Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Youtube Videos

Because in life it is important to have fun and be informed, here are some of my favorite Youtube videos.

1) Literal Music Video-- Total Eclipse of the Heart
What if music videos told us what was actually going on?  I love this one because it embraces the randomness of music videos and runs with it.

2) Brian Williams from NBC Nightly News raps "Baby Got Back"

I can't help but think the people at the Late Show have too much time on their hands but I love what they did with it. They pasted together clips from NBC Nightly News until Brian Williams is rapping.

3) Solar Freakin Roadways

What if the roads we travelled on were also our source of energy? I love the idea of roads that we don't have to plow. Roads that make energy.  And the announcer gets so excited that it is fun to watch.

4) My Body Belongs To Me

A video for kids to help warn them about sexual abuse. I do not love this one the way I love the other videos but I love that some one made it and I hope it is helping kids.

5) Dumb Ways To Die

This is a train safety video but it makes me laugh. I had no idea that cute little cartoon characters could find so many dumb ways to die.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Remembering To Remember And To Forget

Today is the anniversary of my sister's death. It's funny but some years the day passes and I do not even realize it and other years, it seems like this big shadow looming over me.

For what ever reason, this year is harder than last year. I have no idea why. I can not point to any one thing that makes her be in my mind. She just is.

Losing some one you love is one of the hardest things you have to face as a human being. It is one of the great defining moments; an unforgettable road mark on the map of my life.  When I am trying to remember when an event occurred, I often think, "Well, it was before J died but after L . . ." or some version of it.

Time dulls the edges; makes it easier to remember with a smile and less with tears but the tears are never completely gone.

When she first died, I would forget sometimes. I would hear a song and think I should play it for her or see a movie trailer and think I should take her to it.  Then I would remember and it was like getting a sudden punch in the gut.

I like remembering her though. I like telling stories of antics from younger years like the time she was a toddler and climbed to the top of the Christmas tree sending it crashing down to the living room floor. Ornaments every where; presents that had to be re wrapped.  Or the time I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding and it was so funny that I went back the next weekend just so she could see it.

When Star Wars was re-released in theaters, we went and saw all 3 together. Those memories make me smile. 

The ones of her lying in a hospital bed half out of it, fading away, do not.

I need to remember to remember the good memories and I need to remember to forget the bad because I would not trade the time I had with her on this Earth even to avoid the pain.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cows With Names Give More Milk

Lessons for Managers from Those They Manage

Remember your employees names. We are vital parts of your company’s every day function. You literally could not run without us. The building needs to be cleaned, the reports need to be typed, the customers need to be helped and the shelves need to be stocked. More importantly, we are human beings who need to be recognized. There could be no upper management without the service staff.
The customer is Not always right. No one is always right—not the customer, not the manager and not the staff.
Support your employees. Do not automatically assume they are in the wrong. Find out what is going on before you come down on someone. And think about your employees—if a customer says someone was swearing at them and you have never heard this person use a swear word in 10 years take that into account. Did they really start yelling, "F***  You", when the worst they ever say is crap?
If you have to break up a disagreement or assuage a customer, don’t assume the person yelling is the one who is right. Some people yell because they are frustrated and legitimately right and some people yell because they are lying and trying to distract you. Some people default to yelling without even realizing they are doing it.
Employee morale is always going to be an issue you need to work on. Improving it or keeping it up; it is an ongoing battle. Morale can be vastly improved by a kind word. I once worked for a boss that every time I said good night, he said, “Good night. Thank you.” I will always remember him and that feeling of appreciation went a long way towards keeping me going when a lot of other things were bad there.
Every one has a bad day now and then; be willing to overlook the small things if they don’t matter. Understand when they do.
An employee should respect your authority. If you tell her that her outfit is not appropriate, she should never wear it again. If she does, sit her down and find out what is going on. Then send her home to change and count it as her sick time. If it happens again, send them home with no pay or write them up.
Never yell at your employees. And absolutely never yell in front of any one else. It is demoralizing.
A happy employee will always provide better service than a sullen one.
You owe your employees something and I don’t mean money. Having said that, you do owe them money as well, so always pay your employees on schedule.
Have a way to keep track of time off and make sure you don’t over or under schedule. It is OK to expect them to find coverage for their shift if they ask for time off at the last minute but if they ask for the time off in advance then it is your responsibility to find the proper coverage.
Take the time to learn the basics about your employees. You don’t need to know the name of every one they have ever dated but you should know if they are married or have kids (Just do not ask in the interview.)
A study of milk producing cows showed that overwhelmingly cows with names give more milk. The cows that received personal attention were the ones that produced the best. We aren't cows and do not want to be treated as though we were, but there is still something to be learned here.
Its all about recognition respect and attention
REFERENCE: "Exploring Stock Managers' Perceptions of the Human-Animal Relationship on Dairy Farms and an Association with Milk Production," Catherine Bertenshaw [Douglas] and Peter Rowlinson,