Monday

Emails: Work and Play Don't Mix

Work emails aren't for one's pleasure.  Assigned to an employee, the work email is for work purposes.  Yet, how many workers use their professional email for personal business?  Does one know that on any given day he or she just might be fired for inappropriate use of one's email?  What's worse, the wrong words, sense of humor, comment, and more in an email just might aid in one's lay off or firing.

This simple reminder is for those who have blurred the lines between company business and personal pleasure when it comes to workplace emails.  Avoid becoming so comfortable with company email systems that you no longer care who sees an email you have written or received.

Nicholl McGuire

Wednesday

Layoffs, Dismissed -- What to Do Now?

It happened and there is nothing you can do about it.  One of the worst things that people do when they are let go from a company is complain, sit around, and do nothing!  Hit the ground running!  The moment you, who still have your job, hear news about people being laid off, you should be making every effort to make a smooth transition out of your old job and into your next one!

The best time to look for a job is when you already have one, but for those who don't, they will need to do something that will keep their minds fresh, body trained to wake up on time, and keep connections with others professionally and privately positive.  Just because someone you know had a hard time finding a job, got a divorced, ended up in the hospital or whatever else that happened--doesn't mean that these things and others will happen to you!

So what do you do while you collect pay without a job?

1.  You set goals for yourself to view as many sites as you can online for jobs of interest.  You purchase newspapers of the areas you desire to relocate to, if necessary. You utilize job search tools, headhunters, and employment agencies to assist you.  This workplace blog has some resources listed.

2.  You budget money in ways that reduce your monthly expenses.  In other words, you rid yourself of some of your smaller monthly bills.  You look around your home for items to sell and donate.  When you can give something away, do it, blessings have a way of coming back to you!

3.  You search for ways to make additional money, without paying for some over-hyped service or product--always do your research first before joining any business on or offline.

4.  Don't sleep on snail mail or fax machines.  If you have an address or a fax number, use it!  Send cover letters and resumes.

5.  Follow-up with contacts.

6.  Tell people you know/trust you are in search of a job and supply them with copies of cover letters and resumes.

7.  Depending on how much you are receiving after being let go, you might want to look into some government aid.  You paid into it, so you might as well use it!

8.  Be sure you check emails, voice mails, and all communications on a daily basis.  Time is money and when you don't have much, it can all get away from you!

9.  Don't grovel about the past, share personal details/updates about your life, or do other things that tarnish your reputation with previous bosses and co-workers.  Stick to business, always stick to business!  Remember, people you work with are not your friends!

10.  List personal life goals.  When you do this, you just might be open to career changes.  Do research about a position you might be curious about.  Update your resume and cover letter to reflect the duties required to obtain a certain position.

To your success!

Nicholl McGuire, see other blogs: Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate http://laboringtoloveanabusivemate.blogspot.com and Parents, Babies and Children http://parentsbabieschildren.blogspot.com

Thursday

Find Out the Latest Buzz about Your Company Layoffs, New Acquistions, Sold Property the Right Way

You have invested much time in that job, far more than you expected!  Your relationship sometimes is put on the back-burner, children's activities are missed, and you find yourself spending more money than you planned just to look professional and get to work on time each day.  So it would make sense to perform periodic research on your company at least once a month.  Why bother to listen to the gossips about your industry and company, yet never follow-up on what's truth and what is nothing more than an assumption, an exaggeration or an outright lie?

You can find your own personal peace about your job and whether or not it is worth continuing to stay, accept a job promotion, relocate, or do other things simply by conducting your own research and in-person interviews.

Before clicking on mainstream news websites, you might want to consider making a few phone calls to real people that you know who are in your industry.  The reason for this is that most of our media is owned by the same people who own the major companies in our land.  Do you really think you will get all the information you need to know from those sources?  Find out what is considered major news about your company later.  Take what you do know and ask questions, start with your company's competitors.  Find out from them things related to what concerns you.  Are people being laid off at the competition's site too?  What is being said about your business around the competitor's location?  Some people love to dish negative dirt about individuals and businesses, don't be so quick to defend.  Listen and learn.

After speaking with a few sources, you might want to take some people up on their suggestions if they have given you any such as: visiting certain websites, locations, making more careful observations at your business, and whatever else they deem might be important to you.

You will want to check up on your company online.  View sites that talk about scams, lay-offs, new acquisitions, and more.  Some of these sites might be newspaper types, television, radio, forums, micro-blogs, social bookmarking, press releases, comment sections, video, blogs, and many others.  Be sure you include the company name and any additional information you might want to know.  Once on the sites, perform other searches within.  Much data may be found in the archives of a site that may not come up in the major search engines.  Sometimes this happens by design.  A company that is doing quite badly, will spend much money to try to keep their business, so to speak, out of the street.

Another thing you will want to consider is getting those you trust to look out for company related information.  There may be some in your circle that might be able to help you learn more about what your company is up to.

Don't sleep on the library, coffee shops, laundry rooms, and any other public place a protester or activist might leave fliers sharing details about a company's misdeeds.

People within and outside departments will not always keep confidential information confidential so when this happens, there is the possibility that whoever wasn't supposed to talk, but did, might lose his or her job, be in danger, bullied, etc.  Think about the consequences, and if you have a faith, pray before you speak.  Whenever you get a break in news, be sure to keep it to yourself until the opportune time to reveal important communication, but never start talking when you have no proof and no one in leadership has given you the greenlight to share.

Nicholl McGuire has a background in journalism and communications.  She writes part-time and enjoys journaling family history.



Tuesday

For Believers in the Workplace Who Rationalize Their Sins

Sometimes people make excuses why they do deceitful things at the workplace.  If you are a believer, you know this is wrong thinking, but people do it all the time, while claiming to be one of God's chosen.

Watch this video series: Necessary Sins.

Monday

Real People Talk About Working from Home All the Time

There are companies that hire people to perform Internet tasks from home all the time, but surfers usually see the ads, dismiss them and continue working outisde of the home when they really want to be at home.  The following are notable links that just might stimulate some ideas for those of you who intend to find a work at home job for extra money sooner, rather than later.

Best work at home job sites from readers at this site, click here.

Places you might also want to check are: Craigslist, Job Boards like Monster and others, Simply Hired, and Link Up.

Simple Ways to Make Money from Home, see here.

Dr. Phil.com has a listing of many sites for those who desire to work from home, here's a link.

Wednesday

12 Things You Can Do to Leave on Time

So many people are tardy when arriving at work, church, school events, meetings, and other places because they fail to do the following things before the time they should be leaving. As a result, they are making excuses as to why they couldn’t be on time. Don’t let things you can control keep you from arriving on time.

One. Plan the night before. Make a list of things that need to be done.

You know how long it takes you to do things like eat, care for children, and dress yourself, but if you don’t, start paying closer attention to the clock on days when you aren’t pressed for time. Conduct a drill and note the time it takes you to get basic tasks done. This will help you plan better. One of the biggest mistakes people make when preparing to go anywhere is they don’t keep moving until they are ready and out the door. Instead, they often get distracted and stop and do things either non-related to their goal of getting out the door or they spend far too long doing each task.

Two. Set your clock at least a half hour before you get out of bed each day.

There is the time you are fully awake and ready to get out of your bed and then there is the time it takes you to awake and get focused to get out of the bed. Allow at least thirty minutes or so to get your mindset right to awake before your get out of bed time. Turn on a light, sit up, let the alarm clock ring for a little bit, stretch, pray or do whatever you do to get ready to start your day. But avoid distractions that keep you in bed or you will most likely be late.

Three. Take your shower or bath the night before.

For those individuals who are often late, they refuse to change the little things like the long hot or cold shower or bath they prefer to do in the mornings because “it helps me wake up.” Until one has a better perspective on time, something as simple as a shower or bath time change might help you get out the door faster, so consider it.

Four. Wash and set hair nightly.

It takes time to prep hair in the mornings especially when it is long, so it is best to spend a little more tender loving care on one’s hair the night before rather a lot of time in the mornings.

Five. Arrange needed items at the door nightly.

From looking for a certain pair of shoes to going back into the home to grab a pair of sunglasses or car keys, some people fail to make space near a doorway for their needed items. If those things you believe you or your children may need are neatly placed near an entryway, you will be less likely to go back into the home searching for things.

Six. Organize lunch items the night before.

Some people will go without a lunch because they never permit time for themselves to make one. Imagine how much time and money you can save each day if you consider making lunches at home.

Seven. Pick out and iron clothes on weekends.

The time that you would typically be watching TV or surfing the Internet could be used to iron your clothes. Just think of the money and time you will save by not having clothes dry-cleaned and not worrying over trying to iron clothes in the mornings.

Eight. Pre-cook meals and arrange snacks in advance in case you will not be coming back home around dinner time.

There are those families that are often on the run and find themselves not only being late for events in the mornings, but evenings too because they had to go back home to eat or stop somewhere to eat. Since you are making a lunch, you might want to carry dinner along too.

Nine. Don’t talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or check email and surf the Internet when you are trying to get ready to leave out in the mornings.

Whatever issue that comes up is most likely one that you will have to deal with sooner or later, but you can’t do much if you are tied up in the bathroom, caring for children, or doing something else that needs your immediate attention. Allowing non-emergency distractions to hold you up will definitely make you late and cause you to forget to do certain things.

Ten. Prepare others in your household prior to the day you are leaving. This way they can do their part to help everyone leave on time.

Sometimes when you hold others accountable for their tasks, you will find that you gain more time to do things in the mornings. For example, instead of letting a child watch TV every morning, train him or her to wash and dress his or herself and get lunch together. This way all you have to do is just check in on him or her.

Eleven. If you drive, do things like: inspect your vehicle, clean it out, and get gas before the day you leave.

The little extra time you need in case of an accident or someone driving slowly in front of you can be easily eaten up if you have to stop to deal with a car issue.

Twelve. Collect and take garbage out before your departure time.

Having to do household tasks will also slow you down if you don’t prepare in advance. Remember the days of the week the trash truck comes around and allow for extra time on those days.

Sometimes consistent tardiness occurs due to things like: poor rest, diet, and stress. You might want to consider making needed changes to your lifestyle. Seek herbal supplements, vitamins, and similar things that might help you obtain a restful sleep and also energize you during the day. Research your condition, and if necessary, make a doctor’s appointment. Also, think about your environment, could it be playing a part on why you can’t leave on time? Cluttered living conditions, argumentative partners, unruly children, unreliable transportation, a bad or congested neighborhood, a property that has inadequate plumbing, electricity, etc. can contribute to a family’s consistent lateness.

After making adjustments to your lifestyle, you should have enough time to do things in the mornings like: eat a light breakfast, make your lunch, walk your home taking time to turn off lights and unplug items, put some things back in place, and more. You might also have additional time to spare to read, meditate, or exercise as well as handle any unexpected events that might come up.

Nicholl McGuire
 is the author of the following books:

Know Your Enemy: The Christian's Critic https://www.createspace.com/3437273
When Mothers Cry https://www.createspace.com/3393499
Laboring to Love Myself https://www.createspace.com/3401526
Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate https://www.createspace.com/3332346
Floral Beauty on a Dead End Street http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/904839
Spiritual Poems By Nicholl http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3113926



 

 

Sunday

What's So Hard About Following the Rules?

One of the things that a boss hates more than anything is when he or she meets with staff, outlines everything that is needed to do, and then after the meeting, absolutely nothing changes!  Staff proceed to go about their day as if they hadn't been warned about wasting time, meeting deadlines, communicating with leadership and co-workers, and a host of other things.

For those who want to be working for another company about this time next year, go ahead, make your bosses' day, do things like you always do and then watch what happens.  Awhile back, I experienced some serious changes on the job  and I will tell you that when the boss called many into meetings, they came in smiling, but walked out frowning.  Change was inevitable and some were going to have to tow the line or else.  The atmosphere was tense for a couple of weeks after a series of meetings and only got worse.  Things became so bad that no one was allowed to stop for a moment and say, "Good morning" to their co-workers.  A simple greeting was avoided for fear that the boss would jump out of nowhere and write someone up for excessive talking.  Management was concerned that if the friendliness picked back up again, people would talk too much and work wouldn't get done.  It was overkill, but some of us understood and were quiet as mice, but others not so much.  "I don't care what they say, I'm going to talk if I want to," a rebellious temp said in a loud voice.  About a month later, the young woman was out of a job.

Sometimes people aren't going to follow instructions no matter where they work.  They are going to go about their business as if they never received a memo, email, phone call, or sat in on a meeting.  Unfortunately, the only thing you can do with people like this is remind them what you need until you exhaust yourself of telling them over and over again, then take action.

Nicholl McGuire is an author, blogger and Internet Content Producer.  She worked in a variety of industries offline including: telecommunications, sales, marketing, publishing, and customer service.

Thursday

Don't Like the Employees, the Workplace--Your Job

When one is constantly complaining about his or her workplace to family and friends, what he or she doesn't realize is that slowly he or she is tearing away what little peace, comfort and happiness that is in that home or between good friends.  No one wants to look at someone everyday miserable that yet again something went wrong at work!  But it is unfortunate that there are so many employees leaving from work, headed for home either quietly walking around their residences barely speaking to relatives or angrily tending to children and household duties.  The more one warns, "You have got to do something about your job, before..."  the more the bitter boss or worker comes up with yet another excuse as to why he or she is behaving in such negative ways.  In time, excuses run out and people around you are ready to take action.  Children misbehave more.  Partners start looking at the grass being greener on the other side.  Friends stop calling and spending time with you.  Get the picture? 

We all have to pay bills and deal with workplace matters that we rather run away from, but when those job issues become so big that a partner is ready to walk out, children are screaming about not seeing daddy and mommy, and relatives are warning, "Your family needs you..." and yet one keeps working long hours, hating the job, etc.--admit it, he or she is sick. 

Life has a funny way of dealing what appears to be a bad deck of cards, but really turns out to be a win.  Don't wait until the company fires/demotes/lays off or takes some project/benefit/title from you.  You know at some point a boss or co-workers will notice your negative moods and repeated errors, so it is either change or go elsewhere.  For some readers, start today looking for ways to manage stress--even if it means you have to start looking for another job. 

But for those who already received their job loss notice, look on the brighter side, you are free to work where you truly want or start something new that you can really appreciate it and besides your family will like you being around--at least for a time.

Check out the following:  Funny Puns about Losing Jobs a hubber (just another term for blogger) created this, a little something to lighten some readers up a bit.  Have a great workday!

Friday

Exodus: Looking for Signs to Make a Move


How to Evaluate a Job Offer and Quit the Company You are With

You are ready to take a job and leave another.  There are some good sites on the web that can help.  Be sure to thank us for referring you when you are done reading!  To your success!

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

What to Do When Your Job Offer is Withdrawn


About Youtube Channel Nmenterprise7



You can listen to spiritual messages by the creator of this blog on YouTube.

Overloaded with Technology, Work, Family and More?



Sooner or later if you don't deprogram you will look like some of the individuals shown on this site in previous blog entries.  Do you want that?  How important is your job and family to you?  Deprogram before you lose it with someone or something!

Thursday

Don't Try This at Work...

What workplace stress really looks like!



Notice the signs before your co-worker goes nuts!  Technology issues, offer assistance.  Annoying noises and other weird things, cut it out.  Smelly odors including perfume, do something about it.  Think about what you or someone else is doing to disrupt what could be a nice day at work and say something, talk to HR, write a letter, confront the issue, but do something other than freak out.

Tuesday

Workplace Harassment is a Form of Discrimination

The following sites, as well as this one, will give you some detailed information when it comes to dealing with issues of workplace harassment.

Fcc.gov - site helps you understand what is workplace harassment.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - further insight as to how workplace harassment is defined by our government.

Strategic HR-ManagEase - there are frequently asked questions and answers about workplace harassment on this website.

About.com - how to handle workplace harassment

Saturday

Funny Things That Happen at Work

1.  Female co-worker comes over with a bright smile, talking about a little bit of everything--family, faith, but not farts!  She is having a laughing fit about something I said and then when I least expected, she went off about her business after leaving behind a comment from her butt.  She gave my cubicle a silent, but deadly--ugh!

2.  Male co-worker talking and talking.  The smell seems to be traveling closer and closer to my nostrils.  "When is it a good time to offer him a mint, gum, a cup of Listerine...!" I'm thinking all of these things while he is talking about...I don't know.  Good God, am I still at work?

3.  So the boss burps--a weird noise that sounds like a kid making strange noises from the back of his throat--without saying excuse me (as if a room full of eye balls doesn't notice). Meanwhile Mr. Play By The Rulebook is trying to act very serious and focused during a meeting.  Forget about it, nasty!  We all laugh at him.  Now that is what I call a meeting!

4.  Short skirts, leave them at home ladies!  Young woman was giving a guy, in a boring marriage, some flashbacks of the good ole' days when things were much different before his wife's pregnancy.  Shame on you Jezebel!

5.  Workman doesn't feel the cool breeze from the air conditioner as he showcases a peekaboo moment from his backside.  For God sake, cover yourself up man!

6.  Is her shirt too tight?  I repeat, is her shirt too tight?

7.  What the?  Who the?  What made her do that to her hair?

8.  I would love to focus on my instructions boss, but your heavy breathing is really distracting.  Do you really need another doughnut?

9.  If I knew your wife's phone number, I would tell her how much time you visit that young woman in the next cubicle.

10.  If I were your husband, I would stand at the window of your workplace with my nose smashed to the window and my eyes wide open waiting for you to stop laughing and talking to XYZ when you are supposedly working late.

Friday

16 Places To Find A Job

Thought you might want to seek out alternative places to find a job, click on the following link:

16 Places To Find A Job

Best wishes!

Thursday

Burn Out ( A short film on Stress at workplace)


What Now? When the Company Says Goodbye

I never thought it would happen to me, I was a mere 20 plus years back then and recently got my own place.  Out of nowhere, the telecommunications company I worked for had decided to lay most of us off.  Directors, managers, supervisors, administrative staff, and customer service representatives were given their pink notices.  Strangely, I had had a dream about a month prior about my job ending, I warned a few people, but continued working thinking nothing more about it until that day.

The entire department met in the conference room and that's when I looked at those faces.  Looking back, I thought, "We were all a cool bunch."  We whispered around water-coolers about the day's events, laughed in cubicles, celebrated holidays together, and exchanged funny emails.  We knew about our highs and lows professionally and personally.  "Why now?"  I asked myself back then.  "Why?"

Yet, somehow I survived that storm.  I got my escape plan together quick, fast and in a hurry!  I was one of the first in my department to obtain employment within a week after receiving that dreaded notice.  I hit the ground running.  I didn't have any severance package coming to me and collecting unemployment was a joke since I didn't make much anyway.  I needed to work--to maintain my sanity.  I was in college too and no freebies were coming my way from anyone.  There was bills to pay and I didn't permit myself to start groveling in the "What ifs..."  Besides, I couldn't stomach the, "Now what are you going to do next?" questioning from concerned friends.

If you are hearing through the grapevine that your job is coming to an end and may have had a dream or two about being laid off, don't take your future lightly!  Don't wait for family and friends to give you tips on what to do with your life.  Seize the moment!  Do what you can to survive honestly, in other words, play fair, because you never know if you will ever see your bosses and co-workers again.  You might also need these people as references.

Begin advertising your services/talents/skills to individuals and businesses.  Get connected with temporary agencies.  Respond to job classifieds with your cover letter and resume.  But whatever you do, don't see the Mack truck coming and do nothing.

Ask yourself, "What do I need to do now with my life?  What will make me most happy?  How much money/stuff/time do I need to accomplish my goals?"  Sometimes challenging moments in life happen to awaken us to what we have been neglecting with all our money-making/chasing.  Rekindle those broken relationships, spend more time with children, call relatives, visit churches, volunteer, plan to relocate, and do whatever else that will give you a sense of well-being.  There is indeed more to life than a job.

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Curious About Who is Hiring this Month?

Website provides many companies hiring nationwide as well as others in select states.  See if yours is listed.  20 Companies Hiring in May

Monday

Are You Feeling the Need to Go Back to School? Why not Push for Affordable Learning Prorams?

These days Texas is receiving much media fanfare since the Governor of the state has been pushing $10,000 degree programs.  Read more here: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/whos-wants-10k-degree/

Take a moment to tweet your findings or share with your other social networks.  Parents and those who are seeking to go back to school but simply can't afford it, need to push for everything from free college courses to $10,000 or less degree programs.  Enough already with the student loans that are keeping citizens from fully realizing the American dream!

Check out other blogs and articles about this subject of higher learning:

More than 100 Free Places to Learn Online – and Counting
http://www.missiontolearn.com/2008/02/more-than-100-free-places-to-learn-online-and-counting/

Free College Education for All
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/01/19/a-free-college-education-for-all/

Top 6 Most Affordable Online Colleges, Schools & Degrees
http://www.onlinedegreetalk.org/top-online-colleges/

Wednesday

What Most Companies Won't Encourage You to Do - Take a Day Off

How does an employer get an employee to be loyal to a company?  The short answer to this question is he knows how to program him or her over time to the point that this person will choose his or her job over family even during times of crisis.  And what might the dedicated employee receive after many years of choosing job over family?  Bonus money, a watch, a ring, or some other small token that says, "Thank you."

The next time you feel tempted to argue with a partner or a relative as to why "I can't be there because..." consider this, if you were ill, on vacation, or doing something else outside of your job, accomodations would be made in your absence--the show will go on.

Good employees most often have nothing to fear, but those who slack off--well they should be concerned about missing days of work. 

Continue to do your job well, but don't lose your family in the process.  There are always other jobs, but not other families that will love you in the way that a good one does.

Nicholl McGuire is the creator of this blog and others.  She is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books. 

Thursday

Workplace Woes and Troubles at Home

A job can get the best of you if you aren't careful while leaving you with nothing more than crumbs for a personality outside of work such as: emotional highs and lows, addictions, tiredness, and health issues.  Think of how much time people spend in front of the television or some other electronic device watching people with a variety of issues as a form of relaxation.  Look at those individuals in your family who spent decades working to save money so that they can retire to a life of food and drug addictions, medical problems, and more.  There must be some degree of balance between work and play.  One must strategize, not only at work, but at home too!  How much time is really being dedicated to partner, children, relatives, and friends?  Where does one go or what does one do to experience true peace of mind outside of the workplace?  Who or what is driving the worker to act in ways either on or off the job that if anyone at work knew what was really going on, this person would suggest an immediate dismissal? 

At times, we lose focus on the people, places and things that truly matter--the help that got us where we are in our lives in the first place.  You didn't get where you are on your own.  Someone or a group did things to help make your path easier.  For example, a relative may have watched your children, a partner could have saved you time and money so you wouldn't miss a day of work or have to go in late, a business might have given you some benefits to help you keep your job, a spiritual individual prayed for you, a group created information to help you become a success and you took the information and ran with it, and the list goes on.  Sometimes it may seem that you got to where you are in this life all by yourself, because you stand on the front lines of battle daily, but the truth is you had a team assist you and you still have people around you that help whether you personally know them or not.  We are never to bite the hands that feed us spiritually or otherwise--no matter what the title, ethnicity, gender, income level, etc.  What goes around sincerely does come back around--sooner or later!   

Remind yourself that your money is nothing more than a tool that helps you do the things you want, but by no means was it ever meant to replace your morals/ethics, mentors, family, friends, and more.  As workplace woes increase, so does problems at home for many people.  Sometimes it is the opposite of the two.  Think about how many hours you work with strangers (that's right strangers, you don't really know these people no matter how many lunches they bring you) as compared to how much you talk to those who you have known for years.  Some reading this, shouldn't wonder why your partner feels jilted and angered that you care more about appeasing "strangers" than you do your marital relationship.  Sit down, be attentive, and talk awhile with your loved one before it's too late.  What is on his or her mind?  What might the future hold for your relationship?  A boss can quiz you on your tasks and you might even be able to predict the future on some things, but when it comes to a personal relationship, you're stumped.  "Now what was it that my partner wanted me to do again?  Oh well..." says the often busy boss. 

Consider how much effort you put into maintaining your reputation on the work front as compared to the amount of time you put in keeping the peace at home.  Are you often critical at home?  Do you give your family a hard time while you encourage your employees and even say things like, "Please" and "Thank you."?  Funny, how nice people act when dollars and cents are involved. 

Also, ask yourself, "Could my attitude, work hours, job responsibilities, employee relationships, and financial concerns be negatively impacting other areas of my life?  If so, what should I be doing to rectify these issues at home?"  You might be blaming others for your stresses, when in fact, you have long been warned about your own behavior both on and off the job.

Take a day off, orchestrate a change or two on the homefront and elsewhere, be mindful of how you treat those you love, and apologize to anyone you may have offended.

Nicholl McGuire author, writer and this blog's creator.  If you are planning to relocate, get tips here.

Thursday

Workplace Programming- When the Job Means More than God


On Building Workplace Relationships: Personal Experience


Holiday Celebrating and Work

While the boss is away the cats will play especially when it is a holiday!  I can't tell you how many workplaces I have been in where people boldly acted in ways they know that if the boss was around they would be busy working.  But oh no, not some employees!  The Internet surfing increases, email is overlooked, personal copies are made, and personal phone calls are lengthy.  all the holiday excitement has made the workplace lax--too lax! 

Now if the boss is on site, during holidays, the more it seems people "need" certain days off.  "It's my anniversary on that day...I can't be here, my kids are going to be in this play...It is a tradition of my family to celebrate..."  That sounds nice, but work still needs to get done. 

I recall a boss handling the holiday celebrations something like this, he didn't celebrate, consecrate, or congregate.  Get it?  So consider the following:

Don't mix business with pleasure especially when your company is the type that demands high performance. 

As a boss, if you give an inch, you best believe there will always be those employees that will take a mile!  End the decorating, office parties and other personal celebrations at work when you know job performance is slacking, profits are down, and you are ready to fire someone.  For those employees who just love holiday celebrating, meet up after work if you must.  You don't want to be that one called in the office over an issue only for your boss to say, "...and by the way if the employees weren't distracted by your event, none of this would have happened!" 

Also, consider this, there is probably one or two at the workplace who have some hidden resentment about how you or someone else acknowledged this employee's baby being born and not that one, this employee's cubical was decorated for his birthday and not that one...You know how people can be.  If everyone can't be acknowledged because of money, time, etc. then why do it?

Days off mean work isn't getting done, but you still want your personal time. 

If someone requests a day off, find out what work is already being done what still needs to be done and who will be handling his or her workload while that employee is out.  This way you can put your days in without the schedule conflict of, "Who is going to be here and who isn't and why are you both out on the same day?" coming from the boss.  However, if you are the unlucky one to take over while your boss or co-worker is out, then consider this, be sure to schedule time off during the time he or she returns--don't talk yourself out of it.  Unfortunately, some employees can act selfishly assuming that hard workers never need time off and they will just pick up the slack.  Be sure to have your work completed and needed assistance while you are out. 

As for bosses, who have employees needing some time off, try to accommodate by having others help out with tasks, but if this can't be done, those with tenure typically get first pick.  However, it is in your power to circulate holidays fairly.  For instance, if a certain employee always gets his or her request, you may want to arrange the schedule so that others can get those days off sometimes too.  Check with employees maybe some are okay with the vacation schedule while others are not.

Avoid revealing too much about your holiday celebrating.

Valuable work time gets eaten up because so many leaders and workers want to share stories about their holiday experiences especially in the morning when it is already a challenge for some employees to focus and get work done quickly.  Reserve the story-telling for lunch and after work when you see that tasks simply aren't getting done. 

If you know that you work in an atmosphere with back-stabbers, liars, snitches, and the like, don't provide too many personal details when speaking about your festivities.  You don't know who you might be offending or what these people might post on the Internet or say to others about you.  I recall when someone was sharing information about a gay mixer she had at her home, needless to say, there were many who already didn't like the trouble-making employee, so she didn't make matters any better for herself when she shared some tidbits about her guests.  Other employees liked to share information about their weekends in the bathroom, not knowing, who was using the stalls.  It was only a matter of time that personal stories circulated. 

Do think about those leaders and workers who may or may not celebrate holidays and how what you do and say might negatively impact them. It is best to keep personal celebrating to a minimum at work and elsewhere.  Keep in mind wherever you go, whether on or offline, you represent your company.  Think about the many workers who have been fired from their jobs as a result of not knowing where to draw the line.  Also, don't post photos of your holiday events especially if you know you have done any of the following: lied so you could get a day off, did something shameful at the event, wore company attire while you did wild acts, or borrowed or stole company equipment for use at your celebration (ie. weddings, baby showers...)

Happy celebrating!





Sunday

What Every Manager/Business Owner/Employee Can Learn from Disgruntled Ex-Cop

A mean-spirited man hell-bent on killing people decides that he is going to pay back those who failed him at his place of employment.  We saw the movies, read the news, had our own personal concerns on the job, and heard some angry relatives and friends complain about a boss, employee, contractor, or someone else wronging them at their workplaces.  But rarely does anyone really think too much about the prideful statements, hateful comments and even threats one makes about workers at the job.

Some people are very good about hiding their personal opinion when it comes to a certain ethnicity, gender, and workplace issue they don't agree with.  But others, not so much.  As a result, workplace operations is disrupted over some workers having no self-control over their tongues.  What's worse, there are leaders all across America who don't mind deviating from policies, manuals, and other company related material, not to better the collective, but to suit one's selfish ideas, desires, and those who they might favor.  Meanwhile the good employee, who plays by the book, will either quietly or boldly react while an unfair, negative, demeaning, or evil scenario plays out that may or may not directly affect him or her, but in their minds they constantly think, "Something must be done!"

Now let us take a look at this former law enforcement officer, Christopher Jordan Dorner, for a moment.  (His manifesto is attached to his name).  Someone who seemed to have a great career, intelligent, and loved his country at one time, which is inferred from his manifesto, yet an enraged man who wanted nothing more than to take revenge on those who failed him.  But why not handle matters professionally assuming that he did kill the couple and write the manifesto?  (He hasn't been tried yet at the time of this writing.)

According to Dorner's manifesto,  "I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences. The LAPD’s actions have cost me my law enforcement career that began on 2/7/05 and ended on 1/2/09. They cost me my Naval career which started on 4/02 and ends on 2/13."
 
The system had failed him in his opinion.  Here was a man who drove himself mad trying to play by the book.  There are many examples in the manifesto where he was that tattle-tale or whistleblower, so to speak.  So when management didn't follow protocol, Dorner took matters in his own hands!

My question to you is, do you have a fellow co-worker, employee, counselor, client, supervisor, or assistant who plays by the book that you might have let down?  Are you the worker that might feel slighted by management?  Think on this for awhile.  Because chances are, there is something on the inside of you or someone you know that is festering.  Some of those negative emotions may be playing themselves out in the following: under performance (like work not getting done in a timely fashion), so-called jokes made about you or others, frequent tardiness, fake illnesses, failure to get along with fellow workers, stealing, lying, and more.

Many companies have a variety of awareness programs, but what about having one that teaches employees how to recognize a disgruntled employee?  A good worker, who simply feels angered about things like:  his complaint being overlooked, unappreciated, or not properly dealt with, according to the company's protocol, might not be a future problem for you and your group if management follows-up, investigates matters, follows policies, or adds better ones, and stays out of the "the club" or "clique." 

You may have your favorites and may have taken an oath with a certain organization, but doesn't integrity and fairness mean anything?  Your Right Hand Man may one day be your foe, because he or she notices that you don't play by the rules unless it suits you, then what?  In the case of Dorner, he called people out and yet they still didn't listen even with proof.   

Working to achieve a common goal is different from looking the other way when a worker is doing wrong.  If you are that team player, meaning helping make the company a success not covering up misdeeds, yet the group decides that they want to do some things that undermine the community that they serve while deceiving management, it is your responsibility to report what you observe to the necessary authorities.  Dorner listed many people in his writing that simply lacked standards, didn't want to address issues, etc.  Management shouldn't treat their good workers like snitches while making others think they are bad for business for wanting to do right.   

There are those workers who believe that being a team player means one is nothing more than a snitch, a tattle-tail, big mouth, and other words not so nice.  Like a child who repeatedly tells a parent about a sibling hitting them, the worker wants justice!

So after reading the Dorner's manifesto, you might want to think about the following points for your establishment when teaching/advising/reprimanding:

One.  When information is released by a company about what changes have been made, and you don't see any changes or they are no benefit to workers, you make mention in writing.  You talk to others to get their feedback.  If they simply aren't willing to work with you, you don't keep giving them your service, you look for another job.  If you don't deal with the issue that keeps showing up, feelings of resentment, bitterness, rage, and more will start to take root.  Before long, all you will keep thinking about in your mind is how much you hate this person and how you want to pay this one and that one back as well as what else can you do to make these people see the light.  Save your energy for a company who will listen! 

Two.  You may find that someone is purposely spreading incorrect information about you.  They may go so far as to make your office space uncomfortable with all his or her bad-mouthing.  As soon as you hear something negative that has your name in it, share your concern with Human Resources or others you know can help you.  Tell your confidante or advisor your plans to confront this person and if you don't trust him or her, be near witnesses, speak over the phone, or behind closed doors, but record the exchange.  Always have a paper trail with dates and times.  The sooner you address the "He say, She say," the better!  Request an apology or something in writing from those who can clear your name.

Three.  If you know of certain individuals who tend to eat lunch all the time, are related to one another, or seem to be connected due to fraternal connections, it is best to mention these affiliations in any report you file.  This will prove that individuals will lie, cover up or do anything else to support one another because many of these group members swear by oaths to protect secrets and more.  Be sure you are not a part of the club.  This means no lunch dates, attending events, etc.  Otherwise, your socializing with the group might be used against you later.  You may be labeled as the disgruntled one who got kicked out the club.

Four.  Those who use offensive remarks about others that are racial, sexist and more should be reported, but one should not threaten or physically fight the offenders.  When you do, you set yourself up for a future dismissal and you will also create enemies for all the wrong reasons.  Find out what does company policy say about offensive statements, hand gestures, etc.

Five.  Trouble-makers on the job usually have an extensive history.  Do your research to find out why certain people continue to stay.  Don't bring up concerns to those who favor these individuals.  Think of ways to bring attention to the matter within the group.  If you have to be anonymous, then do so.  However, don't prepare your concern at the workplace, go elsewhere to do it and don't save what you wrote on a personal computer.  If you are mailing correspondence, go outside of where you live to do it.  Avoid handwriting envelopes and letters.  Use paper that can't be tracked back to you.  Mail outside of the post office (off the property).  If you are very concerned, be sure your fingerprints are not on paper, postage, envelope, and other places.  If your identity being found out is a non-issue, then send email with time and date stamp and cc. all those who need to know about your concerns. 

Six.   Notice who the angry workers are in your organization.  They are typically easily irritated, often do not smile, curse, or throw things.  They disrespect others and are not able to work in groups.  Then there are those who are good actors who will smile for certain individuals and not others.  When you hear repeated complaints about these angry individuals, do something about them when in your power such as: meet with them and ask about their issues and provide tips, send them written correspondence and offer assistance, seek your boss for advice, report to H.R. and be knowledgeable of your rights and company policies.  Direct these ticking time bombs to necessary help within your company or outside of it.  Offer days off when possible.  Remember, note your findings because you might be called as a character witness one day.  Always follow-up!  Schedule a future appointment with the angry employee during the meeting, and try not to cancel.

Seven.  You or someone you know might come to a point that a worker/manager can't do anything else to rectify a matter.  The dissatisfied employee may or may not be visibly upset.  When you know you can't do anything else to get your issue resolved, don't badger anyone and avoid complaining; rather, make up in your mind either you will accept things how they are or move on.  Maybe things might change because of your long history of fighting the good fight, but then maybe not. 

Don't drive yourself crazy trying to get some justice for your issue or someone else's!  Be sure to have a network of supportive individuals who can counsel/pray/assist you when you are down.  Surrounding yourself with useless, unwise advisers and so-called helpful mentors who have proven that their good tips have run out, will not help you to be the most effective on the job.  In time, your issues at work will surface on the home front and when this happens you will definitely hate your job and everyone who works there. 

Stop the rage about someone or something early on, by taking appropriate action,  do things like: consult with others to see what they have done in a similar situation, take days off to think, find positive ways to express yourself, and above everything else when no one seems to understand or will listen, start putting those resumes out! 

Don't waste your life staying with a company or working in a department that doesn't help you when you are down!  Life is simply too short!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books available on Amazon.com



Thursday

When Trying to Be Nice No Longer Works On the Job

So you have done everything to appease that customer/client/employee/boss and now it is time to make this person see that you are nobody's fool any longer!  Just a minute, before you put your foot down, you do plan on keeping your job right? 

One.  Communicate how you feel in a serious tone.

Joking, smiling, and making flattering statements is not going to make this person who finds you weak consider you strong.  Fix your face!  Let's get serious.  The fun and games are over!

Two.  Express how his or her actions or inactions are affecting not just you, but the organization.

Show proof when you make accusations.  What exactly is he or she doing or not doing that is making you feel the way that you do?  Don't assume that the employee knows already.  Remember some people are mentally slow and don't catch on to hints and forget reminders.

Three.  Change your clothing and your posture for the meeting.

You might schedule to meet with this person on a specified day so that you will have time to go over all that concerns you.  If this is the case, then don't present yourself in the way you typically do with the employee.  Instead, address your concerns from a standing position, if you typically sit behind a desk or reverse.  Wear a bold, dark solid color, rather than a light color with prints.  Your demeanor should be showing this person, "I mean business."

Four.  Spell your concerns out and have them printed on paper.

Even though it might be a little issue or something that others wouldn't make a big deal about, you will want your situation in writing because it may be ongoing without any resolve.  Consult with Human Resources on what your rights are and have them review the contents of your communication. When talking to other's about your situation, you want to make it clear that the employee is just not understanding you or what you want after past attempts to talk to him or her. 

Your goal is to get a solution and fast before this person comes up with something to get the upperhand on you.  Upper management may not want to help because they are too busy for what they might consider petty.  Lower management may not care because this problem worker because he or she isn't affecting his or her department.  Keep in mind, to send a copy of your concern with those who need to know even if they don't want to help or don't think it is anything worth addressing.  Share your printed material you plan to give the employee along with any other communication before your confrontation with him or her.  After the meeting pen the results of your meeting and share with your superiors and then at a later date note the worker's progress.  This way if this person needs to be dismissed, you will have a paper trail.

If you should have to confront someone who you believe might be a liar, deceptive or has been known to get people fired, do let someone know about your experiences, what you plan to do, what you expect from this person, and what you hope will be accomplished if this person doesn't stop or start doing whatever it is that you are expecting.

Be polite, but not "nice" in the sense of being weak or sweet.  Most ikely this person keeps giving you problems, because he or she is taking your "nice" personality for being weak-minded. 

Use your voice to help you articulate your thoughts in a way that makes the worker know he or she has crossed the line.  If necessary, have witnesses.  Sometimes behind closed door confrontations don't do anything more than turn into "He say, She say..." matches.  So if something continues to happen, bring the matter out in the open in such a way that witnesses can see.  Of course, you may be reprimanded by an authority figure or someone might be offended and complain, but when nothing else seems to work, do what you must!  Sometimes public exposure is a very powerful weapon when used appropriately and will cause you to obtain the respect you deserve!

Nicholl McGuire writes and maintains other blogs including: When Mothers Cry and Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate.

10 Signs it Might Be Time to Move On from a Job

Lately work has been something like a bad relationship, you are putting up with foolishness because you just aren't ready to leave.  At times you convince yourself that everything is "Okay" and "Alright" when it isn't.  But why put yourself through all this worry and stress?  Maybe you do need to leave.  However, before you do anything drastic, pay closer attention to the signs and then do something about your woes.

One.  Leadership frequently fails to keep their promises while leaving it up to you to dig them out of their messes.

Two.  You no longer feel that your spiritual faith can sustain you each day you show up at your workplace.

Three. Your boss and co-workers keep finding faults with you even when what you do isn't worth mentioning.

Four.  Your spouse or best friend keep telling you to quit your job because he or she sees how bad it is affecting you personally.

Five.  You find yourself lying about little things just to hide your true feelings about your job.

Six.   The money received from your work is no longer helping you meet financial goals.

Seven.  Hateful feelings concerning your job are festering within you and you are gradually ruining your relationship with others as a result.

Eight.  You are beginning to come to work late and are often taking days off.

Nine.  You worry about getting fired for things you know you shouldn't be doing or saying at work.

Ten.  You no longer like to commute from your home to your job and complain often about how far away you live.

If the majority of these signs describe your situation, it's time to make a serious effort to rid yourself from this emotionally and physically binding job.

To your peace and a sound mind!

Nicholl McGuire blogs periodically on Apartment Leasing Tips blog.

Are you a believer in the workplace?

For those of you who have a faith in the workplace, Nicholl, writer and manager of this blog, has created a new blog Face Your Foe.  Although in it's infancy, this blog and future book is written from a spiritual perspective with tips on facing certain enemies like the liar, pervert, etc. anywhere. 

We know that every smiling face at the workplace doesn't like Christ followers much less are interested in what they have to say.  So do stop on over at Face Your Foe and put some useful information into practice to help you solve your workplace dilemmas.  You do have a fellow believer who cares! 

God talk is always welcome!  Enjoy.

Thursday

Positivity Has Its Place

Being positive is a great attribute to have when it comes to discussing issues at the workplace. When a situation comes up, “looking on the bright side of things” is one of those catch phrases that is intended to encourage someone, but unfortunately for many, they say it to look good before others even when this advice doesn't always work or has little relevance to what is going on at the workplace.

One can be positive and be a fool too. A positive fool is that one who sees there is an ongoing fire at a friend's home. The poor friend is crying about losing everything, and before her tears are dried up, the optimist says something like, “Well, at least you and your family weren't there in the house when the fire started.  Don't worry, you will get your stuff back.” That isn't a very truthful or encouraging statement.  Family photos, keepsakes, and other valuables are lost forever--you can't get them back!There is a time and a place for everything. Being grateful for one's life is a good thing, but a statement like, “Here's a check to help you with your tragedy” sounds far better!
 
Sometimes positive statements are just used for selfish reasons at a workplace setting. Some employees use them to get out of speaking truth and to avoid adding details to a story or personal opinion. A positive phrase can be used as an escape out of a situation someone doesn't want to be in or is fearful of where the conversation might lead. For instance, you are asking someone a question about specific work events and he or she responds with, “All is well.” That doesn't say what anyone did, said, how much was done...it only communicates “no problems.” But then later, one's positive comment becomes more than meets the eye, the worker says, “Oh, that's right I forgot to tell you about...and I didn't do...I got someone else to do that...well, yes there was that issue...it wasn't that bad.”  Really?!
 
Workers will hide behind their positive phrases when they are doing the following: running from a situation that might make them feel uncomfortable, lack confidence in what they are doing, or are worried that what they say might be repeated to others. When one is honest with no worries, confident that things are managed well, and has nothing to hide, why avoid details when asked open-ended questions or why use feel-good phrases just because one doesn't feel like talking about a situation? Maybe you can get a way with such a strategy at home, but at work, different story.
When a leader is looking for open communication with details as to why something has or hasn't occurred, he or she doesn't want a response like, “Well, some people did what was asked, and others didn't, but there were no problems. That's just how things are. But we got things done. We can look at the glass half full or half empty in this situation.” What!? The manager is going to want to know, “Why were some people working and others were not?” The following is another fictional example except this person didn't bother to ask any questions about a challenge before blurting out something about being positive, “Well, people do things we don't like. I mean I didn't hear everything about what happened. I don't even know her personally. But I would like to think she meant nothing by her action. Oh, just try to be positive.” Meanwhile, the person is ignorant of the person and the details, but advises one to be positive. Huh!? It isn't any wonder why some so-called optimists end up overlooked for promotions, job offers, can't keep good relations with staff, etc. They don't know how to express positivity in such a way that will help them and others.  One should avoid saying too much of anything, including advising, when you don't know the facts. Sometimes all a speaker wants is a listening ear. A wise person would listen for the lesson in the conversation that might be beneficial to her or him. In the example, the listener should have been telling his or herself while listening to the concern, “If I ever encounter this person that supposedly gave her a hard time, I will watch what I say” instead of assuming that one's intentions might be positive. If so, why were there issues in the first place?

Never assume anything about anyone's intentions especially when you haven't personally had an encounter with them or don't know them or details.  From parents to CEOs, people have their reasons for why they do or don't do. Better to be quiet than to carelessly say something without doing a thorough investigation on a matter.
 
Positivity has its place. As crazy as it seems, it can also be used as a weapon. If I refuse to say anything negative, even when there are those moments where I need to speak up and tell the truth about a situation, then I could be fueling a fire. Some employees will refuse to help managers because they are more concerned about friendships with co-workers, so when a workplace challenge comes up, they rather stick with a list of nice phrases for everyone involved while ignoring facts and how their actions or in-actions might have contributed negatively to a situation. For example, a nervous contractor responds to a manager's question about a certain worker's frequent tardiness that has been witnessed by others, “I wouldn't say that she is always late...I mean she does stay late too...she's a good worker.” The individual in question just so happens to be a very good friend of the contractor. In another fictional example, a supervisor talks to a worker about not being clear on a directive given to a group of employees and he responds with, “Well, I told them that, I mean I know what you told me to tell them, but I thought it would be better if... besides everything turned out good.” Meanwhile, little does the employee know that the supervisor's paperwork says otherwise and things aren't “good.”
 
We can all go too far with all our flattery, niceties, and optimistic outlook on this person, that issue or that thing. There is always the story that one tells you and the story that goes on behind closed doors. There is the face you see at one's workplace and the one that he or she has away from work and it isn't always “great, wonderful, friendly...”

In closing, consider the following advice when it comes to being positive. 
  • For every statement that makes one feel uncomfortable or has a negative tone to it, one should refrain from shooting everything down with positivity so as to protect one's reputation.  Instead, speak truth, don't sugarcoat.  Avoid offering your opinion unless asked.
  • Before reaching an assumption that one, who is telling a story must “calm down, be nice, be good, look on the bright side...,” consider the speaker's point of view. 
  • Look beyond the scope of your personal experience.
  • Ask questions first, save commentary or advice when the person is willing to receive. 
  • You can't build a quality relationship with anyone whether at work or at home if you choose to defend someone or something while using an assortment of feel-good statements. We must all keep in mind an old piece of wisdom, “Think, before you speak.”
Nicholl McGuire maintains this blog and other blogs including one for apartment and home renters.  She is a former property manager, former supervisor, and has held other leadership positions in the past in a variety of industries.

Wednesday

Irritable Male Syndrome and Menopause at Work Who Knew?

If hormones fluctuate at home, you best believe they swing at work (probably moreso)!  Picture this, work leaders between the ages of 40 and 55, who rarely exercise or eat healthy, often complain about one issue or another, and have the patience of a spoiled child.  "I was expecting that to be done!  Who keeps taking my $%^* pen?  What idiot keeps you on hold for 10 minutes to check something that is already in a database?  Why is it so *&%$# hot in here?"  Men and women both have issues during mid-life.  From feeling like the world is great one minute to wanting to escape to an island the next, it isn't easy managing hormones at work.

People change as we all know.  What you use to be able to handle in your youth, you can't once those hormones start to take a shift from one day to the next.  Crowded areas use to be no problem, phone ringing all day you could handle it, and people's body odors, no big deal!  But now!?  For some, an empty stomach feels like you are going mad, ready to vomit over the slightest weird smell.  Sweat beads show up on one's forehead out of nowhere while people are talking about how comfortable the room is.  One is more sensitive to bad news and might even share a few too many tears over something.  Then there is the constant reminders, the mind just doesn't retain information as well as it once did.  Yes, the joys of midlife at work.

Sometimes there is a feeling of envy that comes over the individual who has worked at a company for years.  He or she notices that new workers coming in are younger, sharper, and faster.  There is either a desire to keep up with the pace, stay put, or go above and beyond while killing yourself in the process.  The family wants to know why the long hours.  The partner wants to know what's up with the sex life.  The relatives want to know why they never see you anymore.  Meanwhile, hormones say, "You will be in the mood later..."  But later seems so few and far in between.

If this describes you, do something to harness those mood swings and body changes especially when fellow employees are noticing a different you every hour.  Don't bother making excuses.  Avoid the temptation to blame others.  Take a good long look in the mirror during one of your breaks and do what you can to deal with your change of life.

Things you can do:

1.  Take an online quiz about Irritable Male Syndrome (Andropause) for men and PMDD, Perimenopause or menopause for women.

2.  Pay closer attention to how you react to your employees.

3.  Watch what you are eating and drinking during meal and snack times.  Too much of anything isn't good for you!

4.  Check into herbal supplements, vitamins, and precription medicines to help you deal with symptoms.

5.  Avoid blaming the weather, your partner, boss, co-workers, children, and whoever or whatever else because you are often annoyed, aren't functioning well in your personal or public relationships like you use to, and often have feelings of wanting to be left alone or being anywhere but on this planet.

6.  Communicate issues with your doctor, counselor or someone else who seems like they have their health issues under control.

7.  Do exercise, take up hobbies, and travel so that you aren't concentrating so much on how you feel, what others think about you, etc.

Resources worth checking out:

Male Menopause
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/andropause-dealing-with-male-menopause.htm

Andropause Videos
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsdtxg_andropause_news
http://men.webmd.com/video/male-menopause

Irritable Male Quiz
http://theirritablemale.com/quiz2.htm

Women Menopause
http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/

Menopause Video
http://videos.howstuffworks.com/health/menopause-videos-playlist.htm

PMDD Video
http://youtu.be/n2NfZbFHi8w

Perimenopause
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/perimenopause/DS00554/DSECTION=symptoms

PMDD
http://www.medicinenet.com/premenstrual_dysphoric_disorder_pmdd/article.htm

Joking with the Wrong People on the Job Might Be an End All

You may have thought your comment, joke, smirk, or laugh was okay for the moment with a co-worker or fellow leader.  Some people will smile or laugh along, but others not so much.  It is hard to tell what a person really thinks about what you said or did until disapproving actions follow sooner or later. 

The word "nice" gets thrown around a lot at the workplace until a worker rubs another the wrong way.  "Oh she is so nice...I like him he's very nice."  But as the work relationship gets older, "He's okay...I guess she's alright."  In time, the offended worker might say of his co-worker when asked how he feels about working with him, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." 

People don't forget what hurts their feelings.  I repeat, people don't forget what hurts their feelings.  Days, weeks or even years back the human brain recalls moments of "just joking" during a dispute.  Those thoughts that were never communicated out loud tend to come back around.  For example, in the heat of an argument, a worker says, "Oh yea, by the way, I didn't think what you said about...was nice."  The jester assumed his comment was taken lightly from 10 months ago!  "Are you really bringing that up?  I was joking.  If you weren't okay with what I said, why didn't you say something back then!?"  It is only a matter of time that these two will be talking about one another behind closed doors with a boss or supervisor about "how he/she makes me feel."  Wonder which one will still be considered for a promotion or maybe he will just find someone else for their positions depending on how long this drama plays out?

You may have a way of joking that is well-received on the home front, but take that same sense of humor and use it with a certain ethnicity, the opposite sex, a man or woman with an interesting lifestyle, or a person with a faith, and look out, you just might be strategically pushed out doors.  Witty, funny people who have tongues that oftentimes go out of control aren't loved by all especially if they make management work to put out their fires.  Consider the following fictional example of a boss who grew weary of Jim's fat jokes and insults about how he handles things at work.  Do you think Jokes Jim can see the signs that his boss is trying to get rid of him without firing him?  "Hey Jim, did you check out that open position in another department or what about an even better one in another city?  I think you are good for it.  Let me talk to my boss." Jim better take the offer if he gets it, because if he stays with his boss, his continued clowning might cost him and his family a lot of unnecessary stress in the future.  Wonder what his boss will come up with next, a layoff? 

Past insults, negative statements, and jokes come back to haunt you in more ways than one.  Jim's boss doesn't care that much about Jim's success as much as he wants him to go away.  People grow weary of backhanded insults, smart mouth quips followed by ugly grins that say, "I was just kidding."  Sure, right.

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

Don't Be the Leader that Overlooks these Workplace Issues

When a boss, supervisor or manager is working with the same people everyday, issuing out the same orders, and doing the typical things that many leaders do, he or she tends to overlook some workplace issues that might be growing behind the scenes with employees, operations, contractors, security, and more.  Who really has time to pay attention to so many departments?  Well, that is why companies pay bosses the big bucks, so that they will ensure business runs smoothly in all areas.  So what might you be overlooking at your workplace that might create a future headache if not one already?

One.  Watch how often workers are calling off and arriving late.

Put someone on detail to track what is really going on.  Is your department lax when it comes to tardiness and call offs?  Does your company make it too easy for people to take a day off by permitting them to just leave a voice mail?  Once you have complete your investigation, start making some changes.

Two.  Address repeated concerns brought to you by certain watchful (yet annoying) employees that are often ignored.

It is only a matter of time that the employee is going to escalate his or her concerns.  So what that you don't like him or her.  Who cares that this person is often in someone else's business?  At the end of the day, you will be the one called into the office by your boss if you don't deal with the issue.  And if you are the boss, the dissatisfied employee can go to outside sources such as: the media, BBB, Internet, etc. to get some mental resolve if nothing else.

Three.  Review monies being spent for things like restaurant outings, department celebrations, office supplies, travel, etc.

Do you really know what your staff is spending when it comes to things like: events, office supplies, travel, and more?  What kind of company spending are you doing?  You just might need to cut back on expenses before someone starts questioning you.  "What the...You spent how much for a pen?  You went where to eat?" says the angry boss.  "How about we take this dollar figure out of your next paycheck!?"

Four.  Talk with staff on how frequently things keep breaking down in the office and arrange to get those things fixed or replaced.

The more something breaks, the more you will have to keep fixing it while wasting valuable time and dollars.  Review the cost, find used goods or buy brand new so that the problem equipment will stop being everyone's headache!  Be sure that everyone knows how to use equipment so that items won't be broken so easily.

Five.  Observe how departments fail to communicate with one another about ongoing issues.

You told this department to tell that department about this matter and that one and no one listens!  So now what?  Reiterate your point on paper.  Set up a meeting and share the consequences with those who refuse to do what you ask.  But whatever you do, don't put major issues off because in time you just might have a group of individuals revolt against you and others.

Six.  Check how long you and others are socializing each day.

What are you really talking about each morning when you and others should be seated at your desks working?  Is it necessary to text, email, and communicate every concern?  Work needs to get done and chances are there are clients, customers, etc. who have been waiting for you to get back to them on one thing or another.  Put off the long chats about the weekend, the partner, the kids, what show you watched last night, and how you feel.  Encourage your workers to do more work and less chatting.  Besides, you might be the one having to set aside time to deal with gossip issues in the future.  Be a good example!

Seven.  Notice how slow it takes for phone calls to be returned, paperwork to be sent, needs of clients to be addressed, etc.

Whenever workplace management consistently finds that issues are not being handled in the way they should and the same problems keep coming across their desks, don't be surprised when the big boss calls you into the office asking you, "How come this wasn't taken care of a long time ago?  Why are people calling me about these issues?  Why does your department spend so much money on these things?  Why am I hearing..."  Get the picture?

Nicholl has worked at many businesses over the years from market research to health care.  She had her first supervisory position at the young age of 19.  A background in journalism and communications, to date, she writes on and offline books and articles about topics like: relationships, business, faith, and parenting.  Learn more about her at: http://nichollmcguire.blogspot.com 

Friday

No Accountability: Employees Who Love Getting Out of Things

Whether it is an unecessary argument or a major event that ends badly, there are just some workers who don't want to take responsibility for anything.  They will do any number of things to justify why they can't do something, won't do something, or why it is someone else's fault/job/issue, etc.  Some of you reading this probably are thinking of a few employees who should have been gone with the wind like yesterday.  So how do we expose, correct, and if need be, send these people on their "It's never my fault" ways?

1.  Track the lying.  Whether boss, supervisor, co-worker, or friend, note the lies and excuses made whenever you confront this person.  There are those lies that cover up the fact that one was aware of a situation, but didn't do anything about it.  Then there are those lies that have a little truth mixed in them.  Of course, we can list many more lies that are specifically created to do just one thing, cover one's you know what!  Keeping an  accurate record with date and times included of all the story-telling will help you build a case against the troubled worker in case you are ever called into a meeting about him or her.

2.  Provide proof.  When one doesn't want to face the truth, he or she is going to call your bluff.  Have the evidence to back up your claim.  For instance, the worker said that the project would be done on XYZ date and time.  Did you bother to get this person to document his or her promise?  The trouble-making employee keeps coming to you with what someone else is or isn't doing, can this person back up her statements?  You notice that a worker's job performance is going down hill steadily, what is the evidence that shows this?

3.  Record meetings, conference calls, etc.  From witnesses to recording devices, you will need anyone or anything to help you hold people accountable who historically wiggle their way out of things.  Be sure to have attendees (as well as those who couldn't make meetings) sign a sheet that confirms they read notes or was present when tasks were communicated.

4.  Enlist others to help hold others accountable.  Tardiness, blame games, and other things that workers do to disrupt work flow can be hard to keep up with.  So when you are in a power position, use your skills to stay one step ahead of the slackers by using a couple of your most loyal assistants to help.  Tell them what you are looking for and explain to them how the problematic worker is causing challenges for the whole team.  Reward those who aid you.  However, if your help seems to be siding with the trouble-makers, be sure to confront this person.

5.  Note excuses and rejections.  Whenever the employee is called upon to handle business affairs, but appears like he or she can't/won't  then advise this person why it is important for he or she to participate.  Be sure that the job description and what you are asking is not in conflict.  Also, keep note of the reasons as to why the employee has repeatedly rejected your work requests.  When the next review period comes along, bring up your findings and why he or she is ineligible for a promotion or some other incentive.

6.  Discuss and record errors.  One of the mistakes leadership makes when dealing with employees is to rarely address errors.  It isn't until major issues come up that one wants to threaten a worker with job dismissal.  Don't wait until problems repeatedly show up.  Instead, as soon as one brings an issue up with a worker, investigate.  Periodically use other employees to check over one's work.  See to it that everyone is on the same page, reading from the same manuals/memos/emails, and have a clear understanding as to what is expected when it comes to completing a task.  If no one is addressing issues, then a worker will take advantage of your oversight and start pointing the finger at everyone else while saying things like, "I didn't know...no one never told me...I didn't know we were supposed to do it that way."

With so many unemployed workers in this world who desperately want to work, there is no reason why a boss/supervisor/manager should be stressing his or her self out over workers who don't want to be held accountable for their actions.  Start building cases against those who are trouble-makers.  From leadership to contractors, note what the issues are, supply proof, list solutions, and confront those who never want to be held accountable for anything.

Nicholl McGuire

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