs there were very interesting to him.


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

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

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

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12737
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10587 on: September 22, 2015, 11:34:35 AM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

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

LennStar

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1189
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10588 on: September 22, 2015, 12:06:40 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.

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

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

RidinTheAsama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10589 on: September 22, 2015, 12:14:25 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


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

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

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8289
  • Registered member
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10590 on: September 22, 2015, 12:15:07 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?

Laziness. 

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4711
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10591 on: September 22, 2015, 12:22:42 PM »
Then why the expensive selections?
Planet money is on point as always.

FatCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10592 on: September 22, 2015, 12:32:38 PM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

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

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3642
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10593 on: September 22, 2015, 12:49:20 PM »
Also, every University Lecturer I had that had published a text book made it a required text for their class. We all knew it was so they would get royalties!
Actually I think they just wanted to use the best work available. The royalties are about how much? Half a day teaching? Or it is a very big class.


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

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

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

Joggernot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Gulf Coast, TX
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10594 on: September 22, 2015, 02:42:48 PM »
I'm much older and we had a prof who used his own DRAFT text book.  We had to pay for his "mimeographed" copies at full price ($40 when $20 bought a weeks groceries).  After being in the program another year, we all figured out that his text wasn't very good, but it made him money.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4711
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10595 on: September 22, 2015, 03:04:02 PM »
That's so contrary to my experience. I had several professors who wrote books so that they could give them to their students for free, and nobody that assigned their own book to profit off it.

FatCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10596 on: September 22, 2015, 03:55:11 PM »
That's so contrary to my experience. I had several professors who wrote books so that they could give them to their students for free, and nobody that assigned their own book to profit off it.

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

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

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10597 on: September 22, 2015, 05:31:14 PM »
I'm much older and we had a prof who used his own DRAFT text book.  We had to pay for his "mimeographed" copies at full price ($40 when $20 bought a weeks groceries).  After being in the program another year, we all figured out that his text wasn't very good, but it made him money.

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

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

Megma

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 691
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10598 on: September 22, 2015, 06:30:40 PM »
I work in an office setting and we were visited by a 77-year-old doctor today. He sat and chatted with the 63-year-old woman who is fairly bitter about her lot in life but does nothing to change it. I overhear him tell her that since she works in a nice, quiet atmosphere, that she shouldn't be in any hurry to retire. He loved what he did and only retired three months ago so, of course, she should do the same. Because what are you going to do when you retire, sit on the couch and watch tv?

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

notquitefrugal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #10599 on: September 22, 2015, 07:26:09 PM »
College instructors get no "kickback" for selecting their course books, unless it's a book they personally wrote.

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

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