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What was your first job?

Fri, 2014-08-29 14:26

Remember your first day in an office (or, for some, a barn)?

Our first jobs shape us, how we view work and see ourselves as part of a bigger team.

We went around Los Angeles to find stories of first jobs and what lessons you still hold from your first time employed. Lizzie O'Leary told us about her first job in a sandwich shop, I was something called a 'video game quality assurance tester,' what was yours?

Tech IRL: A smart way to stay cool

Fri, 2014-08-29 14:26

It's boiling hot out. Want to come home to a cool house, without running up your electric bill? There’s an App for that. The device is from SmartAC. And it’s free.  So, what’s in it for power companies? Marketplace Tech’s Ben Johnson and Lizzie O’Leary experiment with controlling a coworker’s air conditioner… from their office.  

Weekend Brunch: A new (fe)line of credit and Burger King grows his empire

Fri, 2014-08-29 14:26

This week, Lizzie O'Leary sits down for brunch with New York Magazine contributing editor Jessica Pressler and online editor for Reuters Ben Walsh to discuss the economic news of last week and what's on their plate this week (get it?).   Topics:   Bloomberg: Jobless Claims in U.S. Little Changed as Economy Strengthens   The New Yorker: Burger King May Make Tim Hortons Less Canadian   The Guardian: Russian bank offur-ing cats to mortgage customers – with just one claws

How 'American' is your city?

Fri, 2014-08-29 13:40

There are, of course, lots of studies ranking one thing against another. Some are more viable than others. But they're usually somewhat interesting.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, has taken a whole bunch of data points including age, gender, income, and household make-up to rank cities on how "typically American" they are, based on how close they are to the national average.

Number one?

Nashville, Tennessee.

Number 340 out of 366 on the list? Washington, DC.

Why Morgan Stanley is buying up diesel in Europe

Fri, 2014-08-29 13:40

International commodity markets are full of little mysteries. For example: Why would a market player buy a whole bunch of something when the market is full of that very thing?

In this case, the thing is diesel fuel in Europe. The continent's last winter was mild, so there’s plenty in storage. Yet, according to Bloomberg, the bank Morgan Stanley has been on a huge buying spree

The experts will tell you, nobody knows for sure. But they can guess: Maybe somebody thinks the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine will stop the flow of natural gas to Europe by winter, when demand goes up.

What does that have to do with diesel?

"If they can’t find natural gas, they’re going to have to find alternatives," suggests Phil Flynn, from Price Futures Group. "They’re going to use more coal, they’re going to use more oil..." and maybe some more diesel.

So, buy low now, sell high later.

That is unless prices don’t go up, like if next winter is really mild, or natural gas supplies are okay, or both. Then you lose money.

Risking your own money is called trading “naked,” which energy consultant David Bellman thinks is unlikely in this situation. Instead, he suggests, Morgan Stanley may be acting as an agent for end-users like governments or companies.

"They could be agents for multiple people," says Bellman. "They could have found end-user A, end-user B, end-user C, and negotiated with all of them and said, 'Aren’t you concerned about Ukraine?'"  

It could be a lot simpler than that. Energy economist and consultant Phil Verleger looked up diesel prices— and the price of diesel futures—  while we talked on the phone. Turns out, you can sell a contract today to deliver diesel in January for a little more than the current price.  

"You could buy the diesel, store it, sell futures against it, and earn a very nice return," Verleger says, "at a time when interest rates are essentially zero."

In this case, it’s the “storing it” that’s the hard part for most players, because of the glut. If Morgan Stanley has some storage capacity, that could allow the bank to make money by buying something that nobody else wants.

Consumer spending: what we say vs. what we do

Fri, 2014-08-29 13:37

The government reported personal spending fell 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent increase in June. Personal income rose 0.2 percent in July, a weaker-than-expected gain and the lowest since December 2013.

Meanwhile, the Reuters-University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose at the end of August, with the current conditions measure hitting its highest level since summer 2007, before the Great Recession hit.

The spending decline in July was partly a function of lower utility and gasoline bills, said economist Chris Christopher at IHS Global Insight. “That can be a good thing in many cases,” he says. “If you have a smaller electricity bill at the end of the month.”

Christopher says lower energy costs in July might result in consumers devoting extra discretionary spending to back-to-school purchases in August.

Still, combined with weak income gains in July, the consumer indicators pointed to a still-weak economic recovery. And yet, consumers now feel better about current economic conditions than they have felt since before the Great Recession.

“The fact that we’re the highest in seven years is good,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. “It means that we’re better off than where we were a year ago or two years ago. But it still doesn’t compare to where we would be if economic conditions were truly great.” Vitner said consumers weren’t showing extremely strong satisfaction with the economy during the 2000s either, in spite of rising home prices and equity markets.

Sarai St. Julien, who was shopping at a neighborhood grocery store in Portland, Oregon, echoed the evidence in the consumer data.

“I feel more confident, but still I have to be careful,” St. Julien said. “We got hit pretty hard, my husband lost his job, and we kind of had to put ourselves back together and sold a lot of personal belongings to do it. We are doing better, he’s got a good job, but we’re still  sort of digging out of a hole.”

Can the church recruit the young?

Fri, 2014-08-29 12:43

Pope Francis is attracting a lot of attention to the Catholic church, but the church has a recruiting problem. A lot of its clergy its aging, and it's happening in other faiths too as religious leaders retire. 

Some religions advocate student loan forgiveness as a way to attract young people, if they do significant community service, their loans can be forgiven under a federal program.

We spoke with Sister Colleen Gibson, a 28 year old who just took her vows to serve as a nun this month, on the campus of Chestnut Hill College. As far as nuns go, Gibson says she’s pretty young.

Your wallet: Wearing too many hats at the office

Fri, 2014-08-29 12:42

Do us a favor, take a look at the job description for the job you currently work. Do you notice anything missing? Maybe, the 4 or 5 other jobs you work at the office?

Since the recession, many workers have had to cover roles that were once filled by more colleagues. According to Gallup, the average number of hours Americans work per week is 47, almost a full workday longer than a standard 40-hour week.

Gallup

We asked Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance writer and author of "When She Makes More," about what you can do to survive an ever-increasing workload:

"I think you want to take your emotion off the table, and be strategic about the position you are in. If you're the last man standing at your job, at least if you feel that way ... you need to let your employer kindly know that you're happy to take on the extra work, but you'd like to be fair about it. Before you even go to that meeting, gather some research. Go into HR, and find out what is your salary range. If you just got hired and are at a starter salary, and suddenly you're taking on a lot more work, find out the potential increase you can earn."

Click play above to hear more advice on asking for a raise, working from home, and for handling a freelance career

 

Examining women and confidence in the workplace

Fri, 2014-08-29 12:40

You may have heard this statistic before, women apply to jobs when they fill 100 percent of the listed qualifications. Men? Only 60 percent.

Those numbers are cited as evidence that women need to be more confident in the workplace, but author Tara Sophia Mohr thinks that's the wrong conclusion.

She did her own study and wrote about it in the Harvard Business Review.

I was skeptical, because the times I had decided not to apply for a job because I didn’t meet all the qualifications, faith myself wasn’t exactly the issue. I suspected I wasn’t alone.

So I surveyed over a thousand men and women, predominantly American professionals, and asked them, “If you decided not to apply for a job because you didn’t meet all the qualifications, why didn’t you apply?”

According to the self-report of the respondents, the barrier to applying was not lack of confidence. In fact, for both men and women, “I didn’t think I could do the job well” was the least common of all the responses. Only about 10% of women and 12% of men indicated that this was their top reason for not applying.

My money story: Storyteller Brian Finkelstein

Fri, 2014-08-29 12:37

Every week, we have someone tell us their story about money. This week, Los Angeles-based storyteller Brian Finkelstein tells us about a time when the bubble bursts.

The first time I made a lot of money, I was in my twenties and I was broke. I was that broke in your twenties where you have sleep for dinner. You know that feeling where it’s like, “Oh, it’s 8 o'clock and I'm just gonna go to bed because I have no money."

And that’s the way I lived my life. I was living in Brooklyn. And I moved there because it was an arts scene. I didn’t paint or have any sort of artistic desires, but I wanted to be part of that community, so I moved there. And I was living in Williamsburg and I just would go to different jobs all the time. Make a few dollars an hour then leave. And then go on to the next one.

And I got a job at this place Kiehl's, which is a skin care store on the East Village in Manhattan. And I didn’t know what it was, I’m not the type of person who uses skin care. But I got a job as a door man. And that I could do. I went to Queens college, so I had enough education to say hello and goodbye. And I was doing that, I was making $8 an hour and after like 6 months, I quit.

[That night], I get a call at my house from this woman who owned Kiehl's, and she told me to stay. She wanted me to train people on skin care. And I was like, “No, no. That’s not for me. I’m a schlubby white straight dude.” And I worked in a place with fabulous beautiful woman and gay men. They sold skin care. I couldn’t. no one would want to buy it from me. I was not a poster for a good living. And she was like, “but you represent a certain demographic that we don’t have and we want to keep you there. We really want you."

And, so now I was making $8 an hour, I was living hand-to-mouth and she goes, "Well, we will pay you $90,000 a year to start , plus commissions. Which came to over $100,000 a year. She gave me her American Express black card to go shopping in SoHo, and buy myself "fabulous clothes," her words. A gym membership to Equinox. And benefits including a 401K.

That was the first time in my life that I made a lot of money. And that just sort of changes the way you feel about things at that point … like, the art idea just went away. Like any sort of integrity I had was bought that night in that phone call for the rest of my life. 

I worked at that job for seven years. And it was great. I got myself out of debt. I paid my friend’s rent. I was very sort of the guy in that group of artists that had money.

I lived in Williamsburg, and I worked in the East Village, and both places were still independent and mom-and-pop. Kiehl's was this independent place that was owned since the 1800s by [one family]. But then one day we held this meeting, and [the owner] had told us that L'Oreal had bought it.

When L'Oreal bought it, they loved the brand of it, and they did everything they could to change it, because of course they were not going to pay people that much. They just fired all of us.

Slowly, as I looked around, Union Square was this beautiful place where there was very independent restaurants and stuff.  But the L'Oreal-ization of New York happened. There was two Starbucks, a Toys R' Us, a Barnes and Noble, a Virgin Megastore, it just happened overnight where it was all over.

So, I just spent all the money I had over the next five years pursuing a job as a comedian and a writer and I started doing a lot of shows and then eventually moved to Los Angeles.

Anti-Bloomberg ad signals new political trend

Fri, 2014-08-29 10:58

Experts expect between $6 and 7 billion will be spent on messaging during the 2016 campaign season and its run-up. The Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision opened the door to more outside spending on advertising, and that has changed a lot of things – including who gets attacked by attack ads.  

Last week, the National Rifle Association kicked off a multi-million dollar ad campaign with a 30-second spot.

“Liberals call this flyover country,” it begins. “It’s an insult.  But nobody insults your life like this guy: Michael Bloomberg, billionaire, elitist, hypocrite.”

The NRA says Bloomberg “has declared war” on the organization and its five million members. The former mayor of New York City has pledged to spend at least $50 million pushing for more background checks on gun buyers.

But Bloomberg is out of office.  He is not running for anything – at least right now.  And according to Michael Franz, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, that is what makes the NRA’s campaign so novel.

“To see him be the target of the ad is, in many ways, something we have never seen before,” he says.

In the past, attack ads have tied politicians to other politicians and donors to their campaigns. Franz believes this is the first advertisement not tied to a candidate or a campaign.

“This is the post-'Citizens United' world that we live in,” he says.

Franz and others say it is hard to overstate how much the landscape has changed over the last few years.

“The way we’ve organized now, since ‘Citizens United,’ essentially everything is on the table,” says Danilo Yanich, a professor of public policy at the University of Delaware. Everything and everyone.

Ken Goldstein, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, says Michael Bloomberg and other big donors are being cast as outsiders.

"The message here is that there is something improper about these people being involved in politics," he says. "That their money is trying to fool you."

This is an update, Goldstein says, of a technique campaign operatives have used for a long time.

“One of the first things one does in opposition research is see if they can tie the other side to someone who is unsavory or unpopular."

What the NRA is hoping, Goldstein says, is that this ad — and others it plans to run nationwide — will affect how Americans see Michael Bloomberg and the cause he backs.

The business of preventing sexual assault on campus

Fri, 2014-08-29 10:09

The federal government is cracking down on college sexual assaults by putting more than 70 schools under investigation for their handling of such cases - and entrepreneurs and consultants are finding business opportunities. 

They’re creating smartphone apps to let students easily notify friends or campus police if they get into a scary situation, and developing training programs for campus-led sexual assault investigations.

“With a heavily-regulated industry, you're going to see a lot of products and services offered,” says Peter Lake, a campus safety expert at Stetson University College of Law.

Stetson says many schools aren't set up to deal with new rules governing sexual assault prevention and reporting. They need the extra help.

“A lot of us were using coconuts and Dixie cups with string to communicate, and now we have complicated software programs that actually work to get data in real time,” he says.

One app, called LiveSafe, lets students give campus security anonymous tips about crimes or potentially dangerous situations in real time. Schools pay a few bucks per student on up for the services. 

By some estimates, as many as 80 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses go unreported. LiveSafe chief executive Jenny Abramson thinks apps like hers can help change that.

“We find that in a number of places we're in, they're getting twice as many - or even ten times as many - tips from a student to the safety official, around things they ordinarily wouldn't share by calling or other more traditional means,” she says.

In addition to entrepreneurs like Abramson, lots of consultants and lawyers are marketing videos and training programs around sexual assaults. They're betting schools would rather pay their fees than face much stiffer penalties from the government. Without the proper programs in place, colleges can jeopardize federal funding and get fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But Dana Bolger is skeptical about some of the products getting marketed as a means to reduce sexual assaults, such as a nail polish that can detect date rape drugs when you dip your fingers into a drink.  Bolger was a rape victim in college and is now an activist and co-founder of the organization Know Your IX. She's worried the technology may be more dazzling than effective.

“These products, while often well-intentioned, try to lull us into a false sense of security,” she says, “as though we can just innovate our way out of systemic violence against women.”

Abercrombie abandons logos to keep up with the trends

Fri, 2014-08-29 09:40

Abercrombie & Fitch, the retailer that's known for its hunky models and clothes that scream "Abercrombie" says it's ditching its logo. From now on, the retailer says its clothes will be logo-free, at least in North America.

It’s an odd twist considering Abercrombie helped create the demand for teen clothing with big logos.

Well, no surprise, teens are fickle, said Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor at Wharton.  

“In general, I think there is a trend that kids are not into logos as they once were because there’s more of an emphasis on showing your own individuality,” Kahn said, adding that it also depends on the logo - and right now Abercrombie’s is out of fashion.

Ronnie Moas, an analyst at Standpoint Research, says the the fast-fashion trend has created a big shift in the teen clothing industry and knocked Abercrombie off its perch. He downgraded the stock in early July. Moas said retailers like Forever 21 and H&M are putting out the newest fashions quickly and cheaply.

“At Abercrombie you’re paying $50-$60-$70 for a dress and at H&M it’s $20,” Moas said.

There’s no logo, so teens can mix-and-match and feel like they’re creating their own, individual style. While this is good news for young shoppers, it’s bad news for retailers, said Simeon Siegel, an analyst at Nomura.

“Leaving the brand premium means your pricing power probably erodes,” Siegel said.

Siegel said it’s not just Abercrombie that's having problems, but all teen retailers that have relied on brands in the past.

PODCAST: Nashville's parking crisis

Fri, 2014-08-29 03:00

In a digital world where our personal data is sometimes passed around like popcorn at the stadium, Apple is getting strict. The Financial Times and the Guardian newspapers are reporting that Apple has told its developers they cannot sell to third parties health data generated by its devices. The tightening of privacy rules comes as Apple is preparing to launch an updated operating system and a new platform for health and fitness. Plus, Alibaba -- known as the Amazon of China or the Paypal of China or the Ebay of China -- is going public this month in what may well be the largest new stock offering in U.S. history. And as any company must, Alibaba will be doing what's called a "road show" - where executives meet with investors to gin up interest.  We take a look at how this road show will be different. And the city of Nashville's urban core is bubbling over with growth, bumping up land prices and gobbling up parking spots. For business owners, this means parking lots are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Enter, on the wings of supply and demand, valet parking companies.

Weekly Wrap: 'Confident but careful' and Snapchat

Fri, 2014-08-29 02:39

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal discusses the week that was in business and the economy with Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, and Cardiff Garcia, of FT Alphaville. 

Inside Nashville's valet parking boom

Fri, 2014-08-29 02:00

Tyler Ross is a musician who parks cars in his spare time — and for spare change. Shaved head, standard-issue polo shirt, khakis and Ray-Bans to shield the beating sun, he looks like the quintessential valet guy. Having been in the game for about a year, slick rides barely faze him.

"It's always funny because people are like, 'you park Mercedes and BMWs?' And I'm like 'Yeah, I park a hundred of those, they're not nice any more, ya know? I park Aston Martins and Bentleys and stuff,'" says Ross, who personally drives a Toyota Matrix.

Ross is among hundreds of part-time valet workers who have found employment in Nashville's valet boom. In the city's urban core, where Ross mostly works, searching for a spot feels like a treasure hunt, and that spells big opportunity for purveyors of parking assistance.

According to city records, there were a little more than a dozen valet locations in 2011. That number is on track to triple by year's end.

When David Purcell was planning the development of his burger joint Pour House, parking availability wasn't foremost on his mind. But that quickly changed.

"You look at your lot, and you go, 'OK, I have plenty of parking,' until you actually open and look at the space you're trying to fill," Purcell says. Other restaurant owners echoed that: public parking is getting harder and harder to find while, for many business owners, the prospect of purchasing a separate lot is not manageable. So Purcell pays a valet company to take care of it.

"If you own a parking lot, it's a license to print money," Purcell says. "Had to do it all over again, I'd probably be in a different business."

Fred Kane, a land broker with Cassidy Turley, says he hears from restaurant owners all the time who would like to buy land for parking, but it's rarely available. When it is, the price is astronomical — a reflection of steadily rising land values all around Nashville's hip neighborhoods. He recalls selling a piece of land to some investors.

"I go, 'Guys, this is the last $20-a-foot dirt in Nashville,'" Kane says. "Now the stuff around there is $90 to a $100."

Kane says big returns on investment don't come from stand-alone parking garages, so for developers, it's not an easy sell. It's more palatable for an investor when the project is at least partially publicly-financed. Even with some public support, though, lenders consider a parking garage a risky bet.

"Nobody is going to lend them the money to build the $15 million, $20 million parking deck, until the demand is there," Kane says, adding that what drivers perceive as high demand and what banks perceive as high demand are vastly different.

Right now, valets have a big advantage.

Here's how it works:

When a restaurant applies for a permit from the city, the owners have to show how they're going to supply parking. The city generally requires one parking space per 1,000 square feet of floor space. That's not much.

Kane says many restaurants are outsourcing all parking obligations to valet companies. When a business applies for a permit, an owner shows city officials a contract stating that the valet company will handle parking.

When restaurants offload parking to valet companies, parking lot owners get a payday, since they're leasing space. Then Tyler Ross gets a call a to work. The valet boom is great for him, but in the end, it's very much a service industry job.

"The famous 'crumble up the one dollar bill so it looks like you're giving more but it's really one dollar' — yeah, that happens all the time," Ross says.

His wage is like a restaurant server's, based on tips. He says three bucks is the average. "Two sometimes, like, nothing wrong with two," he says.

Catching his breath after parking in a lot about a block away, Ross says the inside of a person's car is a telling portal into their personality.

"Some people are kind of embarrassed about the inside of their car," he says. "But I try not to pay attention to it, because I've seen it all."

Silicon Tally: Charlotte's Web...in your Suzuki

Fri, 2014-08-29 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

Our guest this week is Marketplace senior reporter Stacey Vanek Smith. Smith stops by for one last game before heading off to join our colleagues at NPR's Planet Money. 

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Why you've been getting bonuses, not raises, lately

Fri, 2014-08-29 02:00

Good-bye, annual raises. Hello, bonuses?

In its annual U.S. Salary Increase survey, human resources consulting firm Aon Hewitt found performance-based bonuses were nearly 13 percent of payroll this year. That’s the highest percentage in the 35 years the company has conducted it survey.

University of Wisconsin Business Professor Barry Gerhart says there’s an easy explanation why: “If you put the money into salary, it’s there forever. If you give out money in terms of a bonus, people get it that year and have to re-earn it the following year,” he says.

Bosses' love affair with bonuses began pre-Recession, and even if the economy heats up, Gerhart doubts firms will move back to annual across the board. That's because raises carry fewer fixed costs and give companies flexibility.

Wharton Business School economist Iwan Barankay says if businesses rely on bonuses, they should be careful.

“If they are not designed well. The problem is that it leads to an environment where people are gaming the scheme just to maximize their bonus, but not really creating more value to the company,” he says.

Barankay says incentives are like a meal: what you put in determines whether you get what you want.

Summer interns as art installation

Fri, 2014-08-29 01:30

The Chicago office of ad agency Havas Worldwide uses its lobby as a gallery, with picture windows facing the street. This summer’s exhibit: The company’s interns, doing their jobs, working around a long black table. Signs in the windows — like the one that said “feeding the interns is permitted and appreciated” — suggested a zoo exhibit as much as performance art.

The interns made out like working in public view was no big deal.

"Like every now and then we’ll look up when there’s like people peering through between the signs, trying to figure out what’s going on," Tori Dubray said.

That might be because they applied for the job — or the right word may be "auditioned" for it — in public.

"This year’s internship program was entirely cast and recruited through Instagram," said Jason Peterson, who runs the 500-person office and designed the internship.

To apply, potential interns posted to Instagram.

"It was a hashtag, Iamheretotakeyourjob," said intern Chris Hainey. That’s I. Am. Here. To. Take. Your. Job. "So, basically you challenged an employee that works here, and kind of posted something on Instagram saying why you would be better-suited for the position."

Hainey posted a stop-motion video — it showed an airplane flying in front of a colorful line of suitcases — with a suggestion that current Havas workers start packing.

Photography student Anna Russett took a different route. Havas offered two internships to people who could show they had more than 50,000 Instagram followers. When we met, she was at 111,000.

"That’s basically my resume," she said. "Showing that I can gain that many followers." 

She applied through a smartphone app called Popular Pays — a startup with offices at Havas. Popular Pays allows users get free stuff from local businesses if they agree to post photos of those rewards to a big enough group of Instagram followers.

"That’s currency," Peterson said, "because I can go into Antique Taco and I can go:  OK,  because I have a thousand followers, I can exchange that currency for a free milkshake."

"You will share that photo with that amount of people," Russett said. "Like, guaranteed."

This prompted a question: "So, you’re saying, like:  I will pimp myself out to a hundred thousand people for a milkshake?"

"Well…" Russett began. 

Peterson interrupted, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, have you been to Antique Taco? It’s a horchata milkshake? It’s delicious!"

Among the interns’ duties this summer: Coaching Havas employees on making better use of social media.  

Please, tip your waiters

Fri, 2014-08-29 00:00

I want you to close your eyes for a Labor Day thought experiment. 

Okay, no. This is not a mattress sale. It's a conversation about work, and what we learn from it.  

Think back to your first job. Maybe the person you were when you earned your first paycheck.

I was in high school in Washington, DC. And I spent my swampy 17-year-old summer working at a sandwich shop and café called A.K.A. Friscos (menu items were named for different places in San Francisco).

In rapid and terrifying order, I learned to prep food, slap together sandwiches for hostile, hungry journalists (the café was across the street from the local CBS affiliate), run the cash register, and bus tables.

We were quick, we were friendly, we cored lettuce with remarkable dexterity (I can still do it).

And I picked up a few lessons that stick with me.

1)      Work ethic matters. There’s simply no substitute for it. The shop’s assistant manager, Mesfin, had the most impressive work ethic I’ve ever seen. He was supporting a wife and a new baby while running the café, managing catering orders, helping open a new location, and supervising the high school kid…me.

2)      Laugh. Things invariably go wrong. Really, really wrong. Like mistaking-one-spice-for-another-in-the-chili wrong. I wish I could tell my younger self to laugh at these things instead of crying over them or getting mad. Chalk that one up to a lesson perhaps only learned with time.

3)      Tip. Like just about anyone who’s waited tables, I tip egregiously. In part because I was always shocked by the messes people left behind. But also because I think we don’t, as a society, place enough value on the work done in the service sector. Being on your feet and being pleasant can be hard, hard work. When I look at the growth in low wage jobs post-recession, I really worry. Hence, I continue to tip.

Just about everyone has a story or two from their first job. Love it, hate it, I bet you still carry it somewhere inside you. Come tell us about it. I’m @lizzieohreally, and the show is @marketplacewknd.

I might even make you a sandwich. 

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