Recruit, Inspire & Retain

December 2006

Ideas for “Marketing” and Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees

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800-469-3560 FAX 815-469-0886



bullet FUN Days to Celebrate (Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT - Dear Interviewing Manager
bullet A New Wellness Plan (Not!)
bullet Carol Quiz (special for the December holidays)
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE - How to Get Their Attention Off Their Blackberrys
bullet TRAIN - Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Workplace Learners?
bullet RETAIN - Retaining the Right Employees
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give


What are you doing for your staff to celebrate the December holidays?


Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain


READERS! If you find an article worthy of Recruit, Inspire & Retain, please send it (with a note telling us where you found it)

We encourage you to use these articles in your own communications with staff and customers/members.

If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy FREE!


December is...
Read A New Book Month
December 11-17 – Over-Tip Your Wait Staff Week
December 17-23 – Lipstick Week & Tell Someone They Are Doing A Good Job Week

December 5 – Blue Jeans Day & International Volunteers Day (I volunteer to wear jeans!)
December 6 – International Bad Hair Day (shouldn’t it also be Good Hat Day?)
December 7 – Hang A Wreath Day & Cotton Candy Day (try a wreath made out of cotton
December 8 – Brownie Day (the dessert or the pre-Girl Scout?)
December 9 – Pastry Day
December 10 – Human Rights Day
December 11 – Radio Day
December 12 – Poinsettia Day
December 13 – Cocoa Day
December 14 – Deck The Halls Day
December 15 – Hanukkah & Lemon Cupcake Day
December 18 – Bake Cookies Day
December 19 – A Christmas Carol Day, Build A Snowman Day, & Chocolate Pizza Day
                        (chocolate pizza!!??)
December 21 – Look At The Bright Side Day & Crossword Puzzle Day
December 22 – Christmas Tree Light Day & World Peace Day
December 23 – Popcorn Popping Day
December 24 – Eggnog Day
December 26 – Christmas
December 27 – Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, & Candy Cane Day
December 28 – Chocolate Day
December 29 – Bowling Day & Ice Skating Day
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 3 – Start Your New Year’s Resolution Day (they give you a day off to recover and
, Drinking Straw Day, & Chocolate Covered Cherry Day


Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.

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Dear Interviewing Manager

Dear Interviewing Manager:

I am your average job seeker, and I think you should know how poorly I was treated during my recent scheduled interview with your organization. Here are just a few of my observations.

I received incomplete information on the phone when you scheduled the interview with me. Luckily, I called back to find out how long the process would be. I had no idea that your interview would require me to take an entire day away from my work. (I had to take a day of vacation.)

You required me to bring a resume, which I paid someone to prepare. Then you required me to complete your entire application form. You made me wait nearly 45 minutes for my interview time, with no explanation or apology for your tardiness.

You were rude and inconsiderate during the interview. You never once asked if I needed a beverage, even though you ate your lunch during our meeting. You also interrupted our meeting by taking calls and visiting with co-workers during our interview and never apologized for the interruptions.

You seemed to be making up interview questions on the spot, and you didn’t listen to my answers. You were obviously distracted by the work on your desk. You also asked questions that were not job-related. Why did you ask me about my accent? How will it help your selection by asking me what animal I’d most like to be?

The other managers who interviewed me asked the same questions, which seems to me a waste of time, or at least, a duplication of effort.

I received a "form" rejection letter that had been poorly photocopied, with my name handwritten in the blank. After giving a full day of my life (and vacation), I expected more.

I have been a customer in the past; however, I will never purchase products or services from your organization again. Further, I am also sharing my experience with other professionals so they don’t waste their valuable time exploring job opportunities with your organization. They deserve better, and so did I.


Your average job seeker

Used with permission of our own Cathy Fyock from Innovative Management Concepts, 11/04

If you think even 1 of the things in this letter happens in your organization, call us right away for ideas on how to stop it. 800-469-3560, Email.

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Interviewing Techniques for Managers (especially
Chapter 5; How Should I Prepare For the Interview)
, by
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave 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

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A New Wellness Plan (NOT!)

"More companies are taking action against employees who smoke off-duty, and, in an extreme trend that some call troubling, some are now firing or banning the hiring of workers who light up even on their own time. The outright bans raise new questions about how far companies can go in regulating workers’ behavior when they are off the clock..."

"Legal experts fear companies will try to control other aspects of employees’ off-duty lifestyle, a trend that is already happening. Some companies are firing, suspending, or charging higher insurance premiums to workers who are overweight, have high cholesterol, or participate in risky activities." — from USA TODAY, May 11, 2005.

So, here’s OUR new Plan:

Good morning. Welcome to United Glop Corp. We are delighted and, frankly, astonished that so many of you passed our battery of pre-employment screening tests. You certainly look like a fit and healthy bunch. See that you stay that way.

This orientation session will explain UGC’s risk management strategy with regard to employee behavior on and off the job. It would be safest for you to think of it as zero-tolerance policy. ‘Safety first’ is our motto. Make it yours.

Subsidizing the cost of employee health insurance is, of course, a significant corporate expense. The cost will only increase if our carrier ever finds itself obligated to pay a claim. However unlikely that may be under the terms of our coverage—and we do urge you to read the booklet carefully—fiscal responsibility demands that we do everything in our power to minimize the risk.

As some of you may know, cutting-edge thought in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors has concluded that concepts such as ‘personal’ behavior, ‘private’ lifestyle choices, and the ‘freedom to treat yourself poorly’ are repugnant and obsolete. So-called personal behavior has a direct impact on health-care costs. Enlightened thinkers understand that when ‘free’ but foolhardy choices run afoul of actuarial tables or other health-related statistics, the statistics win. Don’t even think about telling us to mind our own business. Your business is our business.

Now, down to brass tacks. Smoking, obesity, and inappropriate cholesterol levels are, of course, forbidden. So are caffeine, sugar, alcohol, red meat, junk food in any form, and chimichangas. Your blood and urine will be tested twice a month on random days, so think twice about that jelly donut.

You will be weighed weekly. See page 72 of the employee manual for your mandated weight and body-mass index.

As for risky activities, the list of forbidden ones begins on page 127. Video surveillance in your homes will ensure compliance with the rules pertaining to such things as nonskid bath mats, standing on kitchen chairs to replace light bulbs, and running with scissors. If you own an extension ladder, get rid of it.

Note that failure to buckle your seat belt is not only cause for immediate dismissal but a crime punishable by the laws of this state. For our purposes, the seatbelt rule will become irrelevant in January, when UGC’s next major behavioral initiative takes effect—the one forbidding employees and their insured dependents to operate or ride in private motor vehicles. We are aware that our new policy is controversial. But do you have any idea how many people are injured in automobile accidents each year, despite the seat belts? Do you know what it would cost to transport you to a hospital by ambulance, even if only to have you pronounced dead?

It’s true that public transportation in our area is not everything it might be, but with a little ingenuity you’ll manage. Please note the exclusion in your insurance coverage for injuries sustained in public-transportation mishaps. Note also that our rule against bicycle riding will remain in effect; up against an SUV, those dorky helmets are a joke.

Arguing with company regulations is forbidden. In fact, arguing with anyone about anything is forbidden. Arguments induce stress. Most forms of stress are unhealthy and therefore prohibited. See page 213 for exceptions relating to ‘good’ stress. They all apply to performing your job here at UGC.

Quiet desperation is forbidden. Our insurance provisions are actually quite liberal with regard to antidepressant medications. You’ll want to stock up.

Adapted from Training Magazine, 10/05


Carol Quiz

Answer these all correctly and win a prize!
1. Listen to the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.

2. Embellish the interior passageways.

3. Twelve o’clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival.

4. The Christmas preceding all others.

5. Small municipality in Judea south of Jerusalem.

6. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite in distinguished males.

7. Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness.

8. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.

9. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic, resonant cups.

10. In awe of the eventide characterized by religiosity.

Email all 10 correct answers with your name and address.

Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.
PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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* Tom Gosche, Business Network International said: "I have in my Favorites because I love to play with the ‘Have Fun Learning’ pointer! I go there pretty often to take a break" 
* November QOTM: Complete the sentence: I hope I never again have a client/customer/member who (does this)______________________________. Instead I wish they would (do this) ____________________________________.
Answer from Ruth, County Training Officer: I hope I never again have a client/customer/member who falls asleep in class. I wish they would just go home!

* CISPI published "How the Words You Use Influence How Others Learn" by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. President, Carolyn B. Thompson, in their Nov/Dec 2006 issue. Email for a copy.
* Participants in IARF conference session, (Communicating With Your Team So Every Interaction Is A Success):
■ “Wonderful session! I can’t wait to take this back to my office!!”
■ “It was great to get everyone to kind of open up. And come out of their shells.”
■ “Great speaker, fun, interactive, positive.”
■ “Best speaker that I experienced at the conference, loved the handouts-useful!! Time flew by!
    Great break-out work.”

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How to Get Their Attention Off Their Blackberrys

The recent emerging Technology Conference in San Diego—a lively gathering of geeks and entrepreneurs building companies and tools for the Web—took "The Attention Economy" as its theme. Naturally, several speakers emphasized ways that companies could prosper in the scrum of technologies targeting our minds, eyeballs and wallets. But one of the most interesting talks came from a former Apple and Microsoft executive named Linda Stone. Her emphasis was less economic than social. It was a plea to consider an epidemic she identified as continuous partial attention (CPA).

She couldn't have picked a more perfect audience. During the presentation, the faces of at least half the crowd were lit with the spooky reflection of the laptops open before them. Those without computers would periodically bow their heads to the palmtop shrine of the BlackBerry. Every speaker was competing with the distractions of e-mail, instant messaging, Web surfing, online bill paying, blogging and an Internet chat "back channel" where conference attendees supplied snarky commentary on the speakers. Stone nailed the behavior so precisely that some audience members actually raised their faces and started listening intently.

Stone first noticed the syndrome a decade ago when she was creating a product for Microsoft that let people interact in a "virtual world." She found that her test users wanted to fade in and out while conducting other activities. This turns out to be the way most of us work—and live—today. With an open communications channel the e-mail keeps flowing, the instant messages keep interrupting and the Web feeds keep coming. CPA stems from our desire, Stone says, to be "a live node on the network."

If you keep your balance, such bifurcation can be useful. Last week I visited the Google offices in New York City and saw that a lot of the engineers there each had two large monitors, spread before them like butterfly wings. On one side was the code they were crunching and on the other were applications like e-mail, messaging and Web surfing. Sometimes, "Googlites" use that pane to conduct persistent conversations with collaborators on the West Coast.

But there's a problem in the workplace when the interruptions intrude on tasks that require real concentration or quiet reflection. And there's an even bigger problem when our bubble of connectedness stretches to ensnare us no matter where we are. A live BlackBerry or even a switched-on mobile phone is an admission that your commitment to your current activity is as fickle as Renée Zellweger's wedding vows. Your world turns into a never-ending cocktail party where you're always looking over your virtual shoulder for a better conversation partner. The anxiety is contagious: anyone who winds up talking to a person infected with CPA feels like he or she is accepting an Oscar, and at any moment the music might stop the speech.

In her talk, Stone was careful to acknowledge the benefits of perpetual contact. But her message is that the balance has tilted way too far toward distraction, creating a sense of constant crisis. "We're not ever in a place where we can make a commitment to anything," she explained to me when I called her a few days later. "Constantly being accessible makes you inaccessible." All so true. But during our conversation, some auditory clues led me to ask her one more question. "Linda," I asked, "are you taking this interview while driving your car?" She admitted that she was. But as long as she didn't have to slam the brakes or dodge a pedestrian, I had her continuous partial attention (CPA).

From Newsweek, 3/27/06

Unplug to Connect?

And here's what Yankelovich MONITOR ® says to restaurants:
Trend: Nearly half (49%) of Today's Consumers say they often feel something is missing from their lives. One reason could be that they are so busy multi-tasking that they don't focus on any one experience. Technology may be the great enabler, i.e., videotaping/photographing events to the point of not experiencing them; blogging and not really living; text messaging during meetings or dinners. The strong majority (76%) of today's Consumers feel that we have become too dependent on technology.

Opportunity: Restaurants that make it easy for guests to power down, connect with each other, and enjoy the moment may become welcome sanctuaries. Consider pushing technology—wireless signals, beepers/pagers, electronic order pads, etc.,—back behind the scenes. Think about a communal table or encouraging bartenders to stimulate good conversation. Find ways to discourage cell phone/PDA use—create zones to take or place calls or send messages; offer to field guests' important calls via a special number. Make taking photos of special occasions part of what you provide.

Caution: Stripping technology out of the guest experience isn't for every restaurant and is a bit risky, given its availability elsewhere. You may need to find a polite middle ground. Test the waters and see how guests react; some may not be ready to kick the habit.

Make a Comment/?

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Prisoners of Technology, by Lisa J. Whaley
BYTE-ing Satire: A Lighthearted POKE in Technology’s Eye, by Joel Klebanoff
Order by Emailing or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

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Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Workplace Learners?

Margaret Driscoll, Market Development Manager, Workplace Learning Product, IBM Lotus Software, says:" I spend numerous hours each month speaking with training and human resource managers, attending professional meetings, and monitoring industry literature. During all of these activities, learners don't get the attention they need. Discussions tend to focus on technology, return-on-investment, and strategic planning. When the discussion turns to learners, it's usually in the form of an academic dialog about creating personalized learning plans according to specific learning style schemes such as Myers-Briggs typing or Gardner's emotional intelligences."

The Challenges
The first challenge trainers must address is how to develop training strategies to address a workforce that is more age, language, and life-style diverse than ever before. The next wave of learners will challenge our fundamental assumptions about how, where, when, and to whom we deliver workplace learning.

Shifting demographics causes many changes in workplace training. The U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) forecasts a labor shortage by 2010. Three trends, retiring baby boomers, a decline in births, and anticipated business growth, will create this shortage. The BLS predicts that there will be 10 million more jobs than workers who can fill them.

The labor shortage's impact on workplace training becomes even more significant when seen in light of U.S. population trends. The U.S. Hispanic population is expected to increase by 63% between 2000 and 2020 to 55 million. Additionally, the proportion of married-with-children households is falling while the proportions of single-person and unrelated persons households are rising. In addition, more workers will elect part-time positions due to childcare needs and life style choices.

A second change to watch is how the Internet enables learning. The Internet has breathed new life into self-directed learning. In a 2001 study done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, adults and teens were asked how they use the Internet. Do they use it to teach themselves new things or to answer a specific question? The study found that 80% of all Internet users use the Internet to answer a specific question. More surprising, the study found that during a typical day, 16% of adult Internet users go online to answer a question. With this in mind, training organizations should consider leveraging learning strategies that take advantage of informal, self-directed, and collaborative learning.

Lastly, globalization continues to increase, meaning that workers that need training are located in offices from Palo Alto to the Philippines. In 1975, there were about 7,000 multinational companies in the United States. In 2002, there were approximately 40,000. In this type of economy, speed and flexibility are competitive advantages, and training is critical to fostering innovation and increasing productivity. Going forward, training organizations must also address the demands of a global workforce and the 24/7 environment in which this group will operate.

From Learning & Training Innovations, 7/03

7 Demographic Trends Driving Employees Communication: How to Engage Changing Global Workforce, by Matthew Davis, Catherine Jordan & Julie Weissbach
Employee Training & Development, by Raymond Andrew Noe
  Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

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Retaining the Right Employees

Retaining the right employees in the right place is the secret of any organisation's success. Usually the employees are loyal to their organisations. But they become unhappy job-hoppers when they feel that they are not valued and not given enough challenges and opportunities.

It is true that everyone is looking for better prospects and the present organisation is often only a pole-vault to jump into better pastures. From the CEO to the frontline executive staff, all are waiting for the right opportunity to migrate. Employee turnover is costly and it makes the organisation less efficient and productive. If we want to retain the top performers we need to know why people leave. The reasons for leaving may be many.

  1. Lack of Opportunities and Challenges
    For many young and bright employees of today money is not a concern. They are looking for more than compensation packages and benefits. They want challenges and job satisfaction. If you want to retain them, offer them not money but challenges and risks. They thrive on challenges and love risks. They look for job satisfaction and contentment in their work. Job satisfaction comes out of their relationship with the management; it’s the effect of good work environment and is the fruit of their commitment to a vision.

  2. Lack of Management Support
    One of the main reasons why people quit is the lack of support from the top management. The top management itself is often not aware of what is going on and not sure of what decisions to be taken. The victims of their poor communication and management are always those at the bottom. The only thing they communicate well is to tell the employees that they are responsible for every failure. If you want your employees to be loyal to you, support them when they need you. Be visibly present by their side in their struggles and appreciate their victories.

  3. Lack of Monetary Awards
    For many people today telling, "I don’t care about money but I need challenges" is a fashion. Most of the employees are there with you because of the rewards you give. When they feel that they are paid less than what they deserve, when they feel that you are not faithful to your promise to increase their package, when they feel that you don’t reward hard work and commitment, it’s time for them to bid you goodbye. Better compensation and benefits will always keep them by your side.

  4. Lack of Career Development Possibilities
    No one likes to be in the same place for long. People long for new experiences, changes, and growth. Once they know that their present organisation doesn’t provide them opportunities for their career, personal, and professional growth they feel suffocated in that rigid system. In such a dissatisfied atmosphere they long for liberation and when the right opportunity comes they pack up and leave you.

  5. Lack of Visionary Managers
    The supervisors are one main reason why many employees leave. Supervisors and managers are often shortsighted and fail to place the right employee in the right place. They make a highly talented person become a failure and the employee alone is made accountable for the losses. The management should consist of visionary people who are able to assess the potentials and strengths of the employees and give them the right opportunities and right challenges where they can excel. It must create a positive work environment where people are rewarded and recognized, where free and open communications exist and where people feel excited and thrilled to work.

  6. Lack of Friendly Atmosphere
    Often our workplace is so boring with so many serious people around. The workplace should be a home where people smile, relax, and enjoy working. Every morning the person should long to come to work. A friendly and homesy place is a must if you want to retain your staff. The management is so much caught up in the web of profit and revenues that it looks at people only as a means to higher profits and forgets to look at them as persons. Listen to the employees, respect them, and make work fun for them if you want them. Provide an employee-friendly environment where they can participate in decisions making, execution, and evaluation.

  7. Lack of Freedom
    If the employee can’t express his ideas and thought freely in the organisation, he won’t last there. We must create an atmosphere where people feel free to contribute their ideas, criticize the existing systems, and try out alternatives to make their work more productive and satisfying. There should be freedom for him to use his talents and skills. There should be freedom to make mistakes.

We need to invest in building up retention if we want our organisations to be successful. We have recruited the best talents; now it’s our duty to inspire and retain them for the health and success of our organisations.

From Joshy Thomas’ post to the Training Ideas listserv

Handle with CARE: Motivating and Retaining Employees, by Barbara Glanz.
Retaining Your Employees: Using Respect, Recognition, and Rewards for Positive Results (Crisp 50-Minute Book), by Barb Wingfield and Janice Berry
Order by calling 800-469-3560 or Emailing.(10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

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January 11-14, 2007
International Alliance for Learning, Omni Hotel, Austin,

February 26-28, 2007
Training Magazine’s Training 2007 Conference & Expo, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL,

March 12-15, 2007
Christian Management Association 2007 Conference, Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, California,

March 12-14, 2007
Employment Law & Legislative Conference, Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.

March 19-21, 2007
SHRM Global Forum® Conference & Exposition, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, California,

June 24-27, 2007
59th Annual SHRM Conference & Exposition, LasVegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada,

July 29-31, 2007
World Future 2007: Fostering Hope and Vision for the 21st Century, Hilton Minneapolis and Towers Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

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Provide free mammograms!Set a reminder to visit daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.

Celeb Trend: Doling Out the Dough
In Celebuland, everything is bigger: bigger sunglasses, bigger houses, and, particularly notable at this time of year, bigger donations to charity. Angelina Jolie reportedly gives away a full one-third of her yearly earnings. Add Brad and you've got the Jolie/Pitt Foundation, a charity juggernaut that'll fork over another $2 million to Doctors Without Borders and Global Action for Children. Other can't-keep-it-in-their-wallets stars include Sandra Bullock, who shelled out a cool million to the Red Cross not once, but twice: after 9/11 and again for tsunami victims in 2005. And the most charitable celeb of all, Bono, has likely lost count of what he's donated (not to mention all the cash he's helped raise) to stop AIDS and poverty in Africa. Are you ready to dig a little deeper this season? Get in on Bono's act at, where you can buy products from Motorola. Converse, Gap, and other companies that benefit the Global Fund, a charity for African women and children suffering from AIDS.

89% of U.S. households give to charity.

From Redbook, December 2006

Global Volunteers (
You can:
select by type of work project
select by country and date
select by service program conditions
select by cost

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Donate Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,

Recycle 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.

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,; Goodwill,, Salvation Army,

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Several other places to recycle old PCs:,,

Find local Electronics recyclers at and

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Copyright 2006 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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