A few links and thoughts
I pay my credit cards monthly on payday out of convenience. I like to get the money out of my account since it is spoken for. I don’t worry about taking advantage of the float. I don’t reconcile charges monthly, but do eventually look through them and found a double charge from Amazon recently. This is the first time I’ve ever noted an error! (I was refunded.) I used to look at spending monthly, but I haven’t had the interest to look at that level of detail lately.
I posted my own DIY success last week, but I definitely agree that DIY can be overrated. We’ve had a lot of success with small projects, but I have to admit that my husband is a lot more adept than I am (so far?). We’ve also hired several big projects. It is possible to do your own drainage work, and probably not even that technically complex – but it is a LOT of labor, especially if you don’t have the right tools. I mean, step one is to dig a giant ditch. No thanks. However, I don’t believe in the “don’t do it unless you know what you’re doing” philosophy, because most of us don’t know how to do much before we take the time to learn. Research the project, estimate how much cash it will cost you to try it yourself, and make a judgement call on whether you are likely to get the results you want. You can learn a lot from the internet these days (or from friends/family).
Ask A Manager is always interesting, but I found the comments on this post about who “covers” while someone is on vacation when you don’t have direct reports really interesting. A lot of people are expected to clear their plate as much as possible, then check in on anything critical themselves. The norm for my LA job was typically that I would clear my plate, and most things could wait. My out-of-office would direct people to my manager if they needed immediate help. (I had some roles where there was no remote access, so this helped.) It is similar at my job, but I’ve yet to see anyone use out-of-office responses. The norm is to make sure concerned parties know you’ll be out, and things can generally wait until you are back. People on the project will already know who to ask if they don’t get a quick response, and we don’t generally deal with external people that have urgent needs.
Related bad manager rant: My last manager went on a 2+ week vacation to Europe and clearly didn’t trust me to handle the things he delegated to me. He had me set up 2 or 3 times weekly meetings early-morning my time, evenings his time. Before the first one, I sent a detailed summary of the past few days and we walked through that. I did the same thing before the second call, but he never showed up. Nor did he cancel. Nor did I hear from him until he returned! I totally get checking out while on vacation – but be realistic and don’t make me schedule meetings that you aren’t committed to making. I kept sending summaries, but by the time he got back they were mostly old news as I had to move forward either way.
Who covers your work when you are out? What is your favorite bad manager rant? Do you have any DIY success stories?