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FUN DAYS TO CELEBRATE
AUGUST SPECIAL DAYS
Family Meal Month
Brownies @ Brunch Month
National Catfish Month
Happiness Happens Month
August 9 – Send an Email Day & Dance A Polka Day
11 – Play in the Sand Day
August 12 – Thank You Day
August 13 – Left-Handers Day
August 14 – Financial Awareness Day & National Creamsicle Day
(Personally, I’d rather think about creamsicles!)
August 16 – Tell a Joke Day & Roller Coaster Day
August 17 – #2 Pencil Day
August 19 – Soft Ice Cream Day, Potato Day, & Spicy Food Day
August 20 – Lemonade Day
August 22 – Eat a Peach Day
August 24 – Can Opener Day & Waffle Day
August 25 – Banana Split Day & Healthy Lifestyle Day
August 26 – Cherry Popsicle Day, Toilet Paper Day, Dog Day, & Horseshoe Day
(Again, 1 of
these doesn’t fit with the others.)
August 27 – Banana Lovers Day
August 29 – Lemon Juice Day & Chop Suey Day
August 30 – Toasted Marshmallow Day & Red Telephone Day
August 31 – Eat Outside Day (Glad this one isn’t on the 26th,
too!) & Trail Mix Day
September 1 – Cherry Popover Day & Exclamation! Day
September 3 – Labor Day
September 4 – Bright Idea Day
September 5 – Cheese Pizza Day & Do It Day
INC. for ideas on how to
celebrate any of these days.
Answer At All For Applicants
Do you get back to all applicants? If not, Barbara Ehrenreich discovered
you’re not alone. Read this excerpt from Bait & Switch: The (Futile)
Pursuit of the American Dream:
The brief encounter with Qorvis, the nibble from Locum Tenens—these
are the exceptions in what is becoming a life of unrelenting rejection.
I have, by this time, applied for over 200 advertised and posted jobs,
even branching out from health and pharmaceuticals to banks and the
trade association for the modular construction industry, which latter at
least yields a pleasant phone conversation about the unfortunate
down-market image of modular buildings and how this might be corrected
by creative PR.
But it is the rare application that generates human contact of any
kind. When I can follow up with a phone call, which is not always
possible, since named contacts are seldom given, I might be told, as I
was by a firm called JR Technologies, that my resume had entered some
complicated industrial batch process, along with hundreds of others,
which process could take weeks to resolve. Or I might get a recording
saying that "due to the volume of applications, we are unable to verify
the status of your application." G.J. Meyer, in Executive Blues,
reports from his job search in the late eighties that, "...unless you’re
luckier than most or the job market gets a lot better than it has been
lately, you’ll discover that it’s possible to send off 500 resumes with
500 customized cover letters and not get a single reply more substantial
than a preprinted postcard saying thanks."
That was in a more genteel era. I have received, for all my efforts,
only one such preprinted postcard. Usually an automatic response appears
in my in-box seconds after electronically submitting my resume and cover
letter, but it offers no thanks, just an acknowledgment of receipt and a
code number to use should I be pesky enough to follow up. Mostly there
is nothing at all, and it is this—the unshakable, godlike,
magisterial indifference of the corporate world—that drives my
fellow job seekers to despair. Neal, whom I met at the ExecuNet meeting,
told me: "You ring people and no one returns your calls, or apply by
computer and just get an automatic response. I had got to the stage
where I’d just get up and sit around and drink coffee until it’s time
for lunch, really do nothing all day. Dealing with the rejection is
But rejection puts too kind a face on it, because there is hardly
ever any evidence that you have been rejected—that is, duly considered
and found wanting. As the New York Times reported in June 2004:
"The most common rejection letter nowadays seems to be silence. Job
hunting is like dating, only worse, as you sit by the phone for the
suitor who never calls." The feeling is one of complete invisibility
and futility: you pound on the door, you yell and scream, but the door
remains sealed shut in your face. I remember once reading a complaint
about the invisibility of middle-aged women in our society, and
thinking, bring it on. Because invisibility is something every
child aspires to—the chance to flit around snatching cookies and making
gargoyle faces, immune from punishment. But now, like all those
fairy-tale characters who are unfortunate to get what they wised for
from an overly literal-minded wish granter, I am left frantically trying
to undo the spell. Is it my resume that consigns me to darkness or, in
the case of the people whom I encounter at networking events, something
about my physical appearance?
Excerpted from Bait & Switch, 2005, Henry Holt & Co.,
Author Barbara Ehrenreich, went undercover for 10 months as a job seeker
for a PR position. Her discoveries are a fascinating look into our hiring
world from the viewpoint of someone seeking a professional job. You can read
more of her experiences in Retain
and in her book.
Why do we do this to job seekers? No time to respond to
all...concerned if we respond they’ll keep pestering us...our labor attorney
told us that responding could cause them to target us for not hiring them?
Whatever your reason, think of a way around it! Why?
For ideas on how successful organizations contact potential applicants
Bait and Switch : The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream,
by Barbara Ehrenreich
Executive Blues, by Mike Meyer
a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by
clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the
answer) in Answers & Ideas
on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at
How to Recruit the Right Person
Put about 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed room with an
open window. Then send 2 or 3 candidates in the room and close the door.
Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours and then analyze the situation.
||If they are counting the bricks, put them in the accounts
||If they are recounting them, put them in auditing.
||If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put them
||If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them
||If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in
||If they are sleeping, put them in security.
||If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in
||If they are sitting idle, put them in human resources.
||If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a
brick has been moved, put
them in sales.
||If they have already left for the day, put them in marketing.
||If they are staring out of the window, put them on strategic
And then last but not
||If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has
been moved. Congratulate them
and put them in top
Gary Shoup’s friend Jal Thanawala, India
Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS
you see in
group training and conference bookstores?
Email or call
800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of
the topics you need.
* The Catholic High School of Baltimore
* Cabinets 4U
* YMCA, Little Rock AR
* Buyers at the IL SHRM Conference
* Buyers at the Pioneer Network Conference
Rose Marie Fagan, Pioneer Network
after their conference bookstore: "You were fabulous again for
us. Our bookstore is a special feature at the conference thanks to
you. You are truly amazing. Many thanks. Hope you are resting up
now. So pleased to see that your work with us is leading to other
jobs. That is gratifying for us, and hope rewarding to you."
Associate Steven R. Sligar, Ed.D. is reading:
Designing and Managing Programs:
an Effectiveness-based Approach
(2nd ed.), by Kettner, P.M., Moroney, P.M., Martin, L.L. (1999)
This is a book I use to teach our PhD students to learn the fundamentals of
how to design and develop social service programs. The premise of an
effectiveness-based program is that the program meets an identified social
problem within the community and not a perceived need or as a response to
funding availability. In the 262 pages the authors cover every aspect of program
design and management from Problem Analysis/Needs Assessment to Planning,
Designing and Tracking the Intervention to Calculating the Costs and Value.
us with what you’re reading & a sentence or 2 about why you’re reading it
or what you learned from it (can be fiction or non-fiction).
How a CEO & His Staff Are Making the Balance of Work & Family a Priority
When Mark Earley became president and CEO of PFM (Prison Fellowship and
Breakpoint Ministries) in 2002, he brought with him a clear and
well-practiced commitment to his wife, Cynthia, and six children (ages
10-23). "We had set boundaries early on in our marriage. We
work would not overwhelm married life or family life." He developed the
principle years earlier as a practicing lawyer, and later as he served in
the Virginia state senate and as the state’s Attorney General. "The only
time it didn’t work well was when I was running for Governor."
Mark admits he didn’t always quite make the
mark. "I’ve gotten myself overbooked and overscheduled." Today, he reminds
the PFM staff there’s little difference between the ministry staff and other
organization staff when it comes to divorce and other family issues: "We
need to make sure what we say is a priority really is a priority in how we
allocate our time. Neglecting the relationships in our lives is always a bad
decision." His advice to
||When the day is over, it’s over. Go home.
||Do not bring work home.
||Don’t work on weekends unless absolutely necessary.
||Make it a point to spend family time with an open Bible and in
||Take your family with you to work so they can see what you do.
"Some leaders think travel is a badge of importance," says Mark, "but for
me, the more I travel, the more it shows my stupidity. You really have to be
ruthless (and say ‘No’). You have to be the guardian of your gate." In
ministry, he admits, everything can seem urgent or a crisis. "I think the
big problem for Christian leaders is that every need takes on a sense of a
call. You really have to stay mission focused. If you can stay focused,
it helps you to say ‘no’ to certain things." To this end, Mark requires
all his direct reports to take a day of retreat once a quarter to
reflect on their personal walk with the Lord, their relationship with their
family, and their personal life balance. "One thing managers can do is build
into their expectations of the job the opportunity for people to draw away.
Everyone needs the chance to refocus on how they’re doing on the balance."
Excerpted from Christian Management Report, July/August
Breaking the Mold: Redesigning Work For
Productive & Satisfying Lives, by Lotte Bailyn
Striking A Balance: Work Family, Life,
by Robert Drago
Just a few of the
on our Day Off at Pheasant Run Resort.
10AM arrive for first spa
appointments (some chose massage, others facial or body wrap,
manicure or pedicure)
11AM more spa appointments
12 noon lunch and swimming
at the pool
2PM more spa appointments
3PM yet more appointments
4PM close of day show off
your soft skin, relaxation form massage, etc and talk about the day
at the pool
We took the day off to talk about something
other than work in the company of our colleagues. From the agenda at right, you
can see we got beautiful, swam (OK, it ended up being a super windy cloudy
day, but we ate at the pool!) And talked about everything non-business. We
felt great, looked great smelt (smelled?) Great...what a joy!
NEXT YEAR — we’re going back to a resort and staying overnight (the day
was too short) — keeping
the spa appointments, lunch & swimming (bring your children!), and adding golf
and a murder mystery dinner show and
breakfast the next day!
Get Participant’s Ideas For What to Learn
To solicit input and glean new insights into the marketplace it serves,
Sage Software Inc. in Irvine, CA, asked the 2,900 partners and resellers who
attended its 2006 Insights Conference to submit questions to the Sage
executive team when registering for the event.
Conference organizers reviewed the questions, weeded out redundancies,
and fed the questions up the Sage food chain for answers. The
attendees-submitted questions informed a keynote panel and Q&A session led
by members of the company’s executive team. At the session, the questions
were displayed on a large screen at the front of the room, which also
displayed multiple-choice answer options. Participants used instant-polling
devices to make selections. Within minutes, results were displayed for all
in the room to see. Sage executives then provided their own in-depth answers
to each question.
The session provided an educational experience for Sage’s partners, and
gave them an opportunity to interact directly with Sage executives and feel
like they were being heard. Sage executives left the session equipped with
valuable insights and plenty of customer-driven ideas.
From Corporate Event, Spring 2007
You may not be doing partner/reseller conferences, but this idea is
applicable for your employee training, too!
Learner-Centered Training, by
Order by emailing
or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.
Begin with the Brain: Orchestrating The
Learner-Centered Classroom, by Martha Kaufeldt
“Companies Are Colder These Days”
Do you want that said about your organization? Read an excerpt from
Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bait & Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American
"Companies are colder these days" is how Hillary Meister put it. "There’s
no sense of stability anymore. A lot has to do with greed." Donna Eudovique
echoed her: "It’s so cold-blooded now. There’s no warning, no thanks, just
‘take you stuff and don’t come back tomorrow.’" For all that they missed
their salary and benefits, no job seeker I met ever expressed nostalgia for
the camaraderie of the workplace, perhaps because they had experienced so
little of it. In her most recent job, one of my informants felt she had been
marked for firing almost from day one, when she unwillingly confessed to
having been treated for cancer. During the interviews, everyone had been
friendly, but after learning of her illness:
"It was weird. They were like avoiding me. I think they were looking for
every tiny mistake. . . They didn’t have an orientation. They didn’t want me
asking for feedback."
Jeff Clement, who had worked in IT staffing and sales, told me: "I’m
bitter and cynical about corporate America because I’ve seen far too many
decisions just based on the bottom line. It’s not just Enron and WorldCom. I
honestly think I lost my last job over ethics. I had someone actually ask
me: ‘Are your values worth more than your paycheck?’ They think you can be
evil all day and then go home and live the American dream."
Corporations cannot of course offer a completely stable and nurturing
environment for their employees: businesses fail; consumer tastes change;
technology marches along. The Cheese, in other words, is always Moving. But
we do expect corporations to provide jobs; at least that is the rationale
given for every corporate tax cut, public subsidy, or loosening of
regulations. The most recent corporate tax break, for example, is provided
by the appealingly title American Jobs Creation Act, although it does
nothing at all to encourage job creation. Elected officials coddle the
corporations for our sake, we are always told; there is no other way to
Once, not so many decades ago, the job-generating function ranked higher
among corporate imperatives. CEOs were more likely to stand up to the board
of directors and insist on retaining employees rather than boosting
dividends in the sort-term by laying people off. Appalled by the mass
lay-offs in her family’s firm, Claire Giannini, daughter of the founder of
the Bank of America, recalled the days when "executives took a pay cut so
that the lower ranks could keep their jobs." A corporation may be a "person"
under the law, but we understand it to be composed of many hundreds or
thousands of actual people—which is what makes it corporate in the original
sense of the word.
It is the corporate, or collective, aspect of corporations that has
fallen into disrepair. There are 2 legal ways to make money: by increasing
sales or by cutting costs. In most cases, a corporation’s highest operating
expense is its payroll, making it a tempting target for cuts. In addition,
the mergers and acquisitions that so appeal to CEO egos inevitably result in
lay-offs, as the economies of scale are realized. Or downsizing may be
undertaken as a more or less routine way of pleasing the shareholders, who,
thanks to stock options, now include the top-level managers.
So, by eliminating other people’s jobs, top management can raise its own
income. The trend was clear in the mid-nineties: CEOs who laid off large
numbers of employees were paid better than those who didn’t. In the last few
years, outsourcing has reaped the greatest rewards for CEOs: compared to
other firms, compensation has increased five times faster at the fifty U.S.
firms that do the most outsourcing of service jobs."
Put in blunt biological terms, the corporation has become a site for
internal predation, where one person can advance by eliminating another
one’s job. In his business advice book, QBQ (which stands,
mysteriously, for "the questions behind the
question"), John G. Miller
quotes ‘a senior leader of a financial institution’: "Sometimes people say
to me, ‘I don’t want to take risks.’ I tell them, ‘You and I had better take
risks, because there are about a dozen people at their computers right now
in this building trying to eliminate our jobs!’"
And the management consultant David Noer observes: "Organizations that
used to see people as long-term assets to be nurtured and developed now
see people as short-term costs to be reduced...They view people as
‘things’ that are but one variable in the production equation, ‘things’ that
can be discarded when the profit and loss numbers do not come out as
There are limits of course to this kind of Darwinian struggle. At some
point the survivors will no longer be able to absorb the work of those who
have been eliminated, no matter how hard they try.
So another question that the unemployed and the precariously employed
might want to take up is: Is this any way to do business? Some
management consultants, while urging acceptance of the seemingly inevitable
demise of the "old paradigm" based on mutual loyalty between the company and
its employees, nevertheless argue that the "lean and mean" trend ultimately
undermines the business, as more and more work is left to the exhausted,
Excerpted from Bait and Switch : The (Futile) Pursuit of the American
Dream, by Barbara Ehrenreich
If you read RECRUIT you already know how Barbara went
undercover for 10 months as a job seeker. What can you do/what are you
already doing to make your workplace not feel cold-blooded to your staff?
Bait and Switch : The (Futile) Pursuit of
the American Dream, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Healing the Wounds, by David Noer
Order by emailing
or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.
October 10-12, 2007
HR Technology Conference, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL,
October 10-12, 2007
Strategic HR Conference, Tampa, FL,
October 15-17, 2007
Training Tech Solutions Conference & Expo, Salt Palace Convention
Center, Salt Lake City, UT,
January 31-February 3, 2008
Christian Writers Guild Writing for the Soul Conference, Colorado
Charity Navigator (http://charitynavigator.org)
is an in-depth, searchable guide to more than 5,000 charities worldwide that
aims to encourage "intelligent giving". They rate charities based on their
total expenses, revenues, and organizational capacity. If you want to give,
but the recent slew of charity scandals has you feeling skeptical about
where your money would go.
Take Pride T-Shirts (http://www.takepride.com)
was founded by a group of friends who all share the belief that the more
difficult the mission facing our military, the more deserving they are of
our thanks and support. Each unique shirt design provides a glimpse into the
life of a different US Service member who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and
is hand silk-screened. The message of the shirts isn’t political, it's about
acknowledging, celebrating, and taking pride in the spirit of young
Americans who despite facing an extremely difficult job and unpleasant
conditions, nonetheless strive to do their job well. Take Pride gives at
least 20% of profits to charities and causes that assist combat veterans of
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Set a reminder to visit
daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.
VolunteerMatch.org helps you find
organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering.
Global Volunteers (http://www.globalvolunteers.org)
by type of work project
by country and date
by service program conditions
Recycle yogurt containers and old toothbrushes!
Recycline’ Preserve partnered with Stonyfield Farm and is recycling yogurt
containers into toothbrush handles. Old toothbrushes are used to make
plastic lumber for picnic tables. Go to
Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people
through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,
PCs, cell phones, printers, CDs diskettes, etc., with GreenDisk. For
$29.95, they send a 70-pound-capacity box. When it’s full, you download
postage from their website and ship it back. Your “junk” then goes to
workshops for the disabled and are refurbished.
PCs to National Cristina Foundation,
PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their
websites for details.
other places to recycle old PCs:
local Electronics recyclers at
EASY TO BE GREEN!
has great tips on green cleaning.
will help you get off junk mail lists.
has tips on every facet of green living.
gives advice on replacing old light bulbs w/energy efficient bulbs.
provides comprehensive "green power" info.
urges the use of recycled paper.
helps you plant trees to save the environment.
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TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.,
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