Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

148 Comment

  • Revel: The City Council sticking to their guns despite the tax revenue and jobs Wal Mart would create. Every other state let’s Wal-Mart do business as is? Why is DC any different were aren’t even a state.

    • I have the opposite view. I don’t like Walmart so it is not that I am siding with them, I am siding with the values of right and wrong.

      To me, DC just gave another hand out, as DC is the hand out king. I would love for the city council to pass a law saying my company had to pay me double the going salary without me doing anything to earn it. I don’t want to make minimum wage but there is no law to help me out there unless I want to work at Walmart. I helped myself on my own two feet, I worked full time and put myself through college to get the skills required to EARN my higher salary. I worked for it, I earned it, I deserve it. Anybody who does get a job at Walmart and does not like the compensation has the same right as an American to do exactly what I did, work harder to earn more. It is not as if there is a lack of opportunities HERE for higher education or better paying jobs…….. for those willing to earn it. Stop giving hand outs and people will begin to learn that simple fact of life, you want better, do better, work for it and earn it.

      You can never have true fairness and equality without fairness and equality, and equal means all, laws that assist some but not others equals inequality.

      • How is someone supposed to get higher education if they have to work three jobs just to make ends meet?

        • Meant to post this yesterday but isn’t the larger issue the lack of good jobs for low skilled employees. In a service based economy what more can you do with only a high school diploma (or less)? I am just not sure it is economically sustainable to impose good jobs on companies. It is an interesting battle though.

        • I did it.

          • In DC, in this economic climate, with housing prices being as high as they are now?

          • In DC, but 15 years ago. But even with prices being what they were then, I had $35 per pay period left over after paying rent, student loans and eventually a car loan. I shared a one bedroom apartment with a friend. You do what you have to do.

          • Did you have children? And a solid K-12 education that would make college a feasible option?

      • Where your logic breaks down is that when people make such low wages, they will STILL be receiving “handouts” even while working. At least in a humane society, which is where many of us prefer to live.

        • Exactly. When Walmart employees collect SNAP benefits – because they can’t earn a living wage – that is a de facto tax on all of us. The govt. takes my money and gives it to Walmart – no thanks!

          • Exactly 100% correct. I’m against corporate welfare. I think that this move by the DC City Council is fully in line with the tenets of capitalism. Wal-Marts, over the long run, would be a net economic drain on DC, just like they are in every other community they’ve moved into.

          • Where your logic breaks down is the assumption that an employer has an obligation to pay its employees enough money to “live.” Maybe that’s desireable but it’s not mandatory – whether people like it or not. Lots of people have second or third jobs. Are these employers cheating their workers because they won’t or can’t give them enough hours to allow them to have just one job?

          • Whether or not employers have an obligation is, I suppose, an ethical debate, and I have my views, but aside from that, practically speaking, big-box/chain retail usually has a combination of problems: 1) low wages that aren’t enough to live on; 2) less-than-full-time hours; and adding to those problems, 3) unpredictable “just-in-time” scheduling that changes from week to week. The employer may not be obligated to give every employee full-time hours, but from an ethical standpoint, I think it’s pretty crappy to pay bottom-of-the-barrel wages AND impose a scheduling system where an employee doesn’t know from one week to the next whether they’ll be working 8 or 12 or 32 hours the following week, or even what days they might be assigned to work. That makes it next to impossible for someone to add in a second or third part-time job, especially if that’s also a retail gig with similarly fluctuating schedules. (It also makes it very difficult to keep up a school schedule, if someone is trying to attend college part- or full-time while ekeing out a retail existence.)

        • To Marcus – yes, I do believe an employer – who is earning a substantial portion of their profit due to tax-based infrastructure, public education of their workforce, govt stability, military readiness to defend their asses etc. – does in fact have an obligation to pay their employees a living wage.

          But if you want to argue otherwise, I’ll say fine – but let’s then pass a law that refuses any and all public, tax-funded, benefits – food, housing, medical care, child care etc. to anyone with a job. It might just be the impetus we need to get the peasants storming the castle!

      • Wait, so you’re salty that those working a job you have no desire to do are going to be able to (sort of) provide for themselves? Why not just be happy that you have a decently paying job and move on? Sounds like you don’t really have much real standing in this fight.

      • If this actually goes through, has anyone considered the actual quality of labor consequences? The higher walmart pay will get the better low skill employees in town, leaving the Mom and Pop shops with less qualified employees, more turnaround, worse service etc.

        • Well, the mom and pops always have the option of paying employees more if it’s worth it to them.

          • Local small business owner here: We have always paid our employees (mostly low-skill) well over minimum wage. It’s worth it to us to keep them around, and not have to re-hire and re-train all the time. Also, happy employees are nicer to customers, and, the longer they stay, the better they get at their jobs. It’s amazing to me how many businesses haven’t figured this out. Now, if only we could afford to give them health insurance… *sigh*

          • Thank you for that point! I think a huge part of the problem is that there is a deeply entrenched and persistent culture in the retail industry (referring here to organizational culture, not culture in the sense of anything ethnic or racial) that simply knee-jerk refuses to believe that better labor models are feasible and profitable. Many large retailers operate on a constant churn-and-burn basis, and this is both from the employer and employee side. Employers figure there’s no point in investing (in terms of higher wages and professional development) in their employees because if they quit, there are 100 more people lined up, desperate for any job; for their part, employees often figure there’s no point in putting in 100% at a job where they’re paid like crap and treated like crap, and they can easily jump to another job that’s no more or less crappy than the other. Neither side thinks the stakes are all that high. I think Costco has been the most widely-cited example of a retailer that’s bucked this trend and demonstrated solid profits, better employee performance, employee longevity, and reduced turnover costs. There is no inherent reason why retail can’t be a decent career option for some folks. Maybe not a get-rich career–it’s still retail, after all–but nonetheless a solid way to earn a full-time, modest, livable wage for someone who for whatever reason doesn’t have the time or money to invest in college/grad school/whatnot at that point in their lives. Those who are interested in these issues can check out Zeynep Ton’s writing for more examples of retailers who are making this work: http://www.zeynepton.com/. While her work is sometimes cited by labor advocates, she’s a business school professor whose background and expertise is in operations and supply chain management, so she comes at the issue from that perspective.

      • Oh gawd, not the old “the poor are poor because they are lazy” claptrap. That’s some entitled bullshit right there.

    • They’ve already started development at the Georgia Avenue location, it’s hard for me to believe they’ll back out now. Abandoning that site, and the resulting sanctions/lost revenue they’d suffer would greatly outweigh any loss in employee pay. It’s a bluff in my opinion.

      • Regardless of whether Walmart comes or not, this nasty bait and switch tactic has let other businesses know that DC is not interested in creating jobs or bringing stores that people actually want or need (except, of course, the loud and opinionated Whole Foods and NPR-listening crowd). As if the onerous regulations and other obstacles weren’t enough. And THIS is why we can’t have nice things!!

        • ….you just called Walmart a “nice thing”.

          • I would call Wegmans a “nice thing” and they will likely stop considering the Walter Reed Site now too. Very short sighted on the COuncils part. Although I am confident the Mayor will veto. This way the council members who voted for it still have political cover.

          • J, I know your opinion on Walmart, but for some people, affordable food in a food desert is a nice thing. An affordable pair of socks as opposed to trudging down to the downtown Macys would be nice for those less privileged than yourself. For myself, however, I’m more referring to our total dearth of good ethnic food restaurants. Everyone knows the best Korean and Chinese is in the burbs. Why is that? Because immigrant families who bring these awesome restaurants have an easier time building their businesses in VA and MD. DC is too much of a hassle and too expensive.

          • People call the Apple a “nice thing,” and their business practices are just as bad as Walmart’s.

          • Do you seriously think that a large corporation is going to pass on a potential profit cow? If there’s a demand, someone will surely supply – especially if they can afford the up-front development costs. Don’t cry for me, Argentina.

          • I think Walmart doesn’t provide such services, I think they exploit workers (not that I don’t think Target and the like do the same). There are other business models to provide needs such as groceries and other shops, that aren’t like Walmart, a la Sterling Farms in New Orleans. Giving in to the biggest businesses possible isn’t a recipe for long-term success, as many towns have seen.

          • Immigrants build their businesses in the burbs because that’s where their clientele is.

        • This. This and Wegman’s likely to pull out of considering DC.

          • I have a hard time believing Wegmans was opening in DC proper. That said, Wegmans pays its employees better and provides better benefits than Walmart. They are consistently one of the top companies to work for. Though, I’m sure it’s not the BEST wage, you often see people working there for years and years.

      • The money they’ve put in is sunk cost. They have to look at what the future revenue stream is going to be and if that justifies putting more money into the project.

        While it may be a bluff, and I believe they will still make money, Walmart does have a high rate of return that they need to make on their capital investments to justify any store, so with the slight added cost, there is a chance it could skew their models.

      • I heard that Walmart really didn’t want 6 stores anyway but the CIty basically talked them into 3 more. They may be more than happy to break that commitment and only go with the stores under construction. I think we just talked outselves out of several thousand jobs. Also, do we know that Walmart only pays minimum wage? On the radio this morning someone made the point that you are also losing pharmacists, managers, assistant managers, folks that were already going to make more than 12.50.

        • Plus, minimum wage is where you start. I think a common misconception is that the minimum wage is where a person stays for the rest of their life. Most people aspire to and receive a higher wage after working a long time and moving up, or getting an education and new skills that command a higher salary. Minimum wages are price floors. With DC demanding a 50 percent increase over the original min. wage, which is already above the federal minimum wage, there are economic consequences for that. Inefficiency results. Based on so many of the comments I’ve been reading here and elsewhere, it is clear to me that we need a mandatory economics course in high school (and you might as well thrown in financial literacy). The ‘arguments’ being made are appalling.

          • I don’t know. Are there really that many opportunities to move up from minimum wage? In retail if you’re lucky enough to rise to a managerial position you’re hardly make any more money.

          • You do realize that there are almost no options to move up in Walmart, right? They admit as much in their own internal documents.


          • Re Anon 11:15’s point about management, not sure if Walmart has been proven to do this, but there’s a not-uncommon scheme in low-wage retail to basically subvert maybe not the letter but the spirit of overtime laws by over-relying on store management to perform store associate tasks. In other words, the company makes someone manager or assistant manager of the store, with a salary of, say, $28-$35,000 a year. Corporate then allocates that person’s store a maximum of X hours of “associate” or floor staff time per week that they can schedule as they see fit. (Those floor staff are the people who are supposed to get overtime past 40 hrs/week.) However, X hours of floor staff turns out to be nowhere NEAR enough time to accomplish all of the necessary tasks in the store, so the manager ends up picking up the slack by stocking shelves, ringing up merchandise, in some cases literally cleaning the bathrooms, and generally doing all kinds of tasks that the floor staff would otherwise do, to the point where they’re spending upwards of 70-80 hrs/week at the store…but no overtime, because they’re a “manager” on “salary” instead of hourly.

      • I think Walmart is totally bluffing, which is why I hope the Council’s law stands. Walmart has conquered the rural, exurban, and suburban markets to the point of near saturation (people can debate whether that’s good or not, but it’s basically a fact that they’re everywhere); if they want to keep growing their base of stores, they NEED the urban areas now. Cities have some leverage here, but they’re usually too scared of “killing jobs” to use it. (For the record, I feel similarly about tax breaks and subsidies that are given to other types of developments as well. Too often, I think local governments tend to give away the store–pardon the pun–to developers and big businesses, without asking for much in return in the way of community benefit, or when there are developer concessions, without any meaningful oversight/enforcement to ensure those benefits come to fruition.)

        • Yup. Wal-Mart needs DC more than DC needs Wal-Mart. We still have plenty of shopping options here and the jobs thing is a bit of a red herring, as the DC economy was one of the only few that expanded throughout the duration of the recession.

          Wal-Mart is totally bluffing. They will continue with the 3 stores already in development, even if the wage is raised to $12.50. They will then examine how it works before deciding on the other 3 stores (mostly likely at least 1 or 2 of them will end up opening).

          Still, even 6 Wal-Marts in the area at the current minimum wage is over-saturation, IMHO.

          • “WalMart needs DC more than DC needs Walmart”?
            Tell that to the people in Ward 7. While you are at it, tell them you’re observation about the “plenty of shopping options” too. And throw in the “jobs thing is a bit of a red herring” as well.
            You are right that the DC economy has expanded a lot since the recession, but most of those jobs are not going to DC residents

          • Agree. I know a manager at one of the stores at DC USA (Columbia Heights) and Target in that mall is regularly one of the top performing stores in the country. During the first week of its opening, they had to scramble and bring in merchandise from all over the country to keep it full. Walmart knows how much money is to be made. Walmart needs to get into this market as they have saturated most of the rural and suburban market. If they can’t break into to cities, they will stop growing. There is no need for the DC Government to back down.

          • I think Marcus nailed it.

    • I think it’s important that the Council not back down in the face of corporate blackmail, and I support minimum wage laws, but $12/hour feel ludicrously high. It’s not the job of Wall-Mart or any employer to care if their employees can afford higher education — there are scholarships for that — or an apartment in a better school district or organic farmer’s market produce. Given that the economic system is rigged against the working class, it makes sense for the government to step in and balance the scales somewhat. But there are limits. It may also be relevant that this is a major metropolitan area and some some godforsaken Alabama backwater — there are other employment options and anyone with reasonable job skills ought to be able to put Wall-Mart in the rear view mirror soon enough.

    • Walmart is not the problem, the problem lies with our economy and us. There was a time when you could walk out of high school – with or without a diploma – and go down to the local steel mill or auto plant and get a job that paid well and had good benefits. Those days are gone. Not a lot of highpaying manufacturing jobs are being created and the ones that are being created require more than a high school education – or at least the high school education most American kids get.
      We get angry at the Walmarts of the world for “creating” low wage jobs but the fact is service jobs have always been realtively low wage. They were not meant to be careers. They were meant to be stepping stones to something better. But in this economy, service jobs are becoming careers because they are the main jobs being created. At the same time, most people don’t have any interest in paying more for services.
      Retailers offer “low low” prices by paying “low low wages” to employees and squeezing suppliers with “low low” margins. Maybe if the public indicated it was willing to pay fity cents more for a product to ensure that the workers received a “living wage’ and health benefits, more companies would provide those things to their employees.

      • If we put labor in the board room, like they do in Germany, we’d solve all 90% of our economic problems.

        Check out the legally mandated management structure for large companies Germany. It works and should be the model we strive for in the U.S. Our economy would be more stable, we’d solve a lot of income inequality issues, and we’d generally have a happier society.

      • This is what Obama talks about when discussing the shrinking middle class. There needs to be a good debate about how to address it. I for one do not think government is the cure for this problem. Sure government can help to protect workers and keep companies honest but when it comes to solving that big whole in the middle-part of the economy we need something that I don’t think anyone has thought of yet. Robin-hood style class warfare is great for elections but does little to solve the problem.

      • I don’t disagree with you about there being structural economic issues that are broader than just Walmart. And as a number of people have pointed out in this general debate, many other big-box (and smaller) retailers aren’t so great on wages and working conditions, either. But at the same time, I think what Walmart does definitely matters more simply because they are so enormous–largest private employer in the U.S. and even the world–that their corporate practices have a HUGE impact that by far outstrips that of Target or Giant or Home Depot, etc. etc. Walmart’s sheer size exerts enormous downward pressure not just on employee wages, but throughout their entire supply chain, which in turn has a profound ripple effect throughout numerous other sectors of the economy. (That is, if you’re a manufacturer of some sort of product Walmart sells, and all of a sudden they demand lower prices, are you going to say no and risk losing your biggest supplier? Or are you going to give in by lowering your prices and then compensating by cutting employee wages or moving overseas for cheaper labor?)

    • A “living wage calculator” created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s urban planning department calculates the living wage for one adult in D.C. at $13.68 per hour.

  • Rant: Ridiculous last minute skype call requests that require me meeting at 9PM without any previous notice – and receiving 6 persistent e-mails about it.

    Rave: Wasn’t checking my e-mails after work so I was able to enjoy a lovely relaxing dinner out with the husband without any work worrying me.

    Rant/Rave: Government appointment went quickly and was painless yesterday – now it’s time to mail off all of my valuables (passport, original legal documents…) and hope they return soon!

    Rant/Rave: This summer has flown by – have weekends booked solid for the next 6 weeks but want to squeeze more in!

    • I know, where did the summer go???? I thought I would have at least weekend at home to just lounge, but no! I think I’d be less annoyed if I weren’t losing so many half weekends for work travel.

      • It is only July 11.

        • Yeah, and in my opinion the best part of summer is the mid-August to September part of it.

        • Yes – but with every weekend scheduled (weddings, work, etc.) until mid-August, I feel like I haven’t even had summer yet!! You know, just relaxing, enjoying the neighborhood, drinking, BBQs, etc. And I’m out of the country in early Sept…

  • Rant: The weather. I’m guessing this has been discussed, but as a lifelong Washingtonian, it seems that the recent summers have become more overcast each year. 15+ years ago, it seemed as if we had predominantly had sunny days (and hot) days, probably 66% of the time. Now the sun maybe shines 10% of the day light hours. Depressing.

  • Rave: Got a pedicure yesterday (no nail polish thank you) and my feet feel like I’m wearing slippers made from baby chinchillas.

    Rant: Still coughing and wheezing. The A/C to Humidity cycles really don’t help that, looking forward to a less humid Thursday evening and Friday outside in DC.

    Rave: hyped for Pacific Rim, it’s rated 75% on metacritic, rare for this kind of movie. Hopefully it live up to all the hype.

    Rant: Parking in Chinatown costs pretty much the same as just getting parking tickets and paying them. Greed.

    • Chinatown is very easily accessible via public transit. Is there some particular reason you absolutely must have your car with you?

      • Maybe he prefers to drive.

        Rant: I get the “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” with almost every other comment!

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Finally figured out why you (and others) get that message. It is because you are on a shared network. If you register a name it should take care of the problem.

        • And maybe there is unlimited free parking all over Maryland and Virginia where the land values aren’t as high as they are in the middle of DC.
          Also, if a parking ticket is as cheap as paying to park I think we really ought to raise the price of a parking ticket.

      • I live a few miles up Georgia Ave and work in Chinatown. Driving takes 10 minutes whereas Metro takes at least 30 each way, Gas expenses are negligible. Driving can’t be beat on rainy days as well, and I also like to go to VA and MD after work. If I’m paying for a car, I might as well use it in my opinion.

  • Rave: Got up around 5 this morning and got a nice (short but fast) bike ride in. I love morning workouts! And I still got to work early (around 7:15).

    Rave: Gig tonight that’s pretty close to home.

    Rant: Gi could get rained out.

  • Social networking inquiry. Isn’t it tacky to call your own kids cute or beautiful on Facebook. It is implied that evryone thinks that their own kid is “so cute.” Oh, and also a genius.

    • This is why many of my FB friends are blocked from my newsfeed!

      • I don’t mind the pics. I do it myself from time to time. I am just talking about the over the topedness. The people I tend to block are the ones that are always sharing some inspirational saying. I find that much more annoying than pictures of children.

        • I don’t block everyone who posts pics of their kids, just the over the top people. You know who they are!
          And amen about the inspirational sayings. Zuckerberg needs to solve the problem of the inspirational quote “pictures,” that is the main thing that stops me (and many I know) from logging in and generating revenue for him.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I straight up unfriend the inspirational post people. I hate that crap.

          • My favorites are the ones that actually show Jesus on the cross. Apparently Jesus has a lot of facebook pages that people share posts from. He’s like the uber believers George Takei

          • Emmaleigh504

            hahaha “uber believers George Takei” that is a brilliant comparison!

    • Just tell them their baby is breathtaking!

    • i pretty much assume everyone loves theirs kids or spouse. when you tell everyone on facebook, it makes me think somethings wrong and i assume you are having an affair.

  • Rave: an unusual string of good luck and found money (unexpected “bonus” for going to a mandatory work training program, long forgotten rebates on small appliances, etc.). It’s all token amounts, but I am grateful!

    Rant: my sweetie’s string of bad luck and unexpected expenses (fender bender, short notice flight to unanticipated funeral, etc.). Sadly, not token amounts.

    Minor rant: Still no way to get line breaks, PoP???

  • Rave: Photo shoot with pabloraw yesterday!

    Followed by sad news: On my way home I learned that a friend and former colleague died unexpectedly two days ago. She was a remarkable woman and it’s hard to fathom that she is gone.

  • Rave: Great third interview yesterday. Still one more to go, assuming I make it past this round. Met some wonderful people and it really reaffirmed my interest in this organization. Good feedback from an acquaintance who works there. So will just keep waiting/hoping.
    Rant: Bedroom AC conked out yesterday and last night was a hot, sweaty toss and turn. No fun.
    Rave: Still got up and went to the gym this morning, despite a lack of sleep. 26.8 pounds down. Feeling good, even if I’ll need all the coffee today to keep those good feelings going.

    • Wow, congrats on the weight loss and obvious commitment to keep going!
      Good luck with the interviews too, but wow, four seems like a lot.

      • Thanks! I went shopping in my closet the other day and two favorite pre-baby dresses fit again. It feels great and I love how much stronger I feel.
        Four is a lot, though the first was a screening call with HR and the second was a call with the would be boss, who is not in DC. Fourth interview would be a face to face with her here in DC. Whatever it takes. 🙂

  • Every day, I am amazed that I’ve never seen someone fall down a metro escalator and take out everyone below them on the way down. I feel like I have a near-miss once a week. How is it that in 10 years on metro, it’s never happened to me, or anyone around me? Not that I’m complaining! It just feels so inevitable. Like, “is today the day I will fall down the escalator?”

    • I saw it happen once! At Dupont, no less. It was awful.

    • A good friend of mine fell down an escalator and really hurt herself. Doesn’t remember how it happened either. Not good at all.

    • I’ve been on a down escalator that stopped working with people on it and those walking down, not holding on, didn’t do so well. Now, I hold on, and sometimes don’t walk. It’s hard enough to balance on those steep steps pregnant, I don’t trust the mechanics of the metro ones (not the actual mechanics, but the fact that the escalators never work…you know what I mean!).

    • Allison

      Wait until you fall UP a crowded escalator! Worst thing ever! (And on the way to my first day of an internship no less.) Escalator is too crowded to stand back up once you’ve fallen on your shins with your crap splayed out all around you, so you get to ride that sucker face down allllllllllll the way to the top, then get slooowly pushed off the escalator over the comb with your crumpled papers around you. ‘Cause I’m classy like that.

      • em

        +1 I managed to fall up on an escalator that was going down. Just after stepping on the escalator, I realized that the platform was full and no one could get off of the escalator (which was still running). stupidly tried to turn around and step up – since I was still near the top – and bit it instead.

    • I’ve tumbled down the Columbia Heights escalator once. It was raining and I was running down the escalator. Learned my lessons. And i think the “tooth” marks from those steps will finally go away in a year or two from my leg!

  • Rave: after my phone interview two days ago, landed an in-person interview. Pretty excited, but nervous – it’s been a long time since I had an interview, and my suit doesn’t fit very well (being 5 months pregnant and all). So, off to the mall I go to find something. My suit is also black, not great for July.

    Rave: I was able to move my furlough day so I don’t have to take time off for the interview.

    Rantish: just generally worried about changing jobs, if I get an offer, right before baby. If they even offer me a position, that’s a lot of life change at once. But I know it’s not an opportunity that comes along often, and I’m pretty interested in getting off this sinking ship (of federal employment). If anyone has been there, done that, I’d love to know how it went.

    • I’m curious for curiosity’s sake – if you get the job, will you have any time off after you have the baby? FMLA only covers people who’ve been in their job for a year.

      Good luck on the interview! Get a belly band for your pants. That’s how I kept wearing my suits throughout my pregnancy (and a little bit after).

      • I don’t know what their policies are – after reading a bunch of web sites, I decided to keep the information to myself, since legally they can’t ask me. It’s not an illness, it’s a temporary situation. I have a plan for returning to work (just like I do at my current job), only the new job is like 5 blocks from where we live. If they give me an offer, I’ll tell them up front and negotiate it as part of my compensation/benefits package. If I have to take it unpaid, it’ll hurt, but I don’t have maternity leave in the Federal Government, either – I have a TON of saved up annual/sick leave, so I’ll at least get to cash out my leave which will be a decent buffer if I have to go unpaid (we don’t get paid for unused sick time). So that’s my plan based on reading some HR web sites, and talking to a friend who is a pretty big deal at her company. I just keep telling myself that I’m not lying, I’m just not telling since the interview is about the job and me, not my pregnancy. I have a bellyband, still need to buy a slightly larget suit, preferably not in black!

        • Can you wear a dress and maybe a blazer? Soooo much more comfortable than a suit. I can’t imagine wearing a suit in the summer…even moreso pregnant.

          I only got eight weeks for my maternity leave, since I didn’t qualify for FMLA, but I guess that’s better than nothing. I’m always curious to hear other company’s policies. And you’re right – you don’t have to tell them. I don’t think I would.

  • Hmmm….. clicking on the link under a comment in the “Recent Comments” box no longer takes me to that specific comment, but rather to the top of the comments list under the related “article,” then I have to scroll through to try to find that specific one (which can be difficult when there are lots and lots of comments). Is this by design?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Couldn’t get comfy in bed last night so switched to the couch in the small hours. My cat did NOT approve and yelled at me most of the early morning.

    Rave: I got to sleep in a little this morning, so I’m not as tired as I could be. The cat is, of course, asleep. She’s such a cow sometimes.

    • Sometimes after my cat wakes me up repeatedly in the middle of the night, I wake him up before I leave the house. Just because I’m a jerk like that.

      • Emmaleigh504

        lol I do the same. I’m working from home today, so I’ve been talking to her non stop. Though I’m talking nicely to her, she was mad and yelling last night. She’s such a c***ing cow sometimes!

  • gotryit

    Rave: Front of the house is painted and it looks great! I was skeptical about painting brick, but this is definitely going to help it sell. And it looks great.
    Rant: Other contractors being flaky. Do your work right and communicate with me.

    • epric002

      we’re thinking about doing this. my husband wants to do it ourselves, i want to hire someone. what colors are you doing? do you recommend your painters? ballpark cost?? thx 🙂

  • One more post to ask POPville – we want to get new hardwood floors in our rental apartment…anyone have someone they can recommend?

    • Admiral Hardwood Floors was great for me – I didn’t have the whole thing done, but he replaced a portion that had water damage and made it match the rest. Overall did a great job and did it quickly!

    • I had some refinishing work done with Elegant and had a good experience.
      I would NOT recommend Premier.

      • thanks – I’ve got refinished floors, but they are parquet and I’m trying to get new floors put in since the overall look is very dated while the renovations I’ve completed are pretty modern. I think new flooring would fix that.

        • I’m pretty sure Elegant (and Premier, for that matter) also installs new hardwood floors. I can’t speak to Elegant’s skill in that area, since I had only refinishing done, but I’d imagine they’d be good with that too. If I remember correctly, they were also willing to beat a competitor’s bid if I could provide them with a written estimate.

          • I highly recommend Heritage Wood Floors Inc. I used them for my old condo and current 3 story house. Their bid was a bit higher, but they are an excellent company. The crucial factor is how they obtain and store their wood. A friend used another contractor, reputable, but – most likely from improper storage – the boards all shrank after about a year and it was awful.

  • Neither a rant nor rave, but a question: The tree box in front of my house looks like crap. The tree is fine, but the rest is a few weeds and then dirt. I have a black thumb, but want to make it look less dead. Any ideas of something I can put in it that I can just stick in and it’ll just do its own thing. I really don’t want to expend a lot of effort putting in plants that I know I’ll just kill, but I feel like I owe it to society to do something. Any thoughts?

    • I’d say mulch it, it will make it look neater but won’t require continued weeding and maintenance. See Casey tree’s websites for some advice about mulching (e.g. not piling it on the trunk, etc.).

    • My new favorite flower is the cosmos. It seems to grow any where with no help and does well in wet or dry conditions. It also blooms all summer. It may be too late this year to plant seeds, but it will be good for next year. I just toss the seeds in my pot and get flowers all summer. I have neighbors who have them in their tree box and they do even better there.

    • Liriope is a good plant – tough, low maintenance. Also look at low growing ornamental grasses like black mondo grass or blue sedge.

      • andy

        I put in liriope, pycnanthemum muticum, and asters, along with some ajuga around the edges, along with a lot of mulch. A lot of it died last year but there is some of everything now and it looks pretty good.

        If I had it to do over again, I would have taken the additional step of shoveling out at least 6 inches of treebox (including small roots), putting in boards on all sides (to minimize root competition), and clearly placing the initial root position below the level of the sidewalk rather than in a raised location, which makes it hard to start keep properly hydrated.

    • You could try vinca, aka periwinkle. It is a ground cover that will grow like a weed. It can sometimes look a little messy, but will take a ton of abuse.

      • I know it’s a personal choice, but I think vinca vines are weedy.

        Another option might be daylilies – not the invasive orange ones but some of the smaller repeat bloomers like stella d’oro. They are hardy plants.

      • I think the vinca (also sometimes called myrtle) is a great option. Fills in nicely, pretty little flowers, and very hardy. Only needs occasional weeding.

  • Does anyone know what was happening on M street in front of the Navy Yard metro this morning. The street had police tape around it for a few blocks and they weren’t even letting pedestrians walk by.

  • em

    Revel: Attorney General of Pennsylvania. “I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s version of [the Defense of Marriage Act] as I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional.” – Kathleen Kane.

    Revel: Harvested five tomatoes from the garden last night!

  • Rave: Today is Free Slurpee Day!

  • Rant: Why is bicycle riding permitted on sidewalks? This is incredibly dangerous.

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