Tag Archives: unemployment

The Real Life Rookie Year: It’s a Hard Knock Life

We’re back ladies and gentlemans, with the latest and greatest on what it’s like to be a rookie. Aside from being young, hot, and clueless, we have lots of depth. We’ve got problems. We’ve got drama. We’ve got a skimpy paycheck. And we just want to drink and make it safely back to our apartment (or someone’s apartment) just like we did in college. Unfortunately, if you live in a real town and not a college town, achieving this most basic of goals is actually kind of difficult. Why? Because we’re all broke, that’s why!

I am slowly working my way out of this mentality and state of financial being. In fact, I’d say now that I’m 1+ years into my career and have now received greater than or equal to 30 paychecks, I’m not all that broke anymore. But go ahead and ask me if I want to make a quick trip to Vegas for a long weekend, or plan a week-long getaway on a cruise ship of my choice with some of my closest fellow rookies. My response will be something like raucous laughter followed by some kind of sarcastic comment regarding money and trees, followed by more raucous laughter. Such a good joke, planning a vacation.

But if I actually sit down and examine my financial situation, it’s really not all that bad. But for the sake of argument and the validity of this post, let’s go with it. Who’s not broke? No hands? That’s what I thought. Thought I go shopping significantly more often that I did in school, and I go out to eat a good amount more than I used to, somehow I am not just scraping by paycheck to paycheck. It’s all a mentality. We got so used to being broke and planning the cheapest possible spring break trip and/or hitting up mom and pop for some extra cash during college, and now that we actually have legit money of our own, it’s hard to not laugh immediately when thinking of planning some kind of exotic vacation with pals or your woman. It’s an instinct, and one that is not always correct.

So maybe you’re thinking, well Miss Sassy, I’m not broke…I have an awesome paycheck and I live it up thug style in a baller high rise condo. Bam. Fine, I say, must be nice.  But you have friends who are totally broke and still eating PB&J for dinner every day. We’re all in different stages now. Some of us have jobs in cubicles or corner offices with a steady paycheck from some kind of corporate hoo-ha, but some of us are still looking, or still working through an unpaid internship (ick), or feeding our souls and working for a non-profit (aka getting paid in pennies). So even if you yourself have plenty of spare cash to plan a cool vacation to Bora Bora, your friends are laughing at you when you suggest it. Not to mention days off of work! Who’s got that kind of time! We’re all new, which means we have something ridiculous like 4 hours per month accumulating of time off. Slight exaggeration. And we have to reserve those days for things like family and holidays. No one wants to work over the holidays, everyone wants some 3 day weekends every now and then, and most people have a nagging / loving mother who wants to see them sometime. It’s a challenging chore to try to save those days and use them as wisely as possible. Because you never know when some way cooler event is going to come up later in the year and you might need that day. I can’t complain really, as I entered 2010 with 20 choice days off. This is what we call “money,” or $$$. But not everyone is as lucky as this girl. You may actually get that 4 hours a month, which means by the end of your first year you’ve only got 48 hours, or a total of 6 days. Trife. Personally I think HR makes these ridiculous time-off policies on purpose. They’re all old so they figure all the new young kids just came off years of fun and games, so we deserve as little time off as legally feasible. I see both sides of the argument, you know, earning your stripes and all. But doesn’t change the fact that your old lady HR rep is just jealous.

The bottom line is this: as a rookie, we struggle. It’s a hard knock life. They give you a measly little paycheck, stick you in a corner cube (sniff), and give you 5 days off the whole year. Good luck getting to the top. We watch our parents and elders taking sweet vacations and long weekend trips. Our bosses drop work on us as they take their second summer vacation. I could never reach one former colleague because he always seemed to be cruising. The Mediterranean. Never have I been so irritated with seeing that stupid out-of-office auto-reply. It seemed to mocked me: “Sorry Miss Sassy, you cannot get what you need this week or next because Mr. Too-Cool-and-Senior-for-Work is out, yet again, with no access to email because this particular remote island resort doesn’t come with wifi. But don’t worry, he’s going to post pictures of his cruise(s) on the shared drive so you can bitterly view them and cry silently at your desk, whilst falling further and further behind in your work!” I love also that these notifications are always accompanied by something like: “If this is an urgent matter, please contact someone else.” AKA if you’re having a major issues, too bad! I don’t give two monkeys about your problem because I’m basking in the sun on some island! Ha!

But whatever. We rookies are nothing but resourceful. Plus, rookies are known for being some of the hardest workers, even on the baseball field. So bring it on, I say. Give me as little a paycheck as you dare, be unavailable to work with me, reward me with triflin little days off, and watch me flourish and take your job in less than 4 years, while you drown in your mortgage and college fund for your 5 kids. Who’s laughing now, old man!

Sass on, ya’ll. And remember. The most important time for which to save days off is football season. Don’t let a mid-winter and early summer getaway distract you from the prize.

Are You Looking for Snarky Sass and Constant Class? Pick Me!

I love writing. I love writing about trifeness, the news, working, working in IT, not working at all, writing this blog while “working”, parents, friends, cars, carbon footprints, shoes, Bon Qui Qui, and on rare occasions, boys. It is super fun. I suppose by writing and using this blog as an outlet I am making an assumption that people are actually interested and will actually read this jank. And guess what? They do. Thanks to WordPress’ sweet analytics, I can track how many people find Miss Sassy Pants (on purpose or by accident) every day. And surprisingly it’s more than just my loving parents. It’s pretty cool.

Thinking back on my childhood and youth, I think I always had a tiny habit of writing little stories or keeping up with my own thoughts and observations in some way. And yet here I am, as an adult finally, and have a career which involves zero writing whatsoever, aside from requirements documents, reports, project summaries, and the occasional IT Announcement email (it is more difficult than you’d think to keep the snark out of these) which no one ever reads (making it even more difficult to justify not being snarky). That kind of writing though is not fun. I don’t even really know why I didn’t choose something like journalism or English as a major, and instead chose the path that probably has some of the least amount of writing involved. Brilliant. But I have a fab job, and I actually do like it, at least at the moment. This here blog is a fun way for me to spend free time, communicate with my family which mostly lives far away, share hilarious boy stories en masse with girlfriends, impart my never ending man-related wisdom, fill time when I’m bored, and take subtle yet to-the-point jabs at dudes who are lucky or unfortunate enough to come across me in real life. Anonymously of course. And lastly, I really love having an outlet to remind everyone that he’s just not that into you! If nothing else, I really love how my dear mother and father think this jank is so funny. If everyone pledged to stop reading MSP except them, I would still write it.

So what’s the point of this slightly serious and non-dude-related post? It’s developing. I just wanted to share that I love doing it and hope you all love or at least mildly kind of like reading the occasional trife story. If I could make a living being snarky and sarcastic, I totally would. IT is so fab and I dearly love being the only female for miles in a cubicle farm of nerds and geeks, cranking out code and fixing networks. But who wouldn’t love to make a living with a blog? Not sure the paychecks would compare and not sure MSP herself could live off a tiny writers paycheck (see numerous posts about shoes) but she/I would delight in a side job which involved me sharing some sass (and switching from first to third person frequently, apparently). And how about I’ll just come right out and say, if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who works for any kind of publication that could use some snarky sass and constant class (or a poet, since apparently I am honing my rhyming skills), sign me up. I will write about anything, since it seems the only things that relate every one of these posts is that sass or a lack of sass is involved. Spread the word and share the love ya’ll.

And lastly, a big huge thank you to everyone who takes the occasional couple of minutes (or 20, I know I babble) to make MSP part of your daily/weekly/monthly lives. I love you all. If you ever have a super trife story and think it is worthy of sharing because it is so freaking hilarious and/or trife, do send it my way. Guest bloggers also welcome, after pre-screening for appropriate levels of sassiness and class. Of course, Miss Sassy herself will always have things to share as long as I do not go blind, deaf, and/or slip into a coma. That’s how easy it is.

Never forget: he’s just not that into you.

Miss Sassy Pants for President! JK.

Let’s talk about…sex baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…Ha, just kidding. Good song though. Anywhoooz, happy Friday! Today I am pensively contemplating (is that redundant?) a few topics and have finally settled on one for the day…get ready.

Since Wednesday’s SOTU by the great and honorable POTUS *cough*, I am enormously more concerned with the direction this nation is going. Just to be sure I don’t put myself at risk of sounding like a professional political analyst during the next few paragraphs, here’s another disclaimer: I’m not a professional political analyst. No worries – sarcasm, exaggeration, and of course sass will prevail. I’ll also add for the record that for the most part I write solely based on emotional reaction. Raging hormones I tell you!

Today’s emotional reaction is astonishment at stupidity, blatant disregard for fact-checking, disrespect, and twisting of scenarios to fit a political agenda. News flash: Americans aren’t retarded! Surprise! I would argue that most of us are capable of seeing through silly politicians’ lip service to ideas and new “policies” they think we want. I think someone should write a letter addressed to all members of Congress that reads something like this: “Hey dipwads, you can’t fool us, stop effing up the country. K thanks. Love, America.” Perhaps I’ll write it. Anyone else want to sign? I mean seriously, just because you stopped using the word “reform” for a little while doesn’t fool anyone. Also I’m thinking maybe another letter to our great and wonderful, bold and courageous, well dressed and excellent teleprompter-reading president. It might go something like this: “Yo, Pres. Swallow your pride and check your ego. We don’t appreciate you yelling at us and telling us we are going to get health care whether we want it or not. That’s called dictatorship. K thanks. Love, America.” Ok so it’s a work in progress, whatevs. But seriously. What happened to honesty, being in touch with your people, and airing everything on CSPAN so us regular kiddos can see what the heck is happening? It’s ok though, maybe you forgot about that particular promise. No biggie. There were so many I guess it’s hard to keep track.

Yesterday I went to lunch with some older coworkers and was discussing retirement plans with one dude. You could say he is one accurate stereotype for the middle class – middle aged, been working for this here company for about 15 years, married to a school teacher, zero kids (congrats), belongs to a gym which he frequents daily at 5am (insane). He was pissed when the market crashed because his 401k lost ridiculous value. In the past year he’s gotten a little more than half of it back. Not too shabby. He admitted to me that he was raised Republican and traditionally has “Republican values,” however in the last election he voted for Obama (surprise!), and is now vastly disappointed (surprise!) in what has happened since BHO’s term started. I guess he was thinking he’d get “change” and “hope” for his dwindling retirement account. Sike. I swallowed the numerous variations of “DUH” and “YOU ASKED FOR IT” that came to mind and kept my opinions to myself, saying something neutral like “Yes, well, we will see what happens next.” He’s my superior after all, I don’t want to be fired for my political opinions. Car payment people, car payment.

But really, we will see what happens. I don’t want to be super cynical and honestly don’t think we’re quite flushed all the way down the toilet just yet. In the toilet for sure, but maybe not flushed. I have to admit though that every day I read something like this or this (don’t even get me started on that second one…do we really want this guy hanging out in a US court? In a jail in America’s homeland? Admit it, he’s scary. And he hates you – yes, all of you, so why should we cut him any slack!?) I want to immediately move to some other country. Yes, America is great and free and not socialist (yet) but Italians have better food, cheaper wine, and prettier countryside, plus more Catholic churches where I can find the man of my dreams for whom I can cook and clean (come on, that’s funny). Meantime, I slave away in my cubicle in Corporate America, hoping that the new taxes and regulations (which ones? I don’t know, pick one) won’t affect my employer in an averse way so I can keep my job and my car and my livelihood. Cheers to wishful thinking and “hope” that someone gets it right. Soon.

Stay tuned for an update on my move to/life in Raleigh…it involves a daily 8am meeting starting next week for which I am super excited! Woohoo early mornings!

Have fun in the snow this weekend kiddie-poos! I’ll be driving the dirty Mini Coop following the plow truck to NC.

Ay! Scoperto Cattivo!

Today’s ponderings originate from a hilarious Newsweek columnist that I have just discovered, and I’d like to share. His name is Steve, and he writes with wit and sarcasm and it’s great.  I was originally going to write this about a sappy article he wrote about protecting his teenage daughter from horny teenage boys (My favorite excerpts include, “Boxer-Clad Sasquatch Machiavelli and Shotgun-Wielding Virginity Enforcer,” “scheming longhair,” “it’s supposed to keep the sun off your face, dumbass,” and possibly “I’m sorry your stupid.” I know right, now you really want to go back and read it!). But then I came across this little piece of hilarity right here and I changed my mind immediately.  Read Steve first, then read Sassy.

Maybe it’s just me, but I wasn’t under the impression it was too terribly difficult to monitor your bank account balance in order to avoid the dreaded and devilish overdraft fee. Not to repeat everything in the article, but seriously wtf people? Simple steps to avoid overdrafting include 1) knowing your balance, 2) not spending more than what you bring in, 3) using a credit card (other risks included in this but whatev). Alternatively, Miss Sassy Pants suggests the following, should you be a victim of a scary overdraft fee: learn from your mistake and promptly never overdraft again. Viola! I don’t mean to be condescending and if I am insulting anyone, my bad. But seriously.

My take on people who complain about overdraft fees being “unfair” is: Don’t be a dumbass and know you’re stupid checking account balance, duh! I don’t think it’s “unfair” that banks charge for overdraft fees. You know what is unfair? Genocide. Cancer. Hunger in 3rd world countries.  That ish is terrible and I’d say definitely not fair.  But we all learned in 1st grade that life isn’t fair.  You know what else isn’t fair? Someone else having to pay for your poor financial planning. The bank is not yo momma.  So next time you’re hollering at your bank account and get slapped with a yucky overdraft fee, don’t whine and complain like typical Americans.  Prevail against the overdraft fee! Learn from your mistakes! That’s what the fee is there for, to learn. It’s like a slap on the wrist. If dogs can learn from mistakes, why can’t humans?  My little precious, for example, likes to eat food off the counter. She is huge and can easily get her sniffer up there to grab some chocolate cake.  So she did just that one time, and when we discovered her indiscretion, she was punished.  Poor thing knew she’d done wrong and was all pouty and adorable, but let me tell you. She didn’t look back at me and say “but whyyyyy I really liked that cake! That’s not fair! I want my congressman to address this injustice!” No, instead, she sulked away and hasn’t eaten a thing off the counter (at least in front of us) since then! Because punishment = bad.  So she learns, and we still feed her and love her.  Much like your bank will still let you use its services even if you are bad.  My question is, how can we not just as easily learn from yucky overdraft fees that we shouldn’t overdraft? Is it not that simple?

Possibly some of you are saying, “But Miss Sassy Pants, I didn’t know my account was so low! How was I supposed to know? It should warn me!” Here’s my response: with all these mobile banking capabilities these days, there is no way people can not know. 90% of the people I know have a blackberry or iPhone or some kind of something that has internet or mobile banking application.  Technology is good, use it.  “But I don’t have one of those!” Do it like they used to do in the old days: use a regular computer to check your account. Call the freakin’ bank.  Keep a check book of transactions.  If you know you are prone to overdrafting, check more frequently. It’s really simple.  And please, stop complaining.

So next time you overdraft your bank account and complain to yo momma about how that shite ain’t fair and why do banks have to persecute you!  Just remember these things: a) call the WAAmbulance, b) it’s your fault you overdrafted, c) the bank is  not a money tree for you to pick at whenever you’d like, and d) if a dog can learn, so can you.  It is not sassy to have no money in the bank.

PS: scoperto cattivo = evil overdraft.  Little italian lesson in there.  I know you were dying to know.

Keep Small Businesses Sassy

Happy blah Tuesday to everyone!  I believe it is raining and dreary all over the Commonwealth today, which I cured with a yummy bowl of baked potato soup from Panera for lunch.  Delish.  Anywho!

I have come across an issues I would like to address:  small businesses weathering the storm that is political indecision amidst economic recession.

Please read: Political Uncertainty Puts Freeze on Small Businesses, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. Now once again I must remind you all that I am a not a political, economic, business, or financial genius, or greatly studied on any of these topics (although I am a proud graduate of Virginia Tech‘s Pamplin College of Business).  I do however, claim to have common sense (thanks to Poppa Pants) and a general understanding of how businesses run (again reference to business degree…I didn’t go through 4 years of that for nothing!).  Read the article, then come back to this if you’re still interested in my thoughts.  I’ll wait.  No really, it’s ok.  …….Done? Great.  First question: How can anyone with one iota of common sense think that impeding the growth of small businesses will help our nation recover from the recession??  If anyone has taken any introductory business classes of any kind, you probably learned that greater than 98% of all businesses in the entire country are small businesses (characterized differently by every state, but in general companies with <500 employees, plus other revenue caps).  Think about it.  That’s a crap ton of companies who employ Americans!  I don’t think I need to restate everything in the article, since it is articulated so nicely by someone who actually writes for a living, but I would just like to say that Miss Sassy Pants agrees with every word.  The statistics show what happens.  Higher taxes to not encourage business growth.  Uncertainty about wacko health care costs do not encourage business growth.  Government projects which are stalled for weeks, months, years, do not encourage growth.  Banks not extending lines of credit does not encourage business growth.  And like I stated earlier, climate change is a concern, but if regulation raises costs for small businesses…well, you get it.  When they’re scared, they don’t grow! They fire people.  They go out of business.  Thus we see an unemployment rate that hasn’t done much declining.  I’ll stop there.

Think about it people.  If 99.7% of businesses in the US are small businesses, then that means at least 9 out of 10 people you know are employed by or own their own small business.  That’s a lot of people who want to keep their job.  [Disclaimer: that was not a scientific statistic nor did I find it from a reputable source. It was made up in my own sassy little head and is just to prove a point.  Do not nitpick me, Miss Sassy Pants likes to be sarcastic.  Some people are unable to comprehend this, thus I feel the need to explain.]

Another time, I’d like to discuss the issues addressed in this editorial.  Mean time, I think we’ve had enough sassiness for today.