Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 6872442 times)

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19650 on: January 17, 2018, 06:52:47 PM »
Also, I had a coworker openly admit that he spends $800/month on weed. (And by the way lives paycheck to paycheck)

Shocking. Have you suggested growing it at home? But maybe your colleague used so much that growing at home doesn't cover his/her consumption.

 Coworker clearly needs to start buying bulk, much cheaper.
Until you need to pay the lawyers!

Buy the lawyers in bulk for more savings

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kelvin

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19651 on: January 19, 2018, 07:48:38 AM »
Coworker asked me why I hadn't bought a house yet. It's my first year making middle class wages, with student debt, and he knows it.

He was shocked when he heard what the price of a 1bdrm apartment goes for. He's been smart with his real estate, managed a good flip, and now thinks everyone has a mortgage of $400/month. (In my city, the average monthly mortgage payment is ~$2k/month, give or take.).

And then he was asking why young people don't have kids these days. I swear I don't even know how to talk to these pod people.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19652 on: January 19, 2018, 07:58:08 AM »
Acquaintance with a decent young lady, married to a rough drug addict. After the divorce, I over heard my wife suggest she can now find herself a nice guy, she shot back, No, I like the bad boys. hmm, not so good for her 4 year old son.
She is not a bird brain - birds are smarter.
She hasn't learned, has she?  Good guys are not boring (Nice GuysTM are to be avoided), I feel very sorry for her son.
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BiCu

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19653 on: January 19, 2018, 08:07:48 AM »
This technically belongs on the Overheard on the Way to Work thread…

When I was 18 I overheard a woman on the bus bragging that Target had messed up and approved her credit card application (with a credit limit of something like $200 if memory serves). The person she was speaking with suggested that she use the opportunity to charge something small each month (that she was going to buy anyway) and then pay it off to build up her credit. She replied that she was going to use her good fortune to get a purse and some other stuff she wanted and then not pay it back. (Scream emoji)

That was the first time I realized it was possible to refuse to pay a debt.

marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19654 on: January 19, 2018, 08:36:13 AM »
Coworker asked me why I hadn't bought a house yet. It's my first year making middle class wages, with student debt, and he knows it.

He was shocked when he heard what the price of a 1bdrm apartment goes for. He's been smart with his real estate, managed a good flip, and now thinks everyone has a mortgage of $400/month. (In my city, the average monthly mortgage payment is ~$2k/month, give or take.).

And then he was asking why young people don't have kids these days. I swear I don't even know how to talk to these pod people.

That was my in-laws when we bought our house. They keep comparing it to the house they bought back in '83 for the low price $180k. Nevermind that in 2017 dollars that would have been around $440k.

iowajes

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19655 on: January 19, 2018, 08:59:24 AM »
Coworker asked me why I hadn't bought a house yet. It's my first year making middle class wages, with student debt, and he knows it.

He was shocked when he heard what the price of a 1bdrm apartment goes for. He's been smart with his real estate, managed a good flip, and now thinks everyone has a mortgage of $400/month. (In my city, the average monthly mortgage payment is ~$2k/month, give or take.).

And then he was asking why young people don't have kids these days. I swear I don't even know how to talk to these pod people.

That was my in-laws when we bought our house. They keep comparing it to the house they bought back in '83 for the low price $180k. Nevermind that in 2017 dollars that would have been around $440k.

Ask them what their interest rate was...

RidetheRain

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19656 on: January 19, 2018, 09:24:37 AM »
This technically belongs on the Overheard on the Way to Work thread…

When I was 18 I overheard a woman on the bus bragging that Target had messed up and approved her credit card application (with a credit limit of something like $200 if memory serves). The person she was speaking with suggested that she use the opportunity to charge something small each month (that she was going to buy anyway) and then pay it off to build up her credit. She replied that she was going to use her good fortune to get a purse and some other stuff she wanted and then not pay it back. (Scream emoji)

That was the first time I realized it was possible to refuse to pay a debt.

I mean, it's certainly possible to just refuse to pay a debt. But it's also possible to just walk out of a store without paying. I really don't get why people that charge up cards and then refuse to pay think they are doing something different than shoplifting.
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marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19657 on: January 19, 2018, 09:25:09 AM »
Coworker asked me why I hadn't bought a house yet. It's my first year making middle class wages, with student debt, and he knows it.

He was shocked when he heard what the price of a 1bdrm apartment goes for. He's been smart with his real estate, managed a good flip, and now thinks everyone has a mortgage of $400/month. (In my city, the average monthly mortgage payment is ~$2k/month, give or take.).

And then he was asking why young people don't have kids these days. I swear I don't even know how to talk to these pod people.

That was my in-laws when we bought our house. They keep comparing it to the house they bought back in '83 for the low price $180k. Nevermind that in 2017 dollars that would have been around $440k.

Ask them what their interest rate was...
It was high, but they paid their house off in 3 years so it didn't affect them too much.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19658 on: January 19, 2018, 10:23:21 AM »
Coworker asked me why I hadn't bought a house yet. It's my first year making middle class wages, with student debt, and he knows it.

He was shocked when he heard what the price of a 1bdrm apartment goes for. He's been smart with his real estate, managed a good flip, and now thinks everyone has a mortgage of $400/month. (In my city, the average monthly mortgage payment is ~$2k/month, give or take.).

And then he was asking why young people don't have kids these days. I swear I don't even know how to talk to these pod people.

That was my in-laws when we bought our house. They keep comparing it to the house they bought back in '83 for the low price $180k. Nevermind that in 2017 dollars that would have been around $440k.

Ask them what their interest rate was...
It was high, but they paid their house off in 3 years so it didn't affect them too much.
Ask them their average pay increase over those 4 years...For most people it tracked the interest rate. Which is how it wasn't unheard of to pay it off in three years. I had coworkers who received 10-15% increases, because they received inflation +1%. Meanwhile the house payment stayed constant...Imagine 7 years later your salary has doubled but your payments stayed constant.

Look at COLA provided by SS to see it for yourself. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/colaseries.html  Wage increases (in general) track COLA. If you get less than COLA, you actually come out behind on inflation.

coldestcat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19659 on: January 19, 2018, 03:01:31 PM »
Started full time job in May and soon after found this site. After learning about retirement accounts/HSAs and things like that I start looking for more information from other people. I ask the guy who advised me to get an HSA about retirement stuff and he said he doesnt make enough to put any into retirement. When I started talking about paying myself from the HSA years later he got scared that I would lose receipts.

My supervisor recently got her MBA so I figured she would be good with money. She too said she didnt make enough to worry about retirement, and maybe she would look into it in a few years.
The administrative assistant behind me was talking to me about the HSA and said she always spends what she puts into it (like a lump at the beginning of the year), and so I should start out small and figure out how much I spend each year. I didnt bother getting into adding to it until I have enough to invest the over $2000. Tried to get my friend who got a job the same month as me and was a temp in my office when I was into some of this stuff but he doesnt really get it. He is super focused on getting a house but wont be able to afford a house downtown where he currently lives for soo long.
 

2lhasas

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19660 on: January 20, 2018, 04:54:22 PM »
I turn 50 in February and announced my retirement on January 3 - working through March 30 to allow them to hire my replacement.  Upon hearing about it, a colleague of the same age, exclaimed that she was buying a new expensive house and I was retiring.  Another colleague looked at her and said, well, that was your choice.  Exactly!

TomTX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19661 on: January 20, 2018, 05:29:36 PM »
Started full time job in May and soon after found this site. After learning about retirement accounts/HSAs and things like that I start looking for more information from other people. I ask the guy who advised me to get an HSA about retirement stuff and he said he doesnt make enough to put any into retirement. When I started talking about paying myself from the HSA years later he got scared that I would lose receipts.

My supervisor recently got her MBA so I figured she would be good with money. She too said she didnt make enough to worry about retirement, and maybe she would look into it in a few years.
The administrative assistant behind me was talking to me about the HSA and said she always spends what she puts into it (like a lump at the beginning of the year), and so I should start out small and figure out how much I spend each year. I didnt bother getting into adding to it until I have enough to invest the over $2000. Tried to get my friend who got a job the same month as me and was a temp in my office when I was into some of this stuff but he doesnt really get it. He is super focused on getting a house but wont be able to afford a house downtown where he currently lives for soo long.

If possible, you should max out the HSA (after putting enough in the 401k to get any employer match)
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Freedomin5

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19662 on: January 20, 2018, 05:50:43 PM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests. 

marty998

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19663 on: January 20, 2018, 07:44:21 PM »
Acquaintance with a decent young lady, married to a rough drug addict. After the divorce, I over heard my wife suggest she can now find herself a nice guy, she shot back, No, I like the bad boys. hmm, not so good for her 4 year old son.

And todays award for the stupidest person in the world goes to...

Honestly what the fuck, that young lady and child have a lifetime of hurt in front of them. What is there possibly to like about men like that??

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19664 on: January 21, 2018, 04:48:20 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

Tom Bri

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19665 on: January 21, 2018, 05:36:41 AM »
To interject an uplifting note: This week I overheard a younger (25ish) colleague talking about her Roth, and her Vanguard fund. She was advising an older co-worker on how to get started.

I cheered. Most of my coworkers could easily fit the 'shame-and-comedy' description. New Jeeps, hour-long commutes, what-have-you.

Freedomin5

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19666 on: January 21, 2018, 05:43:05 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19667 on: January 21, 2018, 10:23:44 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

It's probably some communistic re-distribution scheme, forcing you to employ as many poor and lazy Chinese as possible.

ixtap

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19668 on: January 21, 2018, 01:10:54 PM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

It's probably some communistic re-distribution scheme, forcing you to employ as many poor and lazy Chinese as possible.

???

How is it lazier to work for someone else, and still have to go home and take care of yourself, than to hire someone else to take care of your household?

craiglepaige

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19669 on: January 21, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

It's probably some communistic re-distribution scheme, forcing you to employ as many poor and lazy Chinese as possible.

???

How is it lazier to work for someone else, and still have to go home and take care of yourself, than to hire someone else to take care of your household?



Ahhh wtf is that all about???
I took another glance looking for the "/s" but that is definitely not there.
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craiglepaige

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19670 on: January 21, 2018, 06:57:48 PM »
On Friday we had a 401k meeting where the owner of the company explained he decided to change the provider's representative with the same company he personally uses. This was rather interesting and perked up my interest.

He then proceeds to welcome the new rep and the guy opens up with a short speech about the way he thinks the previous group didn't do as good a job considering how great the market has been and how he thinks his group can do much better for us.

The owner then said the rep would be meeting with anyone who wanted to on a "one on one" setting to look over their 401k investments and offer any advice at a future date. He then opened the room for questions.

Out of the 35 employees, only myself and another had any questions. I, of course, asked if the service was free(it is) and what did he see in the account from the previous reps to make him believe he could do better. He responded to have had access to the whole account from when he was hired to represent it, and saw a lot of employees not invested in the market nor leveraging their risk/age factor to what he thought was more beneficial to the employees. (Nice, I like this guy.)

Well, after no more questions (I didn't want to get into personal matters) the owner said to let the rep know if anyone wanted to meet up in the future before leaving the room. Out of the 35 employees only myself and 3 others stayed to set up a meeting with the rep. I'm glad to say the other 3 are my closest friends in the shop (one being my best friend who I introduced to MMM over 2 years ago and has done a 180 in his financial life) and we are our own support group.

During lunch my best friend and I were talking about the future meeting and how beneficial it could potentially be and  three other employees expressed how it was, "All a way for the rich to get your money.". We switched conversations then and there.

Around 3pm on Friday we were handed our paystubs along with a letter from the financial rep saying how excited he is to be able to help us and giving us his contact information, including his personal cell phone number. I saw 11-12 people scan the letters, ball them up and throw them in the garbage cans.

Sad.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19671 on: January 22, 2018, 12:25:20 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

I used to have an Indian colleague who was a programmer and he was leading a group of programmers when living in India. He also had a wife and a child. At home in India he hired a girl to wipe the floor every day. And he had another girl for cooking dinner.  He honestly thought he was doing both girls a favor by providing them an income.

We others (Norwegian and Swedish people) were quite baffled to hear that someone at "our level" could afford 2 servants.

UKMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19672 on: January 22, 2018, 02:49:32 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

I used to have an Indian colleague who was a programmer and he was leading a group of programmers when living in India. He also had a wife and a child. At home in India he hired a girl to wipe the floor every day. And he had another girl for cooking dinner.  He honestly thought he was doing both girls a favor by providing them an income.

We others (Norwegian and Swedish people) were quite baffled to hear that someone at "our level" could afford 2 servants.

I've read before that (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) in India the wealthy are expected to hire people for these tasks as a way to distribute their wealth back into wider society.  It would be considered selfish and greedy NOT to hire help in the form of those less fortunate, as you're keeping your money and not helping others by providing a steady wage when you have the means.

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19673 on: January 22, 2018, 06:49:26 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

I used to have an Indian colleague who was a programmer and he was leading a group of programmers when living in India. He also had a wife and a child. At home in India he hired a girl to wipe the floor every day. And he had another girl for cooking dinner.  He honestly thought he was doing both girls a favor by providing them an income.

We others (Norwegian and Swedish people) were quite baffled to hear that someone at "our level" could afford 2 servants.

I've read before that (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) in India the wealthy are expected to hire people for these tasks as a way to distribute their wealth back into wider society.  It would be considered selfish and greedy NOT to hire help in the form of those less fortunate, as you're keeping your money and not helping others by providing a steady wage when you have the means.
I grew up in an East African country. We had a house servant (ayah if female, don't remember the male version name, maybe just servant) and a driver. Here's why:

My grandparents, born in the 1920s, were the first generation I believe, to have a house servant. This enabled my grandmother to have a job, she is proud to say she was one of the first women in her coastal city to drive a 3-speed manual pickup truck. The servant came only half-day, cleaned up the 2 bed flat, did the laundry. Servant labor was very cheap for gramps who was a shipping clerk. I think the practice of servants came from the British colonialists.

At first, my parents had only a servant. He/she would walk me and sibling to school, starting at age 3, and collect us after school. Servant/ayah's job was to sweep/mop floors, laundry, prep the food, other odd jobs. My mum was a librarian, and dad commuted to his manager job in a factory 45-60 minutes away. This was the 80s. Then dad started his own business with a cousin, worked longer hours, and traffic in the city started getting worse. My mum had a horrible accident (she was ok) and got the fear of driving. Grandparents moved in with us (old age). Dad hired a driver who would drive him to work while he worked, why sit idle in traffic. Then driver would come home, take mum to work. Then just chill for a few hours, pick up mum in the early afternoon, drop her off, go fetch dad. So driver worked 7:30am-4:30pm. Again, cost of hiring a driver was cheap.

In that country, house servants and drivers are official labor categories, with minimum wages. The more you pay, the better the labor you get. Some folks provide servants and drivers with cellphones (PAYG plans are the norm), national health insurance and social security, and education benefits for their children. This is what my dad and his extended family used to do, uplift the working class. My dad would pay for the post-secondary education of the children of the servants, drivers, and employees.

First-worlders are amazed that there are servant categories in the 3rd world. Expats got a culture shock. But what you didn't have was machinery in the home like a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, coffee maker. Homes had small refrigerators, which necessitated purchasing milk, eggs, bread, produce in small quantities every couple of days. Hawkers came to your home to sell produce so it was always fresh and in season. Also, openly recruiting your friend's servant was normal. Or asking them if they had a sibling who would like to work.

My high school friends in the old country still have a servant and some have a driver. It enables a two-income household. That city has become very expensive to live in. It is a fact that it is cheaper to live in Florida than to live in the largest city in E. Africa.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 06:55:10 AM by jinga nation »
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19674 on: January 22, 2018, 09:34:20 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

THREE ayis? What did these women do all day? Are they just a status symbol for wealthy people?

One ayi for each child, and one ayi for the cooking and cleaning. I also forgot to mention the driver.

I used to have an Indian colleague who was a programmer and he was leading a group of programmers when living in India. He also had a wife and a child. At home in India he hired a girl to wipe the floor every day. And he had another girl for cooking dinner.  He honestly thought he was doing both girls a favor by providing them an income.

We others (Norwegian and Swedish people) were quite baffled to hear that someone at "our level" could afford 2 servants.

I've read before that (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) in India the wealthy are expected to hire people for these tasks as a way to distribute their wealth back into wider society.  It would be considered selfish and greedy NOT to hire help in the form of those less fortunate, as you're keeping your money and not helping others by providing a steady wage when you have the means.
I grew up in an East African country. We had a house servant (ayah if female, don't remember the male version name, maybe just servant) and a driver. Here's why:

My grandparents, born in the 1920s, were the first generation I believe, to have a house servant. This enabled my grandmother to have a job, she is proud to say she was one of the first women in her coastal city to drive a 3-speed manual pickup truck. The servant came only half-day, cleaned up the 2 bed flat, did the laundry. Servant labor was very cheap for gramps who was a shipping clerk. I think the practice of servants came from the British colonialists.

At first, my parents had only a servant. He/she would walk me and sibling to school, starting at age 3, and collect us after school. Servant/ayah's job was to sweep/mop floors, laundry, prep the food, other odd jobs. My mum was a librarian, and dad commuted to his manager job in a factory 45-60 minutes away. This was the 80s. Then dad started his own business with a cousin, worked longer hours, and traffic in the city started getting worse. My mum had a horrible accident (she was ok) and got the fear of driving. Grandparents moved in with us (old age). Dad hired a driver who would drive him to work while he worked, why sit idle in traffic. Then driver would come home, take mum to work. Then just chill for a few hours, pick up mum in the early afternoon, drop her off, go fetch dad. So driver worked 7:30am-4:30pm. Again, cost of hiring a driver was cheap.

In that country, house servants and drivers are official labor categories, with minimum wages. The more you pay, the better the labor you get. Some folks provide servants and drivers with cellphones (PAYG plans are the norm), national health insurance and social security, and education benefits for their children. This is what my dad and his extended family used to do, uplift the working class. My dad would pay for the post-secondary education of the children of the servants, drivers, and employees.

First-worlders are amazed that there are servant categories in the 3rd world. Expats got a culture shock. But what you didn't have was machinery in the home like a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, coffee maker. Homes had small refrigerators, which necessitated purchasing milk, eggs, bread, produce in small quantities every couple of days. Hawkers came to your home to sell produce so it was always fresh and in season. Also, openly recruiting your friend's servant was normal. Or asking them if they had a sibling who would like to work.

My high school friends in the old country still have a servant and some have a driver. It enables a two-income household. That city has become very expensive to live in. It is a fact that it is cheaper to live in Florida than to live in the largest city in E. Africa.

I think the servant concept can be a great idea, and in a way it's too bad we don't have it in America any longer. You would hope, of course, that servants eventually moved on to start their own families or had families under their master's roof.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19675 on: January 22, 2018, 11:42:09 AM »
I think the servant concept can be a great idea, and in a way it's too bad we don't have it in America any longer. You would hope, of course, that servants eventually moved on to start their own families or had families under their master's roof.

It would be a great way to provide stability and employment to people who, for whatever reason, don't fit into the current information-age or high-skilled business market.

On a purely practical level, a lot would have to change economically and legally for such a thing to be possible. Right now, the overhead associated with having an employee is impressive. There's taxes and the paperwork related to them, of course, but the big sticking point would most likely be health care.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19676 on: January 22, 2018, 12:19:11 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19677 on: January 22, 2018, 12:33:02 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes. 
It's a lateral freeze down during the melt up.  Soon to be followed by the transverse falling bounce and the transient index inversion short, both of which are also strong sell signals in this buyer's market.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19678 on: January 22, 2018, 12:41:04 PM »
Why are people so DENSE?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19679 on: January 22, 2018, 12:56:21 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

It takes money to buy alcohol. And it can take a very long time to drink yourself to death. This guy might be in for a real shock.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19680 on: January 22, 2018, 01:15:36 PM »
Tell him to watch the movie 'Leaving Las Vegas'.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19681 on: January 22, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes.

My best guess is that he was getting paid significantly more than he felt like spending. Then once the job ended, he looked at his bank account and thought "oh, cool, I can live for a few months on this! Not working sounds nice." Then just ...did it.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19682 on: January 22, 2018, 01:57:02 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes.

My best guess is that he was getting paid significantly more than he felt like spending. Then once the job ended, he looked at his bank account and thought "oh, cool, I can live for a few months on this! Not working sounds nice." Then just ...did it.
and/or he was saving up for a down payment on a house, or some ridiculous sports car...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19683 on: January 22, 2018, 03:06:29 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes.

My best guess is that he was getting paid significantly more than he felt like spending. Then once the job ended, he looked at his bank account and thought "oh, cool, I can live for a few months on this! Not working sounds nice." Then just ...did it.
and/or he was saving up for a down payment on a house, or some ridiculous sports car...

What is this “saving” you speak of?  Do you mean financing?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19684 on: January 22, 2018, 03:23:21 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes.

My best guess is that he was getting paid significantly more than he felt like spending. Then once the job ended, he looked at his bank account and thought "oh, cool, I can live for a few months on this! Not working sounds nice." Then just ...did it.
and/or he was saving up for a down payment on a house, or some ridiculous sports car...

What is this “saving” you speak of?  Do you mean financing?
I see you don't speak Spendypants lingo. "Saving" means saving, natch, to pay for the down payment and first month's payment, etc. Every month, you "save" to pay for that month's payment. You gotta save so you can spend. Psssh, whaddaya Pistachio Mustachios know about living life to the fullest?
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19685 on: January 22, 2018, 04:20:38 PM »
Started a new job recently. There's another coworker working the same position who got hired 3 weeks ahead of me so I asked him about benefits. I'm 27, he's 29.

Me: Any idea when we start getting access to 401k contributions?
CW: Not sure. You can't pull that stuff out until you're like 59 though, right? That's so old, so like, what's the point? Man, if I'm still alive by then I'm just gonna start drinking, yknow?
Me: <*SCREAMING INTERNALLY*> Haha, yeah, good point I guess.

It also sounds like he had a higher-paying job, the work ended, and he just coasted on his savings for ~7 months until he almost ran out, at which point he got this job. I have SO many questions...

Wow....at least he had 7 months of savings? What a weird combo- has savings yet doesn't want to save? Maybe he just sticks it all in a bank account and spends as he goes.

My best guess is that he was getting paid significantly more than he felt like spending. Then once the job ended, he looked at his bank account and thought "oh, cool, I can live for a few months on this! Not working sounds nice." Then just ...did it.
and/or he was saving up for a down payment on a house, or some ridiculous sports car...

What is this “saving” you speak of?  Do you mean financing?
I see you don't speak Spendypants lingo. "Saving" means saving, natch, to pay for the down payment and first month's payment, etc. Every month, you "save" to pay for that month's payment. You gotta save so you can spend. Psssh, whaddaya Pistachio Mustachios know about living life to the fullest?


Ohh, so like when I buy something 15% off I can get a house out of that?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19686 on: January 23, 2018, 01:49:02 AM »
This is an employment WTF rather than a money WTF...

A friend works for a high-end car dealership.

The boss went overseas in October and one employee took it upon herself to work from home.

The rest of the team knew this was suss but didn't feel they had the authority to intervene.

Then she stopped sending in her work, wouldn't answer calls from her team and basically went AWOL for three months. With her keys to the dealership.

The rest of the team has been living in fear of someone going Gone in 60 Seconds on them.

Then today AWOL girl called the boss and asked to come back.

Boss asked why she'd been away. She said, "I didn't really have a reason; I just didn't want to come in."

Boss politely told her she's not coming back, but the keys better be or he'd contact the police.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:52:27 AM by mustachepungoeshere »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19687 on: January 23, 2018, 02:19:09 AM »
A bit of background: I live in China where it is common for expats and wealthier local chinese to hire household help (called an ayi) to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes childcare.

One of my colleagues was lamenting about the going rates for household help, which is about 6000-8000 RMB (~$1000-$1250 USD) per month, depending on the duties. What made it a bit ridiculous was not the fact that she had an ayi, but the fact that she used to have THREE ayis and had to gradually let two of them go over time. Can you imagine? USD $36K annually for household help?

I mean, I can maybe understand if they have ten kids and both sets of grandparents living with them, but they are a family of four, living in a four bedroom house. She was also worried because her house wasn’t big enough to house her family, the ayi, and guests.

I have lived in China for 5 years.
Ayi are quite common especially if family has infants / young kids.

Income of families (if both husband and wife are working in MNCs) can easily touch USD 120-150k (on purchasing power it will be even higher).

Considering long commute time (saying within city is outrageously expensive), having an ayi actually allows parents to focus bit more on career without worrying whether kids have eaten while both parents are in office.
Also saves money of eating out as one can enjoy home cooked meal without too much hassle. A meal out in a decent restaurant can cost upwards of $20 per person.

Having said that, 3 ayi is a bit too much.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19688 on: January 23, 2018, 10:04:49 AM »
This is an employment WTF rather than a money WTF...

A friend works for a high-end car dealership.

The boss went overseas in October and one employee took it upon herself to work from home.

The rest of the team knew this was suss but didn't feel they had the authority to intervene.

Then she stopped sending in her work, wouldn't answer calls from her team and basically went AWOL for three months. With her keys to the dealership.

The rest of the team has been living in fear of someone going Gone in 60 Seconds on them.

Then today AWOL girl called the boss and asked to come back.

Boss asked why she'd been away. She said, "I didn't really have a reason; I just didn't want to come in."

Boss politely told her she's not coming back, but the keys better be or he'd contact the police.

This is wider spread than you would think. And sometimes people get away with it!

At my office, the boss lives in a different city (contractor thing, I dunno) and they leave on Thursday afternoons and work from home on Friday to return the following Monday. A hellish schedule, but it's not my life so whatever. I noticed something funny on Fridays. People started leaving the office at 2pm. Then at lunch. Then after the 10am meeting. Without fail everyone shows up to the 10am and is gone for the rest of the day. It got to be quite ridiculous, but I don't think the boss noticed. Then one day the boss didn't leave on Thursday for whatever reason and everyone was in the office until 5pm that Friday.

I didn't nark and no one ever got caught. Work still got done at least.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19689 on: January 23, 2018, 10:35:52 AM »
I imagine the boss calling and getting no answer...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19690 on: January 23, 2018, 11:00:41 AM »
This is an employment WTF rather than a money WTF...

A friend works for a high-end car dealership.

The boss went overseas in October and one employee took it upon herself to work from home.

The rest of the team knew this was suss but didn't feel they had the authority to intervene.

Then she stopped sending in her work, wouldn't answer calls from her team and basically went AWOL for three months. With her keys to the dealership.

The rest of the team has been living in fear of someone going Gone in 60 Seconds on them.

Then today AWOL girl called the boss and asked to come back.

Boss asked why she'd been away. She said, "I didn't really have a reason; I just didn't want to come in."

Boss politely told her she's not coming back, but the keys better be or he'd contact the police.

This is wider spread than you would think. And sometimes people get away with it!

At my office, the boss lives in a different city (contractor thing, I dunno) and they leave on Thursday afternoons and work from home on Friday to return the following Monday. A hellish schedule, but it's not my life so whatever. I noticed something funny on Fridays. People started leaving the office at 2pm. Then at lunch. Then after the 10am meeting. Without fail everyone shows up to the 10am and is gone for the rest of the day. It got to be quite ridiculous, but I don't think the boss noticed. Then one day the boss didn't leave on Thursday for whatever reason and everyone was in the office until 5pm that Friday.

I didn't nark and no one ever got caught. Work still got done at least.

When I worked in a lab something similar happened. As soon as my boss was away for a conference NOBODY (but me) showed up before 10 and some didn't even bother coming in until noon. People also left earlier, but especially the time they came in was strikingly different.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19691 on: January 23, 2018, 11:59:21 AM »
This is an employment WTF rather than a money WTF...

A friend works for a high-end car dealership.

The boss went overseas in October and one employee took it upon herself to work from home.

The rest of the team knew this was suss but didn't feel they had the authority to intervene.

Then she stopped sending in her work, wouldn't answer calls from her team and basically went AWOL for three months. With her keys to the dealership.

The rest of the team has been living in fear of someone going Gone in 60 Seconds on them.

Then today AWOL girl called the boss and asked to come back.

Boss asked why she'd been away. She said, "I didn't really have a reason; I just didn't want to come in."

Boss politely told her she's not coming back, but the keys better be or he'd contact the police.

She ghosted her job. Interesting. Maybe she has FU money?

We had an employee (academic) who basically didn't show up for 3 months. Basically she'd taken another job and didn't bother quitting, because 2 paychecks are better than one. She had some FMLA filing as well and it was a big mess. But yeah, sometimes they employees can be so overprotected you don't even have to come to work or tell people you're not coming.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19692 on: January 23, 2018, 02:41:38 PM »
Not overheard, but a frustrating work story:

I have this project that I can't image takes more than 2 hours of actual work, but by a group that is very busy.  The monthly savings to complete this is $2,000 per month.   I have had way more than 2 hours of calls, meetings, etc on why the 2 hours can't be done because there are more important projects in the way.

Imagine all the money spend wasting on managing projects rather than actually doing projects!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 04:02:28 PM by JoJo »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19693 on: January 23, 2018, 06:09:40 PM »
I think the servant concept can be a great idea, and in a way it's too bad we don't have it in America any longer. You would hope, of course, that servants eventually moved on to start their own families or had families under their master's roof.

It would be a great way to provide stability and employment to people who, for whatever reason, don't fit into the current information-age or high-skilled business market.

On a purely practical level, a lot would have to change economically and legally for such a thing to be possible. Right now, the overhead associated with having an employee is impressive. There's taxes and the paperwork related to them, of course, but the big sticking point would most likely be health care.
You still have this these days, but only for the truly wealthy.  Still there are threads of it.

Nannies (live-in)
Nannies (not live in)
Au pairs
Cleaning services
Gardeners

It might not be typical for an average family to have all these.  But our town has some really wealthy people nearby (hello Oprah!) and it's much more common for that.  I once saw an ad in Craigslist looking for a married couple - husband to take care of the gardens and manage the grounds and wife to be a private chef.  Pay was approx $100k but included free rent in their own cottage.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19694 on: January 24, 2018, 10:37:11 AM »
I think the servant concept can be a great idea, and in a way it's too bad we don't have it in America any longer. You would hope, of course, that servants eventually moved on to start their own families or had families under their master's roof.

It would be a great way to provide stability and employment to people who, for whatever reason, don't fit into the current information-age or high-skilled business market.

On a purely practical level, a lot would have to change economically and legally for such a thing to be possible. Right now, the overhead associated with having an employee is impressive. There's taxes and the paperwork related to them, of course, but the big sticking point would most likely be health care.
You still have this these days, but only for the truly wealthy.  Still there are threads of it.

Nannies (live-in)
Nannies (not live in)
Au pairs
Cleaning services
Gardeners

It might not be typical for an average family to have all these.  But our town has some really wealthy people nearby (hello Oprah!) and it's much more common for that.  I once saw an ad in Craigslist looking for a married couple - husband to take care of the gardens and manage the grounds and wife to be a private chef.  Pay was approx $100k but included free rent in their own cottage.

I know a family who hired a couple to move into a guest cottage on their main property and take care of the place. They get free rent, use of a new F-150, benefits and they make $75k per year.

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19695 on: January 24, 2018, 12:22:24 PM »

And unthaw meets both of these descriptions. It means thaw and also yet to be thawed. but it never means freeze, which it should. Of course that would be redundant.

It does though, when used in the past tense.  "use unthawed meat" means to use frozen. 
that's the only instance when "unthawed" makes sense to use.  Until you realize you could just say "frozen".
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19696 on: January 25, 2018, 04:24:13 AM »
One of my young (26-ish) colleagues has recently bought an apartment. His GF is not working yet and cannot provide a share in the household cost. So he moved in alone of is now looking for a paying roommate. The apartment has a spare bedroom for the roommate and they will share the other rooms. He is looking forward to it and thinks it is nice to live together with someone. He also counted on a roommate income when buying this apartment.

Two other colleagues at the same table were discussing that they could never imagine renting out a room in their house.

We also talked about groceries. Most of us buy groceries at a cheap store. One of the colleagues said he consequently did his grocery shopping at Expensive store A and Expensive store B. Because he was familiar with these stores. New stores have stuff stored in different places and will take more time to shop in. I mentioned that this was only in the beginning. Then he sceptically looked at me (aged 44) and asked if I also shopped at Cheap store C, like the other guys. I confirmed and that surprised him.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19697 on: January 25, 2018, 12:33:34 PM »

And unthaw meets both of these descriptions. It means thaw and also yet to be thawed. but it never means freeze, which it should. Of course that would be redundant.

It does though, when used in the past tense.  "use unthawed meat" means to use frozen. 
that's the only instance when "unthawed" makes sense to use.  Until you realize you could just say "frozen".

Lol, didn't expect to be seeing this foam again.

I meant that it does not mean "freeze" as in the action verb. Oddly though I now may see a reason to use this word:

If I want to say a thing is frozen but also imply that it will soon be thawed I can use "still frozen" or I could use "unthawed" saving myself 3 letters and one space. Of course the many characters I've now used to discuss this topic will far outweigh my lifetime savings of characters realized by using the word unthawed.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 12:36:09 PM by Dabnasty »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19698 on: January 25, 2018, 12:41:13 PM »

And unthaw meets both of these descriptions. It means thaw and also yet to be thawed. but it never means freeze, which it should. Of course that would be redundant.

It does though, when used in the past tense.  "use unthawed meat" means to use frozen. 
that's the only instance when "unthawed" makes sense to use.  Until you realize you could just say "frozen".

Lol, didn't expect to be seeing this foam again.

I meant that it does not mean "freeze" as in the action verb. Oddly though I now may see a reason to use this word:

If I want to say a thing is frozen but also imply that it will soon be thawed I can use "still frozen" or I could use "unthawed" saving myself 3 letters and one space. Of course the many characters I've now used to discuss this topic will far outweigh my lifetime savings of characters realized by using the word unthawed.

Just write out about 50 recipes using unthawed meat. Problem solved. Also, Google identifies that as a misspelling, even though the definition does exist.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19699 on: January 25, 2018, 01:01:59 PM »
...
We also talked about groceries. Most of us buy groceries at a cheap store. One of the colleagues said he consequently did his grocery shopping at Expensive store A and Expensive store B. Because he was familiar with these stores. New stores have stuff stored in different places and will take more time to shop in. I mentioned that this was only in the beginning. Then he sceptically looked at me (aged 44) and asked if I also shopped at Cheap store C, like the other guys. I confirmed and that surprised him.

I just talked to someone last week who sheepishly admitted about Whole Foods "I know it's expensive but I do all my shopping there because it's so convenient."  I just don't get why your co-worker's "familiar" and my acquaintance's "convenient" (within limits of course) see it as worth paying hundreds of $ per month more for groceries.