Diary Post: The Survey

When I crafted my survey, I really was hoping to get at one critical point: Are you happy with you current job.

My reasoning behind this was simple. In the current economic state, it has basically become cliché to hear the term “just be thankful that you even have a job,” or “hey, at least I’m employed.”

Before coming back to school I was guilty of uttering these exact phrases as well. As it turned out in my case, “just having a job” wasn’t enough to keep me slinging payroll and HR services to small businesses everyday.

I crafted my survey with job satisfaction in mind and had a few questions that would hopefully diagnose some of the reasons. This was why I included the experiential/educational levels question. It’s also why I half jokingly included a question about if you would go to work the day after winning the lottery.

In order to get the survey out, I posted the link to the google doc to my Facebook page–the more professional journalist page and not my personal one. Within a week it generated 13 responses. Since then, however, returns have fizzled.

It is my intent to repost, this time to my personal page in hopes of getting more results. I also plan on posting it to my twitter account as well and hope to enlist those that follow me to re-tweet the link.

It is my hope that in doing so, I’ll be able to pull some more quality quotes as well as have a base of results that may show me some information in greater detail before we produce them for the blog.

The Uncommon Life of a Tattoo Artist

Few artists face the pressure than those that operate in permanent ink and skin.

In this medium, there are no erasers and no re-do’s. The best you can hope for is a way to cover it up.

Diego (who does not go by a last name–ask anyone in the area) got into the tattoo scene at Graceland Tattoo in Wappingers Falls over ten years ago. Since then, he’s developed a reputation for not having to cover up very much.

As time has gone on, Diego’s thoughts on what tattoo artists should or should not do have changed. What used to be a philosophy of “Ink anything, anywhere” has evolved into a stricter moral standard.

Even with the changes as tattoo artistry has become more mainstream, Diego still loves the art he gets to create and the friends he makes along the way.


Diego 1 by jjenkin

Diego talks about how he got into the tattoo business

Diego 2 by jjenkin

Diego talks about the tattoos that he refuses to do

Diego 3 by jjenkin

Diego talks about the unexpected friendships from the business

Diego ambi by jjenkin

Are Tax Breaks Really that Stimulating?

Anyone that is worried about the American Jobs Act that President Obama proposed to congress last Thursday should take heart: If you’re gainfully employed, you’re getting a tax break!

Pay no attention to the fact that you’ve already been getting most of that tax cut for the last year. These are just details.

Effective last January, anyone lucky enough to be legally and gainfully employed got a 2 percent break on the Social Security portion of their payroll taxes.

Under the American Jobs Act, Obama plans to lower both the employer and employee portion of that tax liability to 3.1percent. The White House states that this will constitute a tax break of about $1,500 for a worker making $50,000 annually.

The idea behind these tax cuts, is to put more money in your paycheck which you will ideally pump back into the economy. More money in the economy means more demand and more demand means more jobs.

But, (and yes there is a but) thanks to inflation, decreasing salaries and increasing prices on some consumer goods, it appears that even with a tax break, New Yorkers could actually be losing ground at the moment.

So what happens now?

Is this truly a stimulus package or are we simply dumping the $20-$30 dollars per paycheck (if you get paid bi-weekly) into more expensive goods?

What have you done with your 2 percent to stimulate the economy–if anything? Have you changed your spending habits at all? What’s worse, did you even notice your 2 percent raise over the last year? Do you foresee any great change with the further cuts? Stories of spending or lack there of are welcome here where you can post to my Twitter, Facebook or even on my blog.

Start the discussion. Let’s see where this 2 percent is going.





5 Tips to Keep Your Startup Going

You’ve probably seen these scrappy startup companies popping up all over the place lately. From blogs to tech companies, people are finding that if an established business can’t find the time to hire them, they’ll find the time to establish a business.

The trick for many, however, is making the transition from “scrappy” and “startup” to “established” and “growing.” Here are some tips to help you get from point A to point B.

1. Love What You Do

Passion is key. If you didn’t like building cabinets, then you’re less likely to see your carpentry business through.

2. Know Your Target Demographic 

While loving what you do is important, a successful and profitable business is predicated on other people loving it, too.

3. Absolutely Everything is in a Name

When working from a shoestring budget, as many startups are, a name that explains what your business does is the cheapest and easiest form of marketing.

4. Build Your Business Plan Beyond the Starting Blocks

The thrill of initial success has often been soured by the inability to make the next step. Have an idea of where you want your enterprise to go once you start to gain traction.

5. Know How to Speak Investors Language

If you get to the point of speaking to angel investors or venture capitalists, they can be a god send–as long as you can communicate the upside of your startup to those that control the purse strings.


Unemployment Rates Only a Part of the Story

Looking only at unemployment rates to judge the direction of the economy may be as cliché and only partially accurate as “the pink sky at night being the sailor’s delight.”

The reality is, taking such a narrow view of the figures completely neglects the segment of New York City and beyond that are underutilized or under employed. Adding in these figures certainly makes the economic outlook even harder to smile at.

What, exactly is underemployment?

“A situation in which a worker is employed but not to the desired capacity, whether in terms of compensation, hours, or level of skill and experience. While (they are) not unemployed, the underemployed are often competing for available jobs,” if you ask investorwords.com.

What’s worse, a Gallup poll suggests the idea that those with jobs should be thankful that they are even employed may not necessarily be true.

In an effort to combat this, some communities have instituted programs to help the unemployed and underemployed become more attractive to a highly competitive marketplace.

Other displaced workers, both local and across the country, have taken a good long look at their employment situation, and have taken a much more optimistic approach to their supposed misfortune.

The figures suggest that perhaps the recovery isn’t moving as fast as many would hope, but that the Empire State may be in a better situation than some others.

So take heart, New Yorkers, “at least you’re not mining coal.”