Archive for work

Bullying - Learned In School, Practiced In The Adult World - It Must Stop



We've all been exposed in real life to bullying -- either as an innocent bystander, perhaps even as a swept-up in the moment participant or sadly as a victim. Let's be real with ourselves, even if we can't be with others. We're more likely to have contributed at some point than to have rushed to someone's defense. That doesn't make us bad. It means we're all human and we're all vulnerable. Nobody wants to be on the outside looking in. There are pressures many times to join in or be ostracized ourselves. So we take the weak or cowardly way out. The course of least resistance.

Like sucking our thumbs or picking our noses, we generally outgrow these dirty habits. Some of them are learned naturally, others in school. They generally start when we're young and vulnerable. That's where they're most likely going to be corrected. Yet for many, the bad habits continue on to later in life when the damage can be even worse.

If we don't find ourselves early enough, if we don't develop the strength to stand up for justice, fairness and tolerance for others not as well off or popular, the future isn't pretty. Below is a video that's worth looking at.

Bullying - Catch it early or it'll catch us: The translation at the end says,

"A day of work doesn't have to be like this. Nor a day at school. Bullying is learned!"


Cartoons of the Day- Walmart Loves Its Employees


Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Clay Bennett


Pat Bagley


Jen Sorenson


Deb Milbrath


Cartoons of the Day- Laboring Day



Terry Wise


Dave Granlund


Bob Englehart


Kids Today Are Just Plain Lazy -- Congressman Steve King


Find a job

Recently Steve King, the outspoken expert on everything but logic, common sense and the need for a three dollar coin, has spoken publicly about unemployment. His full speech is here.

King takes the stage at :40 of this clip and clammers on for way too long, doing little more than criticizing youth for not trying to find work, for being lazy and just not putting in any effort. If you don't have time to watch, let me give you the gist of it from the reporting done by HuffPo:

At a meeting in Charleston organized by Mallory Factor, King attributed rampant unemployment to many Americans' unwillingness to work, drawing an analogy between the unemployed and lazy children, according to Red Alert Politics.


"Now, what kind of a family, if you had six kids and a third of your kids would say, ‘I’m not doing the chores, Mom’? If any of them say, ‘I refuse, I’m not going to participate, I’m not going to contribute to the American GDP.’ Pretty soon those kids [would understand] 'you get to eat after you do the work! Not just in hopes that one day you might actually do the work!" said the congressman.

Well, Congressman King has it pretty much figured out (if you can follow his twisted logic in that second paragraph above). It's laziness that's the cause of so many legal age youth not working. It's become a lifestyle, laziness. Like it's fun being unemployed. A choice. I wish someone had told my son that. Here, is the Facebook post he put up yesterday addressing his personal search for work. See if you agree with Congressman King or with Zack Garber after reading this Facebook post.

Zack Garber:

So, interesting turn of events. As many of you who are just out of college, you're looking for employment, well I am too. I've been looking ever since I graduated with a Bachelors degree from CSUN and I've noticed a pattern.I had come to expect to contact people, set up a meeting, provide a resume, perhaps fill out an application, call back a few days later to check up on things, and be interviewed, right? That's how its done, isn't it? Well it seems I'm perhaps wrong. Everyone I've contacted, from big businesses to fast food chains for employment have all told me the same thing: "Go to our website, fill out an application, and we will get back to you" To which I would reply "But it says you're looking for people NOW on the sign outside"

So, my resume and application are to be sent to an online database where it is to be lost forever among the sea of others, or to be perhaps randomly cherry picked for further observation. By this method I wasn't even granted the kindness of a rejection email, I've a feeling it was never even noticed to begin with which is perhaps even MORE disappointing.So why am I writing this? Well I recently got hired, and the feeling was so...relieving.

After months of traveling to every business within 20 miles phone calls and application filling, with perhaps FOUR callbacks for rejection, I was hired. Is it my dream job? No, but at least I'll be able to pay my car lease.

How can it be that job hunting has become so...impersonal that the miracle of actually speaking to a living being can make you feel so human again and drove me to actually write about it on Facebook?

Maybe if Congressman King had a real job, not one that gives him one day off for each day worked, and he actually was held responsible for impressing an employer to give hard earned wages to one of hundreds, if not thousands of applicants, he'd be singing a different tune.

Now's the time for congress to act on jobs. My son just got lucky. And for how long? Nobody knows, because his job is part-time. But he and millions of other college graduates are out there looking.  They're just not finding. So put your money where your mouth is, Steve. Present opportunities to find work, not to listen to you tear them down as you flap your gums, accusing youth of being lazy. I've watch a good young man struggle for months to take any job and he finally made it. Instead of condemning his efforts to contribute to the GNP and employment numbers, look at your own weak track record. You've not earned the right to criticize.

BTW, Zack's thrilled parents wish him luck as he starts his post graduation entry into the workforce, Friday.


Quickie- House of Representatives cuts back on working Fridays


How nice, less time to do the work they don't do.

The House is scheduled to be in session on only 15 Fridays in 2013, an almost 30 percent drop from 2011, according to the calendar released by House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Friday.

In 2011, there were 21 scheduled Fridays, compared to only 15 planned for 2013. Members will work only one Friday for nine months out of the year, and two Fridays for the other three months. Both 2011 and 2013 are non-election years.


Republicans control the calendar in the House of Representatives. They're cutting back their work schedule. Again.


CBS, October 27, 2011: House plans only 109 workdays in 2012:

As the party in power, Republicans control the calendar in the House of Representatives. When they took over, GOP leaders set a loose goal of two weeks on, one week off - giving members the chance to spend extended time back in their districts every third week. This calendar reflects that goal. In fact, there are only two weeks in all of 2012 where House members are slated to be in Washington all five weekdays. And there is no month in which they are scheduled to work more than 14 days.

The Hill, September 14, 2012: House cuts back work schedule:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Friday announced that next week will be the final work session for the chamber before the November elections.

Cantor said he does not anticipate the House will hold votes during the week of Oct. 1, which had been the final work week scheduled until after the Nov. 6 elections. [...]

Cantor said that when the House returns to work next Wednesday, it would work on a bill disapproving of a Health and Human Services rule on work requirements for food stamps, and a bill called the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409.

Gallup, September 14, 2012: Congress' Approval Poised to Be Lowest in an Election Year:

And they call unemployed Americans, those on food stamps or in similar dire straits lazy?

Then again, the GOP is more concerned with banning abortions and food stamps while doing the bidding of their Big Oil and Coal donors than they are in coming up with a, you know, jobs bill.


Is Work-Life Balance Really a Woman’s Issue? "Most business people want to keep people wanting more money to buy more things..."


Welcome back to the newest guest contributor to TPC, Kathleen Schafer:

Is Work-Life Balance Really a Woman’s Issue?

When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home - Betty Bender

The simple eloquence of a few words is often the most powerful way to describe a complex situation. As I reflected on the recent torrent of stories about the “war on women,” this quote came to mind, not because it is the antithesis of conservatives’ views, and increasingly their legislative bills, rather because it goes straight to the heart of what they most fear—a shift away the almighty dollar as the demarcation of accomplishment to a more balanced perspective on what constitutes success.

The early 20th Century move to keep women from vibrant contribution outside the home created a host of challenges, namely the subordination of women and a lack of purpose beyond meeting the needs of spouse and children. During the 1970’s women entered the modern workforce in large numbers and their now ubiquitous presence has demonstrated that they can perform on par with men in nearly every sector of society. Despite their success in matching workplace performance, women find themselves besieged over reproductive issues, underpaid for equal work and stretched thin balancing the demands of home life and professional advancement—where does it all end?

This is where Bender’s quote comes in—and with it the question, how many women, or people for that matter, are truly living the life they want versus chasing a dream someone told them was important? The first wave of women entering the workforce are now at the pinnacle of their “power,” ensconced in the Halls of Congress, occupying corner offices and in top positions within academia, media and entertainment, accomplishments that were only dreams when these women hit the ground they would soon be breaking. They had to prove they could do it because no woman before them had done it. Women now in the earlier stages of their career have the luxury of asking, “do we still want to be one of the boys?”

And this is the question that scares the conservative end of the spectrum. Why? Wouldn’t they like women to return to the home “where they belong?” Yes, but only so long as it keeps them economically hungry to consume and to trade away free time to earn money for that appetite. What most business people want is to keep people wanting more money to buy more things, rather than creating balanced lives where joy, satisfaction and happiness are equally valued with revenue generation.

It is not difficult for women to envision a life espoused by famed author David McCullough; “Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love." In caring for children, family members and the community woman quickly discover the importance of meaning in their lives. Paychecks are important and so too is significant contribution based on one’s talents, skills and passion. Without attention to one’s own happiness and the capacity to share it with others, life’s pleasures quickly dim. Creating balance between time at work and home is essential and not limited to women—be it for family, recreation or hobby everyone is higher-functioning when they are happy and fulfilled in the workplace.

Work life balance questions inevitably come up whenever I talk about effective leadership, because so many people believe that success only comes through sacrifice to career and to biding one’s time until they have “achieved” the position and/or income that will provide it for them. The truth, however, is that success comes first through making a meaningful contribution that one enjoys; the accolades and abundance follow.

When it comes to this latest flare-up of the War on Women, is the focus on revoking reproduction rights only a way to assert control over women’s bodies, or does it also help deflect attention from the importance of balance as a key factor of success. After all, in constantly fighting these battles women feel good that they even have a choice about pursuing job and family and will therefore be less ambitious in asserting their desire to integrate both into a successful life.

So many of the major issues that have plagued the country during the past few years have unfettered love of money at their root. That mindset permeates much of society and is an irritant for many women who see value in both prosperity and poise. Because the economic playing field favors men, in opportunity and remuneration, the impetus for them to institute a change of focus is nominal.

If woman want the benefits of a balanced life to permeate our society, they will have to be the ones to take the lead. This will require women to develop life and work that best meets their needs while clearing the path for others to follow. By creating a new definition of success women will show that spending time to make money to buy stuff no one has time to use is crazy. And if Pearl Buck is correct, “to find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth,” they may also save themselves some money on skincare in the process!

Kathleen Schafer is the Founder and President of Leadership Connection, through which she has trained individuals and organizations–particularly women and other underrepresented groups–to be effective leaders. Schafer built the political leadership curriculum, still in use, at The George Washington University School of Political Management and is the author of Living The Leadership Choice.