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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman

Quote for the week: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – Unknown

 

CHARACTER COUNTS
Recently, a computer-based glitch on the United Airlines website allowed passengers to book flights to Hong Kong — or other places in Asia connecting in Hong Kong — in exchange for a paltry four frequent flier miles, plus government taxes. The advertised actual price of the ticket was accurate; the technical slip-up occurred in the transaction process.   United eventually corrected the error and announced it wasn't honoring tickets already sold. People could get a refund without paying a penalty or have the proper amount of miles deducted. Anyone who had already started their trip would be allowed to complete their travel. Several people who booked tickets are complaining to the DOT, which is now investigating the matter.

 
A 62-year-old retired teacher from Aiken, S.C., is one of the people who bought a ticket. She knew it was a computer error but booked a trip anyway. "United just made a big mistake and needs to honor it," she said. "That was their mistake, wasn't it?" The most disturbing aspect of this mindless justification is that it comes from the mouth of someone who was educating our children for a living. If she was given too much change back from one of her students, would she keep it, rationalizing “that was their mistake”? How many other ethically vacuous educators sanction this behavior?  I would fire them immediately if the power was mine to do!
 
 
Let me be clear…I'm no fan of United Airlines. Customer service is atrocious and the temptation to rip them off is almost irresistible...but to take the ticket and run, knowing the advertised price and that the error was computer-generated in the billing, is poor integrity and a microcosm of what's askew in this world.

 
ORIGINS OF THE GOLDEN RULE
The Golden Rule never wears out its welcome: Treat others as you want to be treated. Then you can live with minimal drama, a good night’s sleep, and a clear conscious. The seeds were planted as early as 2040 B.C in the ancient Egyptian story of the The Eloquent Peasant: “Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” The Code of Hammurabi (1780 B.C.) in Babylon addressed ethical reciprocity in various ways. The Golden Rule existed among all the major philosophical schools of ancient China, including Taoism and Confucianism. Some examples:

 
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” Confucius

  
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and their loss as your own loss.” Lao Tzu

 
The student asked, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all of one’s life?”
The teacher replied, “Is not reciprocity such a word?”

 

 

Quote of the week: “Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.” Demetri Martin

 

The Bane of Binge Working

There was an article recently published in Forbes magazine about the health hazards of employees working beyond 8 hours per day and over 60 hours per week. Family, friends and health professionals are reporting signs of stress at the very least, and even death at its extremes, of employees who “binge work.” Heart disease and psychological stress are the leading causes of medical complications.

 

Workers slogging through relentless overtime hours often submit to unhealthy habits of junk-eating, over-eating, excessive drinking, e.g., coffee to keep going and alcohol before bedtime, and foregoing any form of exercise that could aid in releasing stress. This becomes a precursor to immune system imbalances, exhaustion, and depression, which results in more absenteeism. In some case studies, researchers concluded that binge working creates diminishing returns in productivity and that both employees and companies are better off if staff worked a regular 40 hour week.

 

Some company cultures actively promote the practice of binge working as a sort of red badge of honor, courage and persistence.  And staff who work themselves into the ground are given promotions to positions of greater responsibility, which compels them to work even more hours. Does being employee of the year trump the long-term health consequences, or even death?

 

Death in this regard is no exaggeration. Last year there was a relatively young woman of 31 years who died after working a 30 hour shift non-stop at her call center. The younger generation wants to make an impression and build a future with their employer, which can lead to one-upmanship with their co-workers in logging long hours. Those in the twilight of their careers simply cannot keep up, and if not failing in their health are forced to early retirement, depriving the younger ones of their guidance, experience and expertise.

   

When both employee and employer step back and examine this issue from a broader purview, the question of work/life balance comes into play, and striving for happiness. The cultural conditioning of working hard enough and making “X” amounts of money to ultimately become happy typically puts one in striving mode at all times, and seldom in being happy where they are in life now. Quality time for self, family and friends is as important as work, and one can nourish the other. If this time is used consciously and creatively, it revitalizes the body, mind and spirit in a way that prepares for the work day with more energy. For the employer, commitment and encouragement with policies in place to monitor and enforce working hours is called for to support staff well-being, along with the company bottom line.

 

Healthy Humor

 

© 2014 Mental Floss Publications

All Rights Reserved

 

   

 

 

  

So much of modern medicine is about treating symptoms, then taking more medications to treat new symptoms created from treating the initial symptom. It becomes an entrapment, a vicious cycle of endless drug taking to deal with a perpetuating series of symptoms.

 

In January a rash developed on my arms, chest and stomach. The timing was concurrent with a succession of dry Santa Ana winds (coming from the desert in Southern California where I live). I learned from a friend of mine that those dry winds can cause what is known as the “Winter Rash,” which can manifest in considerable discomfort from itching. My friend has struggled with this problem often.

 

I went to see a doctor who claimed to have experience in treating rashes. After a cursory examination, she determined it was nothing serious and prescribed a treatment. A week passed and no progress was made. Since I had a work assignment in the Amazon I was hopeful that the humid environment would alleviate the rash, but it grew worse. In Colombia I visited a dermatologist, whom upon close examination gave me an emphatic diagnosis: "You have Scabies!" It sounded like I’d just won a new Lexus on a TV game show. He prescribed three medications, one topical, two ingestible. One ingestible made me drowsy and disoriented. A week transpired with no recovery whatsoever.

 

Essentially, scabies are parasitic mites that burrow just under the skin. I started to research online about scabies, and the more I read the more alarming it became – sufferers reporting chronic, intense itching for months, even years, and forced to launder bedding, clothing, and towels daily. It was approaching one month for me in dealing with this scourge - intense itching, daily laundering, and a major disruption to my normal life.

 

After searching and querying several people who could point me to some much needed help, I made an appointment with a doctor of Chinese medicine recommended by another friend. Part of her treatment regimen was a topical herbal wash, but her primary focus was internal. “A strong immune system with a pH that is slightly alkaline will deter any parasites from using your body as a dinner table,” she asserted. After an acupuncture treatment, she sent me away with the topical wash and several herbs to be consumed as a tea. And I started to closely monitor my diet, eating mostly alkaline foods and avoiding the most acidic foods.

 

A week later the improvement was dramatic. The itching dialed down on a scale of 1-10 from 9 to 3, the redness becoming faint. As the condition proceeds to fade, I continue eating a predominantly alkaline diet. As I expand my reading about how diseases from parasites to cancer thrive on an acidic environment, I become more convinced that consumption of alkaline foods may be the best preventive medicine for anyone.

 

Here’s a link to an informative page, including an icon to download an acid/alkaline food chart: http://www.acidalkalinediet.com/Alkaline-Foods-Chart.htm

        

Here’s to good health!

 

CARTOON FROM THE CLINIC

    

 

 

The short and simple answer: If the best employees continue to be engaged, trained, and appreciated, they are likely to stick around and stay motivated to make the optimal contributions per their capabilities. For the company, it makes for a more productive work environment and saves the company money spent to hire and train new talent.

 

Paying someone more money, while effective for some people generally isn't the key to earning loyalty. A company doesn't necessarily have to pay more than competitors for top talent, but shouldn't be paying less. Studies have shown that compensation has a threshold. Once an individual has attained a satisfactory income for their efforts, its importance diminishes vis-à-vis the loftier tangibles of growth opportunities and special expressions of appreciation.

 

Reward programs specifically for high performers should reflect the interests and passions of the individual. What are their favorite hobbies, food, weekend getaways, preferred relaxation and entertainment choices? Generic rewards will not work, especially for the cream of the crop. The best talent is what I call “high impact individuals.” They want to etch their footprints and fingerprints upon the company they work for and be a difference-maker. Speak to their soul, and they will actively listen and respond from their deepest sense of commitment, giving their employer the best of themselves.

 

Top talent is the first to leave when opportunities are cut to save on the bottom line, or because a bad quarter sparks fear and rumblings of layoffs, or perhaps a new set of managers are hired who ignore the human side of the business of employee retention.  The best talent in an organization needs to be identified, and sought after to solicit their opinions and feedback. Find out what really matters to them, and what drives their motivations. Draw out any negative feelings they may have about their job and ask for their solutions. Make them feel that they are an insider to the decision-making process of management. Invite them to meetings when appropriate. Ask them to be part of a research group to improve upon some area of the organization. Ask them to present findings to senior management. Whenever possible, ask them to collaborate with other top talent. This should prove to be an exciting new challenge. Also of importance is to note how their manager is handling an up-and-coming star in their department.

 

People in almost any industry will stay with a company if they get on well with their immediate superior, add value to themselves on a continuing basis with the help and support of the company (training), get along well with co-workers and feel appreciated for the work they do (if they do it well), and receive helpful guidance about how to work better in a constructive way.

 

A company could develop a career path system that parallels the growth of top people with the growth of the company. Inform them with regularity of their impact, perhaps including metrics in the form of units of measurement, as well as the human touch such as inviting the families of top people to special functions and learning the names of their husbands, wives, and kids. Don't wait for an annual review or event to do this.

 

The best employers understand what it takes to retain their best and invest a human touch to stay connected with them, not around a nebulous notion of corporate loyalty, but around meaningful work, flexible terms, professional and personal growth opportunities, regular two-way feedback, and consistent expression of caring and appreciation. These are what compose a value proposition.

 

A talented worker who is fortunate enough to work for a value-minded employer may still take their skills elsewhere. But they are more likely to stay when their services are valued and aspirations are nurtured.

 

ABSURD QUOTES HEARD ‘ROUND THE WATER COOLER

“What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter.”

 

“This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it.”

 

“We know that communication is a problem, but the company will not discuss it with employees.”

 

(Senior management memo) "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the subject mentioned above."

 

“Lucent Technologies is endeavorily determined to promote constant attention on current procedures of transacting business focusing emphasis on innovative ways to better, if not supersede, the expectations of quality." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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