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Showing posts from July, 2011

A Newbie's Take on Airline Rewards Programs

Apparently, I'm going to Las Vegas next month! With ridiculously cheap weekday hotel room rates and soon to be expiring deals from airlines like Southwest and Virgin America, it's prime time for a cheap Vegas vacation (if you can handle the heat)! More on this in another post.

After booking my tickets, I spent several hours signing up for and redeeming mileage points from various airline rewards programs. It was actually my first time dealing with airline rewards since I don't fly on my own that often. Here are a few things I learned in the process:

1) Sign up for the rewards program before booking the flight: I booked my flights before signing up for the programs, and hence wasted a good amount of time trying to figure out how to get my flights retroactively credited.

2) Don't wait too long to get your points credited: Most airlines will only credit points up to 3 to 12 months after your flight. Don't wait or you may lose your points forever!

3) Don't hesita…

Discounted Restaurant Food

One of my vices is going out for food. While I know I can save tons of money with a home cooked meal, I simply like going to a restaurant every now and then and enjoying the ambiance, the people watching, the food, and not having to do dishes afterwards. Unfortunately, with my plans to move out soon, I should probably curtail my eating out habits... or try to get more food for less money!

Deal of the day sites such as Groupon, Townhog, and LivingSocial have increased in popularity these past few years. While I've used these places to get discounts on shopping, I've predominantly taken advantage of the great restaurant offers. Thanks to deal of the day sites, I've been able to try food from places that otherwise would have been out of my price range. My boyfriend and I have also gone on numerous dates to nice restaurants while only paying half price.

Once I'm moved out, I anticipate I'll be more diligent in checking these sites daily for deals. Every dollar spe…

Moving Out: A Debate of Values

Yesterday, I received a call from one of my jobs asking me if I wanted to try working at a few more hospitals. I happily agreed, as this would definitely give me more working hours and an opportunity to check out other facilities. Also, these hospitals are far enough away from my home that I would be "forced" to move. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that things work out so I can put the apartment search into high gear and have my own place by next month.

While my mom is pleased at the idea of me working at more hospitals - especially ones with more name recognition - she is not pleased with the idea that I will probably be moving soon. In a conversation we had earlier, my mom reiterated that children who move out after college are ungrateful to their parents for not staying. My mom complained that she hasn't had a chance to "enjoy my company" since I've only been at home for a year. She stated that if I had siblings, I'd still be living at h…

More Moving Out Woes

As you all know, I've been in the process of apartment hunting so I can move out of my parents' house. It's been a rather stressful process, and has resulted in numerous arguments with my parents these past few weeks.

To break it down, here are my main arguments for moving out:
1) Driving an hour each way to get to work is tiring, and by the end of the day I often get sleepy behind the wheel. Living closer to my jobs will give me a shorter commute and more time to work on side projects. Also, living somewhere near public transportation will allow me to take advantage of my job's commuter check program, saving even more on costs. Currently, I pay over $300 a month in gasoline.
2) I'm in my late 20s, have a job, and can afford to move out. It's time.
3) I personally find it embarrassing being a boomerang kid. Part of the reason I got a masters degree was to be able to sustain myself enough such that I can live on my own.
4) Social work burnout as a result of l…

Carmageddon!

I don't know much about what's going on in Southern California with the shutdown of the 405 freeway. However, you know your public transportation system is flawed when you need to take an airplane to travel a distance of roughly 40 miles. This is almost the same distance separating the airports in San Francisco and San Jose.

I suppose this is another reason I'm lucky to live in the Bay Area. Between buses, BART, and Caltrain, I have many ways to get around if my car is ever unavailable. Bay Area public transportation is great, and location relative to public transport has played a key factor in my apartment search. My eventual plan is to rely primary on buses and BART to get to work, and use discounted commuter checks provided by my job to save money on fares.

Good luck to everyone that will be affected by the 405 shutdown! I will admit that $4 (with $1 extra for first class) is a great deal to ride JetBlue . Definitely something I would have considered if I lived d…

You have got to be kidding me...

According to an article posted on the NASW blog, actor Charlie Sheen is involved in a new project where he plays a social worker with anger management issues. The profession is already often misrepresented and poorly portrayed in the media. Having Charlie Sheen play a scriptwriter's portrayal of a "social worker" can only mean more bad publicity for our profession.

What sets social work apart from other jobs such as politicians, soldiers, doctors, and nurses is that the public has a general idea of what these professions do. When it comes to social work, our profession is often associated with child welfare. Hence, social workers are typically seen in antagonistic "baby snatcher" roles on TV and film. While Charlie Sheen won't be playing a child welfare social worker on his new show, I'm still skeptical he will provide a remotely respectable imitation of the profession.

Furthermore, many dramas and films use medical, political, and military consultan…

Happy 7/11!

Good morning! This is my first mobile post!

In honor of 7/11, 7-11 will be giving away free slurpies today! A great way to treat yourself on this summer Monday!

How Other Professions View Social Work

Yesterday, I was talking to my mom about how the RN case managers at one of my jobs often have to stay several hours after their shift making reports to different insurance companies. My mom, a bedside nurse of over 20 years, scoffed at the idea of RN case managers having stressful jobs and stated, "All they do is talk and sit in front of a computer all day. Their job is so easy." In the past, my mom has made similar comments about social work, stating that all we do is "talk to people", while people like her have to clean bodily fluids and give medication. Hence, my mom feels that MSW salaries are fair when compared to Associates and Bachelor's degrees in nursing.

I feel that despite being a nurse for so long, my mom still lacks understanding of what social workers and RN case managers do in a hospital setting. While I do try to educate her, my mom frequently reminds me that I am a "rookie" and that she has been in the field for 20 years. Out or…