Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

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.

101 Comment

  • Rant: Late May temperatures in early March.

    To elaborate, I live on an upper floor of a large building and between thermodynamics moving heat up from lower floors and the sun beating in my south facing windows I didn’t turned the heat on once all winter. In fact, I had to crack a window and turn on a fan to keep my apartment comfortable on most days. The building is somewhat old so the heating/AC system can only do one at a time and because it is early March the system is still configured for heating. When the outside temperature is in the mid to upper 70s opening the window does nothing to cool the apartment.

    • I have the same problem in my building. I’m on the top floor and at least once this winter actually had to turn the AC on because the windows/fans were not cutting it.

    • Have you tried black-out curtains to at least reduce the sun-related heat?

    • I second your rant! It is too hot, too soon. My apartment windows also face south and the sun beats down on them all day long. You need some kind of solar or black out curtains, it’s the only thing that helps. If I don’t close all the curtains in my place before I leave in the morning it will heat up to 75 degrees inside, even in the winter.

      • Temperature-wise, 75 degrees is just right!
        (Well, for me.)

      • maxwell smart

        As someone who lives in a basement, I am loving this. It’s that perfect time of year where I don’t need heat or AC, it’s not yet humid enough to have to run the dehumidifier and still gets cool enough in the evening to sleep under the weight of a blanket.

  • Revel: Spring is here! Those pinkish-purple early cherries are already blooming all over the place.

  • justinbc

    Reminder: Happy hour today for PoPville readers at Biergarten Haus on H Street! See yesterday’s RRR for full listing of HH pricing. I’m planning to arrive at roughly 5. I typically let the host or someone at the bar know we’ve got a group coming, so if it’s your first time or you don’t recognize anyone just ask.

  • Rant…

    Can anyone explain to me why companies don’t post a salary range in the description for an open position? You don’t have to give the exact maximum dollar amount you are willing to pay, but a range of 10-15% seems like a no brainer that would save everyone involved a lot of time, especially if you aren’t going to bring it up in the first phone interview. That way, people can determine whether it’s even worth their time to apply to the job.

    Why don’t HR people do that?

    I’ve been in the hiring situation before where HR presented me a candidate that had gone through two phone interview with them, and a face to face with my subordinate before me, and only after I met with them and gave the ok to hire did they ask about current or proposed salary and we were so far apart,there was no way to salvage it and HR ended up wasting their time, my teams time and the candidates time over something that could have easily been avoided.

    I’m now in that position, and I should have known better and it irks me. 2 phone interviews, two Video conference interviews with their team members in other countries and then they brought be to the corporate office in NYC to meet 2 other people. After that, the HR person took me back to her office and had the “salary requirements” conversation. Despite me currently being dead center in the median salary for my position, and asking for only slightly more with this new position, all I saw was the whites of her eyes. The top of her salary range would have required me taking almost a 10% pay cut.

    So after having to take a day off work and making some awkward arrangements at work to videoconference to time zones 7 hours away and wasting 3 weeks of everyone’s time, nothing.

    Why in gods name would you risk wasting so much of your organizations time by not posting a general range and leaving it all to chance?

    • justinbc

      The answer is simple, they want to maintain the leverage. Websites like GlassDoor are slowly giving some of that leverage back to the American worker, but we’re grossly uninformed as a populace with regard to what jobs pay, and what they should pay. This is partly due because people are generally timid when it comes to discussing their own pay, for various societal and psychological reasons.

      • I’ve been in this situation a couple times.

        I get the leverage part, but you think that not wanting to waste weeks of your own company’s time (forget about the applicants time for a sec) by having multiple people spend time interviewing people there is no chance of you hiring would kinda temper that leverage thing.

        And really, giving a ~15% spread isn’t giving away your leverage at all. All it is doing is saving your company a heck of alot of time, but it is almost as though HR people get paid by the number of interviews they set up or something.

        • justinbc

          I get headhunter emails on LinkedIn all the time, the very first question I ask all of them is what’s the salary (because they often don’t include that in their original email either). If for whatever reason you’re unwilling to ask what you’ll be paid for a job that you have to show up to every day then I just can’t express a lot of sympathy. Ideally every job would display the range of salaries in the description (like you can find with government jobs that have set wage brackets), but I can understand why private companies keep those numbers to themselves (or at the very least don’t offer them up unsolicited), even if I disagree with the practice.

          • Well, once I got past the $250K a year mark in base, I assumed that that kind of BS would stop, guess I was wrong.

            And dealing with a headhunter who is trolling on linkedin is a lot different than dealing with in house HR people. Completely different dynamic.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed with Gene regarding different dynamic. Having a secure job but shopping around for greener pastures vs. trying to get back on the payroll from the position of being unemployed is also a very different dynamic.

          • justinbc

            You should be aware that being past the $250K mark is a completely different dynamic as well, as salaries in that range fluctuate wildly.

    • I’m a proponent of being open with salaries. However, most businesses do not do this. This leads to a great deal of discrepancy in how people are compensated, and it is entirely unfair. For example, in my last position, I was initially offered $7.5k less than what I eventually accept; however, HR was downright deceptive in their practices, telling me I was at the top of the range when I was not at all. I also found out later that a friend with very similar experience in the same exact position, was making far less than I was because she was not as hard with her salary negotiations.

    • Most companies (and non-governmental organizations, to be honest) value deception and secrecy in salary negotiations. I have no proof of this theory, but one reason they may be willing to put in the time is that they think you’ll take into account the sunk cost of your time and effort in getting so far in the interview process when deciding whether or not to take the job – as if you’ll be so happy to reach the finish line, you’ll take whatever they’ll give you.

      I’m in the beginning (ish) stages of my career, and wonder if it gets any less frustrating as you reach higher levels. For entry level or just-past entry level jobs, the market is so tough that companies assume you’ll basically take whatever they offer. I was hoping it would get better later in my career but unless economic conditions change drastically, I’m thinking it won’t.

      • justinbc

        In this city in particular it’s no less competitive at the upper echelon either. This area has to be one of the most educated, highly qualified masses of people in the country.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      When I was unemployed in 2008, I found out that if I worked thru a headhunter they would tell me up front what the position paid. When I was working and looking, I ended up taking a position that I really liked, but found out afterwards that they would have paid me about $12K more than what I asked for. I was being seriously underpaid in my then current position. Now I am a fed, and they matched my private salary.

    • It seems unprofessional to me. In my occasional dealings with headhunters (and the one time recently I went straight to the company’s HR team) compensation is always discussed very early on — usually before they get me together with the company itself — and it saves us all a lot of time.

    • hammers

      agreed. This is extremely frustrating to me, because I am contemplating a career change and have no idea if I could afford it. Also, I’ll add my experience: A company once wanted to hire me well before talking salary, and discovered the position paid 40% less than what I was making. They ended up calling me about a year later when they had more money in the budget.

      • hammers

        also a job I most recently applied to did not have a salary listed; a few glassdoor searches later and I realized it would be a >50% pay cut 🙁 maybe it’s for the best I never heard back…

    • This is one reason I found federal government jobs appealing when I was working elsewhere — they list up front the GS range (or non-GS salary range), so there’s no mystery as to what the job pays.

      • The only possibly misleading thing to people on the outside is that federal job announcements list up to the maximum salary (I think Step 10?) for the GS level. Although I’ve heard on PoPville about people being hired at GS-__, Step [higher than one], it’s far more common to be hired at GS-__, Step 1.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          I was hired at GS_, Step 10 to match my salary. Turns out I picked the worst possible time to join the GS squad – no possible step increases and no salary increases the past 3 years.

        • My experience is that the USG will hire you at the step that matches your previous salary, or maybe one or two steps higher. From there, you may be able to negotiate starting at a higher step.

    • Agree with the OP. It would save a lot of time. Even before one gets to the interview stage. Writing cover letters targeted to jobs, and sometimes changing my resume to highlight certain experience, is very time consuming as well. I recently wrote a a nice cover letter and emailed my resume to a company with it, and got an email reply of “Is this a joke?” Not very professional of them. Sure, the job was beneath my skill level, but I was not working, and willing to take something. I’m guessing the job paid even lower than I expected, but there was no way to know from the ad.

      As a woman, I have been paid about 30-35% less than my male colleagues since since went to professional school. This was true of most of the women I worked with in the male dominated fields of law and finance. I believe that companies keep their salaries secret so they can engage in blatantly discriminatory and illegal practices with respect to hiring.

      Still, one probably should interview anyway, even if the range is low, as they don’t really mean anything. They often go above range once they decide they want you. I once got a headhunter call, with a salary range that was not an increase, so I wasn’t interested. I passed the information on to a colleague who was under pressure from a dick boss and more eager to leave, and she ended up getting the job, at a salary that would have been a nice increase for me, such that I’d have been happy to take it myself. In that case, the headhunter had told me the name of the company, so she contacted the company directly. That may have had something to do with the higher salary she got. With many companies, you can get a higher salary if they aren’t paying the headhunter fee. I once negotiated a job offer up substantially, and they were transparent about it. When I asked for a higher salary than offered, the first thing they asked me was – did you come here through a headhunter, or answer our ad directly? (I had answered the ad directly, and was able to negotiate a few tens of thousands higher as a result.) Generally, I’d have been paid higher at jobs with a headhunter, but not always. I once got such a lowball offer through a headhunter, for a job where salaries are fairly standard and transparent, that I was disgusted.

  • Rave: Beautiful weather! and with the Park Service updating Cherry Blossom peak predictions, it looks like I won’t miss the peak blooms and can enjoy them before I head to California!
    Rant-ish: Hopefully they’ll still be gorgeous when my brother, SIL and nephew come for a visit in early April!
    Rave: Am feeling better, little by little, for the past two days – so grateful for antibiotics.
    Rant-ish: still not sure what is causing the kidney problem – waiting for results from ultrasound, blood work, and cultures….Hopefully we’ll know soon. and hopefully it’s easily treatable.

  • Rave: 80s today!! Time for short dresses and sandals!
    Rant: Legs of Irish decent looking rather blue and translucent in the sun. Feet in desperate need of a pedicure.
    Rant: A few rather unsettling dreams last night. I have really vivid dreams so it’s hard not to dwell on them.
    Rave? Things appear to be falling in place regarding major life changes. I keep telling myself that this is all great and I should be super optimistic and excited, but then I keep having the doubts and the what-ifs and the dont-get-your-hopes-up’s.
    Rant: Why am I so effing afraid of good things happening in my life?

    • Additional Rant: WaPo comments sections regarding Lilly Wachoski’s transition and just the way, in general, transgendered people are treated. I just don’t get why people feel it is their right to pass judgment on people in such a mean and nasty way. It really rubs me the wrong way.

      • When I want to lose faith in humanity I read the WaPo comments section.

        • They are seriously awful, and clearly populated by people who only read the Post in order to be offended and comment only to offend other people.

        • +1 to skj84 and Anonamom. It’s best to just avoid WaPo comments sections in general.

      • Ugh, i was thinking about Lilly Wachoski last night and the hostility transgender people face. I think it’s a lot of things: lack of understanding, not being comfortable, etc. At the end of the day everyone is their own person and a transgender person is just trying to live their life. I really feel for transgender people, it’s an extremely tough road.

  • Rave: THIS WEATHER. Working from home today and I can’t wait to go sit in the park for lunch. And I’m hoping I can convince my friends to change our dinner reservations to someplace with outside seating.
    Rant: (Even though it’s probably the beginning of an extra hot spring and that will suck.)
    Rant: Parents wanted to visit me for cherry blossom season, then backed out when they realized how expensive hotel rooms are at this time of year. They absolutely refuse to stay with me. I guess they want their privacy but it makes me feel like my living arrangements are subpar.

    • There are hotels that are cheap by any standard in and around the city. Guess those maybe below their standards as well.

    • On the flip side.. there are cheapskate parents who would never dream of staying in a hotel, no matter how inconvenient it is for their adult child.

  • houseintherear

    Rave: Dyed my blonde hair pink again last night. It’s amazing how differently my young students treat me when they see me as hip. I think I’ll stick with the pink for a while!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Pink is my favorite hair color.

      • houseintherear

        me too! and I *HATE* pink anywhere else, like clothes or housewares, etc… but pink hair is ok for some reason.

    • Pink is so much fun! Mine is fading, It was a fuschia when I first got it done. Now down to dusky rose.

    • I love pink, I bet it looks awesome!
      Oh, to be blond.

      • houseintherear

        fake blonde. 🙂 I will definitely get cancer some day since I’ve been bleaching my hair for 25 years already!

    • That One Guy

      I once dyed my hair blue…it lasted all of one or two days before it started to turn greenish. More power to the people who, both, have hair and can have dye it stick.

      • houseintherear

        That’s what is nice about pink- it just kinda fades out into a soft orange and back to blonde. And it’s just a stain so I can reapply twice a week for a bright pink if I want. My brother used to dye his hair blue in the 90s and I remember the green fade-out… it was interesting!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Blue always turned my hair an awful grey and since I’m pale and pasty, my skin took on the grey hue. Didn’t make that mistake again. Green was another bad color choice. Pink really is the best hair color 🙂

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Ugh, this week. Nothing horrible, but everything just seems stupid and annoying.
    Rave: WARM WEATHER. Even the wimpy DC winter is really too much for me.

  • Rave: all packed for my 4.5 day beach vacation with my bestie!
    Rant: still need to get a lot of work done before noon tomorrow.
    Rave: finally have the time and motivation to get back to the gym regularly…
    Rant: which the beach vacation will likely derail. Travel always throws me off my gym routine.
    Rave: utterly bizarre work project has us going on an offsite field trip when I get back, it’s an early afternoon happy hour. This is the best, weirdest project ever.

  • Rave: Sent out some awesome gifts to some really great people via USPS and they all received them in a day. And they LOVED them and it makes me really happy.
    Rave: Beautiful bike ride into work today.
    Rant: Late train tonight. And a long day of research and writing.
    Rave: Excuse to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather by interspersing short walks throughout the day. Gotta get those miles in for my March Ironman ;-).

  • Rant/Rave: Early morning monitoring appointments. I love that I can get on with the rest of my day but I’m just not that much of a morning person to want to be anywhere at 7am.
    Rave: Back garden is clear and ready for the new plant babies.
    Rant: Clearing the back garden resulted in my sciatic nerve acting up again. And I can’t take any anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers for it.
    Rave: Dress without tights weather. I love it.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: yesterday I was gung ho about applying for the new position at work. Today I’m convinced they won’t hire me b/c I don’t have enough experience and/or it may be seen as a step down from what I currently do.
    Rant: keep waking upi 15 minutes before the alarm goes off and it’s so annoying.
    Rave: time for summer dresses!

    • Apply anyway! Best to give it a try.

      • Agreed! Generally women are less likely to apply to job that they are mostly qualified for than men. Many aspects of a job are specific to that job and can be learned when you start, so give it a try! Especially if you think it would make you happier.

        • It is true about women. But I am convinced that women feel this way largely due to their experience. Employers who prefer to hire men (which many do) will reject women telling them they don’t have the experience required, but they you see them hire men with even less experience than the women who were rejected. Have seen this ALL the time.

    • I agree, apply if you’re genuinely interested. What have you got to lose? Worst case they don’t hire you and you stay where you are (which is where you’d be anyway).
      Regarding experience: I’ve had multiple people tell me that the job announcements at their organizations are more of a “wish list”, it’s not necessarily required to have every single one (particularly when it comes to length of experience) as long as you’re qualified to do the job.
      If it’s a step down, you’ll at least know and don’t have to accept an offer. If it’s something you want anyway and are worried how others perceive the move: don’t. Career moves don’t have to constantly be up a rung on the ladder, as long as you have good reasons for wanting the change that will make you happy.

  • Rave: This gorgeous spring weather! I didn’t wear a coat today. I’m trying to psych myself up and ride my bike to work at some point this week.
    Rant: I think there is something wrong with my right eye. It feels scratched. I have my contacts in today which isn’t helping. Must make an appointment with my eye doctor.

  • Rant: A good friend is dealing with a lot of life changes and anxiety, and I’m not entirely sure how to support her through the process other than being present.
    Rave: This weather! Sunshine brightens my mood so very much.
    Rant: Not sleeping well even with a dose of Benadryl before bedtime.
    Rant: I had some terrible anxiety dreams about the health of the little parasite last night. I think that’s fairly normal, but it made getting to sleep even more challenging.
    Rave: No plans this evening except for a relaxing night at home and tacos. All the tacos.

  • Rave: Excellent news on the job/money front arriving on a beautiful morning where I also got to lay around snuggling and snogging with the girlfriend — sometimes the inability to sleep past 6am works out. It’s kind of firing on all cylinders today.

  • I second your rant! It is too hot, too soon. My apartment windows also face south and the sun beats down on them all day long. You need some kind of solar or black out curtains, it’s the only thing that helps. If I don’t close all the curtains in my place before I leave in the morning it will heat up to 75 degrees inside, even in the winter.

  • Rant: three wake-ups between two kids is a rough night!
    Rant: toddler (preschooler? almost 3…) had a nightmare. Poor kid. Transitions are rough.
    Rant/Rave: Too much going on this weekend! Should be fun, but holy moly chaotic. First long car trip with the baby & fingers crossed he travels well. I’d really like to be able to get to Philly without stops, but we’ll see.

  • Rave: Finished Fuller House. Such a cute trip down memory lane.
    Rant: 35 minute cold call in class this morning. I guess it went well since the professor stuck with me.
    Rant: Being very pro-prosecution and having a very pro-defendant criminal law professor. At least class goes quickly because I’m constantly thinking of counter arguments…
    Rave: Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle leave-in conditioner.

  • jim_ed

    Rant: Someone crashed their car through the front of Dolcezza Gelato Factory AGAIN. How the hell do people keep doing this? It’s not like its a poorly marked turn or prone to extreme fog at that corner. Just bizarre.
    Rave: This weather when you have a job that allows/requires you to be outside a lot. Going to spend most of the afternoon enjoying the weather and sunshine.
    Rave: Living in the city. Unlike our friends and colleagues who have hellish commutes home every night, my wife and I are usually home in time to walk to daycare with the dog, pick the kid up, and have a nice neighborhood walk all before dinner, rather than spending that time stuck on 270 or 66. I need to remember these benefits more often when we hear gunshots down the street.
    Rant: I stayed up way too late to watch the Wizards crap the bed in Portland in OT, which I should know better than to do, because the Wizards are an inexhaustible fountain of disappointment. Can we fire Randy Wittman yet?

    • That One Guy

      Maybe it’s people fueled on something, fiending for gelato or angry that they don’t make churros???

  • rant: i am finally over all the bad service and ever-increasing prices at the large unnamed salon on 14th street. it’s hard to muster the energy to find someone new. referrals SO welcome!
    rave: sunshine. can’t wait to get outside for lunch and feel the warmth!

    • Michael Anthony Salon on Capitol Hill. It’s a very small salon located at Eastern Market. I see Jonathan and he is awesome!!!!

    • You might like Parlour Salon on U Street. It’s stylish without being too trendy and I think the stylists there have a variety of “price points.” I’m a huge fan of Kendall for haircuts, but everyone seems to look great when they walk out.

      • Kendall moved to NYC! He got a fabulous new job, but it’s a huge loss for the curly haired people of DC 🙁

    • FtLincolnLove

      Hands down, Quency at Salon Quency on U Street. He used to work at Bang Salon inside Vida U Street, but recently branched off and started his own salon!! He is AMAZING!! I went to him after a disastrous hair cut at Bubbles Cleveland Park, and he is now the only person allowed to touch my hair.

  • Rant: Husband’s wallet was stolen back in the fall right before we moved out of the city.
    Rave: Mysterious package arrived last night at the new place. Thank you to the person that mailed my husband’s wallet contents and thank you to the new owners of our old home who forwarded the package to us!
    2nd Rant: Wallet was missing and so was $100 visa gift card.
    2nd Rave: All other items that he can recall were in the package.
    3rd Rave: Ready for spring, warm weather and gardening!

  • Rave: One of the regulars who I see when I’m working my side hustle seems to be as interested in me as I am in him. The question is, how do I make it clear that he should ask for my info, given that we only cross paths when I am tied up with the work that I’m doing? How do we exchange info when my other co-workers are within earshot and I have other customers to help?

    • hammers

      my first instinct here is to pass him a note. I swear I’m not in high school

    • Do you ever talk about activities/hobbies you have in common? When I finally realized my now-boyfriend was possibly flirting with me I made a point of mentioning that I’ve always wanted to rent a kayak on the Potomac, but never got around to it (we were talking about liking canoeing/boating/etc, so it fit). Made it easy for him say, “me too, would you be interested in going together?” If he’s slow to pick up on it, you could also be the one to suggest an outing.

      • I think I’ll use today’s beautiful weather as a opening for a conversation in that direction. Maybe lay the groundwork today, and then follow up with a suggestion or my info on a note this weekend. I like the idea of like indirectly working up to the conversation, so I’m not just randomly giving my number away in what may appear to be a “Call Me Maybe” scenario.

  • Late-in-the-day query for Justin, MPinDC, and anyone else familiar with creeping phlox:
    Was I supposed to have cut my creeping phlox back in the winter?? I was looking at it today and although in some places I could easily cut off dead growth, in other places there’s fresh green growth at the ends and matted dead-looking growth closer to the base of the plant.

  • Rave: Warm weather!
    Rave: More of my daffodils are blooming!
    Rant: Feeling somewhat scatterbrained, probably as a result of ongoing poor sleep.

  • This is a Revel… This morning I dropped my wallet in the Potomac Metro and didn’t realize it until I reached my destination at Ballston. The metro employee at Ballston informed me that they had my wallet back at Potomac.
    Metro employee, Jozlyn Tharps, was able to determine where I has heading from the history on my SmartTrip card called Ballston. THANK YOU Metro employees!!!!

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