A few months back I wrote a piece about American overtime laws and how they set clear boundaries about what kinds of workers need to be paid time-and-a-half for any hours per week they work over forty. These laws were enacted to 1)Create more jobs by giving employers incentive to hire more workers at the regular rate instead of paying their existing workers the time-and-a-half rate, and 2)To help workers maintain a better work-life balance, because working a lot of overtime sucks hard.
The rules are laid pretty clearly in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which I first learned about when my old job as a school secretary overloaded me with more work than I could possibly handle in a 40-hour workweek and I started doing some research. While the Continue reading
I don’t often talk politics on this blog because that’s not what it’s for, but in rare cases I come across a political topic like the Republican Tax Bill that affects not only creative people with Day Jobs, but all of us who don’t quite fit the Traditional Middle-Class Mold of going to college, getting a high-paying job, and working that high-paying job until retirement.
For the past few weeks President Trump’s been talking about a new tax bill that he and others have touted as a way to bring tax relief to the middle class, in addition to reducing paperwork and loosening restrictions on businesses to make them more competitive. Though the exact rhetoric around the bill has been mixed, the White House has been careful to plant the seed that the bill isn’t designed to help the wealthy, and Continue reading
In what little spare time I have I follow a few money and finance blogs, which has helped me develop my philosophy about how smart financial decisions can help creative people get where they need to go. I’ve found a lot of the advice from these blogs to be solidly helpful (make a budget, track your net worth, pay off debt, etc.), but there’s one thing financial bloggers are always talking about that I couldn’t be less interested in: retiring early.
Now just so we’re all on the same page, retiring in the technical sense of the word isn’t about having your hair turn white or moving into an old folks’ home. On the contrary, Continue reading
For those of you who missed last’s week’s Life Update, I totally got a new Day Job to replace my old Secret Work-From-Home one, so what follows will make way more sense if you check that out first. (TLDR Version: My new job’s in an office doing a writing/editing-type activity, the conditions make it ideal for keeping up with my novel, this blog, and other creative projects, and to lessen my commute I moved to a new apartment a mere 3.6 miles from the new job.)
Now that we’re all on the same page, some of you might be wondering Continue reading
Renaissance Man (ren-uh-sahns man), n, also called polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”)
- a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems (Wikipedia)
- a person who has wide interests and is expert in several areas (Merriam-Webster)
I had a friend who was obsessed with the idea of the Renaissance Man (or Woman)—the ideal of gaining expertise in several different areas that you could then use to live a more well-rounded, versatile, and diverse life. Meriwether Lewis, he insisted, was chosen to lead the Corps of Discovery Continue reading
The other day I was talking to some friends about finances (yeah, these are the kinds of conversations you start having after age 25…) and one of my friends whose debt was spread out over a lot of different loans started talking about his strategy:
FRIEND: So basically I’ve got these two student loans and I usually pay an extra hundred bucks on one of ‘em and an extra fifty on the other, and then I’m also trying to pay off my car so sometimes I pay some extra there, Continue reading
No joke—last week I worked 65 hours, dealt with a nasty flat tire on my trusty Volvo, and still managed to see the New Pornographers concert that I’d been looking forward to for months.
How did all this happen, you ask? And furthermore, why did I submit myself to such an exhausting schedule??? Continue reading
I met James Crews at the University of Nebraska where he worked as a mentor for my first-year teaching class while finishing his poetry PhD. We kept in touch, and when we both found ourselves in the northeast I drove out to southern Vermont to the farmhouse he shares with his partner in Shaftsbury (which, coincidentally, is just up the road from Bennington College, where I did my undergrad). Continue reading
So this is the end of my three-part series spelling out my entire work history. In Part 1 I covered my early years learning about work, and in Part 2 I moved on to post-college struggles to both scrounge up some money and get out of New Hampshire. Continue reading
This week I’m continuing my list of every job I’ve ever worked with my first four years after college. If you missed the high school and undergrad years, check out Part I here. Continue reading
I blatantly stole the idea for this post from one J. Money did a few years ago, since laying out people’s actual job histories shows how work doesn’t always form some straightforward linear path. We tend to think of careers as a track that goes from College, to a Job, then to a Better Job, and then to Even Better Jobs that steadily pay more Continue reading
Writing about overtime hours last week reminded me of last spring when I took on the challenge of working 70 hours a week, every week, between three different jobs. It was pretty intense.
How did this happen, you ask? Since there wasn’t much to do at my regular Day Job working at the research greenhouse, I sought out a work from home opportunity (a.k.a. my Continue reading