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More Northwest Airlines 101 Ways To Save Money

This is a follow-up post to last weeks Northwest Airlines List Of 101 Ways To Save Money. I apologize for not updating this story sooner. I have had to remind myself that I am a tech recruiter first, and blogger second.


Unfortunately I did not get on the National Public Radio (NPR) segment of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell me. They were able to get quotes from a union rep and for as much as I wanted to get in the story they made the right choice.


To hear the segment go to This Week’s Show. Then look for:

“Bluff the Listener” "Thanks for nothing, corporate overlords!" Three stories about good intentions gone awry in the business world.

While not getting on the show was a bummer NPR does have on their front page “Links Heard On Air” with a link to this story Northwest's Advice to the Laid Off: Dumpster Dive. There is also a 2+ minute audio of the piece they did which includes comments from those that received the material. At the bottom of the story is a link to my blog posting. Very, very cool.


There has been a lot of attention to this story. Last Friday I had 1,100+ visitors to the 101 tips. As I type this at 6:00 pm central time I have had 6,100+ visitors just today.


Frankly I find this all a little overwhelming. What I thought was an interesting local story has brought 55+ links from other sites, quite a few comments, and 85 email messages. I am slowly responding to the email.


The most frequented question I have been asked is, “What do you think of this?” As I said in the original post I found that many of these “tips” are reasonable actions people could take to save some cash.


The problem is that the material was given to those losing their jobs. If I had been a recipient of the material I would have wanted someone’s butt on the chopping block. And not some mid manager person, a ranking official.


For those who have said the workers were being overly sensitive I ask them this question, “If it had been you how would you have reacted?” I doubt they would have laughed.


The problem I have from where I sit is that this was a complete failure on NWA’s part. So they really did not check the material before it was presented? Geez, that’s an awful lot of trust to put in an outside vendor.


My understanding, and I may be wrong, is that the 150+ page packet was going to be the standard packet moving forward. Can you imagine if this happened to more than 50 employees and not in three small towns?


Finally, even NEAS (the firm who put the material together) is saying that the material was prepared by someone else. Were they aware of what was prepared? Have they passed this same brochure on to other clients? Better yet, who did prepare it?


I lied, one last thing. I have been asked which “tip” I thought most about. #53 Bicycle To Work. Dude, they don’t have jobs!!!


I have gone through my referral pages and I always hesitate to point out one site over another. Some sites have referred quite a few people but only have the original story. Other sites have been either more original with what they wrote or have had great comments on their site.


Here are a few of the many worth taking a look at:


From the local crowd here in Minnesota:

-Metroblogging Minneapolis: Northwest Airlines to employees: go dumpster diving!


-City Pages Blog: Frugal Flyer NWA Says 'Screw Your Dignity'


From the national crowd:

-Funny Business: Distributor of NWA's "101 Ways To Save Money" apologizes--sort of With a copy of the NEAS “apology”. northwest to laid-off employees: dig through your trash! A special award for this one, many stories have had a picture of a person digging or sitting in a dumpster. This one comes with Oscar the Grouch From Sesame Street in a NWA trashcan.


-STL Recruiting: 5 More Ways to Save Money If You're A Northwest Employee I know Jim well and he is not serious about his tips. He is just taking the original 101 steps another step to show the absurdity.


-Lifehacker: Ask the Readers: Cut your expenses when things are tight?


-FatWallet: Money Saving Tips from Northwest Airlines


-Don’t Mess With Taxes: In case of an emergency firing, dumpster dive


-Super Happy Funtime Blog: And People Thought This Was INSENSITIVE????

Control Data Founder William Norris Passes Away at 95

Seems like so many heroes in our society are given that title without having earned it. Being an athlete, rock star, politician, CEO, etc and having a huge paycheck or high net worth does not make you more of a person. It makes you rich but you can still be poor.


We lost a good man yesterday. Yes he started Control Data that helped many new companies get started but it is the social impact this man made that matters most.


Both local papers have good biographies on William Norris, A computer pioneer, a social visionary and Computer pioneer believed business could better society.

Yet Perlman contends that it would be a lamentable injustice if Norris were to be remembered solely -- or even primarily -- for Control Data's failures.


"What made Bill a visionary was not his dreams about technology but rather his deep understanding of the threat of social unrest to the success of business long-term," said Perlman, who retired as Ceridian's CEO in 1999. "His great triumph was that he tried to address the central social problems of the time -- the creation of opportunity for disadvantaged people."


In pursuit of that goal, Norris built factories in poor areas of north Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Texas, and Appalachia. He engineered seed capital funds to help entrepreneurs and installed prison assembly operations that gave inmates job training and pocket money. And he began training disabled people as programmers to provide them with some of the first home-based computer jobs.

As the articles point out, he did make some mistakes in sticking with the mainframe for so long.


But the number of companies that were created or spun off, jobs created, and making communities better is an amazing legacy.


We should all be so bold.

Volunteer Opportunities And IT Jobs With NonProfits

The following new full time IT jobs have been added on the Volunteer Page:


Web Designer, Volunteer


IT Specialist, Full Time Job


Database Assistant, Part Time Job


Click weekly newsletter to receive the Wednesday message of nonprofit needs, IT jobs I am recruiting for, recruiting gigs, and most popular blog posts of the week.


If you are using a RSS Feed click Volunteer.

Northwest Airlines List Of 101 Ways To Save Money

***August 23, 7 pm update***

Click More Northwest Airlines 101 Ways To Save Money to find a commentary, update on NPR, and links to this post.


***5 pm update***

I was interviewed by NPR for their segment Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me segment. When I get the link I will post it.


***3 pm update***

Here is a link to and what a few of the Minneapolis folks are saying


***Noon update***

This morning a federal judge ruled he cannot block a strike by NWA flight attendants. “CHAOS” could start August 25th.


This is a follow up to my previous post Outsourced Northwest Airlines Employees Down In The Dumps(ters)


In fairness it looks as if the company, (NEAS Company, who put this list together has the same list for all of their clients, not Northwest Airlines specifically. Still, you would think the airline would look at the material they are giving to their soon to be former employees.


In my opinion some of these are decent ideas but in this context, jobs being outsourced, this is insulting at best.


So here are the 101 Ways To Save Money from the 4-page “Preparing for a Financial Setback” including the now famous #46 “Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”


1. Set your thermostat to 64 and turn it down to 60 at night.

2. Use the phone book instead of directory assistance.

3. Use coupons at the grocery store.

4. Carpool.

5. Ask for generic prescriptions instead of brand name.

6. Do your own nails.

7. Rent out a room or garage.

8. Replace 100 watt bulbs with 60 watt.

9. Make long distance calls at night and on weekends, instead of mid-day, mid-week.

10. Throw pocket change in a jar and take it to the bank when it's full.

11. Always grocery shop with a list.

12. Buy spare parts for your car at a junkyard.

13. Go to museums on free days.

14. Quit smoking.

15. Get hand-me-down clothes and toys for your kids from family and friends.

16. Meet friends for coffee instead of dinner.

17. Request to get interest on a security deposit for your apartment.

18. Take a shorter shower.

19. Write letters instead of calling.

20. Brown bag your lunch.

21. Make your own babyfood.

22. Use public transportation.

23. Drop duplicate medical insurance.

24. Buy old furniture at yard sales and refinish it yourself.

25. Apply for scholarships and financial aid.

26. Exercise for free-walk, jog, bike, or get exercise videos from the library.

27. Form a baby-sitting cooperative with friends and neighbors.

28. Buy your clothes off season.

29. Go to a matinee instead of an evening show.

30. Share housing with a friend or family member.

31. Hang clothes out to dry.

32. Do not use your calling card.

33. Volunteer two hours a month for reduced cost food through the Share Program.

34. Change the oil in your car yourself regularly.

35. Get pre-approval from your medical insurance company before undergoing any procedures or tests.

36. But 'no frills' vitamins.

37. Take a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.

38. Make cards and gifts for friends.

39. Shop in thrift stores.

40. Have your water company do an audit so you are not charged sewage fees for water used in your garden.

41. Refinance your mortgage.

42. Grocery shop on double coupon days.

43. Trade down your car for a less expensive, lower maintenance one.

44. Convert your cash value life insurance to term.

45. Shop around for eyeglasses.

46. Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.

47. Recycle.

48. Move to a less expensive place to live.

49. Use low flush toilets or water saving devices in the tank.

50. Drop unneeded telephone services like call forwarding or caller ID.

51. Buy fruits and vegetables in season.

52. Avoid using your ATM card at machines that charge a fee.

53. Bicycle to work.

54. Shop around for auto insurance discounts for multiple drivers, seniors, good driving records, etc.

55. Ask your doctor for samples of prescriptions.

56. Borrow a dress for a big night out. or go to a consignment shop.

57. When you buy a home negotiate the sales price and closing costs.

58. Turn the hot water heater down and wrap it with insulation.

59. Never grocery shop hungry.

60. If you qualify, file for Earned Income Credit.

61. Shop around for prescriptions including mail order companies (Medi-Mail 800-331-1458, Action Mail Order Drugs 800-452-1976, and AARP 800-456-2277). 

62. If you pay for childcare, make use of the dependent care tax credit or your employer's dependent care flexible spending account.

63. Buy, sell, and trade clothes at consignment shops.

64. Shop around for the lowest banking fees.

65. Caulk windows and doors.

66. Iron your own shirts.

67. Plan your weekly food menu before shopping.

68. Buy a good used car instead of a new model car.

69. Purchase all of your insurance from the same company to get a discount.

70. Cut your cable television down to basic.

71. Go to an optometrist for routine vision tests or to change an eyeglass prescription.

72. Buy pre-owned toys and children's books at garage sales.

73. Have potluck dinners with friends and family instead of going out.

74. Use the library for books, video tapes, and music.

75. Inspect clothing carefully before purchasing it.

76. Don't use your dishwasher dry cycle; open the door and let them air dry all night.

77. At the grocery store, comparison shop by looking at the unit price.

78. Make your own coffee.

79. Use old newspapers for cat litter.

80. Shop at discount clothing stores.

81. Skip annual full mouth x-rays unless there is a problem; the ADA recommends x-rays every 3 years.

82. Water your garden at night or early in the morning.

83. Shop around for long distance rates.

84. Hand wash instead of dry cleaning.

85. Grow your own vegetables and herbs.

86. Shop around for auto financing.

87. Donate time instead of money to religious organizations and charities.

88. If you are leaving a room for more than five minutes, turn off the light.

89. Shop at auctions or pawn shops for jewelry and antiques.

90. Keep your car properly tuned.

91. Request lower interest rates from your creditors.

92. Trade in old books, records, and CDs at book and record exchanges.

93. Pay bills the day they arrive; many credit card companies charge interest based on your average daily balance.

94. Buy software at computer fares.

95. Search the internet for freebies.

96. Compost to make your own fertilizer.

97.If your car has very little value, you probably only need liability insurance.

98. Cut the kids hair yourself.

99. Increase your insurance deductible.

100. Buy in bulk food warehouses.

101. If your income is low, contact utility companies about reduced rates.

Google Analytics Open To All

Here is the announcement from the Google Analytics Blog.


I wrote a couple of months ago that I finally received my Google Analytics invitation code. When we redesigned the blog we added it.


I have continued to use Site Meter during this time to see if there were any discrepancies and I have not found any. I will continue to monitor this but if I do not see any changes I will likely cancel the Site Meter service.


Not so much because of the cost but I like colors, graphs, and extra information Google Analytics provides.


Which by the way is way more than I need right now and I have occasionally found myself wasting time looking at stuff that I should not be bothering with. I think it makes me feel smarted than I am.

Outsourced Northwest Airlines Employees Down In The Dumps(ters)

This also belongs in the What The Hell Were They Thinking? category. And maybe I missed it but why do the local papers not have anything on this yet? The local evening TV news is covering it.


Northwest Airlines gave 50 soon to be outsourced employees, ground workers including baggage handlers, a 150-page packet called “Restructuring Q&A and Employee Support” and includes a four page booklet  “Preparing for a Financial Setback”. For a while it was posted on their web site.


In it are 101 money savings tips including:

Idea No. 46 - "Don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the garbage."

There is more:

They suggest asking friends and family for hand-me-down clothes, ask a doctor for free samples of their prescription drugs, shopping in thrift stores, and taking a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.

And this:

If you have saved some money, pat yourself on the back -- you deserve it.

Northwest Airlines says production of the booklet was outsourced, that the airline did not proofread it, and some if it may have been insensitive.


Insensitive, there’s the understatement of the day…

What The Hell Were They Thinking?

Who? Koren Robinson and Troy Lee Gentry in unrelated incidents. The following is from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and it is worth some time to check the reader comments.


Koren Robinson, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, first:

Koren Robinson was charged with one count of felony fleeing police, two counts of fourth-degree driving while impaired, and one count each of reckless driving, careless driving and driving with a suspended license, according to a formal complaint filed today in Nicollet County District Court.


The complaint said the Vikings wide receiver was clocked driving 104 mph in a 55-mph zone in St. Peter, Minn., Tuesday night. The preliminary breath test indicated that his blood-alcohol level was .11, but a later test, at 12:18 a.m., showed his blood-alcohol was at .09. The state limit is .08.

Just the other night the fellas on ESPN were saying such nice things about Robinson and how he has changed his life around. 24 hours later, it turned again. On a personal level, it seemed like he had it back together. All of the interviews he had done and comments from his teammates were very positive. On a professional level, if found guilty, he faces a one year suspension from the NFL as this is his second violation.


Now country singer Troy Lee Gentry of Montgomery Gentry:

Gentry appeared Tuesday in federal court in connection with the killing of a tame black bear that federal officials say he bought, shot in an enclosed pen with a bow and arrow, and then tagged as if it had been killed in the wild.


The government alleged that Gentry and Greenly tagged a captive-raised bear named "Cubby," killed on Greenly's property in October 2004, with a Minnesota hunting license and registered the animal with the state Department of Natural Resources as if it had been killed from the wild population. The false tagging would be a violation of the federal Lacey Act.


Gentry allegedly bought the bear from Greenly for about $4,650. The bear's death was videotaped, and the tape later edited so Gentry appeared to shoot the bear with a bow and arrow in a "fair chase"-hunting situation. The pair then shipped the bear's hide to a Kentucky taxidermist, the indictment said.

I am not pro/anti hunting but this act is just plain wrong. I was looking for a way to say what I am thinking and then came across this comment:

Lock the dolt up in a cage and give him a taste of his own medicine.

Well said.