Friday, February 27, 2009

Domestic Violence and the Work Place

Mention these words: Domestic Violence, especially against women and you're sure to hear a mouthful of righteous indignation. Despite our angst against various forms of domestic violence, ordinary employees rarely believe that they could contribute to this form of social insanity.

If you have to communicate with coworkers away from the office be cautious when communicating with spouses and significant others. I was surprised when a colleague tried to contact an employee at her residence to inform her that her assignment had changed.

Unfortunately, she left a message for the intended party with her jealous husband. When she arrived home later that day, she was savagely beaten by her spouse because he claimed that her job had called and inquired about her, when she should have been at work.

Although records confirmed that the employee in question was on assignment at a different location, she was savagely beaten nonetheless.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Grape Vine and The Office

By now we all have been instructed to ignore the grape vine. The reasons are as obvious as day. The information from this source is often described as gossip, inaccurate and damaging to fellow employees. Despite these dire warnings from experts, the grape vine does have its place in the office.

Managers do not have to share every organizational decision with subordinates. Therefore it is their responsibility to stay informed. For example, learning that you will be responsible for a team member's assignment during their absence will provide you with ample time to prepare for additional work. Also, employees who have difficulty with child care could prepare in advance and arrange for childcare that will coincide with longer working hours.

Using the grape vine to one's advantage involves good judgment. Avoid the usual: rumors about your co worker's sexual orientation, who is sleeping with the boss etc as these can get you into serious trouble. Using the grape vine successfully will limit surprises in the work place. The less surprises you encounter, the more prepared you are to respond appropriately to changes in the office.

Stop Buying the New York Post

It's crystal clear how the New York Post thinks about President Barack Obama. One look at their Chimp Cartoon impression of him reinforces the editor's view point. Now we need to let them know how we feel. Simply stop buying the post. That's it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Protecting Employee Privileges In A Recession

The basic rules of supply and demand are more prevalent than ever before in the work place today. When there is a low supply of highly trained, experienced and talented employees available, and a high demand for their expertise, potential employers are willing to bend over backwards to hire them.

When the reverse is true, some employers behave like Superman and bend the rules to their advantage. Rule bending could prove disastrous for new and older employees alike who might be afraid to speak up for fear of losing their job.

The deceptive nature of rule bending makes it very difficult to detect. Be aware of phrases such as, "We rarely take lunch or breaks during regular working hours." "We have so much to do that I don't understand how you find time for lunch." "It's been a while since I last took lunch." "Lunch is such a luxury around here." I'm sure most of us have skipped lunch on occasion to finish an important assignment.

If this is a chronic pattern and the above phrases continue, then your superiors are employing the use of "Soft Power." It's difficult to respond appropriately to soft power because the aforementioned statements are often disarming. Their disarming nature could make some employees feel as if they are walking on egg shells. If you're faced with such a scenario here's a few tips to combat it successfully:

1.Remind your supervisor that you're more productive with a break in between assignments.

2. Review your letter of employment with your supervisor and company policy regarding lunch breaks, overtime, pay rates and time off.

3. If you're unable to eat lunch at your normal time, drink as much water as possible.
Water acts as barrier between the lining of your stomach and the gastric juice that's released to break down complex food particles in your stomach. Although skipping lunch breaks might seem like the epicentre of productivity, prolonged starvation could lead to serious medical issues later in life, such as ulcers. Always remember that no employee is indispensable.

Finally, it's not what you say, but how you say it.Be polite but firm when communicating with superiors. Focus on written company policy and your official letter of employment instead of the "Self." This approach will help you regain privileges that you're entitled to without feeling guilty.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Importance of Work-Shape

As companies continue to lay off workers, employees are forced to make difficult decisions. Some individuals are forced to choose between unemployment benefits and a lower paying job than they are accustomed to. New York State pays qualifying individuals a whopping $405.00 a week in unemployment benefits. So what should you do if you have been offered a new job and the weekly salary is only a few dollars more than weekly unemployment benefits?

Unless you have three-six months of savings, you should take the job. One of the key benefits of steady employment is something called Work-Shape. Professional athletes often prepare themselves physically and psychologically for several months, to maintain and improve their performance. One of the dangers of being unemployed for a considerable length of time is being out of work-shape.
Most experts agree that it takes at least thirty days before human beings develop a consistent routine. The longer you remain unemployed, the more time is required to get back into work-shape. If you're one of the casualties of this economic crisis, there are a few steps that you can take to retain your edge, ability and attitude.

1. Develop a routine that mirrors an eight hour work-day.
2. Exercise at least thirty minutes a day.
3. If you have access to a computer, review Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Access at least one hour per day.

This routine should help you to retain your technical skills, just in time for the next opportunity around the bend. Finally, keep a positive attitude and don't be afraid to visualize your future job. If you have a vision of where you would like to be, there is a great chance that you will make the appropriate decisions and take the right steps to get there.

Don't be afraid to rekindle old acquaintances and friendships that fell apart. There are always opportunities. If you do not ask, no one will know that you're in need. I myself recently found employment through a former classmate. Had I not asked for help, this individual would not have been able to assist me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Team Work On The Job

So you've been hired for your dream job, or in this economy any job and the environment pales in comparison to the image that the Human Resource Recruiter painted. Additionally, you learn after being hired that there is no formal training. What should you do?

Besides throwing your hands in the air and living in regret, there are a few steps you can take to make your situation more bearable.

1.Take Initiative

2.Introduce yourself to a member of your team. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

3. Inform your team members that you will be asking questions and seeking their assistance until you're up to speed.

4. Take copious notes. No matter how computer proficient you are, every system is different.

5. Don't be afraid to adjust your learning style. Remember you're not school. Once you leave the classroom, pedagogy is out the window. Your employer's main concern is the completion of tasks that enhances their bottom line.

These four simple steps should help ease your frustration and increase your learning quotient. In time you will fill like a full fledged capable team member. The experience will make you wiser, stronger and more competent.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wall Street Fears ABC News

Wall Street heavy weights are running scared tonight. No, they're not worrying about parting ways with their private jets, limousines, fancy offices and outrageous salaries.

The US Government free giving ways without one iota of accountability will continue to pay for their lavish lifestyles, super charged libidos and satanic persona despite the growing list of failing firms.

They are afraid of Kristin Davis. Who is Kristin Davis you inquire? She's a convicted Madam who recently spent three months in the big house. According to her, Apartment 3A located on William Street in the heart of the "financial district" was the scene of the crime, or should I say high priced fun.

Davis Investments was nothing more than a front for guys who had too much money too spend, and had no clue what else to spend it on. Her clients spent thousands of dollars monthly, and billed their corporate accountants. Whoohoo!! The question is, should the Johns be charged with a crime? Would you convict guys who had access to these type of girls in real time? That's what the comments section is for. Don't be shy.

Small Vs. Big

As the economy continues to slash jobs with no abatement, I thought it was only fitting to comment on the advantages and disadvantages of working for a small firm/organization vs. large firm/organization.

Small firms offer employees opportunities to showcase their skills and talent. They also allow flexibility with work assignments and immense opportunities for growth.

Before you start raving about the benefits of working in a small firm, there are some crippling demerits that accompany these settings.

1. Trust your emotional intelligence.
2. Be mindful of experienced employees who may perceive you as a threat.
3. Do not rave about your old firm and its innovative techniques.
4. When making suggestions, focus on how they will improve tasks and enhance your current settings.
5. Mimic the culture of your new settings closely and try to fit in.
6. If you're accustomed to wearing tailored suits, dress to suit the environment not your ego.
7. Speak with managers when appropriate and ask if its okay to make suggestions for improving business.
8. If they give your their blessing, it will be much easier to gain a promotion if your innovations and suggestions bear fruit.
9. Don't be afraid to include longstanding employees in your new plans for the firm.
10. Seasoned employees are an asset to you and your plans, despite their lack of big firm experience. Their experience will help you navigate troubled waters that you least expect.
11. Finally, have fun with your new environment. If you have a job in this economy, you should build a shrine to your desk and the people you work with.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To Catch A Thief

Boosters Beware! If you're planning on pilfering items from Target, they're waiting for you. As seen on ABC's Night line, Target has a high tech forensic lab in Minneapolis Minnesota that is the envy of many police departments.

They are able to retrieve latent finger prints left on items by thieves. They're also able to carry out covert surveillance on any of their stores from their high tech lab in Minneapolis. These thefts are quickly moving from misdemeanor to felony in some states.

Let's Talk About Telephone Manners

The importance of the telephone to the organization is unmistakable. Managers understand that proper telephone etiquette influences customer behavior and their desire to purchase goods and services from certain vendors.

Today you're considered outdated If you do not have a fancy cell phone devise complete with over the top ring tones. How long should your ring tone last? One or two versus from a song is okay, but an entire song is far too much.

Although your favorite song might be dear to your heart, no one wants to listen to an entire song before they're prompted to leave a voice message. That's why the iPod was invented.

In the same vein, listening to an entire jazz album while you're on hold with customer service is also annoying. Jazz Lounges were created to fill that void. Those who love these excessively long ring tones should consider the people being tortured who are simply trying to leave a voice message.

I Smoked The Competition

Hey guys, I smoked the competition during the Olympics and now I am swimming in more trouble than I'm prepared to deal with.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things That Make You Go Umm..

Why is Produce Pete always on the TV Path Mark, but not at the one where I regularly shop?
Why is Mrs. Butterworth always alone on supermarket shelves?
We know she makes pancake syrup for a living, but what does her husband do for a living?
Does Mr. Butterworth even have a job?

When will Mr. G. on Channel 9 reveal his real last name?
Is he in the Federal Witness Protection Program? Most Weather men usually tell us their entire name, but not Mr. G.

When did Lil Wayne become the in-thing?
What happened to Toni Braxton?
Who said Mary Jay Blige could sing?

Can we allow 15,000 teachers to lose their jobs, and deny kids a proper education?
Is it fair for Wall Street Bankers to shell out $18 billion in bonus money to their cronies, while receiving federal bailout monies?
When will this town begin prosecuting financial crooks and sentence them to long prison terms until they are old and grey?
Things that make you go Ummmmmm...