NAVIGATING DIFFICULTY

NAVIGATING DIFFICULTY

Showing determination in the face of fear makes us extraordinary....

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STARTING FROM SCRATCH

STARTING FROM SCRATCH

In case you were wondering, yes; ever since I was a school boy, I’ve loved to wear button-up shirts, vests, ties, and...

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HANDLING STRESS

HANDLING STRESS

In interviews sometimes I feel like laughing out loud when I’m asked concerning some threshold of stress that I can handle or work under. It’s obviously never the correct response but...

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In conversation, I’ve heard people express how upset they are about a CEO being ‘paid off’ some exuberant amount of money in order to resign following scandal and it got me thinking. Why would someone at that level need that much money? Once the wheels in my head spun to motion I realized that we each work so hard to achieve a certain level of earning potential and I reflected on a time when a medical doctor applied for a job with me at Panera Bread. I was the general manager hiring for a new barista and an opener for the cafe, when in walked a fellow, who was a gynecologist, and he applied for a job to work for me. Red flags went off in my head when I read his application, mainly because he was grossly over-qualified and also because I doubted that he would be willing to stay and work with me for an extended amount of time. I feel horrible admitting it, but I didn’t hire him at that time because I had so many fears. Now, I am able to review moments in my life like this with a bit more perspective and I think I understand why higher profile positions settle in these ways. When we build ourselves up with experience and education we gamble a great deal and the stakes become greater and greater. By this I mean, when you a running a high profile organization you are running the risk of loosing your earning potential for life. One misstep and everything you are will be destroyed and this is insanely risky work. Should you fall under public scrutiny, the company thinks only about how much money they could make without you, and this leaves you out on the street. This is when contracts, torts, or compacts – which protect self interests – are vitally important. When you apply at Best Buy for an entry level sales position and you are the former CEO of Verizon or Amazon you will never get the job because the hiring manager will experience fears much like I did. Being over qualified for a job cuts you off from potential employment no matter how small the position may seem. So, when you roll the dice and lose in a corporate setting it may very well be the end of your ability to earn a living for the rest of your life. In essence, you are black-balled from being able to earn a living. No company will hire you to work lower-level positions for fear of you being a stable asset; conversely, organizations will not desire for you to lead their organization because of the blemish on your record. Thus, you are left empty and virtually unemployable. Facing employment interviews that you are knowingly over qualified for is almost more nerve wracking than if you were to be applying for a position which matches your caliber. When all is said and done, at the end of the day, everyone needs some sort of steady income. In my opinion, when you have an applicant who presents themselves to be over qualified, I would implore you to sit down with them and genuinely listen to why they are applying to work with you. There are so many variables which require considering before ‘no’ is reached or before you fall into the mind-set that the applicant should be disqualified because they are ‘over qualified’. Granted, there are a lot of people that comprise this work force but that doesn’t mean any one of them is less human or in less need than another. Human resource department employees have become so robotically mechanical in their operations that candidates are endlessly run through automated conveyor belt driven applications and the ‘human’ in Human Resources has been reduced to an algorithm. We each have our story and all of us deserve the opportunity to contribute to our community in a worth while way. When you have the ability or power to assist a mother or father in providing for their family, please give all circumstances careful consideration before you send them home unemployed.  

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Have you ever had a headache that others didn’t believe you had? I have. In fact, I’ve had many, because I am a chronic migraine sufferer. It’s difficult to find people who understand that you may have limits while experiencing this condition and it’s not from a lack of trying. People will look at you, create a snap judgement that you’re “faking”, because they do not understand; what is happening is going on under the surface, or better put, literally inside your head. I’ve been challenged by people before regarding whether or not I’m actually “ill” and my default response is to ask them if they’ve ever hit their “funny bone” (which almost all of us have). When they respond yes, I explain to them that science has proven that when you hit your funny bone you are not experiencing pain or any physical condition, just an emotion. They look puzzled and I let them know that basically each time they’ve hit their funny bone they’ve overreacted for the attention of those around them and made a show of the incident because they are dramatic or didn’t want to work. If they don’t get my point (or the fact that I’m maintaining character for the sake of irony and sarcasm), I continue and provide numerous other examples. For instance, science has shown that hitting ones funny bone right before a serious math exam, or in court while you are in the middle of providing a testimony actually enhances your performance and increases your cognitive functionality and ability to focus especially in areas of memory . Let’s face it, things happening inside your body that only you experience, but that doesn’t lessen their impact on your performance. If we’ve gotten this far and you aren’t “relating” to anything I’ve said, it may be a good time to stop reading, because the rest of what I’m going to talk about will land on deaf ears otherwise. As established, a person experiencing the effects of an acute migraine cannot attend a heavy metal concert, or lay out in the sun, because they are experiencing a medical condition. This doesn’t mean they aren’t “cool” by not participating; it means they respect their body and are tending to their medical needs so as not to exacerbate their symptoms. Now, take someone who has PTSD and apply this same logic. Wait, do you know what PTSD is? How about its symptoms or side effects? Not a lot of people do. So, if you did, I tip my hat to you. For those of you who didn’t have the answer, PTSD is complicated like migraines. Migraines manifests differently in people because it effect parts of the brain depending on the location of the headache. PTSD manifests itself different for each sufferer, but there are universal symptoms that provide a causal link, which allows medical professionals to diagnose it. This condition can be as dehabilitating as a migraine or any other internal condition. So, how can you explain to a potential employer that you suffer from PTSD and not incur a snap judgement that you’re milking a make believe condition for favoritism?  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject. Because in my opinion, there’s no way to disclosure this information and maintain the respect of the interviewer. reasonable accommodations means they need to treat you different and act different to avoid liability, which is something every company doesn’t want to accept. So, do we just keep doing what we’ve been doing and pretend it doesn’t exist to avoid the conflict? Are we the “brave” one who discloses it and ends up unemployed and homeless, but has that quiet reassurance that we were honest in that one interview? Would it be worth it? Or should we do the popular thing and suffer and sink further into our symptoms? 

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GUTE-URLS

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Aiden Turner is trying to raise money for his mom’s teeth and I think this cause is very noble! I donated and encourage you to do the same!  

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The root of all thought stems primarily from one simple mental function, which is to compare and contrast. It’s the old game, “one of these is not like the other,” and as we get older our abilities to do this become more refined.  Popular culture trends with things like memes (which I am a huge fan of), but it all goes back to the same sets of base thoughts and processes. It all seems very simple, and as I work at my wife’s day care, I see young minds working on this idea at their varying levels. Working with children, ranging from infants to school agers, keeps me recognizing human nature at this very basic levels, because children just haven’t developed the skills of concealment that often attends adulthood.  Today, one child relieved himself by evacuating the excess trapped gas in his bowels and all the other children exploded with laugher. It didn’t strike me as humorous, instead it was another “teachable moment”, where I had to tell the little boy to say “excuse me” and use his manners. All of the children kept looking back and forth at one another, searching for approval from each other, to continue roaring with laugher. With great effort, I was finally able to quell the violent storm of laughter, but it got me thinking. Humor seems to be very relative to surroundings and a social association stemming from a strong desire for acceptance (hence the children looking at each other).  This piqued my curiosity about whether I would have a sense of humor, or even sarcasm, if I was stranded alone on a desert island (or other such remote location). Honestly, I’m not sure if I would. Without the encouragement of people in a society, I’m not confident that there would be much need. I think sarcasm and humor are a social construct stemming from a strong sense to belong. During my time as a corporate trainer, I would mold the management teams and through that grooming process the tone of the entire company was solidified in their mind. If I acted unprofessional, by making fun of our clients, or letting the phone ring off the hook, this would be the attitude and practices that they would emulate. This is because I was the representative of the company to them, the liaison between upper management, and they wanted to conform to that social structure.  In personal situations, I demonstrate to my own children how we are to behave on a daily basis. I teach that we always do our chores and get our work done before we play and keep a sober disposition about ourselves regarding most all things. Then, in professional situations, I switch hats and am the friend, the confidant, who never gossips and holds things in confidence when asked to. I remember birthdays, use my manners, and work hard to meet deadlines. I laugh when socially acceptable and comfort those in need, but above all I try to remain constantly respectful.  I understand that we need release from stress and humor is a great way to do that. Laughter is healthy, and acts as the lubercation that oils the gears of our social machine. We need humor and modern clever sarcasm, but we also need limits. Without a teacher at daycare, a corporate trainer who takes the work serious, we could easily lose ourselves in a mocking reduction of harmful laughter. There are many protections, under the law (which is another social construct), that helps us to stay in line, so, we aren’t perceived as picking on others for things that “don’t look like the other.” So, humor is ever-evolving and takes constant effort in order to appeal to the target audience. This is why comedians are constantly working on their material; one bad joke can cause irreparable harm to their reputation and social career.  The conclusion I reached was to use humor as sparingly as possible when you’re working. I’ve never seen someone get fired for failing to laugh at a raunchy joke at the office. On the flip side, I have seen people get terminated for participating in an inappropriate joke, and that is no laughing matter. 

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When I’m looking to retreat to my study I thoroughly enjoy listening to soft piano music. Whispering Solo Piano is my stream of choice, what’s yours? Thoughful Music Brought to you by Whisperings Solo Piano Radio sign up today for a relaxing pure stream of piano music 24/7 Your user agent does not support the HTML5 Audio element.    Click the play button above to stream

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