Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 9260789 times)

Hirondelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19900 on: April 06, 2018, 08:20:14 AM »
I helped a co-worker filling in forms for health insurance benefits/subsidies (he doesn't speak the language - forms aren't available in English) and after we figured how much he'd get he said "oh wow, now I can maybe buy myself a fancy camera for traveling!"

Overall he's not too bad though. He likes to look online for random stuff, but doesn't buy that much in the end. I bet he won't buy the $600 camera he was talking about.

BTDretire

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19901 on: April 06, 2018, 09:26:27 AM »
Co-worker excitedly announced he was going to KMart after work. I asked what he intended buying and he said 'anything I want!'. Just a spend for entertainment exercise by the sound of it.
Is it sad that I assumed the coworker was going to KMart for a "going out of business" sale?

Would it matter? A set of towels that you don't need at $30 is pretty much the same as a set of towels that you don't need for $10.
Sorry, that was just a snarky comment about the finances of KMart as a company.  They have closed all of their stores in my area.

Oh shit! K-mart still exists?

The last time I was in one of those stores it felt more like a flea market than a big-box store, and that was at least 5 years ago. I thought it was overpriced even though half the crap had a clearance sticker and the other half had no discernable pricetag. Open boxes, unfolded clothes lying around and even some broken products on the shelves. Employees were like meerkats. Sightings were rare and if one popped up and saw you, they were gone again.

How is this place still in business?

The stores definitely varied. Our local store was well kept until the day it closed. Fair prices, decent stuff for a discount store, and a heck of a lot easier to get in and out of than a WalMart. Then our KMart closed.

I visited other stores in surrounding counties and they were dumps. If that was a the morn then no wonder nobody wanted to shop there.
We had a Kmart about a mile from our home. It was not doing well, anytime I heard about a round of store closings, I thought ours would be closing, but it never did. Then a Walmart that was near by closed, as a new Superwalmart opened about a mile farther away. After that, the Kmart business picked up and a conversation with a manager confirmed that their business really picked up.
 About 2 years later, Walmart reopened the original store, this hit the Kmart hard and it finally did close.

SimplyFinanciallyFree

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19902 on: April 06, 2018, 09:40:59 AM »

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't even know what to say about this. Two wedding rings, an engagement ring that hasn't been paid off FIVE years after the wedding and not a single $ in savings. I didn't even know people financed wedding rings...  I think a financed engagement ring would be a very good reason to say NO.

To be fair, my future H and I are considering two rings because we just can't agree over the design. He wants a wooden ring, I love them too, but I want a golden ring that will last a lifetime and I can pass on to my grandchildren ( I know, stupid sentimentality). I already feel guilty about this because having two rings is just insane and decadent. 

We're going to spend about €500 on all rings together, if we do it, and it's the only thing we're going to spend money on apart from the paperwork.

A friend had his ring custom designed and it is made with both wood and gold.  It is beautiful and will certainly last as long as he takes care of it.

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19903 on: April 06, 2018, 01:35:39 PM »
I'm a CPA and do corporate accounting. A few jobs ago I worked at a very small company which was a bit of a mess accounting/finance-wise. So for the 2.5 years I was there I spent a lot of energy trying to clean things up. One of the things that entailed was properly reporting executive fringe benefits for tax purposes, which obviously resulted in more taxes being owed by the people receiving these benefits(I was one of them).

One of the company's presidents(miserable woman) who made well north of 200k per year, drove a Masserati, and was a member of a local country club($1k+ monthly dues) snapped at me one day and told me I was taking food off of her family's table by doing this.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19904 on: April 06, 2018, 02:48:24 PM »
A colleague of m8ne will turn 60 this year. He owns a house and acabin, close to his house. The cabin is in fact a small farm with a long driveway. This year had a lot of snow. Therefore my colleague purchased an old tractor to clear away the snow (and to play with it). He has had it for a few weeks and it has already broken down. He would be picking up new parts this afternoon.

TomTX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19905 on: April 07, 2018, 06:23:22 AM »

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't even know what to say about this. Two wedding rings, an engagement ring that hasn't been paid off FIVE years after the wedding and not a single $ in savings. I didn't even know people financed wedding rings...  I think a financed engagement ring would be a very good reason to say NO.

To be fair, my future H and I are considering two rings because we just can't agree over the design. He wants a wooden ring, I love them too, but I want a golden ring that will last a lifetime and I can pass on to my grandchildren ( I know, stupid sentimentality). I already feel guilty about this because having two rings is just insane and decadent. 

We're going to spend about €500 on all rings together, if we do it, and it's the only thing we're going to spend money on apart from the paperwork.

I am positive that if you keep looking you can find a ring that is both wood and gold.

$30 at Amazon, found in about 15 seconds (admittedly it's gold plated, but the underlying material is tungsten carbide, very tough)

https://www.amazon.com/Tungsten-Carbide-Inlay-Plated-Wedding/dp/B00VMSUJ5U

BTDretire

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19906 on: April 07, 2018, 11:15:49 AM »
All this wedding ring talk... I have 6 wedding bands. Six pack of the silicon bands on an amazon lightning deal for $2.99. They’ve lasted me years.
I'm not one that wears any jewelry, but I wore my wedding band for many years, until I started doing electronic repair. It has been over 20 years since I put t on, my wife was in the safe a few days ago and pulled the ring out.
There was no way I could get it over my knuckle, I guess if want a wedding band, I need to shop Amazon for those silicon bands.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19907 on: April 07, 2018, 05:40:46 PM »
big plus on silicone bands.   super comfortable.   I have small fingers, and webbing between them. Anything not flexible is painful and lost easily.   Did I mention cheeeeep?

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19908 on: April 07, 2018, 05:42:57 PM »
Agreed on the silicon bands.  I have rather skinny fingers which means my knuckles are bigger than my finger.  Flexible is good!

Though I also really like my tungsten carbide ring, which is the opposite of light and flexible.  It's cheap enough though that if something were to happen to it (like fly off my finger randomly) I wouldn't worry.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19909 on: April 07, 2018, 09:30:42 PM »
......
Though I also really like my tungsten carbide ring, which is the opposite of light and flexible.  It's cheap enough though that if something were to happen to it (like fly off my finger randomly) I wouldn't worry.

My fingers/knuckles shrink in the cold.  I've lost a tungsten carbide ring twice, once in the backyard, found 2years later, then again in Eastern France.   Tungsten carbide is not findable with a metal detector.

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19910 on: April 08, 2018, 06:37:45 AM »
......
Though I also really like my tungsten carbide ring, which is the opposite of light and flexible.  It's cheap enough though that if something were to happen to it (like fly off my finger randomly) I wouldn't worry.

My fingers/knuckles shrink in the cold.  I've lost a tungsten carbide ring twice, once in the backyard, found 2years later, then again in Eastern France.   Tungsten carbide is not findable with a metal detector.
Huh, I didn't know that, interesting! 

BTDretire

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blinx7

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19912 on: April 08, 2018, 08:53:10 AM »
i have an older, more senior coworker i spend a lot of time with, as we're the only two women in our immediate office. i also know roughly what she makes, since we work for the federal government and pay grades are automatically openly displayed in a lot of programs, like e-mail. CW earns roughly double what i do, but is constantly broke because she spends her money without any thought at all -- i.e. paying $3 for a toasted bagel with cream cheese at starbucks every morning instead of spending $3 on a week's worth of bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store.

she and her husband have been married for about five years, but they're still paying off her engagement ring. they didn't buy a wedding ring for her at the time because they couldn't afford any she wanted, but a couple of months ago it really started to bother her that she didn't have one. she told me she worked hard, and she deserved to treat herself every now and then. which i mean, yeah, i agree with that -- but not when you've also just told me you have less than a dollar in savings. you don't deserve things you haven't earned.

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

Whenever I hear stories like this I end up concluding that some people must have brains wired differently from me.

I can't really judge her behavior because I can literally barely comprehend it. 

Going into debt to have a shiny piece of compressed carbon, so that you can show other people you own compressed carbon?

I really would need someone who has insight into this worldview to translate this decision for me in terms I can understand. 

markbike528CBX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19913 on: April 08, 2018, 11:46:11 AM »
....... pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

Whenever I hear stories like this I end up concluding that some people must have brains wired differently from me.

I can't really judge her behavior because I can literally barely comprehend it. 

Going into debt to have a shiny piece of compressed carbon, so that you can show other people you own compressed carbon?

I really would need someone who has insight into this worldview to translate this decision for me in terms I can understand.

And Diamond is thermodynamically unstable at normal temperature and pressure ( bottom left corner)

I've always wanted to picket a mall jewlery store with the phase diagram, a you are here spot on it, and the phrase " Diamond is thermodynamically unstable!!!".

Something for FIRE, when I don't need a clean background check.

Dicey

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19914 on: April 08, 2018, 03:15:31 PM »
Co-worker excitedly announced he was going to KMart after work. I asked what he intended buying and he said 'anything I want!'. Just a spend for entertainment exercise by the sound of it.
Ha! I do this on a regular basis... but only when I'm at the 99 Cents Only Store.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19915 on: April 08, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »
Co-worker excitedly announced he was going to KMart after work. I asked what he intended buying and he said 'anything I want!'. Just a spend for entertainment exercise by the sound of it.
Ha! I do this on a regular basis... but only when I'm at the 99 Cents Only Store.

That reminded me of this article, a gem from The Onion.

https://www.theonion.com/chinese-factory-worker-cant-believe-the-shit-he-makes-f-1819567885

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19916 on: April 09, 2018, 11:31:25 AM »
i have an older, more senior coworker i spend a lot of time with, as we're the only two women in our immediate office. i also know roughly what she makes, since we work for the federal government and pay grades are automatically openly displayed in a lot of programs, like e-mail. CW earns roughly double what i do, but is constantly broke because she spends her money without any thought at all -- i.e. paying $3 for a toasted bagel with cream cheese at starbucks every morning instead of spending $3 on a week's worth of bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store.

she and her husband have been married for about five years, but they're still paying off her engagement ring. they didn't buy a wedding ring for her at the time because they couldn't afford any she wanted, but a couple of months ago it really started to bother her that she didn't have one. she told me she worked hard, and she deserved to treat herself every now and then. which i mean, yeah, i agree with that -- but not when you've also just told me you have less than a dollar in savings. you don't deserve things you haven't earned.

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't understand. Any of this. It sounds like she treats herself more than every now and then. More like several times a day.

And 2 wedding bands! How did they arrive at that decision? I hope they don't do that when they shop for cars... "I really like the bmw but it just doesn't fit as many shopping bags as the suburban. I know, we'll get both!"

apparently she saw it on pinterest and thought it looked way better than a solo ring and engagement band combo - i've attached a photo pulled from google images to illustrate as apparently it's becoming a more common trend? jewelers of the world rejoice, i guess

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19917 on: April 09, 2018, 11:35:11 AM »
i have an older, more senior coworker i spend a lot of time with, as we're the only two women in our immediate office. i also know roughly what she makes, since we work for the federal government and pay grades are automatically openly displayed in a lot of programs, like e-mail. CW earns roughly double what i do, but is constantly broke because she spends her money without any thought at all -- i.e. paying $3 for a toasted bagel with cream cheese at starbucks every morning instead of spending $3 on a week's worth of bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store.

she and her husband have been married for about five years, but they're still paying off her engagement ring. they didn't buy a wedding ring for her at the time because they couldn't afford any she wanted, but a couple of months ago it really started to bother her that she didn't have one. she told me she worked hard, and she deserved to treat herself every now and then. which i mean, yeah, i agree with that -- but not when you've also just told me you have less than a dollar in savings. you don't deserve things you haven't earned.

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't understand. Any of this. It sounds like she treats herself more than every now and then. More like several times a day.

And 2 wedding bands! How did they arrive at that decision? I hope they don't do that when they shop for cars... "I really like the bmw but it just doesn't fit as many shopping bags as the suburban. I know, we'll get both!"


I'm so glad this story finished with such a happy ending. To even think about that lonely engagement ring, on that lonely finger, on that lonely hands, it makes me shudder.  Now, now it's all better. That hand can now be waved around with purpose and gusto. This is Disney worthy.

so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19918 on: April 09, 2018, 12:39:46 PM »
so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

I love stories about marriage-related debt lasting longer than the marriage. Probably because I'm a terrible person.

The one person I've ever met with three bands on their wedding ring finger had an engagement ring and wedding band set, and then right around some milestone anniversary found a vintage ring that looks like it was made to fit with the set and got it for the milestone. But they didn't go into debt for any of it.

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19919 on: April 09, 2018, 12:49:12 PM »
i have an older, more senior coworker i spend a lot of time with, as we're the only two women in our immediate office. i also know roughly what she makes, since we work for the federal government and pay grades are automatically openly displayed in a lot of programs, like e-mail. CW earns roughly double what i do, but is constantly broke because she spends her money without any thought at all -- i.e. paying $3 for a toasted bagel with cream cheese at starbucks every morning instead of spending $3 on a week's worth of bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store.

she and her husband have been married for about five years, but they're still paying off her engagement ring. they didn't buy a wedding ring for her at the time because they couldn't afford any she wanted, but a couple of months ago it really started to bother her that she didn't have one. she told me she worked hard, and she deserved to treat herself every now and then. which i mean, yeah, i agree with that -- but not when you've also just told me you have less than a dollar in savings. you don't deserve things you haven't earned.

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't understand. Any of this. It sounds like she treats herself more than every now and then. More like several times a day.

And 2 wedding bands! How did they arrive at that decision? I hope they don't do that when they shop for cars... "I really like the bmw but it just doesn't fit as many shopping bags as the suburban. I know, we'll get both!"


I'm so glad this story finished with such a happy ending. To even think about that lonely engagement ring, on that lonely finger, on that lonely hands, it makes me shudder.  Now, now it's all better. That hand can now be waved around with purpose and gusto. This is Disney worthy.

so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

So she bought two giant wedding bands, right before divorce? She must have known the divorce was coming.  I don't get it.

MrMoogle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19920 on: April 09, 2018, 12:52:30 PM »
so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

I love stories about marriage-related debt lasting longer than the marriage. Probably because I'm a terrible person.

The one person I've ever met with three bands on their wedding ring finger had an engagement ring and wedding band set, and then right around some milestone anniversary found a vintage ring that looks like it was made to fit with the set and got it for the milestone. But they didn't go into debt for any of it.
Like car loans that outlast the car/get rolled into new one? 

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19921 on: April 09, 2018, 01:42:54 PM »
I have a co-worker like the one you are describing.  I can't understand it.  Constantly tells me about all of the financial trouble she's in, her credit card is maxed out, but then she spends at least $4 on Starbucks every morning at $10 on take out lunch every work day.  Whenever I mention my interest in frugality and the ways I'm saving money, she interrupts me and changes the subject. I recently had to put some of her work related purchases on my credit card because she couldn't pay for them.  That's fine -- I'll get reimbursed and collect the points.  But holy moly how do people live like that and not die from the stress?

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19922 on: April 09, 2018, 01:48:26 PM »
i have an older, more senior coworker i spend a lot of time with, as we're the only two women in our immediate office. i also know roughly what she makes, since we work for the federal government and pay grades are automatically openly displayed in a lot of programs, like e-mail. CW earns roughly double what i do, but is constantly broke because she spends her money without any thought at all -- i.e. paying $3 for a toasted bagel with cream cheese at starbucks every morning instead of spending $3 on a week's worth of bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store.

she and her husband have been married for about five years, but they're still paying off her engagement ring. they didn't buy a wedding ring for her at the time because they couldn't afford any she wanted, but a couple of months ago it really started to bother her that she didn't have one. she told me she worked hard, and she deserved to treat herself every now and then. which i mean, yeah, i agree with that -- but not when you've also just told me you have less than a dollar in savings. you don't deserve things you haven't earned.

so she shops around, and ends up getting not one - because again, she deserves it -- but TWO wedding bands, each studded with diamonds, to wear with her engagement ring. she financed both rings, so now, although she can flash around something really shiny and pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

I don't understand. Any of this. It sounds like she treats herself more than every now and then. More like several times a day.

And 2 wedding bands! How did they arrive at that decision? I hope they don't do that when they shop for cars... "I really like the bmw but it just doesn't fit as many shopping bags as the suburban. I know, we'll get both!"


I'm so glad this story finished with such a happy ending. To even think about that lonely engagement ring, on that lonely finger, on that lonely hands, it makes me shudder.  Now, now it's all better. That hand can now be waved around with purpose and gusto. This is Disney worthy.

so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

So she bought two giant wedding bands, right before divorce? She must have known the divorce was coming.  I don't get it.

yeah, i don't either. she's been really openly unhappy for...two years now? and she's the one asking for the divorce, too. i'm happy for her, because i do think that her dynamic with her husband is an unhealthy one. but at the same time, if i were doubting the viability of my marriage, i wouldn't make a several-thousand-dollar purchase, on credit, for items that symbolize a long-term committment to my partner.

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19923 on: April 09, 2018, 01:56:08 PM »


yeah, i don't either. she's been really openly unhappy for...two years now? and she's the one asking for the divorce, too. i'm happy for her, because i do think that her dynamic with her husband is an unhealthy one. but at the same time, if i were doubting the viability of my marriage, i wouldn't make a several-thousand-dollar purchase, on credit, for items that symbolize a long-term committment to my partner.
[/quote]

This just made me laugh out loud.  It also makes me realize I should stop trying to understand other people's decision making process.

Boll weevil

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19924 on: April 09, 2018, 03:08:48 PM »
I have a co-worker like the one you are describing.  I can't understand it.  Constantly tells me about all of the financial trouble she's in, her credit card is maxed out, but then she spends at least $4 on Starbucks every morning at $10 on take out lunch every work day.  Whenever I mention my interest in frugality and the ways I'm saving money, she interrupts me and changes the subject. I recently had to put some of her work related purchases on my credit card because she couldn't pay for them.  That's fine -- I'll get reimbursed and collect the points.  But holy moly how do people live like that and not die from the stress?

Huh? This sounds like it was made for this thread... can you share some more?

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19925 on: April 09, 2018, 03:21:44 PM »
I have a co-worker like the one you are describing.  I can't understand it.  Constantly tells me about all of the financial trouble she's in, her credit card is maxed out, but then she spends at least $4 on Starbucks every morning at $10 on take out lunch every work day.  Whenever I mention my interest in frugality and the ways I'm saving money, she interrupts me and changes the subject. I recently had to put some of her work related purchases on my credit card because she couldn't pay for them.  That's fine -- I'll get reimbursed and collect the points.  But holy moly how do people live like that and not die from the stress?

Huh? This sounds like it was made for this thread... can you share some more?

I'm sorry I can't.  Putting aside her financial habits, I really like her as a person, and I can't in good conscience give any more detailed information about her on an open forum. 

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19926 on: April 09, 2018, 05:28:22 PM »
A nice older fellow in the office is contemplating retirement.  He is a stress puppy and 10 years ago had a sort of nervous breakdown and took several months of disability; he took 3 weeks over the winter because he just "couldn't stand it anymore."  I do hope he can retire soon, the job seems to be killing him.  He seems to be making plans to go though and I just hope he makes it. 

He came by at lunch today and asked me, if it were up to me, would I take a lump sum from a pension plan or take the payments?  Easy, I would take the lump.  In fact, that is what I did from my last job--  take the lump and roll it into Vanguard.  I noted to him that I am 49 though and solidly among the Gen Xers that have a really strong cynicism streak.  My generation lived through the break up of Ma Bell and have watched many a pension plan get "altered under the terms of the bankruptcy" like United Airlines, Enron/PG&E, Kaiser Aluminum, etc.  A bird in the hand I say.  I of course cautioned him that I was only giving my opinion and he needed to get some professional advice. 

Turns out he had asked everyone in the office, essentially he was taking a poll to try to decide what to do.  He has to get some serious advice or do some research.  He has been with the company more than 25 years in its various forms and is doing the classic "wait till I am eligible to draw a pension and wait till maximum retirement age for SS" and it might just kill him. 

This was a good living color lesson and a reminder to go early.  All this waiting for someone else (the gov't, a company) just ain't going to work for me.   

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19927 on: April 10, 2018, 02:45:01 AM »
I have a co-worker like the one you are describing.  I can't understand it.  Constantly tells me about all of the financial trouble she's in, her credit card is maxed out, but then she spends at least $4 on Starbucks every morning at $10 on take out lunch every work day.  Whenever I mention my interest in frugality and the ways I'm saving money, she interrupts me and changes the subject. I recently had to put some of her work related purchases on my credit card because she couldn't pay for them.  That's fine -- I'll get reimbursed and collect the points.  But holy moly how do people live like that and not die from the stress?

They do - in the same way that people die from being poor. Not especially in the visible case, but on average several years.
For example even in Germany with universal healthcare, the poorest 10% die I think 8 years earlier then the richest 10%.

Just Joe

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19928 on: April 10, 2018, 09:20:56 AM »


yeah, i don't either. she's been really openly unhappy for...two years now? and she's the one asking for the divorce, too. i'm happy for her, because i do think that her dynamic with her husband is an unhealthy one. but at the same time, if i were doubting the viability of my marriage, i wouldn't make a several-thousand-dollar purchase, on credit, for items that symbolize a long-term committment to my partner.

This just made me laugh out loud.  It also makes me realize I should stop trying to understand other people's decision making process.
[/quote]

...But does she still wear the fancy rings post divorce?

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19929 on: April 10, 2018, 09:44:58 AM »


yeah, i don't either. she's been really openly unhappy for...two years now? and she's the one asking for the divorce, too. i'm happy for her, because i do think that her dynamic with her husband is an unhealthy one. but at the same time, if i were doubting the viability of my marriage, i wouldn't make a several-thousand-dollar purchase, on credit, for items that symbolize a long-term committment to my partner.

This just made me laugh out loud.  It also makes me realize I should stop trying to understand other people's decision making process.

...But does she still wear the fancy rings post divorce?
[/quote]

she doesn't! no word on if she's planning on selling the rings or just keeping them in a drawer somewhere. also, she was worried about how she was going to transition to being a single parent, and i promised i'd write up a worst-case-scenario budget for her so she'd know she was going to be ok. she came into work today and said she wrote up one last night and didn't understand how she was going to make it on one paycheck instead of two.

"i did the math," she said, "and when i budget for everything that has to be paid every month, i'm only going to have $400 a week to spend on groceries, eating out, diapers, and fun stuff."

she told this to me and the other really frugal guy in our office, and we both made shocked eye contact before telling her that we thought she was going to be just fine.

"i'm pretty sure you can actually afford to up your retirement contribution comfortably," i said, since she told me she's only contributing 5%.

"woah woah woah," she said. "baby steps."

grandep

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19930 on: April 10, 2018, 04:31:27 PM »
My lovely fiancee is not Mustachian by nature, so I was very proud of her when she agreed to a synthetic diamond (moissanite) for her engagement ring and wedding band. All told, both rings will cost about $1800 total -- still pretty expensive by my standards, but boat loads cheaper than buying a "real" diamond. Not to mention the moissanite rings are indistinguishable from a natural diamond (to the untrained naked eye, at least). She gets compliments on it all the time.

For my wedding band, I asked for a set of those silicon rings and a gold plated tungsten carbide (for ~fancy~ occasions). I think total my rings come out to less than $40 (don't remember the exact number off the top of my head).

CoffeeAndDonuts

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19931 on: April 11, 2018, 09:01:56 PM »
So I am part owner of a small company. Last year, we flew our entire staff to one of the more common tourist cities in the US for our holiday party. We provided an extra day off, airfare for the employee, a very nice dinner in a notable restaurant, and hotel room of course. We also had some informal events where my partner and i, naturally, picked up the tab but no one was expected to attend.

Some staff are single, others aren't. We opted to just cover the immediate staff members airfare but the partner is welcome at dinner and able to use the hotel room, of course.

We've done this a couple times now. Same rules.

Anyway, one employee opts to bring their partner this past year. I clearly lay out the additional cost for airfare ($300ish?) and the extra TWO nights in the hotel he wanted ($100ish total).

Right before the trip, I remember to send him a final tally. Around $400 out of his pocket I think.

He can't pay it.

Not only that, he wants proof of what we paid for his room, for other employees flights and their rooms, etc.

Says he didn't know. And yet it's all in an email where he even directed what style of bed to choose and his preferred flights (with upgrades to better seats no less).

As calmly as I can, I exchange 10 emails documenting how we communicated this to him, how he obviously read and directed the additional expenses, and how it was equitable when compared to others.

Two months later, he finally paid.

In the meantime, I got to hear all about the thousands of dollars in upgraded he was doing to his nearly brand new motorcycle.

And, under our comp plan, just about 7 more hours of billable from him in 1 month (or 3.5h in 2 mos) would have paid for it. And we start extra comp pay at just 50% billable.

Ridiculous.

Step37

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19932 on: April 11, 2018, 11:03:19 PM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts . . . That is just staggering. I, too, am part owner of a company and would love to be able to do something similar for our staff at some point. This employee’s behaviour, besides being a ridiculous financial train wreck, would feel like a slap in the face.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19933 on: April 12, 2018, 02:19:57 AM »
Wow, Hirondelle, I know people working on their PhD sometimes complain they don't make a lot of money compared to what they could earn in the industry, but it's hardly poverty. You certainly don't need parental support to make ends meet... I think I earn about the same as somone in the last year of writing their PhD, I don't even work fulltime, and I could easily live off 70% of that (actually I would still be able to save). Of course I'm more frugal than most people, but even with more 'normal' spending habits you should be able to save a bit.

former player

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19934 on: April 12, 2018, 02:54:43 AM »
A nice older fellow in the office is contemplating retirement.  He is a stress puppy and 10 years ago had a sort of nervous breakdown and took several months of disability; he took 3 weeks over the winter because he just "couldn't stand it anymore."  I do hope he can retire soon, the job seems to be killing him.  He seems to be making plans to go though and I just hope he makes it. 

He came by at lunch today and asked me, if it were up to me, would I take a lump sum from a pension plan or take the payments?  Easy, I would take the lump.  In fact, that is what I did from my last job--  take the lump and roll it into Vanguard.  I noted to him that I am 49 though and solidly among the Gen Xers that have a really strong cynicism streak.  My generation lived through the break up of Ma Bell and have watched many a pension plan get "altered under the terms of the bankruptcy" like United Airlines, Enron/PG&E, Kaiser Aluminum, etc.  A bird in the hand I say.  I of course cautioned him that I was only giving my opinion and he needed to get some professional advice. 

Turns out he had asked everyone in the office, essentially he was taking a poll to try to decide what to do.  He has to get some serious advice or do some research.  He has been with the company more than 25 years in its various forms and is doing the classic "wait till I am eligible to draw a pension and wait till maximum retirement age for SS" and it might just kill him. 

This was a good living color lesson and a reminder to go early.  All this waiting for someone else (the gov't, a company) just ain't going to work for me.   
Oh my. Can you point him towards a suitable MMM or Bogleheads post for basic investment advice?  Mention the 4% rule to him?  You might just make the rest of his life a lot better.

Hirondelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19935 on: April 12, 2018, 03:05:43 AM »
Wow, Hirondelle, I know people working on their PhD sometimes complain they don't make a lot of money compared to what they could earn in the industry, but it's hardly poverty. You certainly don't need parental support to make ends meet... I think I earn about the same as somone in the last year of writing their PhD, I don't even work fulltime, and I could easily live off 70% of that (actually I would still be able to save). Of course I'm more frugal than most people, but even with more 'normal' spending habits you should be able to save a bit.

Honestly I don't think it's that bad at all. The gross income at Dutch universities is ranges from 2300-2900 gross (1st vs 4th year of PhD). And as you're an actual employee you do get perks like vacation money, 13th month and pension. Compared to my friends who went into industry (though not in the same field) I notice their current salaries are about the same as mine, but I think theirs will increase faster than mine.

Epor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19936 on: April 12, 2018, 09:20:14 AM »
So I am part owner of a small company. Last year, we flew our entire staff to one of the more common tourist cities in the US for our holiday party. We provided an extra day off, airfare for the employee, a very nice dinner in a notable restaurant, and hotel room of course. We also had some informal events where my partner and i, naturally, picked up the tab but no one was expected to attend.

Some staff are single, others aren't. We opted to just cover the immediate staff members airfare but the partner is welcome at dinner and able to use the hotel room, of course.

We've done this a couple times now. Same rules.

Anyway, one employee opts to bring their partner this past year. I clearly lay out the additional cost for airfare ($300ish?) and the extra TWO nights in the hotel he wanted ($100ish total).

Right before the trip, I remember to send him a final tally. Around $400 out of his pocket I think.

He can't pay it.

Not only that, he wants proof of what we paid for his room, for other employees flights and their rooms, etc.

Says he didn't know. And yet it's all in an email where he even directed what style of bed to choose and his preferred flights (with upgrades to better seats no less).

As calmly as I can, I exchange 10 emails documenting how we communicated this to him, how he obviously read and directed the additional expenses, and how it was equitable when compared to others.

Two months later, he finally paid.

In the meantime, I got to hear all about the thousands of dollars in upgraded he was doing to his nearly brand new motorcycle.

And, under our comp plan, just about 7 more hours of billable from him in 1 month (or 3.5h in 2 mos) would have paid for it. And we start extra comp pay at just 50% billable.

Ridiculous.

That's why we cannot have nice things! I would die for perks like the ones you are offering, and I imagine most employees are grateful... but all it takes is one jerk to ruin it for everyone.

kanga1622

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19937 on: April 12, 2018, 11:54:27 AM »
I have a co-worker like the one you are describing.  I can't understand it.  Constantly tells me about all of the financial trouble she's in, her credit card is maxed out, but then she spends at least $4 on Starbucks every morning at $10 on take out lunch every work day.  Whenever I mention my interest in frugality and the ways I'm saving money, she interrupts me and changes the subject. I recently had to put some of her work related purchases on my credit card because she couldn't pay for them.  That's fine -- I'll get reimbursed and collect the points.  But holy moly how do people live like that and not die from the stress?

Huh? This sounds like it was made for this thread... can you share some more?

I'm sorry I can't.  Putting aside her financial habits, I really like her as a person, and I can't in good conscience give any more detailed information about her on an open forum.

I have a similar situation that has happened at work. A co-worker will get all concerned when we need to make a supply run to Walmart for an emergency need. I have many times offered to go pick up $20 worth of items because she doesn't have that much room on her available credit. I am happy to take the reward points but really wonder how that family affords groceries and a mortgage if they are that close to the edge when an emergency (car repair, etc.) happens.

Threshkin

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19938 on: April 12, 2018, 01:39:47 PM »
CoffeeandDoughnuts story above reminded me of a time when I was managing a small company.  We had a very simple travel expanse policy where we paid for the hotel room plus a fixed per diem for personal meals.  No receipts or other justification was required to receive the per diem.  Just add it to the expense report.  If you wanted to eat cheaply an pocket the extra, fine (I did this) or if you wanted to eat fancy and spend more than the per diem, fine, just pay it out of your own pocket.  Simple, right?

One employee submitted expense reports that not only included the per diem but also included room service meal expenses as part of the hotel charge. I docked his reimbursement request accordingly. 

He simple could not understand why I would not approve his expense report as written.  I explained that this was double charging for meals and was not an allowable expense.  I even showed him where this was specifically addressed in the travel policy.

He just didn't get it.  Blank stares and repeating that the rooms service was a hotel expense.  I kept explaining and pointing out the policy until he gave up.

A few months later he talked the business owner into giving him a personal loan using business money so he could pay off debt..........and of course quit a few weeks later. 

I let the owner worry about collections on that one.


CoffeeAndDonuts

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19939 on: April 12, 2018, 02:15:39 PM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts . . . That is just staggering. I, too, am part owner of a company and would love to be able to do something similar for our staff at some point. This employee’s behaviour, besides being a ridiculous financial train wreck, would feel like a slap in the face.

It did. I had a very hard time keeping my responses civil. We went in circles and circles. Each one felt more ridiculous than the last... When they wanted to see proof of expenditures and comparison to spending on other employees (they were coming from different cities and costs varied slightly as we booked over about a week), I just about lost it. It felt like a child cross referencing not just the number of gifts received but the dollar value to ensure they got their fair share relative to their sibling. Screw dollars - everyone got the same # of nights at the same hotel and same dinner and a plane ticket on a non-stop flight at reasonable (and higher cost) times.

As an aside, I went out of my way to keep costs down and encourage people to extend the 3 day weekend to longer if they desired. In this case, I happened to have a Citi Prestige card where the 4th night of a hotel stay is free. The culmination of that benefit and the fact that rates were slightly cheaper booking a longer stay resulted in a mere $100 upcharge to move from 2 nights to 4. The room's base rate was ~$150/night ($300) and doing so involved extra hassle for me because they needed to stay under my name.

I finally shut it down saying that I was done talking about this over email and that if they wanted to discuss this further, it'd be in person.

They didn't take me up on that offer.

Side note... I honestly don't think employees know how much insight I have into their financial lives just by listening and having to sign off on the retirement contribution, expense reports, and hsa forms. I struggle not to cross the line into giving unsolicited advice.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19940 on: April 12, 2018, 03:45:29 PM »
CoffeeandDoughnuts story above reminded me of a time when I was managing a small company.  We had a very simple travel expanse policy where we paid for the hotel room plus a fixed per diem for personal meals.  No receipts or other justification was required to receive the per diem.  Just add it to the expense report.  If you wanted to eat cheaply an pocket the extra, fine (I did this) or if you wanted to eat fancy and spend more than the per diem, fine, just pay it out of your own pocket.  Simple, right?

One employee submitted expense reports that not only included the per diem but also included room service meal expenses as part of the hotel charge. I docked his reimbursement request accordingly. 

He simple could not understand why I would not approve his expense report as written.  I explained that this was double charging for meals and was not an allowable expense.  I even showed him where this was specifically addressed in the travel policy.

He just didn't get it.  Blank stares and repeating that the rooms service was a hotel expense.  I kept explaining and pointing out the policy until he gave up.

A few months later he talked the business owner into giving him a personal loan using business money so he could pay off debt..........and of course quit a few weeks later. 

I let the owner worry about collections on that one.

Oh boy.  My company travel policy is reimbursement.  I don't travel.  Which is good, because I hear the system is a pain.

My husband gets per diem.  He can travel quite a bit.  A lot of times, he's traveling to the middle of nowhere.  Free hotel breakfast, and no lunch and dinner choice except grabbing a footlong from Subway.  Ah, as long as he travels alone we make extra!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19941 on: April 12, 2018, 03:46:21 PM »
I worked for a Huge company that did some great things like golf outings in other states. Hotel, airfare, meals, golf and entertainment for those who didn't golf, awards dinner. It was wonderful and amazing! I got to see stuff in another state I would have never experienced had I not had that opportunity! It was awesome I although it was probably in the year 1999, I will never forget it! Please don't stop doing such a nice thing for your employees. There is always an idiot who will ruin it for everyone. Maybe if you make some kind of a document they need to sign with all the details listed and once they sign, they have to abide by what is presented. It is a wonderful perk! I am sure your NORMAL employees have appreciated it!

JHoward

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19942 on: April 12, 2018, 08:06:12 PM »
This is truly overheard so I don't know the full story but it seemed like one of the people in the team next to mine was getting ready to go to the bank so he could withdraw cash and deposit it in a different bank account. His teammates stopped him and showed him how to set up an electronic transfer and he was extremely skeptical. He is a software engineer who was surprised that banks could perform transactions that did not involve physical currency.

grandep

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19943 on: April 12, 2018, 08:42:50 PM »
I worked for a Huge company that did some great things like golf outings in other states. Hotel, airfare, meals, golf and entertainment for those who didn't golf, awards dinner. It was wonderful and amazing! I got to see stuff in another state I would have never experienced had I not had that opportunity! It was awesome I although it was probably in the year 1999, I will never forget it! Please don't stop doing such a nice thing for your employees. There is always an idiot who will ruin it for everyone. Maybe if you make some kind of a document they need to sign with all the details listed and once they sign, they have to abide by what is presented. It is a wonderful perk! I am sure your NORMAL employees have appreciated it!

Same here, my now fiancee and I actually first met and got to know each other on our company trip. Two and a half years later we're getting married!

BDWW

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19944 on: April 12, 2018, 11:07:14 PM »
I worked for a Huge company that did some great things like golf outings in other states. Hotel, airfare, meals, golf and entertainment for those who didn't golf, awards dinner. It was wonderful and amazing! I got to see stuff in another state I would have never experienced had I not had that opportunity! It was awesome I although it was probably in the year 1999, I will never forget it! Please don't stop doing such a nice thing for your employees. There is always an idiot who will ruin it for everyone. Maybe if you make some kind of a document they need to sign with all the details listed and once they sign, they have to abide by what is presented. It is a wonderful perk! I am sure your NORMAL employees have appreciated it!

Same here, my now fiancee and I actually first met and got to know each other on our company trip. Two and a half years later we're getting married!

Hmm, fraternizing on the company dime. Sounds like a reason to cancel these trips to me !  :)

Prairie Stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19945 on: April 13, 2018, 10:06:27 AM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts . . . That is just staggering. I, too, am part owner of a company and would love to be able to do something similar for our staff at some point. This employee’s behaviour, besides being a ridiculous financial train wreck, would feel like a slap in the face.

It did. I had a very hard time keeping my responses civil. We went in circles and circles. Each one felt more ridiculous than the last... When they wanted to see proof of expenditures and comparison to spending on other employees (they were coming from different cities and costs varied slightly as we booked over about a week), I just about lost it. It felt like a child cross referencing not just the number of gifts received but the dollar value to ensure they got their fair share relative to their sibling. Screw dollars - everyone got the same # of nights at the same hotel and same dinner and a plane ticket on a non-stop flight at reasonable (and higher cost) times.

As an aside, I went out of my way to keep costs down and encourage people to extend the 3 day weekend to longer if they desired. In this case, I happened to have a Citi Prestige card where the 4th night of a hotel stay is free. The culmination of that benefit and the fact that rates were slightly cheaper booking a longer stay resulted in a mere $100 upcharge to move from 2 nights to 4. The room's base rate was ~$150/night ($300) and doing so involved extra hassle for me because they needed to stay under my name.

I finally shut it down saying that I was done talking about this over email and that if they wanted to discuss this further, it'd be in person.

They didn't take me up on that offer.

Side note... I honestly don't think employees know how much insight I have into their financial lives just by listening and having to sign off on the retirement contribution, expense reports, and hsa forms. I struggle not to cross the line into giving unsolicited advice.
Are you hiring? let me dust off my resume :)

JetBlast

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19946 on: April 13, 2018, 07:48:00 PM »
Interview prep is very common in my industry. Between knowledge exams, personality exams, and HR interviews, most pilots feel the need to prep as best they can and knock of the rust. Moving from a regional airline to a major can be worth $3 million or more over an average career so the $400 bucks for test prep and a few mock interview sessions is a small price to pay.  It’s certainly possible to get hired without the prep, but most want to put everything they have into getting hired.

Recently had a newhire in the flight deck observer seat. We are all chatting in cruise about the hiring process and he says he didn’t do anymore because money was tight. Fair enough. Ten minutes later he asks if either of us own an airplane. He’s looking at buying one to fly his family up to the property he wants to buy in Montana.

eliza

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19947 on: April 13, 2018, 09:06:43 PM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts  - That's awful.  I do hope you don't let one bad (ignorant) apple spoil the perk for everyone.

I've been on the other side of absurd travel expense policies - my favorite was the time I was told that I couldn't stay at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas because it was "a resort" and that I could only stay at the official conference hotel at the official conference rate.  I tried to argue and got shot down.  So I stayed at the Aria --- which cost the company over $800 more for four nights. 

There was was also the time that I needed to get to NYC ASAP for a project that was going off the rails.   The direct flight was sold out in coach, but there was a first class ticket available for ~$500.  Instead I had to take a ~$900 coach flight with a stop in Chicago.   I get that there need to be rules, but let's stop and apply a common sense test - should we (a) book the more convenient and cheaper flight?  or (b) spend way more money for a far less convenient flight?   

Dollar Slice

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19948 on: April 13, 2018, 09:13:49 PM »
There was was also the time that I needed to get to NYC ASAP for a project that was going off the rails.   The direct flight was sold out in coach, but there was a first class ticket available for ~$500.  Instead I had to take a ~$900 coach flight with a stop in Chicago.   I get that there need to be rules, but let's stop and apply a common sense test - should we (a) book the more convenient and cheaper flight?  or (b) spend way more money for a far less convenient flight?

Maybe you could offer to pay them the difference out of your own pocket! ;-)  And if they agree, give them an invoice for $400.

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19949 on: April 14, 2018, 06:06:38 AM »
I found out my (old-fashioned but reliable) pension plan at work showed the wrong numbers for 2017. The income they reported for me for 2017 was wrong. So first I phoned them, but they blamed my workplace's salary administration for giving them the wrong numbers. Called the salary administration and yes, they made a mistake and were now communicating with the pension plan to set things straight, and this was a companywide problem, not just me.

This is important for my colleagues as well, specifically when you're planning your retirement or when  you want to know, how much more you can/should put aside.

So, at a meeting:

Me: "I noticed that the numbers that were reported to the pension plan for 2017 are wrong. But the salary administration people are fixing it. I wanted to let you guys know. Check your numbers in a month or so, they should be corrected by then."
My colleague: "Ugh, I never look at the pension plan information. I know I haven't saved enough, so I know that I can never retire anyway."

She's 55 years old or so, so now would still be a good time to try to make things better. Burying your head in the sand isn't going to help for sure...

So after the meeting I have offered to take a look at her paperwork with her - acknowledging that we're colleagues too, so that she may not want to do this with me. But if she wants to, I can explain things to her. I'm not as pessimistic about this as she is, given that she has worked all of her life (although sometimes part time) and that in our line of work you generally are forced to put money away in a pension plan automatically. (Obligated standard deduction from your paycheck). Maybe she's in a better position than she thinks she is.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 06:11:41 AM by DutchGirl »