Friday, August 28, 2015

Does your office have a "shooter" plan?

Isn't it awful to think like that? But I remember writing early in my career on mental health in the office and how people should deal with it (supervisors should step up and direct the employee to the Employee Assistance Plan for counseling or evaluation).

And now, this awful murder of the two news people in Virginia, by a troublesome colleague who had actually been gone from the workplace for a year. Delusions and paranoia know no timetable, I guess.

Matthew Tarpey, CareerBuilder, says 94% of people think their workplace is reasonably protected.

Fires, floods, and similar disasters are low on most people's radar, with 85% saying they feel well protected. Eighty-three say they are not that worried about weather-related threats.

Ditto for digital attacks--70% think their office is well protected.

But only 30% say they feel protected against a man v man incident.

Nearly a fourth of workers say they would have no idea what to do if there were an emergency that posed a physical threat.

--21% said their office has no emergency plan.

--26% say there is no severe weather plan.

--40% says their company has no plan for a physical attack or a technolog security breach.

Should there be a plan? Experts say yes.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Even a light breeze can stop this mail

Not my carrier Anthony--whom I adore.
I know--mail is for dinosaurs. Well, I am one. And I use the mail and it stinks out loud these days.

Lisa Rein, Washington Post, Aug 26, 2015, says letters arriving late have jumped 50% since Jan.

Letters that should have taken three to five days (and THAT is long) took even longer 18-44% of the time.

The USPS has been closing plants--this has now been put on hold.

But before this hold came, the agency warned people that things would take longer--and now it's taking longer still.

They blame the storm and reassignments of workers. Well, the storms are over, though they will be starting again soon.

Checks, medicine, magazines, mail ballots, newspapers, greeting cards, and court documents--in the mail. Oh, and letters. We want all those.

One idea they had was to stop Saturday deliveries...I was against that at first, but now, OK, do it, make this work!

I can mail something to my bank--four blocks--and it takes almost a week. First, it goes downtown...

The other day, I was tracking a package--my stuff was in Puerto Rico. Huh?

People who commented on the Post story said they only get 3/4ths of their magazines. So far, we get our three, but this may not hold.

Another commenter said he would get mail sometimes all torn to heck. I have gotten envelopes in body bags, too.

And those ads--they come. Supposedly they are paying for the rest. Well, let's get the rest on over here on time, too.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to ace a work trip

When I was a stripling youth, I used to go on business trips--often to exotic locales, such as San Francisco, Boston, and Hershey, PA.

Jenna Davis, a contributor to Career Contessa, says biz travel may sound like fun, but it can be long days in airless conference rooms, too much alcohol, boring people, and exhausting travel.

On the other hand, it can also be a chance to network, a way to meet new people and possible mates, and a break with the routine.

For one thing, I always took a tour of the city--a tourist bus tour--they are more fun that you would think.

I did my homework ahead of time--as David recommends. Make a short list of things you would like to do or see, restaurants, museums, clubs.

Add a weekend to your business part. This makes it into a mini-vacay, even if you have to pay fror the hotel--the airfare is already paid.

Avoid room service--you may be tired, but go out to eat anyhow.

I read a story (yes, in a chick rag) about a gal who went on Tinder and hooked up in strange cities. Not sure I would recommend this--just stating it. Better to go on Meetup.com and see if there is a jogging group or something.

If you are tied to your supervisor at the meeting--stay businesslike. Don't let open bars encourage you to get too chummy.

Above all, be sure you come home with tangible results of the meeting and exercise discretion on the extracurricular activities.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Don't say these things at work

We get it--you have a lot of work.
Beth Braccio Herring, CareerBuilder, says there are some things you should never say.

"I can't take on more work--I am overwhelmed." Yes, people are working more, doing more with fewer people--but save the drama for your mama.

"Joe is an idiot." Joe probably is an idiot...but he could be your boss in the future. If you know he's an idiot--it probably goes without saying.

"That's not fair." Catch up--nothing is fair. Suckups get promotions even if people know they are sucking up. Hard workers generate hostility for making others look lazy. Just because you have been at a place a long time is no guarantee you will rise to the top. You may be misunderstood--be the injured party--none of this is fair.

"That's not how we did it at my old company." Well, go back there then!

"I'll have it on my desk by 3 PM" when you will only think up a new excuse at 3 PM. If you can't make a deadline, give a heads-up.

"I'm bored." This never ends well. You will get more work or the boss will question why he or she is even paying you.

My mother used to say, "Only boring people get bored." Think about that one.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quick--what day is it?

It's all the rage these days to ask older people what day of the week it is--to see if you can trip them up.

But according to a story in Medical News Today, plenty of people of all ages get confused.

There is a study (of course). In PLOS ONE.

Researchers found that we embue each day with a special impact on behavior.

Medical appts on Monday are more likely to be missed than those on                                                    Fri.

They asked for word associations...Monday got boring and tired. Friday got freedom and party.

Tues-Wed-Thurs--fewer words, less impact, more easily confused with each other.

Midweek days are spoken less in normal conversation than Monday and Friday.

If there is a holiday on Monday, people felt "behind."

So what? Well, it's Monday and I am tired.

Wait--this is Monday, right?

I like Wednesday--Hump Day. I was born on a Wed. Last week, though, I thought it was Thurs.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Habits that make you look like a child at work

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder, says a lot of adults lack maturity. Is water wet?
In a study, 77% of those asked had seen childish behavior at work.

A biggie is letting emotions get the best of you, resulting in...

--Whining
--Pouting
--Tattling
--Making a face behind someone's back
--Forming a clique
--Playing a prank
--Starting a rumor
--Storming out
--Throwing a tantrum
--Refusing to share

Other stupid kid tricks: Negativity, vulgar language, gossip, sloppiness.

Some of this lets off steam and is harmless. But bullying, forming a clique, and spreading rumors cross the line.

It's usually best to save the drama for your private life.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Is this what it's like to return to work?

Tarja, Tarja--you'll be OK.
A woman named Tarja Parssinen  left her publishing job years ago  and when she returned to the office environment, she felt like technological roadkill, as she put it.

She said she found a "terrifying jungle of millennials, adapting to the speed of change while still balancing the demands of family."

She felt a stab of panic. She is quite dramatic, this Tarja. She said while she was at home, apes stood up, fire was made, the wheel was invented.

Specifically...

There is no filing, printing or faxing, she says. Remember binders of papers? Gone!  No one can use a fax machine or even knows what one is.

No meetings. It's webinars, she says. You can pretend to listen while checking your phone.

Focus--what's that? She says people do seem to have the 9 secs of attention span attributed to goldfish.

No one talks, she says. Especially on the phone--texting only and sometimes from five feet away. The modern office is silent, she maintains.

And respect? Well, don't expect any of that. If you are in your 40s--you are old!

A slew of commenters told her to put her hair out and not with gasoline. People talk, they go to lunch, they even laugh and tell jokes, and yes, sometimes they fax stuff or call a meeting.

Calm down, Tarja--maybe people hear your big ole dino foot clomping and put on those head phones --but offices are manned by people and people talk--even to moms over 40. As for paperless--check out those desks. They are covered in paper. If there are desks, that is, and not multi-use pods or something.