WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

I was surprised when I awoke this morning to have an email from Tenfold requesting to curate and collaborate on blog content.  As I realized I have not entered my Senior DISScounts  blog for a year (although in the middle of the night i have had brief flashes of topics--and believe me-there have been many!)  I immediately read their blog and then read mine to see the context.  They both ring true. So I am proud to annouce, we will cureate and collaborate.  Thank you @AireenPanganiban for reaching out.  Here is their article!  And once you read--come back and read mine!

https://www.tenfold.com/what-is-the-emotional-intelligence

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Missing or Just Changing

The conversation:   “Did you find everything you needed today, mam?”   “No, I could not find—INSERT PRODUCT HERE—. “  “Ok. Thank you.”

Outside of the fact the young man called me mam, what was the thank you?  No, let me go look.  Let me ask my manager if we still have it. Or may I order it for you?  This particular store must teach the staff to ask as I frequent there (stupid me?) But why ask if no action is to be taken?  Where has all the service gone?  Long time lacking, I bemoan.

Walking through an amusement park recently, I noted to my husband that not one person in park uniforms was smiling as we passed by. Granted it was trash pick-up, what is there to smile about? We followed our day visiting a local restaurant.  Outside of the fact that it took 45 minutes after we were seated to have someone come to our table, even during the meal, our water glasses and adult beverages remained empty for an indeterminable time. It was what happened when our meal arrived that is the subject of note. Okay, in the restaurant’s defense, it was a busy Saturday night, and we did have the fore thought to make reservations.  However, as our waitress delivered two of our 4 meals—after my husband took a few French fries, she whisked it away. “This is not your order, it is for another table.”  She proceeded to place the same plate in front of the man at the next table who had no clue that my husband had sampled part of his meal.

I am not alone in my lament. I have heard many friends and family express the same feelings.

One friend noted that the meal was served at a restaurant, and she had trouble flagging the waitress back to the table in order to get silverware with which to eat it! She asked another wait staff who happened by, this person said she would let her waitress know what was needed.

Whether you are in restaurants, retail stores, and even hospitals, service is lacking.

Here is another example.  During a recent trip to the emergency room when my husband had a severe nosebleed made even worse since he is on blood thinners after a heart attack, I had the fore-thought to take a print out of all the meds AND a bag filled with the actual capsules. Now let me preface this with the fact we went to the same hospital where he was treated for the heart attack—so these meds and the doctor of note should have been in the hospital computer files.   The nurse did not recognize a blood thinner on the list. She asked me first, ‘was I sure he was on blood thinner?’   I reiterated the heart attack at this location and I was sure he was. She then chastised ME for not knowing which one it was.  EXCUUUUSSSEEE me, I did not have a medical degree, and I really thought that having the pills and a print-out would answer the question.

After a 2 hour stint in the ER. .  .  excuse me, ED now (although it reminds me of a man problem every time I hear it)  and confirmation from the ED Doctor that indeed there was a blood thinner on the list, the nurse returned and as we checked out said, “You really should highlight the blood thinner so you know next time.”   It will not be necessary as the name is now imbedded in my brain. And I made a small sheet that my hubby can carry in his wallet, laminated . . . and I did forget to highlight that anyway.

As I told a friend this story, she told me the rules of thumb for service as she understood them to be at her place of business.  

A:   Acknowledge the customer. I agree.  However, the science of service becomes even more exacting.   She noted that if the potential customer/client are 10’ away from you, meet the eyes and nod.  If they are 5’ or less, you may speak to them. WOW, customer service rules are that specific!  So, let us go into a retail store.  I cannot count the number of times when I entered a store, I am acknowledged by, “Hi! Welcome to -Fill in Store Name Here—if you need anything, let me know.”  Now you say, that seems fair.  However, it is shouted at me from the opposite end of the store. No 5- or- 10- foot rule here.

I: Identify yourself.  “Hi I am –Fill your name here—I will be your server/nurse/sales person—to help.”  As retail stores go, not many tell me their name. In fact, I cannot identify who is a worker in the store as they are not identified in any way—logos, name badges or uniform.  Not knowing who they are at least by name, may hurt in the long run as many stores request the perfunctory service survey.  “Did anyone help you today?”  “”Yes, the girl over there with the multi-color hair and tattoos.”  Or even better, when they hand you the receipt with instructions to go online and take the survey.  After the shout out to let me know that they do see me, I would like to yell back, “Hi! I am Barb and I am your customer today!”

Which leads to D: Describe what you are going to do.  I already shouted I was going to do.  They need to tell me what they are going to do: Help find clothing, work on my medical issue, and take my order. Many times this is posed as a question: “May I help you?”  As a communicator, I can tell you, never ask a Yes-or-No question. It is too easy to dismiss.   Just an FYI.

After you perform your service, you arrive at the final step: T. Thank the customer. I would even add, please come back again! But that is not in the procedural rules.

The personal customer service instruction seminar that my friend attended has an added benefit of refresher course that each employee logs into on their computer to take every quarter.  I like the irony: Take the first class of customer service in person with a personable customer service professional, then relegate updates to the impersonal on line computer lesson.

Of course, some companies take customer service to the opposite extreme, “kill them with service.” You’ll understand in a minute   many retail establishments have a ‘no stop” policy. I am for the safety of an employee at all costs. You never know how someone will react when confronted.  If you see or suspect that a customer is in fact stealing items, you go to their side and “Kill them with kindness.”  You ask more questions, “I see you like these shirts, may I help you find more colors?” and you continue to help them remaining by their side while in the store. Once they leave, well, your job is done. Almost makes me feel like heading to the store to shop.

Remember, while in the store, you can do anything you want with items, such as stuff them down your pants for all that matters.    But once you leave the store, well, you are a thief.  I would think a call to security or police would be in order. Maybe it is. However, stores know through security cameras and can take photos.  They post the name and photo of the perpetrator.   As soon as the staff see this person enter, they keep by the side at all times, hopefully hampering the shoplifter, and get great customer service rankings as well...

This is just the top of the iceberg.  Phone companies, internet and cable providers, No one waits any more.  And if you really want to stump someone at the cash register, give $10. 01 for an $8.01 item. That is fodder for another observation.

 

 

Spiritual Intelligence: Leaders are not born, They Develop

Here are two simple questions posed to me by my daughter:  Who are your spiritual heroes, those people you admire, living, dead or fictional.  And, list the characteristics –the traits –that caused you to admire them. 

Turns out, it was not so simple a question as I thought.   She was telling me about her Leadership class, and how the class all seemed to arrive together with the typical well-known names: Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Deepak Chopra.  She continued by listing the descriptions of these people: loving compassionate, kind, forgiving, courageous, honest, generous, persistent, wise, and inspiring.   I continued to think while she prattled on, because in reviewing the list she provided, only one woman appeared.

My daughter then explained the four levels of Intelligence, that when combined, make a good leader: 1- PI Physical Intelligence, taking care of your body to support the leader, and I guess the other three intelligences; 2- IQ- Intelligence Quotient, it seems a leaders does require some sort of brain; 3- EI- Emotional Intelligence, those interpersonal and communication skills  which, upon delving further, leads to;  4- SI- Spiritual Intelligence, which keeps your ego in check thus you can perform at that higher level.

What is Spiritual Intelligence (SI)? According to Cindy Wigglesworth, President of Deep Change, Inc., and one who has been researching SI for a while, “SI is the ability to behave with Wisdom and Compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace (equanimity) regardless of the circumstances.” 

In addition she explains her definition, “Wisdom and Compassion together compose the manifestation of love. Behave is important because it focusses on how well we maintain our center and stay calm and treat each other with wisdom and compassion—regardless of the situation.”  That last phrase is the coup de grace. When the world is crashing down around you and stress is the center of your being, maintain your compassion and wisdom and above all, behave yourself.

Someone who exemplifies wisdom and compassion, who keeps it together, no matter how stressed? My list started to come together as it was one of the first lessons taught to me by my parents, and it was a simple phrase: ‘When you are angry, count to 10 before you speak.’  A variation of this lesson appeared in the baby book when raising children, my mantra was: ‘give yourself a time out.’  I would think a leader, or a supervisor at work, would understand these concepts.  Alas, I am wrong as corporations are spending big dollars to hire consultants to teach employees how to: “insert a mental pause into your reactions and take a slow belly breath (or several). Then consider what would my higher self do now?”   (Wigglesworth)  In other words, give yourself a time out, excuse yourself and go to the ladies room or get some coffee. Think before you speak, and that will bring you in touch with that higher self—your spiritual intelligence.

A dear friend recently told me how she was called into the boss’s office for her yearly review.  She was expecting a few kudos and lauds, balanced with some needs for improvement.  But before she knew it, she was being ‘reamed a new one.’  She did attempt to explain and defend her actions and situation which the boss refused to listen. Instead, the boss became louder and angrier. The result: this business now had one unhappy employee who left the boss’s office and immediately began searching for new employment.  The story does not end there. In an after-hours gathering with co-workers at the local watering hole, my friend discovered she was not alone.  This boss had displayed this similar performance to many others at the table. The result: a LOT of unhappiness is at this place of business.

Happiness is an American right. Our forefathers placed the pursuit of happiness into our Declaration of Independence.  More recently, studies showed that there is a BIG correlation between happiness andjob satisfaction. The International Journal of Academic Research in Business described the correlation of happiness as a flow concept. The flow that comprises a wonderful sense of happiness depends on what state the person is experiencing, what he wishes and what he thinks occur in tandem, and all of these flows come together simultaneously. Guess where a person experiences this flow off happiness the most? At work!  One of the main causes of happiness is job satisfaction!

Let us do some math:  If A + B = C, then Job Happiness (A) + Good Leadership (B) = Great Productivity (C).  Great productivity brings bigger dividends to the business in longer team relationships (no time and money lost finding new employees) and longer term earning potential (financial success) at all levels from shareholders to stakeholders.  

How can you determine someone’s SI when hiring a new employee? Ask the applicant to share a difficult story about a difficult person. Ask what they did to handle the situation and why they handled it that way.  Then turn the tables. Ask them what they think was going on from the other individual’s point of view?  If they cannot see the change in paradigm, they cannot function with SI.

But back to the original question: Who are my spiritual heroes?  I was able to add to the list a bunch of females. Abigail Adams, self-educated, entrepreneur, compassionate, concerned for women, loving, courageous, and many more traits.  Fanny Crosby, who although born blind, wrote over 8000 hymns in her lifetime. Sybil Luddington, a self-taught 15 year old, who did an overnight ride in the pouring rain across thick woods in the country side of New York to warn the British were coming, poem worthy it is. My parents who taught me to count to 10. Any mother and/or wife who balances a home, work, children, maybe a husband and a boss.

Who do you admire?

 

 

TEST DRIVE YOUR EMPLOYEE, HIRE AN INTERN

Summer is almost upon us.  I can tell because my third college student has spent her spring break completing website applications for a summer internship. Once forms were completed, she then went to the outlets to purchase a suit—just in case these one of these applications blossomed into an interview.  Her argument, “I need to be prepared.”

Internships, those valuable and sometimes hard to get positions in a company in your junior year of college, have been known to lead the way to full time employment. In fact, in the studies I have read, almost 70% of internships lead tofull time employment with 85% accepting the full time employment on the spot.  Another factoid, over 35% of a company workforce comes from an internship.

The Internship is also a conduit to make money—for the business with low-cost labor and for the college as the student pays the school for the honor to work over a summer to earn credits.  The college, in reality, does not have much outlay—except for an internship supervisor who may make one visit to the place of business to make sure the student is working.   It is also the easy and in-expensive way for a company to get the job done as some Internship positions work for free, or, if it is a benevolent company, at least minimum wage. 

When I first heard of “The Internship”  in the mid-1970s,  it was a new concept, as my Advisor said to me, “If you can find a company in your field of study and work for them over the summer, you can earn college credits--  12 credits for a full time position, 3 for a part-time position.”  There was no list of possible companies to approach.  It was up to me to find the job and establish the relationship and experience.

With the help of my mother, I did find an internship, almost immediately in the Public Relations Department of our local hospital where she was a Head Nurse of a Department. I met with the Director of Public Relations and together we outlined what would be expected. I came to that first meeting with notebook and pen in hand. Together, the Director and I wrote the job description, the expectations, and the outcomes.  I went home and wrote the proposal for my Professor, and a copy for the PR Director. 

In the Internship my responsibilities were to interview, write, edit and prepare the weekly in-house newsletter, write articles for the Quarterly magazine that would be due halfway through the summer, work with the graphic artist for the Magazine, and write media releases as needed.  The benefit was that I had my own 35mm camera and loved to photograph and develop my own photography.  I would be paid for the Internship, and accessible at all hours, with no comp time or extra compensation for any extra hours.  So when I stayed up overnight to interview and Photograph the Emergency Room Doctors and Nurses for the overnight Trauma Drill, or when I spoke at the local Lions Club on behalf of the hospital, I did not receive any extra pay or day off. I also still had to report on time the next day.   Instead, I did get dates with the ER Doctor and a reporter, and the Lions Club coincided with my 21st birthday, and the members helped me celebrate. Priceless.

Bottom line, as the Intern, I did not care. I was working in the Biz.  And it was quite the experience!  I had my own desk, phone, IBM selectric (yes, SELECTRIC) top of the line, and access to media.   As for the responsibility for my grades and 12 credits I would be earning, I kept a journal –aka diary—of my day-to-day experience. Oh, and my internship supervisor would visit with me and my supervisor, separately and together at least twice in the 13 Plus weeks I would be on-the-job.

As proof of my work, I developed my portfolio, on my own, keeping a box of my samples under the desk: Copies of the weekly newsletter that I wrote, took to the print office in the basement of the hospital, waited for it to be printed, then hand carried packets to each department and floor;  the magazine with my two articles including the interview for the introduction of Arthroscopic Surgery –an advancement in that day; and an article on the evils of smoking.  As for the journal/diary, I spent the night before the Professors’ visit, busily re-creating and remembering two months of work, changing pens and writing style to hide the fact that I did not complete that part of the agreement.

I did have great experiences.  I took part in a Quit Smoking class, I although I ever smoked, and vowed I never would after the display of  the black, falling apart lung of a 2-pack-a-day smoker, followed by the speech from a man with a breathing tube in his throat.  I was invited into the delivery room to see the birth of a baby.  After that experience,  I vowed that would never happen to me.  I broke that vow 3 times, but in my defense, I never watched my children being born, opting for curtain screens so I could not see what was ‘going on down there.’ To this day, this hospital takes Interns from my college.  I feel that I paved the way for the future.

Internships have become common place, in fact expected. Colleges have established internshipdepartments. These departments provide lists of companies that have sponsored previous students as well as arming the applicants with resume and cover letter, helping craft these tools to their maximum efficiency.  A student is also invited to pave the way if a business, not on the college list, welcomes an Intern—thus I assume—expanding the current college offerings.

A business that opens its arms to interns reap a variety of benefits.  College campuses are viral societies.  Impress one college intern and word of mouth will spread. Soon, you will be the most sought-after internship by the brightest of students.  An intern will increase productivity with an extra set of hands, if even for the short term. Plus an intern brings a different perspective to business, especially in the realm of social media, apps, and websites.  An internship is a great way to test the EI (Emotional Intelligence, see last months article) of the potential employee and make sure they fit into the culture of your business.

Let’s face it, there is one drawback.   College teaches the philosophy and the theory of business.  The real world does not work that way, and it is up to the business with an Intern to “show the ropes” and this is more than, “just go get us coffee missy.”  I have supervised many an intern, but it takes time on the part of the business to make sure the Intern is working properly.  In my field, when an intern writes a press release, there seems to be difficulty with spelling and sentence structure (single subject single verb comes to mind). In graphic arts,  although the Intern displays a beautiful and colorful portfolio of designs, that may be great, but, can it be printed?  Is there enough room for press grippers for bleeds, photography have the best resolution? And most of all, with the great design of die-cuts, varnish, inks, can it be printed economically?

I am envious of the opportunities for today’s students—whether they go to a Career and Technology School, College or both, the synergy between educational institutions and business is very important for to develop the workforce of tomorrow.  The combination of education, and hands on, real life experience in business as an Intern, leads to a life-long and rewarding career. 

Now excuse me, while I go find my intern to  fetch a Latte.

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Remember What Your Mother Told You.

I went to visit a client one day and while on the elevator, happened to overhear two employees discuss a seminar they had attended sponsored by the company’s Human Resources Department.  They were talking about Emotional Intelligence, or EI, the new buzzword in the Human Resources world of business. 

Being the curious individual I am, I googled the concept and spent a few hours reading to understand emotional intelligence. Here is the definition from Psychology Today: Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills:

1.Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;                                                                                                                                   

2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving;                                                                                                                                                

 3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person

Hmmmm, EI is managing my emotions and the emotions of others. As a parent, I have found managing the emotions of others, especially those a lot younger such as my own children, most difficult.  The most I can do is actually manage my own and at least assist and acknowledge that everyone comes with baggage.  To cope with this, when I begin my seminars or even a difficult meeting, I have but one request:  Place your garbage outside the door. If you had a rough start to the day, a disagreement with your spouse, or came to work and the coffee pot was empty, put it in a garbage bag and leave it outside the door before we begin. 

As I delved further into the EI concept, it seemed to boil down to one item; communication.  When did we lose the ability to talk with each other? Notice it is the word with, not to each other. For instance, when you as a leader utilize EI in the hiring process, you need to create an environment that is relaxing for the participant.  You ask questions that are hypothetical situations; you ask about goals and role models. From the answers you can discern if and how an applicant will manage their own emotions. If they show they can handles themselves … they may just be a good fit for your organization.   

Ok, I can agree that you need to know the real person, not the lies, uh, exaggerated truth, uhm, excuse me, the academic achievements seen on a resume. It was the next information that caught me off guard. To me it is quite basic as I didn’t think we needed help with how to communicate with each other. Here are the rules of Communication in EI:  

  Rule #1- Be present. In the new world order, it is labeled “passivity.”  Put your cell phone away, keep eye contact and no fidgeting in your seat. Listen to what the person is saying and not what you want to say next. WOW! You are in an interview or meeting with your boss, you shouldn’t need to be told to put your cell phone away, and sit up and listen?  As a mother, my children call that my mantra. In fact, outside of putting the cell phone away, my mother said the same thing, reminding me how to behave. I must admit, she did not say cell phone (in those days, the phone was attached to the wall). If we were at dinner, it was allowed to ring … “they will call back if it is important.” In the business world, a simple, “please hold all calls” should suffice.

  Rule#2: Discounting.  Do not use a putdown or be disrespectful of the participants in a conversation. Respect! As I was reminded many a time, you respect your elders, you respect your teacher. We should respect each other. If you need a lesson in respect, it is easy:  measure your words, or as my mother used to say, “Think before you speak.”   My trick, I count thumbs. You may see me rubbing the area between my thumb and forefinger. I take a breath.  I acknowledge what is said.

 Rule#3: Redefine! This is defined as not answering a question.  People react to the tone in your voice—how the question is asked, not what is asked. Keep your voice on an even keel. Reword the question. Sometimes the tone is also reflected in email!  Read your email aloud before it is sent. What is the tone?  You can reword that as well.  Once a client kept answering all my emails in all CAPS. I finally emailed him and asked “Why are your upset with me?”  He wasn’t. He just liked the fact that in all caps, all he could use less keys and the punctuation was easier.

 Rule #4: Over-Detailing.  I was once on a Board of Directors. In each meeting a particular committee chair gave more details than was absolutely necessary. In fact, our board meeting became the committee meeting.  In over-detailing, you provide more details than I need to know. If you need to vent, take a breath, the proper time will come later at, for example, happy hour … you will buy, of course.

There is one more rule, which makes it 5—but it is called the “Four Sentence Rule, and I have probably lost you by now.  Did you know that a person can really only maintain maximum attention for only four sentences?  Beyond four sentences --you’ve lost them.  That is why reporters look for soundbites. Copywriters write in short paragraphs and bullet points. If you want to be heard, keep your statements concise.

I myself blame Sesame Street.  We have raised a generation or two of children that have learned by watching television.  Think about it. The child learned to count with Big Bird by counting eggs, quickly followed by Cookie Monster counting cookies (Although I understand he is eating healthier these days) and finally the numbers flash across the screen. Three different scenarios that run by quite fast.  ‘Lo’ to the poor teacher who, when a child sits in front of them in the classroom, must now make learning just as exciting.

This rule also is applicable to Social Media. Short videos or short text with a photo, ranks your posts better as they get read. The longest video should be 60-90 seconds.  After the Super Bowl, I did go to see Part 2 of a certain lumber company’s advertisement that clocked in at over 3.5 minutes.  I muddled through to the end of it, but was fighting the urge to click mute.

I do have one other suggestion for EI: Honesty … the best policy.

SOCIAL MEDIA POWERFUL BUT AT WHAT COST

The Social Media Seminar I led brought forth many questions and insights as to how to use this ever-evolving marketing tool.  I will start out by reminding that social media is one of the many marketing tools in a company’s toolbox.  I was taken aback, when one woman raised her hand and said, “I really am happy for facebook and the many friends I have. Without them, I would never have been able to get through my divorce. They kept me going.”

Outwardly I smiled and nodded.  Inside I was shouting, “CALL A FRIEND, GO HAVE A GLASS OF WINE, TALK TO A FRIEND IN PERSON!”

Studies have been made that show the psychology of social media posts:  If you post that you are sad, it makes the reader of the post feel good—you are having the problem, not them.  And, of course, the reverse is true.  If your friend is showing photos of a beach in Aruba and their fabulous vacation, and you are seated in your cubicle,  you not only become jealous, you also become sad and envious. They even note a rise in Blood Pressure!

Recently, my daughter, who is a social media marketer, decided to take a month off from her personal social media.  I need to put in a commercial for TheRealSlimKaty, it is her brand, and one that you can find on facebook, twitter, Instagram, Youtube, blog and website. At the end of the month of her hiatus, she noted that she did not miss the personal angst from social media and really understands what I was trying to tell her all along: Nothing beats real life and sharing exciting news with loved ones in person.

I always thought that my revelation was actually just a relic from being old school, or just plain old.  I rejoice at a night out with husband, friends, and family. I am always inviting everyone to dinner at our house.  So when this daughter admitted that mom was right (which I had her repeat after I awoke from my dead faint) she shared three very good conclusions from her time off the web.   I will now share these conclusions almost word for word from her blog.  Note the term almost, as she does tend to lean toward the use of language of the millennials and I refuse to use some of these words in public, again, probably a relic from my past.

Here are her conclusions and my comments:

1.        “If I find myself mindlessy scrolling, I will stop.”   I like that!  Think about it, if you are reading what everyone else is doing, you are not focusing on things YOU can be doing.  It might sound selfish, but instead of looking what everyone else is doing, use this time to keep yourself on track for your goals—be they personal or in business.  Isn’t better to keep on track with what is important to you--your own goals, than focusing on the inane things other people are doing, or ranting about, or watching cats play?

2.       “I will not think of achievements and accomplishments just as social media posts.” Ok, yes, I am in PR and tooting you own horn in the professional world is not fully a bad thing.  Social media is a tool—one tool.  Think what a well written media release can do for a career—your career. Sure post it on the social media, and when it appears in the traditional media—share that too.  Do not forget, there is something to be said to celebrate accomplishments with dear friends and family, bursting at the seams, and toasting the occasion with the glass of bubbly.  If they are part of the festivities, then they will be less likely to be jealous or saddened by your accomplishment, another benefit.

3.        “I am not obligated to put everything out there, nor will I.”  Social media is not fully anonymous.  I may not know you, but you may know a friend of a friend, and these posts are seen.  In the past week, I have read about the death of one man, the suicide of another and the mother’s attempt to reconcile and grieve, and, many views on football, the economy, and even one confession of an abortion that occurred almost 20 years ago. Many teachers in today’s classrooms are trying to show how far posts can go demonstrating this fact to students. They ask friends to share a specific post, then keep tables on the results.  I liken it to blowing the seeds of a dandelion into the wind, once the seeds are free and spreading, try and get those seeds back.

While the social media posts are going and growing, it is important to remember that LIFE is what is important.  No one really cares the number of followers you have, the hashtags being used or how witty you can be.  It is the real moments of life.

Let me show you an example.  My daughter, the social media guru, is a dancer.  I love to see her perform.  Let me repeat that, LOVE TO SEE HER PERFORM. In fact, when she gets on Broadway, we are ALL going—my treat.  Her college senior recital was going to be awesome, she selected the music, choreographed, and performed the dance. A perfect trifecta that I could not wait to see.   As we waited in the pact theatre, we shared our own college experiences and  the history of dance of each child as well. We shared  dance anecdotes, how our dancers of grown and matured from the first time on stage to now pursuing adream and of course, what lies ahead. We all shared the excitement.

Soon, the lights slowly went down, indicating the time had arrived!  The curtain rose. In front of me, something else arose--the light from hundreds of little screens—held in front of the faces of these parents who a few minutes ago were waiting to see their dancer.  Instead of experiencing the dance—they peered through the backs of their I-Phones, I-Pads, recording the dance on a 2” or 6” screen. They missed the elegance and beauty of the stage and of the dance being performed before them.  They missed LIFE.

I would love to encourage all to take a social media hiatus if even for a week or two.  You might find it quite rewarding with more energy, and you might make some more friends—in person and share a beer or glass of wine.  You have to convince me that scrolling is much better than a fine merlot.

 

 

 

 

THE INTERN, THE INTERNSHIP. AND THE BUSINESS WORLD

(Editors Note: The following paragraphs are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events or persons is purely coincidental.)

The Intern brought in the cardboard box laden with specialty coffees and began to distribute to the group of men and women around the conference table. As the Intern recited the valuable beverage descriptions, “Caramel Latte half caff, half sugar”  “Vanilla Cappuccino no fat milk, sugar free” an order interrupted the distribution.  “You may put down the coffees, we have a job for you.  You are going to go into Editing Booth C and cull through the past 20 years of raw footage and interviews with Donald Trump. See what you can find, especially on his views of women and minorities.”

Quickly the cardboard box of coffees were left on the table and the Intern, used to taking mail, answering phones, and getting coffee, smile, as the time arrived toactually work IN THE BIZ. The Intern all but skipped down the hall and took the chair in front of the console, caressing the knobs and began the hunt.

Fast forward a Few Months:  A few hours into the day, as the Intern was deciding coffee or a Caffeine Jolt, a hot mic revealed two voices over video of a bus, what was said was heard loud and clear.  Ecstatic and rejoicing and wanting to be sure, the intern replayed the find. Smiled, and paused the screen.  A quick run down the hall, into the producers office, the Intern beckoned, “You gotta come see this.”  The trail of executives followed the Intern into the small editing bay.  With a flare, the Intern pushed the button and the video replayed.  The Executives smiled, high fived each other, and said, “Thank you, we will take it from here.  Please go and get us coffee.”

Internships, those valuable and sometimes hard to get positions in a company in your junior year of college, have been known to lead the way to full-time employment. It is also a conduit to make money, at least for the college, as the student pays the school for the honor to work in order to earn credits.  The college, in reality, does not have much outlay—except for an internship supervisor who may make one visit to the place of business to make sure the student is working.   It is also the easy and in-expensive way for a company to get the job done as some Internship positions work for free, or, if it is a benevolent company, at least minimum wage. 

When I first heard of “The Internship”  in the mid-1970s,  it was a new concept, as my Advisor said to me, “If you can find a company in your field of study and work for them over the summer, you can earn college credits--  12 credits for a full time position, 3 for a part-time position.”  There was no list of possible companies to approach.  It was up to me to find the job and establish the relationship and experience.

With the help of my mother, I did find an internship, almost immediately in the Public Relations Department of our local hospital where she was a Head Nurse. I met with the Director of Public Relations and together we outlined what would be expected. I came to that first meeting armed with notebook and pen in hand. Together, the Director and I wrote the job description, the expectations, and the outcomes.  I went home and wrote the proposal for my Professor, and sent a copy to the PR Director for his files. 

During the Internship, my responsibilities were to interview, write, edit and prepare the weekly in-house newsletter, write articles for the Quarterly magazine that would be due halfway through my summer experience, work with the graphic artist for the Magazine, and write media releases as needed.  The benefit was that I had my own 35mm camera and loved to photograph and develop my own photography.  I would be paid for the Internship, and accessible at all hours, with no comp time or extra compensation for any extra hours.  So when I stayed up overnight to interview and Photograph the Emergency Room Doctors and Nurses for the Trauma Response Drill, or when I spoke at the local Lions Club on behalf of the hospital, I did not receive any extra pay or day off. I also still had to report on time the next day.   On the plus side,  I did get dates with the ER Doctor and a reporter, and the Lions Club coincided with my 21st birthday, and the members helped me celebrate. Priceless.

Bottom line, as the Intern, I did not care. I was working in the Biz.  And it was quite the experience!  I had my own desk, phone, IBM selectric (yes, SELECTRIC) top of the line, and access to media. I made contacts!  I shared the office with one other person who responsible for Development—the asking for money.  So when the Board met, or we planned a fundraiser, I did get to assist and I did get to meet the movers and shakers –the money men—yes men—in our community. The bonus--networking and contacts for the future.

As for the responsibility for my grades and the 12 credits I would be earning, I kept a journal –aka diary—of my day-to-day experience. Oh, and my internship supervisor would visit with me and my supervisor, separately and together at least twice in the 13 Plus weeks I would be there. On my own, I determined to develop my portfolio, placing samples of my endeavors in a box under my desk when they were hot off the press: Copies of the weekly newsletter that I wrote, laid out and took to the print office in the basement of the hospital, waited for it to be printed, then divided and hand carried packets to each department and floor;  the magazine with my two articles including the interview for the introduction of Arthroscopic Surgery –an advancement in that day; and an article on the evils of smoking.  As for the journal/diary, I spent the night before the Professors’ visit, busily re-creating and remembering two months of work, changing pens and writing style to hide the fact that I did not complete that part of the agreement.

I did have great experiences.  I took part in a Quit Smoking class, although I never smoked, and vowed I never would after the display of  the black, falling apart lung of a 2-pack-a-day smoker, followed by the speech from a man with a breathing tube in his throat.  I was invited into the delivery room to see the birth of a baby.  After that experience,  I vowed that would never happen to me.  I broke that vow 3 times, but in my defense, I did never watch --opting for curtain screens so I could not see what was ‘going on down there.’ To this day, this hospital takes Interns from my college.  I feel that in some way,  I paved the way for the future generations of interns.

Internships have become common place, in fact expected.  My sophomore-in-college daughter recently, started planning for her internship in Junior year. Her college has a department solely for Internships.   Not only does she have the list of available companies to contact, the college has armed her with resume and cover letter, helping her craft these tools to their maximum efficiency.  She is invited to pave the way if she discovers a business not on the list in her field that will welcome an Intern—thus I assume—expanding the current college list.

Business has opened its arms to Interns as well. (Open arms notwithstanding when a sitting president opened something else with an Intern. Note, I could not start with one candidate and not mention another.  I am equal opportunity). Internships do introduce a student to the real world, hands-on experience.  But please be aware, it is a time and financial concern for the business who expends time and finances to train the Intern. That can be a big commitment for a business.

Let’s face it, college teaches the philosophy and the theory of business.  The real world does not work that way, and it is up to the business with an Intern to “show the ropes” and this is more than, “just go get us coffee missy.”  I have supervised many an intern, but it takes time on the part of the business to make sure the Intern is working properly.  In a press release, it is spelling, and single subject single verb.  In graphic arts,  although the Intern displays a beautiful and colorful portfolio of designs, that may be great, but, can it be printed?  Is there enough room for press grippers for bleeds, photography have the best resolution? And most of all, with the great design of die-cuts, varnish, inks, can it be printed economically?

I am envious of the opportunities for today’s students—whether they go to Career and Technology Schools, College or both, the synergy between educational institutions and business is very important to develop the workforce of tomorrow.  The combination of education, and hands on, real life experience in business as an Intern, leads to a life-long and rewarding career. 

Now excuse me, while I go find an Intern to fetch me a coffee. 

 

 

Hold on to Your Hat: Adolescence Ends at 27

At one of my birthday lunches, part of the year-long celebration marking my 60th year of life, my friend and I watched as a couple with a young 3-or-4 year old, allowed the child to run around in the aisles and tables as the hard working wait staff balancing trays of hot food, dodged the on-slaught. The parents were oblivious to the child--or just ignoring him--until the manager came to the table and requested that the child be asked to sit still; expressing concern as to his safety as the servers laden with heavy trays might harm him. The couple were not happy with the request and after the manager left their table, loudly complained. Yet they did not make the child sit.  Instead, Dad grabbed the child and with one arm tightly around his waste, tried to eat his own meal, all the while, the child wriggling to escape--no movement to make the child sit or eat his own meal.  The child took some food from Dad's plate and ate with his fingers.  Both parents smiling as obviously son was eating. Standing, not sitting. Using fingers, not a spoon or fork. The small family did leave quite quickly when dad and son had most of the food done. After a few bites, the family left. Later, observing the surprised look on the waitress's face when she returned to an empty table, I do hink the family left without paying for the meal.  But not my monkey nor my circus.

My friend, an Adjunct Professor in Nursing, commented that she was surprised how today's young parents are bad at setting and monitoring boundaries.  I myself remember the struggle to keep children occupied at a restaurant, carrying mass quantities of crayons, coloring books, activity books and papers, items that held the interest for at least 2 minutes.  Today's savvy parent pulls out an I-Pad  or  cell phone, filled with a multitude of apps for the child to  play with, unless, God forbid, the battery dies.

Once when we had both 5 year old and 1 year old at dinner at a fine restaurant, (please note: we went to dinner at 5 PM, not a romantic 8 PM, very cognizant that fine dining and young children don't mix) an elderly couple  at the opposite table watched our table and the table next to us.  My kids were semi-behaving (ok I admit they are not perfect) however they were perfect when you watched the other table with 2 screaming kids, running around the table not sitting.  These two children  even went over to the table where the elderly couple sat, and reached toward their plates! The man finally rose and escorted these children back to their own table.   Although apologetic to the elderly man,  the family quickly left with children's food more on the floor than what they had eaten.  A few minutes later, the elderly couple rose to leave, and stopped at our table and said to my husband and I, "Thank you for controlling your children."  Of course my husband and I are late in life parents. I started at 32, hubby 42.  So my children were raised "Old School."  Just ask them who Lawrence Welk is...  they will tell you.

Back to my lunch. My friend then said something that made me stop short.  "Do you know that studies say Adolescence ends at 27!" Yes. You read correctly,  27!  The study, held in the U.K., noted children are staying at home longer. She also said, the study recognized parents did not establish boundaries and  let the child control the roost. 

 As one who had a child home at one time till the age of 26, I was surprised.  While she was home at age 26, she also had spent 2.5 years in China working on her own before that.  Knowing what today's college graduates are facing in finding employment,  I see the 20 something living at home as more of an economic arrangement--live free or not eat.

Yet the age of 27 really does not surprise me.  With three children comprised of two college graduates and one on the way to a sheepskin, I have seen the helicopter parent in full throttle.  These parents hover over the child, trying to control every situation. I understand wanting to spare the child some of the mistakes and harsh lessons, but not letting them to at least try is sad. It fails the child.   In my day, my parents packed the car with my stuff, drove me to college, unloaded the car, gave me a kiss, and said, "have a good life,"  leaving me surrounded by suitcases, boxes, and trunks ready to unpack. 

Today's children have an entirely different experience.  Colleges  hold orientation over a few days, with separate activities for parents and child,  I suppose to make the cutting of that invisible cord, easier.  At one such occasion for the eldest daughter, as I sat in the financial seminar to learn how to pay for the expensive four--and in most cases they told me-- five year college plan, the mother next to me asked what was on the student agenda while we were attending this seminar.  I looked at the schedule and told her our students were selecting their courses for the first semester.  "Not without me, he does not know what he wants to take yet." She abruptly left. 

As I watched her disappear out the door, the counselor announced the FAFSA requirements information and loan programs. And, Oh yes, this is important, even though you pay for your child's college, make sure you get permission from them on the website to access their grades. Otherwise, the school will not be allowed to show these grades that I was paying thousands of dollars to have my child earn. I determined it was time for me to leave the room.   I went outside and discovered an ice cream social was set up under the trees.  Nice, refreshing ice cream, that I soon was told was for the incoming freshmen only, she could not serve a parent. Making an attempt at a joke about tuition costs, I hope my daughter realized when she had her ice cream, it was the most expensive cone she will ever enjoy.  So, I found a bench, and read a book till my Freshman returned.  When she did appear, she was laughing about this mother who appeared at the Advisory meeting, wanting to select  courses.  I am pretty sure I knew who it was.  

A few months, later, the same Freshman was having roommate problems. I am always leary of 2 girls living together, this was 4.  Unforetunately, the other two were high school buddies and left the other two girls to themselves. As I listened to the problems, my mantra was, "You need to work this out, or talk to the RA. The RA may have suggestions."  It was not until I received a call from my daughter in tears, telling me that roommates mother appeared at the door and pretty much reamed her out. It was time for this parent to take action. I decided to call the Dean of Student Affairs, who said, when she answered my call,  she was wondering when she would hear from me. She was aware of the situation, having met with the RA to try and mediate, and she met with the girls separately.  Plus she had many a phone call from the other parent.  I explained I did not hover over my daughter and was hoping my daughter and her roommate would work it out, but with the mother driving a few hours to meet my daughter and screaming at her, it was time to intervene.  The Dean was shocked at learning the news, and said arrangements would be made to separate the girls immediately.  She then THANKED me for my attempt to let my daughter solve her own problem. To this Dean, it was a refreshing occurence. 

I also believe that it is up to the child to learn how to step up and be heard.  I have one daughter in sports. Another in dance.  Many times when I saw other parents get in the face of the Coach or the Director, demanding more for their child be it time on the playing field or more prominent part on the stage, I would remind them, it is not my place to tell these people their job. However, if my child wanted to make a desire known, they need to talk to the one in charge. Take Charge of Your Own Life. 

Recently, my third child had the sports drama of a parent getting in the coach's face. The result of which was a team meeting and no practice before a critical game.  I shook my head. This is college not high school.  I asked my daughter how she felt about it. Her answer was marvelous, "Mom, I am not going to worry about the parents, I am going to play my game, and work with my team."  

I have always asked my girls to have Plan B--even C-D-E-F-G ready as needed. That is what being an adult is--handling challenges that come your way.  They have the right to learn how to do that.   Even more, It is the parent's responsibility to let them. Parents are not friends. They are disciplinarians, teachers and most important, role models.   A parent sets limits l--sets the boundaries and expectations.   Let the child explore, but assist if they are going to get hurt.  You help them spread their wings, but if they do get too close to the sun, then help.  Don't be a helicopter. Don't hover. If the government considers them adult at 18, it is time the parent should as well.   I would hate to see a world of  27 year olds living in the basement of the childhood home as parents, now ready to enjoy each other again,  discover they still have an adolescent on their hands.  

Oh yes, after that first orientation, when we delivered the other two at college, they were left in the dorm with a roomful of trunks, suitcases and boxes to unpack. With a kiss. of course. 

A CHANGE IN THE RULES

The memo came in early on a Monday morning from the HR department. HR- The Human Resources Department. A long time ago . . . it was known as Personnel Department. Personnel—the employees—the people who work for a company - are now a resource—albeit human resource –for the company.

The memo addressed the use –actually the lack of use—of cell phones or other personal devices while the employee is working. It was a memo my husband printed out to show me.  He was laughing, not only because he uses a flip phone, which means texting and most other forms of communication via a cell phone are useless to his device, but also because he never carries his phone anyway. If I need him at all, I may as well wait till he returns home. He figures if you need to talk to him, you will keep trying.  He admitted that he has watched his much younger co-workers all heads into phones all day long. At least while the supervisor is not watching.  Who, by the way, is just as guilty as the underlings.  This was one rule that any business will discover, will be difficult  to enforce.

Why? Because the millennials are a digitally driven generation.  Look at any high school student who is studying, text book online, essay composed on laptop or desktop and emailed or uploaded to teacher, earbuds listening to music, TV on and cell phone beeping that a text has arrived.  This new generation of workers, er excuse me, resources, expect access to the cell phone and computers at all times, with social media at the ready.  .  I know this because, I too,  suffer from the addiction (when I had my blackberry, my family called it my crack-berry) but also by experience and observation. 

My experience starts within the confines of my own family.  My children have a group of friends and with parents,  we frequent having dinners out together. As the crowd is generally quite large, the restaurant, in order to accommodate us, opts to break us into two groups of tables—parents and children.  While the parents are laughing and talking, across from us is a quiet table of youth.  Each one is texting and staring at small screens.  Not a peep.  Quite a change when they were young and we carried large bags of crayons and books, providing diversions to keep them quiet.  Now, we long to hear their voices. Instead, they communicate to each other . . . as well as too many outsiders . . . via the phone.

The second was not a personal observation, but a story related to me.  One of my single friends resorted to online dating services in order to meet men. She actually has an app on her cell phone specifically for this task. This one potential mate met her at a local restaurant. (When we learned of her potential date at one of our parent-child dinners, we ordered her to make sure the first meeting was in a public place. We also offered an escape emergency call half hour into the date—just in case). The two met at the appointed location, exchanged greetings and sat down to have a meal.  The food ordered, my female friend, who was interested in the gentleman, asked a variety of questions in order to determine the possibility of an extended—if not permanent relationship.  She was interested in her date, yet he seemed engrossed in his cell phone. With every question she asked trying to elicit a response,  came the ping on her cell phone, indication that someone was texting her. While she tried to ignore the ping, and remain interested in her date, she finally apologized and looked at her phone.  As it turned out, the incoming texts were from her date, answering her questions –via his cell phone text. She thought it was a joke and said he could talk to her.   In his defense, maybe he was just shy.  However, the meal ended as did their burgeoning relationship.

Then there are the myriad of snippets of cell phone events.  On a trip to NYC and Broadway, the theatre made the obligatory announcement requesting that everyone turn off their cell phones. All of a sudden, it was like every cell phone went off in the theatre.  It was great! I do not know how they did it, maybe it was just surround sound, even though I know I had turned off my phone, I had to check!  Another friend, who also could lose her job if a cell phone is discovered on her person during work, made the mistake of mentioning a very current event to her boss, who questioned how she knew about it , when he just received word himself.   She admitted, she had looked at her phone. Luckily the two laughed about it.

Of course, many times at meetings and conferences, as the speaker is about to provide that morsel of information that will change my world or my workplace, some knuckle head who did not turn off the cell phone, breaks into the speech. Since this phone is normally placed in an out of sight out of mind space such as the far reaches of a brief case per se, the sound of “You Sexy Thing” fills the room.  The music draws me away from the speech and I start to wonder who the call might just be from—as I know it must be a personalized song identifier.  I know when the call is from my husband when “What Kind of Fool am I,”  is heard.

Taking away a cell phone  or any hand held device, will require it to be pried from this cold hard dead  hand, especially from this next generation of workers. I am sure they will be pocketed and placed on silence, only to be taken out at a break or lunch and greedily answered.

To the business world, I offer this rule to be added to the memo: when it comes time for the break, lunch, dinner, or after work hour at the local pub, all cell phones must be placed in the center of the table. He who grabs his own cell phone first, pays.

 

 

THE PREGNANCY PROBLEM

OK, yes this is a blog about and for Seniors. . . and most of us are beyond the bearing years or have paid the price of parenthood. It appears the state of impending motherhood though has not changed in the 60 years I have been on this earth.  The recent headlines have shown that pregnancy is still a problem raging between employers and employees.

The first headline: The Chipotle Worker was fired soon after she told her boss she was pregnant. It seems that she had to make more frequent bathroom breaks and also had to modify her work schedule to accommodate her doctor visits—factors that did not suit the manager.  She sued and she won.

The second headline: A woman in the Defense Intelligence Agency was given a promotion that required a 14 week course that would be completed by the end of her pregnancy.  She offered to split the classesand complete when she returned from maternity leave.  When she returned and went to class, she discovered that she was not enrolled. In the report,  it was noted that they did not think she could walk up steps --among other things.  The results are still pending.   

So it made me think back on my pregnancy days. 

On pregnancy Number 1, I was excited.  I did not hide the fact that I was having a baby. As a self-employed marketing firm, I made plans to have coverage for when I was in the hospital, but thanks to computers, work would still continue.  I did not think anything would change. I would have a baby. I would make sure he/she was taken care of.  I would have my business and I would make sure my clients received attention.

Then came the day, closer to the time of delivery, that my biggest client (a male) invited me to lunch at the country club. “How nice,” I thought. “A special lunch, before I go off for a little.”  So imagine my surprise when during dessert, my biggest and favorite client, told me he would be pulling his account because, “You will neglect your baby, you will neglect your clients, you will neglect your own health.”

No, I did not pour my beverage down his lap. I was actually in shock.  I took it.  And walked away from the lunch and the client.  “After all,”  told myself, “business ebbs and flows.” I had my baby, a girl, after 28 hours of induced labor, that culminated in a c-section.   When I arrived home, the doctor said I could do steps once a day. Since this was before the invention of the laptop, my husband placed my desktop computer on the kitchen table and business continued uninterrupted.

Pregnancy #2, I decided I would not let any client know I was pregnant.  That meant bigger and looser clothes, wearing a jacket or heavy coat, and keeping an oversized briefcase in front of my stomach. I did that religiously.  I did not follow this rule though, when I went on a sales call. One day, I made a sales call that I had planned for many weeks, to accommodate the potential client-- a woman-owned business that catered to women. When I entered her business establishment, she took one look and said, “You’re pregnant. I do not want to talk to you.”  I turned and left.  Crestfallen.  How could one BUSINESS WOMAN do that to another BUSINESS WOMAN?  Pregnancy #2, was another girl. I hired someone this time to cover the clients giving me time to recoup. We held daily morning meetings to review needs and clients.  All –baby, sister,  and clients—were cared for.

Pregnancy #3, This time, I was going to hide my condition from everyone.  The oversized wardrobeand attache case returned.  Meetings were teleconferenced, or items, as this was the new technology—were emailed to clients for approvals.  No one, no client was the wiser. It was quite a surprise to a media rep who called for the details on a buy that I was doing, was told by the nurse who could reach the phone on the other side of the room, told him, “Mrs. Kauffman will return your call when she completed breastfeeding her baby.”  Luckily the sales rep was a new father himself, and understood completely.  We laughed when I returned his call. And guess what, Babies, 2 sisters, clients, and a husband, thrived!

Let us look at history. Women in the days of Laura Ingalls, author of Little House on the Prairie books, were pretty much limited to being teachers—that is until they married. Then they had to resign their jobs and remain in the home.  Soon, school boards loosened the restrictions, and allowed a woman to teach until she became pregnant, then she had to resign.  Lucy Ricardo could not even say the word pregnant when she let Ricky know she was in a motherly way. 

In 1908, the US Supreme Court upheld a decision limiting women’s work because of “maternal functions.” It was not until 70 years later that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed.

Pregnancy. Employers. Employees. Without getting into the economic levels (a Chipotle worker and a Defense Intelligence Employee are not in the same pay-grade I am sure), what surprises me is pregnancy is still a problem.  What I would like to know from these two news stories that I read about and outlined a little, was a woman in charge of any of these women?   Because, for now as far as I can see, it will be the woman who will give birth. And what surprises me even more is that, women, like my potential client who missed out on an even better marketing plan,  do no help each other. And that alone would make this pregnancy problem disappear.

 

 

MACHO MIATA MEN

What do you get when you cross an intersection with a Miata and a jogger?  A membership in the local PACE Miata Club.  That is how this adventure started two months ago.  It may have been sooner, but the club’s membership chair had issues with the application.  Not to place any blame on anyone, this is all my husband’s doing. I am not, repeat, not pointing any fingers.

First, the amount of the check was incorrect.  It seems that they prorate the dues based on the month of the calendar year you apply.  The Membership Chair called and said he would return the check or destroy it until a new one was received.  All in all—we would reap a savings of $2.00.  I tried to get him to keep that $2.00 to no avail.  He insisted. Oh, by the way, the dues include membership for 2 people—if I was his wife I am included!   I asked if girlfriends counted.  He said I could be.  Delay #1.

A few weeks later, another call came in.  For some reason, our emails keep bouncing back as undeliverable.  Could perchance the email be wrong?  Well, I have seen my husband’s handwriting.  Doctors are in awe of his style.  I interpreted his writing for the man. All was well, Delay #2 solved.

A few weeks later, with wild anticipation, my husband announced that on Saturday, we were going to our first Miata meet. It would be in Lancaster County PA a mere 45 minutes away. We go to a buffet breakfast and then tour the covered bridges in Lancaster County.  It sounded like fun to me, too.  Plus I like to meet new people who have the same interests as we do—Miata’s and covered bridges.

The day arrived.  It was the hottest and most humid day of the year.  But weather be damned. We were going—with the top down! We had waters. We had sun glasses.  We did not have sunscreen or workable A/C.  As we drove the 4-lane highway toward Lancaster, other Miata’s—newer more expensive models, each gave a nod and a wave as they passed us by.  Did you know that all Miata’s are 4 cylinder—but today’s models have larger engines, thus more power.  Our little car was pumping at 60 mph in 5th gear and 3000 rpms. 

As we were passed by a motorcycle and then a tanker truck, Dr. Bill commented as we looked up at the large undercarriage of the tanker, “Do you realize we have no protection for our heads, no roll bar, and this window will break upon any impact? In fact, we would probably be decapitated.” A shuddering thought. But not as much as the reality that every car that passed us, I was eye to eye with their wheel well.

Soon, no GPS was needed. The Miata’s all started to be going the same way in one long line.  We will follow them!

Pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant, a little wait was needed as every car backed into their spot.  They all watched as the new guy backed into his spot—a little crooked.  “Hey! Where did you learn to drive?” came the combined taunt.

The next few minutes were spent walking the line of cars repeating answers to each question: What year? 1991. How many miles? 75,400. Original Paint? Yes, BRG-British Racing Green, Doe Interior. One of the first ones! Yes, #3940 out of 4000, name plaque near gear shift. Hard top at home. Bug Eye Lights. 

But it was the newer cars that had Dr. Bill’s eye.  $30-50,000 models.  “We are out gunned here—these are rich retired men,”  he sighed.

Inside, we found our seats for breakfast; we invited ourselves to sit with a small group. These were the Pros when it came to the rides.  They regaled us with their travels . . . Watkins Glen and they requested the pace car to go race car speed.  The NY Law states that non-race cars—even on track-- can only go the speed limit. So instead, they asked to stop the cars on the steep curve to take a picture with all the cars lined up row upon row. “We were nervous  and as I was on the top of the curve, I kept praying that my car would not slip and roll.  It was fun and a great photo!”

Another man spoke of the trip south and the fast drive on the NASCAR track. Another chimed in about the turnpike trip to Johnstown and taking the cars on the Incline to the top of the mountain to have dinner.   They talked of trips, speed, CNM (Cars not Miata’s) and then women drivers.

It appears that one, shall I say, lucky woman, was accepted into the group and came to her first event.  It was then we started to learn the rules.

#1- You must have a CB to talk to each other. It helps with keeping the group together and directions clear.  She did not have a CB at her first meet. (Neither did we, we did not know of this rule and it was not on the website.) Some have CB’s installed, but most have hand held CBs.  They use band 24 or was it 34? I am not sure, as they all began to argue over which CB was better. The installed ones made it easier to hear as the speaker was behind the driver and the co-pilot (defined as the little woman) can reach behind to change the volume or band as needed.  The hand held CB did not allow for ease of use and rested on your lap. Best of all, it did not mar the car with any installation.

 No problem with the lack of CB. They also provide a turn by turn written guide.  The men graciously invited us to drive between 2 CBers. You can tell the CBers, they have visible tall black antennas on their cars.   At this point, I was waiting for a discussion on size and length, but they continued on.

#2- Have a full tank of gas, and an empty bladder. There may not be a bathroom break.

#3-  Zero (0) your odometer at the appointed location in your written guide. It will help in case you get lost or separated. 

#4- Keep the driver ahead of you in view at all times.

#5- Keep the driver behind you in view at all times.  If you have a stop sign, or a curve, a hill, or red light, slow down until they reappear. This should also keep you from getting lost.

That is when the discussion turned to women drivers.  It seems that the one aforementioned unsuspecting woman driver joined the club.  She arrived in a flame red, automatic Miata. It turns out, RED is a woman’s color. I cannot wait until a dear male friend of mine reads this as red is his favorite color. He must be in touch with his feminine side.  And AUTOMATIC!!  One does not drive a sports car with Automatic Drive!  Oh the Sacrilege.  Oh the Inhumanity of it all.

This poor unsuspecting woman arrived all excited about participating in the ride.  She was ready. She had her GPS, her guide, and her cell phone. No CB, but she could follow. What she did not have was balls.   By the time the ride had been progressing half way, she was at least a mile behind the front car that according to rule #4—you needed to keep that driver ahead of you in sight at all times.  Which made the driver behind her (rule #5) that she did keep in view, very angry and upset.  When it came to the halfway rest stop, this gentleman sped around her, stopped, got out of the car, and proceeded to yell the rules at her. At the end of his tirade, which by then had drawn a crowd, she looked at him almost in tears.

“Why, I only have a 4 cylinder engine! I was doing my best!”

The guffaws were loud and many!   The retort, “Baby, all Miata’s have 4 cylinders.” 

The woman turned her car around and left, never to be seen by that club again.

To which I give this reasoning as to why she did what she did (red automatic car notwithstanding as an argument).  Here is what happened to us:

We placed ourselves at the appointed place, cutting into line when we saw the Black Miata with the driver who said he would be in front of us, and his friend would step in behind us. We were in the middle of 25 cars.  The ride made its first turn onto Rt 30 at the height of tourist season in Lancaster County. That meant that at the first left turn, after which we were to 0 our odometer, was halfway between red lights and across 3 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic.  Not to be undone at the first turn, our leader raised his hand and made a motion like a horse commander for my driver to follow him. As Bill gunned the engine and kept close, as soon as we turned, this navigator told my hubby to 0 the odometer.  

The line of cars made a quick stop to regroup as it took a while for all cars to cross the 3 lanes of traffic.  And then the fun began.  Remember, we needed to keep both front and back in view.  That proved quite challenging as my husband went through 4 red lights, 26 stop signs, and traveled at least 30 mph over the speed limit as we passed through little hamlets, around Amish wagons and carriages, on narrow country roads where you could not see around turns due to tall corn, and little hills.  So much for scenery and seeing the sites.  Now remember, Rule #5, we had to slow down till we saw the car behind us, at which time the car in front of us stopped.  We made a little skid.  “No problem,” said my driver, “I’m in control.”

So in defense of the woman driver, I say she was probably trying to remain within the law, and not with the Macho Miata Men.

As for the Macho Miata Men, as I was dutifully following the guide as well as keeping the cars in view, and marking each conversation with odometer readings, I told my hubby, “I think they made a wrong turn, there was a bridge off to our left, and we went right.”

“The lead driver knows where he is going,” admonishd my hubby.  “You are probably reading this wrong.”

“Hmmph,” said I, “Then why are we passing this same house and road again? I recognize the flags. We just went in a circle.”

The silence from the driver’s side  was deafening.

I asked what the Odometer reading was and started the process of updating the mileage, when the entire line of cars came to a halt.  Up ahead, our lead car was off to the left in a cornfield, and looked like it had been broadsided by another CNM. Oils and fluids were running down the road.  People were running to assist.  When it turned out the air bags deployed and all were ok in both cars, the leader  from the back of the line came along side each Miata and said the rest of the drive was cancelled for the day. An ambulance was on its way as a precaution.  And to have a safe drive home.

As for my driver? My husband is the most law abiding, safe driver I know.  When the car ahead put on his breaks, my driver knew—and understood—that downshifting was called for, he did not use the break unless it was needed.  He also was getting more and more upset as they travelled faster and ignored the rules of the road.   “This is not me.” He said as we turned around. “I am glad it is over. I think we can do our own GPS navigating, without the crowd.” 

That is why I love him.  And I got to drive home. 

#ZoomZoom

 

Tiny Half-Baked Beans

Good bye to Grandmas Brag Book.  It was THE present to give grandma when the blessed event arrived--a wallet sized book to place those precious pictures of the new arrival.  This neat little book could be kept nearby Grandma, in her purse, in her pocket, ready to answer the call when someone asked, "How are those grandkids doing?"

My mother was the quickest draw on photos in the Brag Book east of the Mississippi.  From her eldest --John--to the baby, Anna, She had her Brag Book ready to show.  (Note, she did have another grandchild whom she did not meet, Allison, whom I am sure would have received the same treatment.)

Those days are over.  Now it is TINY BEANS, a website that the new parents share to family and friends on a daily basis.  Yes, DAILY BASIS.  As I think about it, pity the poor child who at the many graduation parties, weddings, and reunions, are faced with 25 years of daily photos of their life, playing endlessly on loop.

I came to know this site through a friend.  She had sent a new baby gift to a couple whom she had known since the dad was a baby.  As she told me the story of how she had attended the shower and was thanked only by the grandmother who was her dear friend (And that was only through email), she noted that the announcement of the blessed event was sent via email. In fact, the birth announcement was sent via email too! No thank you for the gifts, just with the link to the Tiny Beans website.  As she thought that by clicking on the link she would be sent  to a thank you to the gifts she had sent, it turned out that it was actually to subscribe to the Tiny Bean site.  Now daily, she receives an email containing four pictures or a video posted by the loving parents of their new additions that she is to oooohhh and aaaahhh over as these children grow.  I am sure that deep down she is wondering how to unsubscribe or block these emails without the knowledge of the parent. But that is me.  She looks at them, then immediately delete knowing in her heart, she has satisfied the parents as I am sure they will review insights and trends of the pages. 

But what about grandmas of today?  Most the of the Seniors I know ( and while I am in that group, I consider myself more savvy when it comes to cell phones, laptops, kindles, and I pads) have a bare minimum cells phone. By that I mean, these phones sport large numbers, but when it comes to texting, you have 3 letters per number and have to really think about your message--or ignore texting at all. No Photos. No need for GB (giga bytes) of usage for data. It is a phone to use for calling. They do not want data. If they need something important enough, a face to face, a phone call, or a letter will suffice. They will have to figure out Plan B when it comes to photos of their grandchild.

So, Hello Tiny Beans.  Maybe I will start a website for the aging process called OLD BEANS. I will invite you to watch --in a secured server for photos and videos access only--  daily shots of myself as I age for all to enjoy and share.  See the lines in my face increase. See my gray hairs multiply.  And unlike the Tiny Beans,  you may watch as I return to diapers.  

 

 

BOTTOMS UP!

For those of you who know me, no this is not about wine and a toast.  It is actually about having a Colonoscopy.  It appears that once you reach 50 (that was my first time) the AMA recommends that you receive one of these wonderful--and preventative-- procedures. It looked good at 50, so it was recommended to get one every 10 years.  

 Yes, I am now 60.  Before i go on--and I know you are wondering-- the Doctor said that everything looked good.  In fact she prefaced this by saying "Your cleansing process was one of the best she had seen! It was one of the clearest colon she had seen.  Complete results of the test will be ready in 2 weeks."  Wahoo! 

On the bright side, the cleansing process has improved over the past decade.  Before, you were provided a prescription for two large gallons of liquid to drink the night before.  Now, you may only have clear liquids the day before and drink 6 oz. of the mixture with a gallon of water.  You do this at  two different intervals times prior to your arrival time at the designated office.  Here is TIP #1- when you drink the liquid, use a straw and bypass your taste buds.

The 12 hours before your procedure will be the hardest.  It is not for the faint of heart, although that is not the end that will concern you.  After you imbibe the drink, within an hour you are living in your bathroom.  I was prepared.  I played Words with Friends.  Little did the competitors know my environment.  And I am also happy to report, I won most games.  It is easy to play with the tikis to devise the highest scores when being held captive.

Here is Tip #2: Send your family out to dinner.  It was bad enough that television, facebook and computer pre-roll and sponsored ads all  touted fast food, Tasty recipes and food coupons.  By the time evening rolled around, I drank enough white grape juice, water and coffee that would have made any sailor proud. One thing i was very sure of: I was hungry--very hungry.  I started doing math-- Not easy for someone who majored in English and prefers to round numbers to get an idea for tipping and other purchases. Let me see:  Arrival time is 7 AM.  Nurse said to block 2 hours of time-arrival to departure. Hmm, that  means I can be at Bob Evans by 9AM.   

I looked at the clock.  I still had 8 hours to go.  With arrival time of 7AM, my final prep began at 1 AM: another dose of that wonderful drink, followed by the water, all to be consumed in one hour.  Needless to say, sleeping was not an option for the remainder of the night.  Which brings me a tip that I just now thought as I write this, TIP #3: Maybe I should have bought some DEPENDS.  I would have gotten some sleep.  Of course there would have been other consequences.  I guess we can skip that tip.

The next morning, my driver/hubby was up bright and early. "We have to get you to the Doctor's office.  We don't know how the traffic will be." His cheeriness, after a  sleepless night in the bathroom was a little irritating.  But it did not solicit the same kind of irritation as when I was in the throws of childbirth. A story he always shares with anyone who listens about how I screamed at him and made both his arms bloody from clenching them with my nails.  I digress.

Arriving at the Colonoscopy Center, we were still #2 in line! You could tell who was there for the procedure, we all made a beeline for the bathroom. Our drivers (you are not allowed to drive or work for 12 hours after as you are given anesthesia) sat in the waiting room.  All had a little smirk on their face, as the bathroom was not sound proof and various sounds were permeating the walls.  

It did not take long till i was escorted to my curtained off area I would call home for a few hours.  I was given a pair  of shorts with the back cut out. It reminded me of the pants worn by babies and toddlers in China. Here is cultural note:  In China, disposable diapers are expensive. Many parents simply cut out the crouch of pants, and let the child go au natural. This came to light when I was traveling in the subway in Beijing and had a bare butt staring at me as I sat in my seat. Needless to say, I stood up.

I put on my shorts and got into bed.  The rest was actually quite restful.  I was given something to relax and was hooked up to machines.  Wheeled into another room, I was worked on by an anesthetist and nurse. "Turn on your left side. More please on your stomach, Higher!"   As I adjusted my self to accommodate these instructions, a bright and cheery doctor entered.  "The hard part is over, now you may relax and I'll do all the work."  That is the last voice I heard.

As I was just about to help Tom Selleck into a boat that had a wings, I awoke. "Welcome back!" said the cheery nurse.  "You just interrupted me and Tom Selleck." I responded.  She laughed.  "Just rest a little and soon you will be getting up."  I closed my eyes, listening to the sounds around me.  It was a symphony of gas--and I had solo. 

Soon I was instructed to sit up and dangle my feet and not move too fast before getting out of bed.  The anesthesia might still make you dizzy.  FINAL TIP: listen to the nurse. Take a moment before getting out of bed.   Because I am woman and can handle all, as I jumped out of bed, I did teeter a little and had to grab onto the side.  The nurse had left, so no one saw this acrobatic fete to keep from falling over. 

After dressing, my nurse took me to a small waiting room where my driver/hubby waited.  He squeezed my hand and asked how I felt.  Pretty good, a little wobbly, and very hungry.  The doctor arrived into our room, armed with my file, ready to review her report--complete with pictures!   I asked if I might have some for my facebook page.  She said I could.  I opted  to save my friends from this pleasurable experience.  I'll write instead!  "Go have breakfast!" she ordered.  Since it was doctors orders I complied.  

I was amazed that I had breakfast then all I wanted to do was take a nap.  I did.  Be assured though, later in the day, I did make a toast with my glass of wine. "Bottoms up to me!"  

 

 

 

  

 

 

The Rust Belt vs Microcosm: Understanding is Critical

As of today, there are 100 days till the Presidential election.  If you are reading this blog as a treatise of support of either Hillz or the Donald, sorry to disappoint. What I am writing about is the term both  nominees (no longer presumptive but the real thing) used to begin their bus extravaganza across Pennsylvania and Ohio. Both called this politicking a "trip across the Rust Belt."

What exactly does that mean?  Does rust refer to the people--older voters who vote in all elections both primary and general? Or does it refer to the fact both states were at the helm of the Industrial Revolution, steel buildings that are now old and rusting.  Does steel rust?

The answer is Yes, steel does rust.  But either way, person or product, I take the rust belt as a form of insult. I am not rusty.  These old bones may crack a little, but in my business of marketing, I am always at the forefront of technology and social media, I need to be. Sitting still and rusting is not an option for a small business. 

I also visit the cities on business and/or pleasure across our fine state.  The many buildings of expansion and renovation I see in the major cities of Pennsylvania  do not appear rusty to me. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia (home to the recent convention), even the state capital of Harrisburg, smack in the center of the Commonwealth, is thriving.  Buildings are strong and tall.  Buildings are being constructed--such as Comcast in Philadelphia with its large crane adding floor after floor. Even Ben Franklin on the top of Old City Hall, stands proud on a building that looks great after 100+ years, and he is dwarfed among the skyscrapers around him, but can still be seen at a glimpse as Amtrak arrives at 30th Street Station--itself in the throes of renovation.

Pennsylvania is a swing state. I prefer to see it as a microcosm of what is happening in the United States.  Fly over us.  Start in big city of Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and you will see cities, urban life, countryside, mountains, farmlands, rivers, streams, maybe a quarry or 2.  You do not see Democrat or Republican. You see a beautiful country. A country that has survived many political drama.  

You want drama? Think the Rutherford B Hayes election (he was after Grant-#19) In 1876, Hayes--who hailed from Ohio another swing state-- was elected president in one of the most contentious of elections. He lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel Tilden, but won on a disputed electoral vote brokered in back room negotiations. He was awarded 20 electoral votes. 

This was just one of many problematic elections. The United States has survived! That is what is so great about our country. We survive. 

I would ask our nominees to call the trips Stainless steel.  From Scientific American: "Stainless Steel  contains iron, chromium, manganese, silicon, carbon and, in many cases, significant amounts of nickel and molybdenum. These elements react with oxygen from water and air to form a very thin, stable film.  The presence of the stable film prevents additional corrosion by acting as a barrier that limits oxygen and water access to the underlying metal surface.

So lets call ourselves, "THE STAINLESS STEEL BELT."  Not the Rust Belt.  To Coin our best known University, WE ARE. . .AMERICA!

 

The Sounds and Smells She Makes

In all fairness, it is time for the other side--the female side of sounds and smells.

It started with a realization.   I find myself making sounds that after turning 60, are becoming more prevalent.  Every time  as I either sit down or stand up I make an audible "Ahh", almost a sigh. It seems quite automatic, a reflex action.  I do not mean to make the sound, it just happens. I never made this sound in my youth.  Sitting and rising seemed to come naturally. Now it comes with a sound.

The sound that I seem to have made all my life, as attested to by family and some very close friends. . .and you will understand when I say VERY CLOSE friends, I have never heard.  These cretins, well, they say I snore. Not just any snore. In their words, with each  CHNUCCCCKKKKK, doors fly open, windows shut, curtains blow.  

It seems that while on vacation (this is also where the very close friends enter the picture), the loving family kept balled socks at the ready to toss at me, hoping it would wake me just enough to re-adjust and they could have quiet for a while.  They even had an arsenal prepared to supply these so-called close friends.  I think they are exaggerating.  However it does explain the mystery of waking up surrounded by my laundry.

I understand that snoring has made many a couple seek separate rooms especially when the nest becomes empty and empty rooms many. We are not at that level yet. Nor do I hope so.  Just let it be known that should hubby complain--and while he jokes about my snoring-- he does remain in our room. I believe, he who is without sin should not cast that stone.  He too can make the sashes on the window be tossed a few times. And with my I-phone always at the nearby night stand, I can easily record the evidence. 

 

  

 

The Sounds and Smells He Makes

I have been married for 34 years. And in that time I have learned of the sounds men make,  sounds that they kept hidden while we were dating, now have no reserve and come whenever and with no effort to hide.  In fact, they come with regaled laughter.  With a husband who is 10 years older than myself, those sounds (and smells) have now become louder and longer in their execution.  

Picture three blue eyed, blond or auburn haired girls, growing up at a dinner table with contests between them and dad, longest, loudest, smelliest.  Yes, you read correctly, girls, dinner table, contest.  So now he has no competitors, and that leaves me to be the judge, jury and recipient. It is not uncommon for him to leave the room, all the while crop dusting me and the dog from doorway, down the stairs, into the kitchen.  He times his performance and shouts his own praises for volume, length and the 'hang time." The only thing worse, is if you are in bed at the time.  Then he performs a 'Cleveland Steamer' throwing the covers over your head, and not letting you out to get some fresh air.  

Now you know why, my husband thinks getting a colonoscopy is the best prevention test on earth.  Those of you who have had one--starting at 50 as the AMA has suggested--understand the side effects. 

He will not hold the title too much longer.  My colonoscopy is scheduled for next week.

I

Day 3: Ahhh Youth. . . .

I was watching the new Sunday Morning Today show-- Sunday Morning with Willie Geist or some such nuveau name. It is a "hip" or should I say 'dope,' show made to get the millennials into the serious news world.  I do mean serious, as I believe that many watch Comedy Central's take on news programs, and think it is real.   But before I get to that, I need to lay some groundwork.

First, I am pleased to say that I knew about Pokemon GO when social media and my aging friends started to ask--WHAT IS THIS.  Luckily, as a mother of 2 millennials and a teenager, I have been able to keep up with the new advances (Think FaceSwap on SnapChat--more on another day) 

Pokemon, a  video game  my children were  addicted to,  launched an augmented-reality game. It’s called Pokemon Go, and no, I do not have all of those cards they saved in binders still. It seems the app that lets you “catch” digital Pokemon in actual locations that come up in your real life. So I guess if I do that Jigglypuff can show up in my bedroom or office.  So this is why people walk in traffic and run into walls. BE FORWARNED. Police said robbers use the app - which reveals users locations - to target victims  heading to isolated areas. 
Gotta love a smart bad guy.

That helps you know where I am coming from. So here is the rant. And YES IT IS A RANT!

Picture the PR Spokesman, giving a very serious update and talk on ISIS,  yes ISIS.  The name even makes me shudder to think of all they do. (ISIS will be another blog soon I am sure, because I am impressed by the low-tech way they terrorize--not even using a gun--i guess we may need to ban trucks soon)  Anyway I digress.  

Serious talk. ISIS.  And the PR guy interrupts his speech and asks the reporter, "Are you playing POKEMON GO?"  From somewhere in the room off camera, you hear, "YES! And You are surrounded by them!"  

I guess it is just me--but if I was the News Director of that reporter, without question, I would pull their little posterior into my office and say, "you are now free to play whenever you want as you are fired!"  

But it does not end there. Cut back to the panel discussion, and the female political pundit says, "I play it too! And have been while we are here, and I am sorry to say, there are no Pokemon in this studio."  Gales of laughter from the round table discussion. I turned off my TV.

SO that is what our news has come too.  Young reporters, young pundits, all playing a game.  All not caring about ISIS or the real world.

RANT OVER. 

Day 2: Do I Need Explain?

On Day #2, I decided I needed to blog daily my experiences.  The first blog you see, I only posted on Facebook.  And the fact that i did not spell out # (It means HASHTAG--a way to easily call up the items you have posted--trends as it were) and if you had to ask what it was--this blog is for you!

What happened on day 2 of the Silver Streak?  The corporate world has certainly changed.  After sitting at the Under Armour world headquarters waiting for our Golden Child as she was acting in a global training video, i noted that there was not ONE person over 35--maybe 40--working at the business.  My daughter was brimming with stories of the tour--the turf field, the basketball courts (all requiring UA garments from shoes to shirts in order to play on them, thus there was an area with items available should you not have them) the cafes, the logo wall made entirely of flora and fauna, and the view of the Baltimore Harbor.  I wouldn't mind working there myself, alas, i don't think I would be hired as i am somewhat over 40. 

It made me think about the visit to a local website creator I had hired to do a client website.  While I assist with website content, I do not want --nor need-- to learn the how it goes together. As I sat waiting for the designer, i played with the sandbox and rake in the center of the conference table-- the fung shui of the room. I cannot say it relaxed me, but the ball I was sitting on did make me giggle a little.

As the young man entered the room, complete with his colored water and apple he took from the cafe outside (every floor had a stocked cafe) he said they were ordering salads for lunch from the local restaurant, but I was invited to make my own from the cafe outside the door if I liked that better.  (I did not, as a mother of 3 and wife, I take every opportunity to be waited on.)

We reviewed the outline and copy and were quickly done. He did offer when it was over to teach me how to update the website  (SMS--for those who need to know the technical term) --for another fee, or he would send me a handbook they had in PDF form that was included for the price.  I opted for the PDF, as it was a system I used for many a client. Would I like a tour?

It was an interesting tour. Everyone sat on a ball (Better for the back and balance) there was the "thinking room" a room with pool table, pin ball machines, and computer games, a place to go and get the kinks out of your mind.  But my favorite rooms were in the back corner--the quiet corner-- an area of rooms  where new mothers brought their newborns and were sequestered away from the noise and, in my estimation as I watched the mother using the area who had brought her 5 week old, the germs that infected the rest of the offices. Talking was forbidden in that area if a mother had occupied the area, as well as limited traffic.

When I gave birth, my pediatrician said no taking the baby into the world for 6 weeks.  Plus, enjoy the time bonding.  Yes, as a self employed mother in an era before laptops, I did continue to work from my kitchen table as my husband moved my computer to where it was easier to access and I could enjoy my baby (babies--i had two more after the first). So when did it come that a mother, with access to computers, email, social media, needs to come into the office at all?   

No, this is not a senior DISS-count on the business world, I am an entrepreneur, a business owner,  I know what it is like to have employees, to be a woman in business and to have a family.  It is more of a lament that the business needs to make a quiet area, as opposed to letting the worker be a mom--at least for a few weeks-- at home. 

 

 

Day 1: Tripping into the 7th Decade

One birthday wisher asked if hitting 6-0 made me contemplative. At the time NO. Life is good. Age a number. Then I started to notice things. 1- I received my first senior discount at the museum. 2-I listened to a group of young women discuss wedding plans that included what to do with the couples 2 year old during the shower and wedding to keep him occupied (good luck with that)as well as to what # to use on invitations and social media 3-another table nearby was discussing branding and how difficult it is and 4- in a review for the new Ghostbusters movie they were enthralled that "it was fun that the living Ghostbusters appeared in the movie." Not the "original" Ghostbusters. So I guess I have now advanced that I am still "living" as well.