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I drove my car so infrequently it died. So as usual, don't be like me!

How to Maintain the Car You’re Barely Driving

During the winter, our powerful, pleasurable, indestructible Patreon donors voted for DIY car maintenance in one of our Patreon exclusive content polls. And I decided to sit on it, because spring is the ideal time for a lot of routine car maintenance. I thought I would be topical.

Well, now it’s become either entirely too topical… or not topical at all? Perhaps both at the same time. On the one hand, I have never driven less than I have over the last month. In the last two weeks, I’ve driven just once: to the local grocery store and back, a round-trip of less than one mile.

On the other hand…

I drove my car so infrequently it broke down.

Yep. My nine-year-old battery finally up and died! So as usual, the moral of the story is don’t be like me!

In retrospect, it’s obvious that trying to be a good girl and go on as few trips as possible would obviously backfire and create the need for more trips! I hadn’t planned on going to an auto supply store during a pandemic, but my new minimalist bike-everywhere lifestyle successfully murdered my geriatric battery. Cause of death: involuntary Mustachianism?

I had to leave my car idling and unlocked in the parking lot of the closest AutoZone because I was afraid it wouldn’t start again, but I refused to let my asthmatic partner join me on any errands while Rona’s out there, causing havoc.

I was able to get a new battery. Between myself, my partner, a set of imperial wrenches that didn’t quite match our metric nuts, and the living catalogue of human knowledge that is YouTube, we were able to replace the battery ourselves. But this got me to thinking about car maintenance for people who rarely drive.

Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that basically includes… <checks notes> everyone. But it’s not exactly a niche topic, either. Many frugal people, minimalists, and environmentalists own a car out of necessity, but are interested in driving as little as possible.

So today we’re going to discuss how to take care of your car when you barely drive it at all.

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Your table needs bread, and modesty is the least filling carbohydrate.

How to Frame Volunteering on Your Resume When You’ve Never Had a Job

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: the hardest job to get is your first one. Or at least, the first one that’s in your chosen field and not, you know, corn detasseling for Moon Pie money. Everybody who grew up in a flyover state say heyyyyy!

See, when you’ve never had a job before…

  • Your resume is as short as a sneeze.
  • You don’t have professional connections to turn to for help or advice, like mentors and old coworkers.
  • True entry level jobs are rarer than they used to be.
  • You don’t have much practice at the basic skills you need to get any job, like nailing an interview and writing great cover letters.
  • You have even less experience with next-level skills you need to get a great job, like learning how to understand your company or industry’s most pressing needs and position yourself with strategic accordance.

(Mmm, you know it’s going to be a good day when you’re an ENTJ and you get to use the phrase “position yourself with strategic accordance” before noon.)

Unfortunately, when unemployment is high, it all gets even harder. Because now you’re competing with a lot more people—and they likely have some of the advantages you lack.

We feel for anyone with a thin job history who’s stuck competing in a tough job market with wicked high unemployment. Y’all are skipping the Hunger Games and going straight to the Quarter Quell: head-to-head, not against other frightened children, but bloodthirsty professional-ass adults. So in the near future, we’ll be discussing lots of strategies that can help mitigate the shittiness.

Today, we’ll discuss how to use past volunteering to make your resume shine! Let’s get into it!

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Ask the Bitches: "Did Congress really give $1.5 trillion to Wall Street?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “Did Congress Really Give $1.5 Trillion to Wall Street?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Have you heard about this thing? This something, something, $1.5 trillion dollars thing? Today, we have a request to explain what’s going on there.

So… is it worth it?

Let us work it.

We’ll put our thing down, flip it, and (time allowing) reverse it.

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

The question

Here’s a question we got from an anonymous asker on our Tumblr:

Any chance you can explain why the 1.5 trillion congress put into stocks/small businesses/whatever meant and how it worked? I do not understand economics well enough to figure it out on my own, so I can’t figure out if it was actually a waste of money. I’m leaning towards “yes it was” but for my edification I want to make sure I’m not way off base thinking that.

We absolutely can explain this!

I’m gonna explain it like y’all are five. Because that’s the explanation I would want. Because right now, I have the emotional fortitude of a toddler desperately in need of nap time.

If you’re already pretty savvy with federal economic policy, you can read a higher level explanation like this one. Today’s breakdown will be for other babies like myself!

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Ask the Bitches: "Is it safe to keep my money in the bank?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “Is It Safe to Keep My Money in the Bank?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Today, we meditate upon the subject of social trust. How safe is it to keep relying on our usual systems and financial institutions?

Of course by “meditate” I mean watch YouTube clips of It’s a Wonderful Life.

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

The question

“I’m worried the coronavirus will cause enough economic fuckery that it will trigger a massive recession and banks will close due to not having workers. Is it worth it to remove the money in my account? It’s only $400, but it’s all the money I have.”

If all you have is $400, that’s not much to lose. It likely means this question asker is riding very close to insolvency and truly can’t afford to lose that $400 buffer. So I don’t blame them for freaking out!

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Ask the Bitches: "How do I push back when my workplace isn't taking COVID-19 seriously?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “How Do I Push Back When My Workplace Isn’t Taking COVID-19 Seriously?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Phew. Are y’all getting tired by all these articles yet? We’re not! We’re as tireless as a team of Amish-raised mules, and JUST AS ADORABLE!*

Today, we’re considering the health ramifications of a boss who just don’t give a damn about this global pandemic. Fun stuff!

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

*The first part is a lie; the second one is not.

The question

I’ve been working as an hourly temp at a business since August. My supervisor wanted to hire me. She was beginning this process when COVID-19 hit. Now all hands are on deck.

All company employees who can work from home are. But my supervisor can’t get me a company laptop to work from home, and encouraged me to come to work. I have asthma, so I’m very aware of how careful I must be. I’m wary of how well they clean the office and how seriously some employees are taking this crisis.

Should I continue going to work? I want to keep saving, but I also want to keep myself safe. I’ll take any tips you have.

There are still some workplaces that aren’t taking this pandemic seriously. Hopefully their numbers are shrinking as quickly as COVID-19 cases are rising.

If you’re unlucky enough to be stuck working at one, let’s talk about how to handle it. It shouldn’t be your job to handle it! But in Corporate America, managing other people’s idiocies is always half the job!

From a pure physical health perspective, you shouldn’t take the risk of going in to work. But financial instability wouldn’t benefit your stress, immune system, or mental health. So we have to try to balance those interests. That’s the repulsive calculus of our reprehensible system, where losing your job also means losing your health insurance at the worst possible time.

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Ask the Bitches: "Can I get fired for skipping work?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “Can I Get Fired for Skipping Work?”

Yeah, that’s kinda how life feels right now.

We know y’all are already drowning in a deluge of news stories and rumors about COVID-19, the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. But there’s also a lot of misinformation circulating. Folks are getting really panicky in a time when we most need to be calm, rational, and trusting.

This is why Kitty and I have thrown all our other work aside to speed up our writing schedule. We want to soothe your consciences and help you keep your shit together. On Monday we focused on the practical steps you can take to help yourself and your community stay safe and healthy. If you haven’t read that article yet, go do so.

We wish that Bitch Nation was a real country. There, we could not only quarantine all our beloved readers, but offer them a living minimum wage, paid sick leave for all workers, and mandate at least one dog per household. Alas! Our empire is merely virtual.

So today we’re kicking off a special Lightning Round of Ask the Bitches. We’re publishing as many Q&A articles as we can in the coming days. We want to put your minds at ease, dispel some misconceptions, and give you some helpful resources for getting through COVID-19 fever (pun intended???) with your sanity and emergency funds intact.

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Thought we should be physically avoiding each other, we need community more than ever.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: How to Protect Your Community and Your Soul from COVID-19

Hello precious readers.

Piggy and I decided to halt our regularly scheduled programming to talk to you a little about what’s going on in the world right now.

We will be writing more about this topic very soon—particularly the financial and economic aspects, as they are ~*kinda our thing*~. So if you’re worried about how to handle absences at work, or being fired, or what to do with the money you have in the bank right now, stay tuned for more. We’re speeding up our normal writing schedule to answer questions as fast as we can. (Anyone can submit questions through our Tumblr. Patreon donors can message us directly.)

Today we’re going to reinforce the most important advice: how to be good at coronavirusing!

Which is to say: how to be a safe, respectful, engaged, and helpful member of the global community during this crisis where we need each other desperately, yet ironically should be physically avoiding each other!

And for that, we’re gonna need any viral researchers, vaccine synthesizers, medical professionals, state governors, and similar to go ahead and stop reading BGR articles. Piggy and I really agonized over this decision, but it’s final. I know we have a very witty and relatable writing style, but it’s time for you to Go Do The Thing. So go on now, y’all—git!

… Are they gone?

Okay. For the rest of you: we have great news! Your job is significantly simpler and easier. In fact, there are really only a few things you can do. Here’s what you can (and must) do to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

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Lord, I pray to you today to deliver us from evil. And by evil, I mean coworkers who vaguebook.

Accepted a Coworker’s Social Media Friend Request? Yeah, You’re Gonna Regret That.

Facebook was born just as Piggy and I became seniors in high school. That made us the exact right age to experience Facebook as it was originally intended: a secret club made exclusively for college students to be extremely horny at each other.

Ummm yeah. It was buck-wild.

Scroll back far enough, and it’s like time traveling back to Studio 54 in 1978. Nothing but glitter and blow and Donna Summer rhapsodizing for seventeen minutes about a cake in the rain. Jokes so filthy I cover my mouth when I read them! Photos so embarrassing they can never see the light of day!

Is there a photo of Piggy and I clinking wine glasses while I’m giving her a lap dance while wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a bra, and some fingerless leather biker gloves? Uh, YEAH, I’m pretty sure there is! (And before you ask, no—you shall never see them. Not even you, Patreon donors. I know we’ve shared some of our drunken karaoke with you in the past, but even we have limits!)

It was fun while it lasted. But alas, nothing gold can stay… First came the high school students. Then the general public. Friend requests crept in from younger kids who’d looked up to us. Coworkers. Professors. Bosses! Parents?! GRANDPARENTS??! Meemaw, no! You don’t need to see old photos of Piggy and I humping a statue of Abigail Adams!

So much about social media has changed since Pigs and I were young. But even though its place in our daily lives is pretty damn cemented, there still isn’t a clear path to avoiding the intrusive, awkward encounters with bosses, coworkers, and companies. The OG horniness persists if the platform persists (do NOT check your filtered messages, there be dragons). But it has expanded to includes bosses, coworkers, and companies who are horny for a peek into your private life. They’re thirsty as heck to leverage whatever they can learn about you for their own purposes.

Today we’re sharing some horrifying tales from the intersection of work and social media. Perhaps we can distill a little wisdom from the wreckage!

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There are some questions you should NEVER be asked in an interview setting.

10 Questions You Should Never Be Asked in a Job Interview

I got a call from a recruiter the other day. His offer wasn’t very exciting, but I told him to keep in touch. It would’ve been a forgettable call… except that he then asked a series of really unusual questions.

“Can I ask a few more questions to complete your file?” he said.

“Sure.”

“You’re a U.S. citizen, right?”

I answered immediately, automatically. But as the “yep” escaped my mouth, a little warning light started flashing in the back of my brain.

“And your date of birth?”

I paused. There are some questions you should never be asked in an interview setting. Your nationality is one. Your age is another. He’d asked two of these questions in a row. What’s going on here?

I decided to give my birthdate, partially because I’m the exceedingly neutral age of 32, and partially because the truth is the easiest answer to give when caught off-guard. But then his last question was… 

“Do you feel comfortable giving me the last four digits of your social security number?”

WOAH. What what whaaaat?! I don’t know the dude from a hole in the ground! My birthdate and my social?! What’s he gonna want next—my credit card number? A copy of my house keys?? Shit no!

I thanked him for his time and asked him not to contact me again.

I knew the job offer was legit; I’d had other recruiters contact me about it as well. But the high number of sensitive questions betrayed a basic lack of training and discretion. It was just too many red flags.

Even though I know a lot of this stuff cold, I still wasn’t prepared for how to handle them when they came up in the moment. But you will do better than me! Today I’ll share with you ten bad questions to watch out for. We want you to be ready to identify and avoid sketchy workplaces. Luckily, many seem willing to make their sketchiness known before they even hire you!

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