Saturday, November 26, 2011

Trust me.

As this photo clearly proves, I am more than qualified to solve your problems.
  • I’m married, which means that I understand both compromise and the inevitable soul-crushing promise of life. 
  • I lighten my hair, which means I’m exceedingly vain. There is a direct relationship between the unnatural lightness of hair and the self-consciousness of the personality underneath.
  • I drink, which means as far as I’m concerned, nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen. 
  • I’m a college graduate (twice over) which means you can bet I’ve made my share of poor life choices. 
In an effort to streamline my life, which is what this blog is really all about, I’ll be combining the two activities that I find most time-consuming: Giving people advice and complaining about my own problems. Feel free to send me questions however you want (emailFB or comment). I will assume everyone wants to be anonymous since we all think we are the only ones with our particular problems. If I don’t get any questions, rest assured that I will be asking and answering myself, which doesn’t seem that unusual the more I learn about blogging.
Question 1. 
I’ve been offered two jobs, one that has benefits and one that doesn’t. How do I choose which one to take?
The correct answer to this question is, assuming you like the work equally and they have equal opportunities to grow, etc., the one that pays the most. The trick is that you can’t compare them based on salary alone. Unless Job No Benefits is especially ballsy, they are going to offer you more because they aren’t giving you any benefits. So let’s say Job Benefits is offering four weeks paid vacation and full, paid health insurance. The first thing you should do is tell no one that such a miraculous company is hiring. Second, you look at the salary offered by Job No Benefits. Divide it by 52 weeks. Then multiply that by 4. That’s how much you would be losing if you bought the 4 weeks vacation by taking them without pay. So subtract that from the salary of Job No Benefits. Next, get a quote for comparable health insurance if you were to self-pay. If you haven’t ever done this, wait 20 minutes after eating. Assuming you are reasonably healthy and single, “comparable” may range from $200-$500 a month. Multiply that by 12 and subtract from Job No Benefits. Don’t forget to subtract the deductible and do a reasonable estimate of yearly co-pays and co-insurance (someone should ask me a question about picking health insurance). Now you can compare the two salaries.
But wait, you are probably thinking, “I don’t need to take the vacation without pay. I will just save up the hours by working 60 hour weeks. And I don’t need ‘comparable’ health insurance. I can take this high-deductible plan without the maternity rider.” This may be true, right now. The problem is that you will get accustom to a certain amount of cash in your interest-accruing checking account and forget to make adjustments when you get married, have kids or go back to school (or in my case, do all three at once). Any of these events will detour your plan to work until you keel over from exhaustion, despite your apparent self-regenerative powers that require no medical care.
This is not to say you shouldn’t take Job No Benefits, but if you do, set up yourself up for success by checking your expectations. Start an automatic savings account and don’t skimp on health insurance. Also, we haven’t even touched retirement, mostly because I haven’t either and I’m wrong. Start saving for retirement. 
Question 2. 
How do I get that horrible smell out of my clothes when I leave them in the washer too long?
First, wash them again in the hot cycle with an extra rinse. If you have it, use an additive like Smelly Washer, which probably has instructions for proper use, but I just dump about a capful into my HE washer with the detergent. Once the cycle is done, if the clothes still smell, hang them outside to dry. If you live in one of those ridiculous places that bans this practice, you should move.
If the washer smells, run an old towel through the process again. Then let the tub dry with the door open. 

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