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Ever work on Thanksgiving?

Did you ever have to work on Thanksgiving? Did you miss the feast, or simply scurry away immediately afterwards?

Emergency response professionals, police officers, hospital workers, utility experts, and others routinely work on holidays, keeping daily life running for the rest of us. Pizza deliverers, gas station attendants, and lots of fast food workers don’t skip for the day, either.

What about retail?

Plenty of people are complaining about popular stores that are opening on Thanksgiving Day (or Thanksgiving night) to get a jump on the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Some even call for customers to boycott major retailers that expect their employees to report to work on this family-focused holiday.

Sure, we understand that lots of these employers offer holiday/overtime pay (or bonuses) for those who punch in on Thanksgiving. And lots of workers seem to say they are willing to forgo dishwasher duties at home (or at Grandma’s house) and head off to their jobs instead. Scores of sales clerks, cashiers, and stockroom staffers will work through the night, keeping customers happy and store shelves filled for the Black Friday stretch.

Like it or not, maybe we all have to face the fact that Thanksgiving duty is becoming a norm for retail staffs. 

But how about corporate 9-to-5’ers?

Should business professionals and office workers be called in on Thanksgiving?

Here’s an example. Not so many years ago, I was working as a public relations executive for a large Midwest manufacturing company. Part of my responsibilities included writing speeches for the chief executive officer, who was (Gotta say it.) a bit of a blowhard. OK, he was a real turkey.

The guy called me at home on Thanksgiving morning and demanded that I show up at the office to work through a section of his upcoming presentation for the board of directors. The meeting was still two weeks out.

Is he kidding? I thought.

I spent a more than a few holiday hours, tweaking phrases and editing visuals (with the graphics pros, who were also tagged for the day). Then I dashed off to my in-laws’ for some cold turkey and more than one cold shoulder. And, as a salaried employee, I received no benefit from the effort, except meeting one more unrealistic expectation from the boorish boss.

Is holiday work a fair demand? Maybe it depends on the job. In the very least, perhaps it ought to be spelled out ahead of time, if it is to be required.

Adapted from public domain image.

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Election ideas: 12 quotes worth noting about public voting

The American voting process brings out both boons and lampoons, as writers and speakers of all stripes express their opinions on the vote. From campaigning quests to comic quips, quotations abound on the subject of voting.

Here’s a diverse dozen quotations about voting and voters. Those quoted may have (or have had) reputations that are glorious, notorious, or something in-between. Although not all of the writers and speakers are American or even contemporary, their statements may seem current.

Some of these quotations on voting endorse the election process and plead for voting participation. Other comments sarcastically state opposition to the vote. The assortment is offered here to spark thought, invite healthy debate, and encourage interest in the democratic process.  (Quotes are arranged alphabetically by speaker or author.)

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

  1. “In the lack of judgment great harm arises, but one vote cast can set right a house.Aeschylus, Greek Poet (525 BC456 BC)

  1. “Women, we might as well be dogs baying the moon as petitioners without the right to vote!Susan B. Anthony, American Civil Rights Activist (1820 – 1906)

  1. Vote early, and vote often.” Al Capone, American Gangster (1899 – 1947)

  1. If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are.Alice Cooper, American Rocker (1948 -   )

  1. “Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher and Author (1803 –1882)

  1. Hell, I never vote for anybody. I always vote against.W. C. Fields, American Comedian (1880 – 1946)

  1. To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.Louis L'Amour, American Author (1908 – 1988)

  1. If God had wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.Jay Leno, American Comedian (1950 -   )

  1. Voting is a right best exercised by people who have taken time to learn about the issues.Tony Snow, American Journalist (1955 – 2008)

  1. “The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” Joseph Stalin, Russian Dictator (1879 – 1953)

  1. “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong.” Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher and Author (1817 – 1862)

  1. Vote: The only commodity that is peddleable without a license.” Mark Twain, American Humorist, and Author (1835 – 1910)

Consider these quotations on voters and voting, and then decide. How do you vote about voting? If you are an American citizen and eligible to vote, will you register and vote in upcoming elections?

Adapted from public domain image.

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Job change: 10 possible reasons for making a lateral move at work

Why might stepping aside be a smart career strategy?

Are you looking for a career change? Maybe in the market for a new job? Do you desire to move up in the world, and especially at work?

Changing jobs within your own company or by joining a different employer does not always mean making more money or climbing up the corporate ranks. However, even a lateral move can be advantageous for many reasons. Quite often, a sideways shift can eventually lead to several steps up.

Here are 10 possible reasons to make a strategic lateral career move, even if it means a small pay cut.

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

1. Add to your professional network.

Contacts are keys to employment advancement, and a sideways step on the job can add considerably.

Corporate headhunter Nick Corcodilos puts it this way: “You need to be part of a circle of friends — people who do the work you want to do — that imbues you with a fine reputation.”

2. Gain marketable skills.

What makes a job candidate appealing to a prospective employer? Talent is valuable, but it’s only tested by trial, which comes with exposure. Escaping the daily grind through a sideways job change can lead to new opportunities for training and practicing additional abilities.

3. Build your resume.

Of course, every new skill set and career experience becomes a resume builder. Future employment prospects may not care so much that a previous career move was lateral as that it showed initiative and creativity.

Copyrighted material. Unauthorized reproduction or publication is not allowed.

4. Enjoy better benefits.

A sideways step on the corporate ladder may result in increased perks, such as paid tuition or expense reimbursements. The job change might include additional training, better scheduling, more travel (or less travel), a window workspace, part-time telecommuting, on-site child care or a paid parking spot. Everything counts.

5. Gain job security.

Is your department subject to downsizing? Are the pink slips flying in your division? A lateral move may be the best way to keep on bringing home a steady paycheck.

6. Find an upward track within the company.

In most organizations, certain departments tend to offer dead-end positions, while others may open up easily toward upward mobility. Smart staffers will check internal job postings for strategic moves.

7. Hook up with a mentor.

Can you spot a senior staffer in your company, whose character and experience you respect? How might a lateral job change allow you to work for this valued expert? The training and future employment reference could prove golden in time.

“A mentor can help your career, whether it is how to navigate the political landscape or how to improve your performance,” explains Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, of Career Rocketeer.

On the other hand, an insecure, inept, unpleasant or unethical boss can be more than enough reason to seek a new position, even if the new slot does not count as an upward move. Who wants to work for a wannabee or a rogue riding roughshod over his or her staffers?

8. Escape an unpleasant job.

Do you dread going to work each day? Job dissatisfaction can wreak havoc one anyone’s daily life, particularly when it comes from legitimate problems in the workplace. Eventually, this ongoing negativity of experience or environment may drag a person down, even detracting from his or her own sense of excellence or productivity. How any anyone be his or her best, if work is a daily discouragement? And how might this condition affect that person’s life in general?

Sliding into a comparable, but friendlier, work slot may improve health and career advancement.

9. Build better boundaries.

Is your job extra stressful? Do department politics cause you unnecessary worry, or is management taking advantage of your good will? Often, a sideways move to a new division may be just what the doctor ordered to cut conflicts or to set stricter standards for personal and family time.

10. Seek fresh challenges.

A parallel job may offer interdisciplinary exposure, which can supercharge a professional career. Task forces and multi-departmental projects are prime examples of these turbo moves.

No one wants to be a daily drone, so it pays to evaluate employment continually. “Always take the time to assess what you want to do! Always,” counsels Career Sherpa’s Hannah Morgan.

In any job field, new responsibilities can prove stimulating, so a lateral change can be a big boost, even if it doesn’t lead immediately to a loftier professional title or a pay increase.

Adapted from public domain image.

Feel free to follow on Google+ and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.
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