money

Why Patricia Bay Haroski’s name should vex you

Happy Monday- or this Monday, the awkward Boss’s Day. How could anyone forget it was boss’s day? There is always that one employee that somehow remembers to kiss a** and makes it uncomfortable for everyone else.

At first I thought it was the retailers who came up with such a terrible holiday to boost their sales. I mean, they already turned Valentine’s day into a national competition of who can get their spouse a bigger, better, fluffier teddy bear. Halloween isles turn into a conga line of candy and costumes all imported from China. They start Christmas in September purely to remind me that “hey, look, here are all the gifts you have yet to buy in the next four months to make your kids happy otherwise you are a pathetic loser who doesn’t get their family anything!”

But it turns out it was Patricia Bay Haroski who worked for her Dad, her boss, and registered the holiday back in 1958. What a nice gesture, Patricia! Getting something for Daddy and turning it into a national suck up fest.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t particularly care for my boss. My boss is not particularly the worst in the world, but not the best either. I don’t care to spend my hard earned money on my boss when my boss should be the one thanking me for my work. How many times have I stayed late only because stuff had to be done urgently? Or worked through lunch? Experienced anxiety because of the workload but didn’t get any help from them? Does that sounds like something I want to appreciate them for?

How about a good ole employee appreciation day? Sure, they have them but they are always HR promoted with a BBQ outing for the whole company and it becomes a big CEO back-scratching.

No, I want employee appreciation where my boss takes me out or gets me something nice and genuinely means it- or maybe, not have a holiday at all. Instead, start treating me better throughout the whole year and that can be my boss’s gift to me.

I wish you all good luck today, remember to whisper Patricia Bay Haroski’s name with despise because she is the one that started this whole thing and the retailers, well, they just went with it since it is a lucrative scheme.

Best,

Leah

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The loser leaving work at 5pm

I normally start my work count down to 5pm roughly around noon.

I take my lunch  at 12:30pm so in my head, I am closer to that 5 o’clock in my head. Since I take an hour lunch, I get back by 1:30pm and, hey, that is just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from that wonderful 5 pm!!

Then I try to do some work, maybe be productive for about two more hours which gets me to 3:30 pm. Then the second count down to 5 o’clock starts. Any work that would require more than two hours gets pushed onto the next day. I probably get up and go to the bathroom and/or get some coffee. Then I do some more work, hoping for no last minute complications that would impede me from leaving at 5pm.

I don’t know how your workplace is, but where I work people are serious. 5pm means nothing to them. They don’t care if they don’t see their kids, spend more time with their spouses, no, work has to get done because there is not always another day.

So that means that I am usually the first one to get up at 5:00pm. I look around as business chatter continues as if in fact, it is not 5 o’clock in our very own office. I shut down my computer and I sneak out.

I sneak out like a plain traitor that has the audacity to leave work at 5pm! I try not to attract too much attention. I know most of these people will stay at least half hour/an hour late to finish up whatever they were doing. I feel like I am being watched, being judged- “Look at Leah leaving work exactly at 5pm! Who does she think she is?!” So I try to duck down in a way that will get me fastest to my car. I  feel their stares, they are piercing me with fierce judgement but I continue. As the proud leader of the 5pm rebellion, I see some other people follow behind me.

I get inside my car and drive away before my boss comes behind me, chasing me to finish something that can be done tomorrow- and once I am off the company parking lot, I feel like I am winning! I get to go home and see my family even if for the measly 2 hours. I may be a loser that doesn’t work hard and leaves at 5pm, but I am a winner in my family’s eyes!

How about you, readers? Do you also feel weird leaving work at 5pm on the dot or is your company more understanding when it comes to it? Do you feel the peer pressure as well? Leave comments below……and don’t forget to leave at 5pm, sharp!!

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Rio 2016- the most authentic Olympic games

For the last couple of months there has been an absolute uproar over Rio being the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Even I was against it at first- like many, I raised my fist with the rest and roared: “Say no to bribing! Say no to corruption! Say no to human rights violations! There are people starving while the corrupt politicians and officials make money! It’s disgusting!”

But after seeing the picture of favelas illuminated by the fireworks coming from an Olympic stadium in the background, I changed my mind.

The Rio Olympics represent the cruel reality of our society, of our world really. The games represent the best but also the worst. We cannot protest only when our athletes are not treated right. What about all those people living in poverty, crime and hunger on a daily basis? Why are we not making a bigger deal out of that?

No matter what you hated or loved about the Rio Olympics, at least it was not pretending to be something it was not. It was real, dysfunctional, dangerous, exciting, sad and challenging at the same time. It was not the pink-eyed version of our world, but rather an authentic one. Even athletes, many of which come from destitute backgrounds, gave us their best and their ugliest, their rawest, just like our world really is, in case you forgot.

 

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You don’t want to win the Powerball

$900M! $900M! My sister won’t stop talking about the Powerball lottery. It’s annoying. No matter how hard I try to tell her, winning a lottery is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. I drew a little chart for her, see below, to visualize the reasons as to why she/you don’t want to win the Powerball.

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Let’s say that you win! You are the lucky winner. You have two choices- either to tell or NOT to tell that you won the Powerball.

  1. TELL OTHERS- If you tell others about your winnings obviously you get harassed by people you know and strangers to give them money. I probably should add an arrow that leads directly to that point because regardless of if you keep or quit your job “to enjoy life”, you will still be harassed so much it would drive you crazy.
  2. DON’T TELL OTHERS- Ok, you want to keep it a secret. Yeah, you’re the big Powerball winner! The first problem now is whether or not you will quit your job. If you quit, you have to live a normal life, no crazy spending otherwise you will become suspicious. If you don’t quit, you still have to live your life like the rest of the mortals around you… otherwise, people get suspicious, notice you have money and the hassle begins!

So you see, folks, you don’t really want to win $900M. You just don’t. You can’t live like a normal civilian without being harassed all the time. And I’m sure even the excuse that Uncle Ben left you a bunch of money doesn’t work after a few years- and that just means that people know you have money and… again, they will harass you for it. Case closed.

Don’t let numbers define you.

Too often I find myself chained to numbers in my life. I rely on them and let them determine who I am. They tell me whether I am loser or a winner, a good person or a bad person, or if I am a failure in life.

How much money do I make? Why am I not making more? How many pounds do I weigh? How expensive was the holiday I went on? Was it expensive enough to impress other people? Does this dress look like an expensive dress? How many hours did I sleep? Why don’t I have a two car garage? How old am I? (and the inevitable- when did I get this old?)

It’s a scary thing, relying on numbers. They put me in a bad mood because there is always a goal that has to be reached. Sales numbers, performance reviews, even damn dieting is not successful unless the scale budges and shows less!

What would happen in my life if I started to ignore numbers? What if I became happy with what I am making? What if I realized I don’t need a two door garage and that the world won’t end because I do not drink 8 glasses a day like I was supposed to according to every health magazine? What if I was happy with the fact I only sold one book so far on Amazon– someone bought my book, isn’t that something?

What if I, instead, focused on helping others, or making someone’s day by actually having a conversation with them? Or baby-sitting someone’s kids so they can finally go on a romantic date after sleepless nights and dirty diapers?  What if I invited that chatty old neighbor for dinner after five years of knowing her?

The world becomes so much easier when the burden of number disappears- suddenly, the focus is on others, and not on you.

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How broke are we, Americans

I cannot say how people are doing in other states these days, but in good ole Florida people are looking kind of rough, tired and miserable… and so do their cars, and their houses (please, disregard the retired folks, they are doing just fine).

I do not know how Americans are constantly broke, but we are. I mean, we really are. The banged up cars we drive on highways, the cheap clothing we wear, the trailers we live in….

Not seeing our family from up North in years because we can not afford to visit them.

We make good money in America. How is it that we are so broke? Perhaps if people knew how to save money better, they would not have to put a newspaper and some tape over the broken car window. Have you ever seen Trailer Park Boys? It seems to me like we are turning into a bunch of Ricky’s and Randy’s, walking around without our shirts on and eating cheeseburgers…. what is going on?

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The EU Fiasco- thinking in capitalistic terms

Ah, the idea of united Europe. So simple, yet so complicated. Greece has been in the news the last few days, battling the Iron Lady of Germany on their debt payments. “You gave us too much money,” they claim. “We took more than we wanted and now we have no way of repaying it back.”

Debt problems aside, there is a prevailing problem in (Eastern) European countries. Nobody wants to acknowledge it, but EU will have a hard time sustaining itself if it is not fixed. Countries like Greece, (recently joined) Croatia, Hungary, Latvia etc… they all have poor financial background. Croatians lived in socialism for decades. Do you really think the politicians, who ruled in Yugoslavia and have left behind a socialist legacy, know anything about debt? Managing? Investing?

There’s a certain discrepancy between reality and theory. In theory, they are all “educated” enough to make financial decisions. The reality is they are not used to the mind-set of capitalism. In their hearts they carry socialism. They are used to corruption. Nobody gets penalized. Greece has enjoyed creating government jobs for everyone for years, but they don’t see that they won’t survive if they do it again. Even if they leave the EU, the mentality the way people do business/ run the country will be their fall. It will also be the fall of Croatians, Latvians etc. The mentality of people needs to change. Old habits have to die out. They may not like capitalism, but their previous way of doing things didn’t work out either.

The key to EU’s success will be changing the mentality of people to not only accept capitalistic thinking but know how to use it too. Throwing money at countries without fixing their operating structure has never benefited anyone.

It is ok if:

  • You don’t have the latest car model
  • Your house/condo isn’t decorated with fancy furniture
  • You don’t get your nails done every week
  • Your kids don’t wear branded clothing
  • Your kids wear hand-me-down clothing
  • Your co-workers see you wear the same shirt twice a month
  • Your hair grows out and your natural color shows
  • You don’t buy a round for your friends at a bar
  • Your friends are buying a house and you are still renting
  • You don’t have the latest phone
  • You don’t have twenty pairs of shoes
  • Etc.

Seriously, it’s OK! So stop buying what you can’t have/don’t need with money you don’t have.

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The Revenge of the Muscles

In pain. So much pain today. I went to the gym and lifted. Now, my muscles are crying and the only question that comes to mind, as I lay on the couch half dead, is: why did I do this to my body?

You see, I think anybody who works out should get a medal…and money. I feel like if I am going through all this pain and suffering somebody should reward me. Why am I paying the gym? They should be paying me! Or somebody else, perhaps the government, should give me money to get my ass off the couch. After all, I could have stayed at home, ate chips and watched re-runs of Downton Abbey. But I didn’t. I went to the gym knowing my biceps will revenge for the workout. I can’t walk. I can’t move. But it would be better if I knew I got 25 dollars I can spend on something, perhaps a massage afterwards.

Do you think you would workout more if they gave you money for each workout?

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Two new cars and a divorce, please!

Recently I came across an interesting read from 1998. So, not too long ago, but I guess “historic enough.” It was a wonderfully written chapter summary on a book called “The Overspent American” (link here).

The part that got me was the shift in values of Americans. Almost twenty years ago, same things defined the “good life” as they do today. Americans want material good and luxuries. Americans want swimming pools, new cars, mountain cabins, five TV’s in the bathroom, trips to Europe, a job that pays more than they deserve…. Our kids have to have Apple phones, motorcycles and tattoos…

We raised them. We influenced them. We showed them we don’t value happy marriages, reliable friendships, or interesting jobs. No, we showed them that true value hides in material….which is probably why I have a friend who is divorcing his wife of three years- she wanted to make more money, have a better house and spend more. He wanted to buy motorcycles and cars. Forget the eight years they spent together, they should divorce because their material greed isn’t compatible anymore and it is just not going in the same direction. I mean, come on??

You may say, hey, they’re just a bad example. I wish I could say I do not know people who are buying a big screen TV but their kids live in a shitty house with cockroaches occasionally strolling by because a big screen TV is their priority. I wish I could say I don’t know people who whine about being broke but buy $2,000 worth of furniture and eat Ramen noodles for weeks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…. I just don’t get it. Do you?

P.S: Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, disliking… 🙂

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