I’m a senior in high school and I have a part-time job. A friend of mine always seems to be unlucky and never seems to be able to afford anything when we go out together for social gatherings or in a larger group.
He always seems to come up with new ideas to try to make money, but none of them ever worked for a while. I tell him to get a part-time job like the one I have, but he never seems interested in getting a steady paycheck. He still thinks he can find a shortcut to easy money.
Lately he has been very excited about the Powerball lottery. He told a group of our friends and me that he had found a system to choose the right numbers in the future. Apparently he has studied all the previous winning numbers and he thinks there is a recognizable pattern as to which numbers appear most often.
He says if we play these special numbers in various combinations, it won’t be long before we all get big winning lotto tickets together. He wants everyone to invest $10 and he will put in his “sweat equity” to determine the numbers as his bet. He then proposes that we share all the winnings equally.
Could he really be onto something here with his “system”? If he is, I certainly don’t want to miss it, but if he’s just blowing hot air at us, then I think we should all save our money.
— A friend of his, by e-mail
Dear one of his friends: There is absolutely no “system” for winning the lottery! By its nature and intent, the lottery is intentionally designed to be random and unpredictable.
Your friend thinks of himself as a clever scammer who aims to get you all to put some money down so he can pick a few numbers and get a free spin on the tickets in case one of them ever pays .
His story should be the red flag that tells you that he’s gone on another tangent, this time associated with the lottery. A friend who is constantly scheming instead of putting in an honest shift to make money is best avoided when it comes to financial matters. Instead, encourage him to be financially responsible. And making him pay his fair share on group outings would be a good start on your part.
Dear Dr. Wallace: I am a high school student and I work part-time in a restaurant. Recently, one of my colleagues quit suddenly. Now my manager is making me work more hours because she’s gone. Can he do it legally? I have family, school and homework responsibilities in addition to this job.
I only asked for 12 hours a week, but now they seem to be trying to force me to double that commitment. Is it correct? I don’t like confrontation, but I don’t want to lose this job either. What can I do about this?
— Part-time employee, by email
Dear part-time employee: No, you can’t be forced! You committed to 12 hours a week, and you kept your agreement with your company. The fact that one of your colleagues leaves their job should not affect you. It is their responsibility to manage their staffing needs accordingly.
One thing you could do to ease the pressure a little is to tell your manager that you can stay committed to your 12 hours a week and that you will let them know if you can add future hours from time to time here and there. . But be firm in explaining that you can’t just double your weekly hours on a regular basis right now given the structure and priorities of your life. They would be wise to keep you happy, as they would miss even more hours if you also left.