• We feel unloved by inside higher ed.  Our last few academia posts have been completely ignored.  *snif*
  • Once the rising costs of benefits are taken into account, my raise this year is less than $200/paycheck additional.  Still, it’s nice to have any raise– without a raise my salary would actually be going down in real terms.
  • In positive money news:  For the second time since we got the Civic Hybrid, the expensive electronic battery went wonky.  But… it was still under warranty!  YAY!!!  $2,600 that we didn’t have to pay!
  • DH won’t let me send this email:  “We will be unable to ‘volunteer’.  We pay for daycare because we have to work.”  (In reply to: “Our fall festival is coming up Friday [date]. We need help starting around 9am (for set up) until 1:00pm. Usually we ask parents to work in two shifts. 9-11:00 and 11:00-1pm. Please look at your schedules, see which time will work best for you and sign up for the different booths.”)  Oh well, chances are DC2 will have been kicked out for biting by then anyway.  Probably while DH is away on business near the end of October and I have a p/t meeting and an exam I can’t miss or bring a rambunctious toddler to.  They’ll have to find someone else to bring chips.  (Thank goodness we didn’t get assigned to bring 12 sandwiches like some people were.  What a hassle!)
  • All those h8rs on the internet who say that people who complain about being busy suck?  They suck.  Sometimes a person complains about being busy because they’re @#$#@ing busy [often because of other @#$ers dropping the ball on things they said they’d do].  It’s not like I LIKE being this kind of busy.  I like being generally busy but without the time pressure; then I don’t complain about it– I enjoy it!
  • DC2 just sight-read hir first sight word.  It is, “oops”.  DC1’s first sight word was “zebra.”
  • In case you’re wondering whether pure white countertops in the kitchen and bathroom are a good idea:  They’re not.

54 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. gwinne Says:

    I love that unsent email. Love it.

  2. Chelsea Says:

    Neither daycare we’ve had our son at has every had any kind of parent activities during the day! They’ll sometimes say, “The fire truck is coming on Thursday if you want to drop by” or “We’re having a party for whatever holiday from 3-4 if you want to drop by” but there’s no expectation that parents will be part of it. You’d yours would have figured out by now why they have trouble getting parent volunteers during the day…

    And, working for the state of Wisconsin for 6.5 years, I’ve never gotten any kind of raise. Only salary freezes, furlough days, and the privilege of picking up a greater share of of my health insurance costs. Oh the joys of being a spoiled state employee.

  3. delagar Says:

    What kind of daycare either has parent activities during the day or EXPECTS parents to volunteer during the day? Do they think you send kids there because you’re just bored with having them underfoot? Jeez.

    I used to get annoyed because the private school we used in lieu of a daycare did “volunteer” fundraisers. That was bad enough. (We were paying what was (for us) a steep tuition, and then we were more or less required to find some way to kick in somewhere in the range of another hundred a month — supposedly through selling crap candles and such to our friends and neighbors, but who had time to do that?)

  4. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    Volunteer at daycare? What? That makes no sense. You’re paying for your child to be there because you have to work. If you could volunteer, you would probably just keep your child home to begin with!

  5. Leah Says:

    Another shocked at the daycare thing. Because, um, I dunno, you pay for them to entertain your kid? Blegh. My daycare isn’t perfect, but they do watch and keep my child busy for 9 hours a day, and I thank them heartily for that. I’d send that email, but that’s just me.

    One of my friends’ daycares does parent/teacher conferences, and I find that a little weird. Don’t they just talk to her when she does pickup? I think it’s because their rooms are based on ability, but my center is really small, and the rooms are just based on age.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      A daycare DC1 went to for a year when we were living elsewhere did parent/teacher conferences. It was a lot like K-12 parent/teacher conferences. I think because that city has competitive kindergarten entrance it was something they felt like they had to do.

      • Leah Says:

        Maybe I understand a conference as the kids get older, but she had a conference for her 9 month old. She does live in a different city. I go to the only daycare center in our city. I’m just happy I have people who keep an eye on my kid and keep her happy. I’m not sure much else is needed at 3.5 months.

  6. Kellen Says:

    Ugh, at my former company, an old coworker just got a $2k raise (only $84/paycheck), which is better than some people are getting, sure, but working at a firm that bills by the hour, you are more valuable each year you are there. An 8 – 12% raise is more usual–$2k is less than 3% for this coworker. In the meantime, the firm just hired a friend of mine for 20% more than he was making at his last company…

    Question: How would it affect the salaries of employees if their salaries were public knowledge? Would it result in more equitable salaries at the same level? Would it improve the gap between what men and women are paid (I’m guessing that gap is quite large at my old firm.) I assume, thanks to our society’s taboos against talking about money, that most people don’t want their salaries made public. In Norway, they publish every citizen’s taxable income on a website, and you can look up any Norwegian by searching for their name.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Our salaries are public knowledge as state employees. I believe there’s been some research done on the topic and that it increases salaries overall. I don’t know if they looked at gender/race wage gaps and I can’t point to a specific article. :\

  7. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I’m not too surprised by the daycare thing. Not all parents who use daycare work or work regular schedules.

    I don’t think I ever calculated my raise… ok it’s $59.10 a month. Ha. Hahahahahaha. Oh man. That’s. Wow. Oh and our insurance premiums are going up $15 a month so my raise is $44.10 a month next year. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I didn’t realize there were busy h8rs. I agree with different kinds of busy and their range of suckitude.

    I have NO idea what any of my kids’ first sight words were…. :(

    I am pretty sure anything white in a house is generally a bad idea unless you have staff to constantly clean it for you and you lack a significant number of animals and/or children to dirty it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I learned that one of our walls is textured the other night when DC2 got one of hir whiteboard markers and marked all over it. Magic eraser doesn’t work well with textures.

      This particular daycare is a 7am-5:30 daycare. There are other more part-time daycares in town for just the preschool experience.

      • MutantSupermodel Says:

        You’re right, it’s awful. My walls eat magic erasers for dinner.

        I feel you but we had the same thing in my kids’ daycare. It was from 7 – 6 and yet lots of parents used it as a part time thing. I found it odd but that’s not surprising.

  8. Rented life Says:

    I think you should send the email!

    Husband’a raise will be less than $150/check. A little annoyed by that as it won’t even cover insurance increases come January.

    We have light brown counter tops at the last place which I loved color wisebut they were textured (why?) so they weren’t fun to clean.

  9. xykademiqz Says:

    I might be a hypocrite, because I both complain I am busy and complain about other people’s business. But I’d like to think I complain that I am busy only when I am legitimately and unusually busy.

    Honestly, I think I only begrudge people who are really just full of shit, or when they are chronically so incapable of dealing with the workload that they negatively affect a number of other people as collateral damage (the operative word is chronically; everyone has periods of being overwhelmed, only some take some sort of weird pride in drowning in work, making everyone wait for them all the freakin’ time and constantly being behind on everything.)

    One example is this colleague who is presently driving me nuts. He asked that I do something time-sensitive for him; when he asked, we were still within the realm of feasibility, but barely, and I said sure, I can do this. I then spent the next 3 weeks trying to get him to send me the materials that I needed in order to do the thing for him, I sent countless emails and texts. When he finally complied, it was too late and I was unable to help him any longer. He is now angry with me for making him prepare all the materials if I wasn’t going to go through with it! What I want to do is go to his office and scream “You have no one but yourself to blame, you are the one who is late, &*^$#&%^&*%!” Instead I have to put up with the petulance.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Those people suck, not because they’re busy but because they’re selfish.

    • Leah Says:

      I have a facebook friend who routinely complains about her workload at work. I get weeks where I’m slammed, and my year has been rough balancing new kid + work, but it’s still doable. In my mind, if your workload is routinely too much to handle, you either need to work better OR talk to your supervisors about reducing/shifting the work load.

      Life is too short to spend too much time complaining.

  10. bogart Says:

    Hmmm. $200 per paycheck sounds pretty cheerful to me, you can add me to the list of those whose actual raise (never mind the rise in benefit costs) was less. Moreso ($200 per paycheck = cheerful) if that’s a 9-month rate you’re receiving over 12. Though of course lacking context (i.e. is this the first year in 8 you’ve gotten a raise), it’s hard to rate such things (DH was cheerful to get $40/month in his pension check and then discovered that was because it was 3 (?) months worth, retroactive to when the state passed its budget. But, eh, we always knew those COLAs would be lousy).

    I like to think I’d have sent the email, though I’d have phrased it (hearkening back to your can’t/won’t post), ““We will be unable to volunteer because we have commitments at our workplaces that we are unable to reschedule” or something namby-pamby like that. But, right. The one preschool we used that had parent-teacher conferences could actually have called them wine-cheese meetings, because the director (= teacher, in-home setup, very small) served us wine and cheese. So, that worked well. I steered clear of the preschool in town where a friend whose daughter went there commented once that she “had to go to the preschool [at the start of the school year] to discuss her goals for her [developmentally typical 9-month old] daughter for the coming year.” Um, learn to walk and don’t drink anything poisonous?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We’re just passive-aggressively not signing up.

      I don’t mind goals for kids. They can be things like “learning to share” and stuff.

      • bogart Says:

        That works too :).

        I don’t mind goals for kids, but I would mind having to have a scheduled meeting at my kid’s preschool to discuss my goals for my 9-month old, unless it was one I initiated.

  11. becca Says:

    Our daycares did “drop in if you can” things but none of that “you are assigned” shenanigans. They did do parent/teacher conferences, with little adorable portfolios of the work my child did with pictures and noted milestones (like “made this kind of pattern on this date”) stuff. They actually do a lot better job than school, as far as I can tell. My kidlet’s first sight word is tricky- I know he was recognizing “STOP” signs first, but it had to be a red octagon. “Cat” came soon after that though. He was really good at reading pictures for a while there though, so it could have been something else that I dismissed as just picture reading.
    My raise is $83/month; premiums going up $11/month-ish, mostly due to having to pay for my dental insurance now. I have no idea how it compares to others in the department, I just know postdoc raises come out of the same pool as faculty raises, so there’s not a lot of point in questioning it.

  12. chacha1 Says:

    hey, you mind answering a question about the Civic Hybrid? How’s the trunk space?

  13. First Gen American Says:

    I think the wording in the daycare email should be changed to “we choose to work” during the day. The most annoying comment I received in this topic area was when a PTO parent felt sorry for me because I was a working mom. The “I’m lucky enough to not have to work anymore” definitely came across as…oh, poor you, you’re husband doesn’t make enough money for you to quit your job….As if having a career was some kind of step down from being a SAHM. But housewives have their own fair share of stigma and prejudices they have to deal with too, so perhaps it’s just a passive aggressive response to being treated a certain way by people who are still in professional jobs during the day.

    All this sillyness is a function of being in the top 5%. I think at this level, there isn’t a lot of keeping up with the jones when it comes to stuff. Everybody has “enough” stuff, so then people start ranking/comparing each other on other things like by how much free time/flexiblity/perks/side benefits a job has. Oh, poor you, you can’t take time off for your child. What a horrible job you must have.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, conditional on me having signed a contract, I kinda do have to work, as in, I have to show up for classes and meetings and so on. I can only not show up for those things for sickness or work-related things (conferences, giving talks, etc.) DH has a bit more leeway as he has actual vacation days he could take, so he’s choosing to work. He could also quit with fewer moral qualms if it came to that, whereas in academia one really signs up for the entire semester.

  14. Debbie M Says:

    We actually got raises at my job this year. As if the recession is over or something! Woot! Except not me because I’d been at my current job for less than one year. I know the rule is actually less than 6 months, not less than one year, but then I thought the rule might be different for part timers. Later research revealed no evidence of that. (Just add it to the stack of lies people tell about raises around here.) I don’t care, I’m done working for pay in 15.5 weeks.

    Still, I got to drop long-term disability insurance because my sick leave will now last until I retire, so ha! I got a raise anyway! Except health insurance went up like crazy and I have to pay half. But I slid in my last expensive dental thing (I hope) during the old fiscal year and switched to the cheaper dental insurance. So I get $20 extra per month after all. (Except I should have switched to Obamacare, but I didn’t think of it until the day after the deadline. Doh!)

  15. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    What the f*cke is “sight reading”? Isn’t all reading by sight, other than Braille?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      In this context it’s as opposed to phonics. Where you recognize the picture of the word and only know specific whole words (aka whole language) rather than being able to sound out new words. It happens before kids’ brains develop enough to do phonics, usually with stuff like stop signs and McDonald’s.

      Interestingly you can also train dolphins to read in this manner and some very smart dogs.

  16. Sarah @ littlebusontheprairie.com Says:

    Re countertops: why not? Do things stain them or are they just a mother to keep looking clean? The bathroom of the bus has a white Formica counter and it gets gross looking as fast my kids can spit out toothpaste. At least it’s not tile though!

  17. J Liedl Says:

    I’m waiting to see how our new contract shakes out. More pension contribution will probably wipe out some of the raise but I’m still doing pretty darned well thanks to my union and employer and all that jazz.

    So glad that daycare is behind us. it’s tough enough having to hustle to cover things with Autistic Youngest on sick days such as today or early dismissal days at the high school. High-functioning moderately autistic almost adult means being able to occasionally pass two hours at home alone.

    Thanks for the alert about pure white countertops. Once Eldest is through university, we hope to redo our kitchen and our bathrooms. I have a pinterest board with dream kitchens and a mental remapping of the layout. No white countertops allowed!

  18. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    I remember getting a raise of $12 per paycheck. I’m so glad I quit that job.

    • Leigh Says:

      I had a raise in high school that worked out to $1.60 per paycheck gross at the number of hours I worked! Oh minimum wage jobs. I much prefer my desk job that I have now.

  19. Cloud Says:

    It wasn’t until long after we picked our day care that I realized what a good job picking a day care we’d done. I keep meaning to write a post of counter-intuitive things I’ve learned about day care and school- and checking that they don’t expel biters under the age of 4 would be top on that list! (I know your choices are limited, so that’s a general comment, not a comment on your day care selection process.)

    I hope things sort out and you’re less crazy busy soon.

    One bit of hopefully good news: my author copies of the Petunia book are on their way to me, which means that one will soon be on its way to you!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t really care so much about the expelling biters thing, so much as the not teaching kids conflict resolution to the kids to reduce biting. My kid isn’t the only biter by any stretch of the imagination. (Though the past two days after I told the assistant director off and then the director xeroxed the webmd page about biting and gave it to DH, the entire school hasn’t had any bite sheets out at pickup… maybe a coincidence…)

      Looking forward to Petunia! And those shirts are awesome.

    • Revanche Says:

      I’d LOVE that post. My eyes are going to bleed from just looking for relatively decently rated daycares, I might just lose it when I have to actually screen them.

  20. Revanche Says:

    White *towels* I like for bleachability. Not so much with white furniture or counters.

    People who don’t take the priorities seriously when you raise them, then suddenly it’s A HUGE RUSH three months later also suck. Dude, it’s the same priority as before but you’ve delayed forever.

    Daycares and day time activities that just assume you’re available to come and work it or help/whatever? -___- Another thing to add to the list of daycare-vetting details.

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