I recently began taking Maryland's MARC commuter rail to and from work (Rockville-DC), and I'm noticing something I've never observed before in my years as a commuter. It seems that a lot (really, a very high percentage) of these passengers have come to know one another, and have formed little communities throughout the rail cars. From what I can gather, these people don't work together, and few if any of them socialize outside of their daily commute, but they are simply thrilled to see one another every day, and they swap stories, jokes, and affectionate barbs with one another in a way that reminds me of nothing so much as a cadre of barflies who've been regulars at the same watering hole for years (today, actually, several passengers passed around a bottle of wine). I hadn't taken regional commuter rail until recently; my commuting experiences have been limited to bus and city subway systems. At any rate, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS! [more inside]
I've filed a civil harassment order against a former college professor for stalking me online regularly in the last 4 years that has started to take its toll on me. [more inside]
How do you keep reminders of potential events you might want to go to, or activities you might want to participate in, so that you actually take advantage of these opportunities? [more inside]
Please tell me if I have a legitimate concern or I'm just being silly. I always have an issue with my bra straps falling down in public. Today I had no problems all day and then they fell down when a male friend was over. Will he think this was me making a pass at him? [more inside]
I'd like to interview a few people who have drastically changed their minds concerning something about which they once felt very strongly. Who are some people who have notably changed their minds or who have "flipped" on an notable issue? [more inside]
I need a free Android app that will allow posting and reading to a number of social media sites. Also, some sites I have several accounts, so I need access to all of those. [more inside]
www.massplanner.com Googling mostly gets me info on planning a Roman Catholic service... Appears to allow for posting automation across all the major platforms, along with other bells and whistles. I can kick the tires on it and decide whether it's better or worse than Hootsuite - my major question for AskMe is - has anyone heard of it, and is it legit? [more inside]
What are some of the questions you've asked of total strangers that get surprising, interesting and engaged responses? How can you MeFi socialites guide someone to talk about what they want to talk about? [more inside]
I've never actually lived in a true "big city" but based on how many meetup groups there are in Philly vs Buffalo, you'd think it would be incredibly easy. Buffalo has been a lonely city for me and not for a lack of trying. [more inside]
What's the commonly acceptable etiquette on reimbursing someone when you back out of a trip? [more inside]
Lately, I have seem to have doubts about my intelligence; particularly with the notion of becoming a social researcher. I have always wanted to explore the field of social research. I have a penchant for learning new knowledge and theories; my curiosity never seems to wane. However, I have little confidence that I'm able to obtain a Master's Degree in Critical Sociology. I need to build my confidence and reassure myself that I have the capability, passion, devotion, and worth ethic to learn and strive towards this career goal. I would be most appreciated for some scope of advice, tips, and encouragement. [more inside]
Recently I had to take my car in for repairs. I visited the shop for an estimate, spoke on the phone to the receptionist and dealt with her when dropping off my car and picking up the courtesy car. Not only was she very helpful in providing me with some information I needed (a previous shop I went to weren't helpful at all) but she was fun to interact with. She and I seemed to hit it off and chatted each time for a few minutes, about the car and also about some other random topics. After interacting with her I just felt like I wished she was my friend. The converation was light and fun and I think we share a sense of humor. Just to provide some more information: I'm a female in my early 40s and I think she is maybe late 40s. [more inside]
I would like to be more curious about my fellow human beings. Curious people, how do you approach conversations with people you don't know? [more inside]
Hi! I'm hosting a dinner party. One of the attendees is a professional chef. MeFi, what do I feed my guests? [more inside]
How to handle issues regarding a friend who is typically late to nearly all our plans? [more inside]
I had a great second interview for a position that I believe I will excel in. I did the best I could and answered as truthfully as possible. I believe things were going well and both managers seemed receptive, yet had their poker faces on. My mistake was when I got up to leave, I grabbed my purse and forgot to shake their hands and walked out. Is it a big deal? [more inside]
Thinking ahead to my eventual retirement, I phoned Sallie Mae earlier this year, and spoke with a rep who was easy to chat with, and seemed well-informed and helpful. I asked her if there was any sort of discount or other concession made for student loan payments once the debtor retired and began drawing Social Security. Her answer was that, good news, once I provide Sallie Mae with documentary evidence that I am drawing Social Security, the balance of my loans would be waived. [more inside]
What is the proper response when you've just sent out an email invitation to a regular social group because it's your turn to host, and immediately one of the members replies-all to your email in order to publicly "correct" you. Only they're actually wrong. [more inside]
What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
I stumbled across a site a few weeks ago which would put up an image of some sort and ask you to write what question came to your mind. I think the point was just to collect the questions and look at them (but it asked you to make an account before you could see more than a few of the other peoples' questions, and I never did that). I've forgotten where I found it. Does anyone know what site this was? [more inside]
In December I started working for a mill that manufactures flour, and although most employees there are excellent and fun to work with, I am discovering that many of my immediate co-workers appear to sabotage others for their own benefit. [more inside]
You and some friends (guys and gals) are hanging out chatting. It's all really casual and you guys are all good friends. One friend pulls out their knitting and starts working on it. (No charts, no pattern, just really simple stockinette stitch.) Do you feel slighted? Like she's checked out of the conversation? Like she's bored with you and the group? Do you wish she'd just put it away and pay attention? [more inside]
In general, which elementary school grades cover prehistory? American colonial history?
I'm looking to freshen up the assigned readings for an undergraduate writing class that I'm about to start teaching. The theme of the class is art (by which I mean not only visual art, but also music, film, and writing) and social change--that is, whether the former can actually help to achieve the latter. I have some readings on the topic but am looking for more. Help me, hive mind!
I AM a woman. I don't generally like hanging out with women. Suggestions? [more inside]
After years of saving and planning, I've been able to realize my dream of traveling the world for a year. I'm 6 months into my trip and I've been posting photos or updates about where I am in the world on facebook about 2 or 3 times a week. While many people have expressed appreciation for the updates or interest in what I'm doing, I've noticed about 7-10 friends who used to interact with me all the time on FB and real life have totally stopped liking/commenting/sending messages although they're still very active on the site. I kind of suspect some of them have blocked me from their timelines. I know not everyone will have an opportunity like this and I try to be sensitive to that. I'm not preachy about "the importance of travel", or posting pics of 5 star hotel rooms and fancy restaurants (I'm doing this as cheaply as possible, mostly hostels in developing countries and couchsurfing.) At the same time I LOVE seeing others' travel pics and, well, want to share some of the exciting, amazing things I'm experiencing with people in my life. But some people seem put off by this, so I'm wondering - am I being a jerk? What's the etiquette here?
I have been dating someone new and I really like spending time with him! But so far we've only hung out one-on-one. What are activities two people can do together, but which also encourage interaction with others? [more inside]
I am looking for a new clothing supplier. The previous company I shopped with have been outed as a bunch of labour-abusing dirtbags and I can't have that. I need to know the names of some places I can buy clothes with confidence and conscience and was hoping maybe I could get some suggestions. [more inside]
Someone close to me (a man) is developing an increasingly conservative, even bigoted, viewpoint on a number of topics. Please help me figure out what the hell is going on and what I can do about it. [more inside]
What phrases are reflexively on the tip of your tongue? [more inside]
What non-obvious effects can I expect if I take a job with hours that are very different from my wife's? [more inside]
How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school? [more inside]
A number of my peers are MSWs and I like the work. I would like to be able to advance further without moving into management. Is an MSW the right next step? [more inside]
My (boy / girl) twins will be entering kindergarten this September. We've been asked if we want them placed into separate classes, or left together in the same class. Need to give them our answer by Monday and frankly, I'm at a loss and have no idea what I should do. If you are a parent of school-age or older twins, can you please share what you did and why? If you yourself are a twin, how did your parents handle it? How did it work out? Other knowledgeable anecdotes and advice welcome. Links to any online resources I can read on the topic would also be appreciated.
I'm looking for stories of famous men (contemporary preferred, but historical ok) who discuss being nervous when approaching or dealing with women. Please cite sources and I will look them up.
I've had this silly and embarrassing little problem for years and I'm noticing that it's getting worse. Sometimes, when I run into somebody I know or if I'm introducing somebody I know to somebody they don't know, I truly blank out on the name of the person I know. [more inside]
My best friend is dating a new guy and is currently in the "floating in the clouds" stage. He's all that she talks about, texts me about, emails me about, mentions, quotes, you name it. I'm happy for her, but I am quickly reaching "who cares" stage. She does this with everyone she dates, but this guy might become permanent, so I'm not brushing it off as "just wait until this passes". How can I politely tell her that we need to have conversations about OTHER THINGS? She can be very sensitive, and I don't want her to feel that I am not interested in the relationship or not happy for her. More details inside. [more inside]
What causes social rejection absent a glaring personality flaw? [more inside]
Suggestions for nice things to do for the couples who are nice to you (especially when you're single and kind of broke)? [more inside]
Was I being creepy / out of line when I offered this girl a ride? [more inside]
How historically accurate is the portrayal of the interaction between the worker/labor class and the sales/middle class in the British sitcom 'Are You Being Served?" [more inside]
I grew up as a painfully shy, socially anxious extrovert. No friends that weren't online, could not talk to anyone. This was not a fun combination, so after Highschool I worked on fixing it and I've gotten better. I can make small talk, break the ice, carry on a general conversation. But this is not what I want. [more inside]
Recently in a social situation I was asked my thoughts on a budgeting item and I gave it along with a solution that I had given thought to and was planning on presenting to the budget chair. (We work in different departments but run things past each other on occasion). One of the people at the gathering was a woman with political ambitions for our small town. A few days later she wrote a letter to the editor that gave my exact idea. What would you do? On the plus side it was very well received, OTH it was mine. I realize I should have said nothing and it was my mistake. I figure people that were there would know it wasn't hers and hopefully someone will point that out. Can I address it or should I leave it?
I am in between jobs, just moved to a new market and have been advised my alma mater's career counselor to set up coffee dates with alums who are working at places that I am targeting. How can I go about doing this in a way that balances networking etiquette and making the most out of these meetings? [more inside]
Does Facebook publish statistics? I'm specifically interested in statistics about photo uploads and camera metadata / popularity. [more inside]
Hello Mefites, I'd like some suggestions for books on social skills and networking in order to get ahead professionally(and also on the personal front). Books with a Kindle edition would be a bonus. Thanks a lot!
Ritzy-ditzy gala, need a dress [more inside]
I have a Wordpress blog as my "homepage". I barely use it, because it has been almost entirely supplanted by Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. However I still have a need for a homepage, if only to have somewhere to quickly point people to the aforementioned external services, and maybe a place to stick a link to my Amazon wish list, for example. Is there a service which will auto-agregate content from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. and create a nice friendly page to show technophobic family members? [more inside]
How to cope with feeling "outside" company [more inside]
So I got picked up while visiting a friend in a different city, and I made myself seem available but I have a boyfriend and have a lot of other things on my plate. How do I get out of following up? [more inside]