Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ask Working Girl

Have a work-related question? Blog-related question? Or want to know something random about one of us? Ask! Send your questions to or or just post a comment here. Now, onto this week's questions...

Diane asked: Why is it so hard to find office supplies in the office? Do they really think they are going to save money by not giving me a notebook?

WG1 answered: We have a designated office supply orderer and lately he hasn't been letting anyone order the supplies they want. They all must be Office Depot brand and we can't even get tissues. I hate it. So, I go to an office supply store, purchase what I want and expense it. No questions asked.


Mary de Bastos asked: How can you afford to live in the city on assistant salaries? How much is an assistant salary?

WG1 answered: Let me answer your second question first and before I do, let me point out that this is solely based on an informal survey of my friends who all happen to work in publishing in Manhattan. On average, sales assistants make $30,000 - $37,000 a year. Some get overtime and others get three weeks vacation a year. It all depends. Either way, it's a tough salary to live in Manhattan on. Which is why WG2 and I started our post-college lives in Hoboken, NJ and why a number of our friends are living at home to save money.

For those of us living in the city (and in Hoboken because it's only a teensy bit cheaper), we get by paycheck to paycheck. Everything from tampons to rent is expensive in New York City. I try my best to save some money after paying all my bills but I also like to shop, dine out and go out with my friends. So it's really a crap shoot because one week you have extra money to shop and the next your rent is due (and cable, and electric, and your credit card bill).


Mich (from Canada, where everyone takes their shoes off at the door) asked: I always see people on TV and in movies wearing their shoes in the house (on American shows). Is it true or is it just on TV?

WG1 answered: I always take my shoes off when I get home. But growing up in Minnesota, I was trained well to take of my shoes in the mud room. My boyfriend, who is from Massachusetts, keeps his shoes on and doesn't know what a mud room is. Does that help?


WG1's Mom asked: Are you still hungover, sweetie?

WG1 answered: No.


Anonymous said...

No really- why do people wear shoes in their house? I'm from MN too and idk about anyone else, but it's polite and in good manners to take one's shoes off before walking into someone's house. Heck- even my cable guy took his shoes off and I didn't even ask. Anyways, I think it's odd to wear shoes if you're at home.


jaime. said...

Your mom is too cute... my mother is the same way and I feel she would have asked the same way. Love moms :)

Mary De Bastos said...

Thanks for answering my question!!
I live in the UK, and its hecka expensive here. So crazy!!
I hate money!

Cal said...

The shoes on/shoes off thing is completely regional. I'm from MN too and everyone here goes barefoot indoors but when I visit my California relatives they get all flustered/confused when I take my shoes off at the door. I think its just a midwest thing...

Hazel said...

I didn't know you grew up in Minnedota! Yay Minnesota!

K said...

WG1 I had no idea you were from MN! What made you decide to move to NY?

Cowgirl said...

I currently live in Denver, and very rarely do people actually take off their shoes when going into people's houses. My husband is Chinese so he ALWAYS takes his shoes off entering our house or someone else's because its polite.

I grew up on a cattle ranch, and maybe because boots are harder to slip out of but I always remember wearing my boots in the house (as long as they were clean!) Now, I slip up a lot and wear my shoes around the house. Weird cultural thing, isn't it?

kim said...

disclaimer: I'm a slgiht germ-a-phobe

If you wear your shoes-ies in the house, think about all the crap you're bringing in with you from your day! Gum remnants, doggy poo poo, spilled Vanilla Dr. Pepper that's dried and left sticky remains all over Target's (seemingly) clean floor. Do you really want that stuff in your HOUSE? ew ew ew ew.

SingErin13 said...

I'm currently job hunting (such a daunting task), and do you believe in internet methods, door to door resume distribution or simply the fact that you need to "know someone". This slump is reeeeally getting to me!

Mich said...

thank you
thank you
thank you for posting my question.... i wondered about it for so long!!!

(love your blog!!)

MO said...

Oh how cute your mom is...LOL!

Lose That Girl said...

Working in NYC with your publishing assistant salaries, you could be one of the characters in 'Last Days of Disco'! Love that film.

Giovanna Diaries said...

Oh my! That shoes question was really funny.
I'm from NY (long island) and I never went barefoot. If I was going to be in for the rest of the day then the shoes would go off. If I was going to go out in the near future...they stay on.
Now I'm living in Boston....and... yeah, nothing changed.
Though I did and still do have friends that whenever I go over shoes would go off immediately when entering. I think it just depends on the family...and if there are crawling kids in the house.

DomestiGals said...

Oy, living in NYC on an assistant's salary is not fun. I made about $35-$40K back in 2000 when I was a legal assistant/paralegal and living in Brooklyn. Ahem, then I decided to move to Prague for a year to teach English and make $400 per month. I seriously could write new edition of The Cheap Bastards Guide to living in *any* city in the world.

My partner and I fight about the shoe thing all the time. I'm half-Asian, so I insist on taking off shoes in the house!