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Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 10:35 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 10:35 AM
— You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives – or your co-workers. When a colleague is a toxic influence, you probably can't replace them. However, you can take steps to minimize the ways their behaviors impact you and your job performance.
Workplace and health experts say the stakes are too high to simply ignore toxic co-workers. From gripe-fests that drain your time and energy to betrayals that can cause anxiety and even heart attacks, the effects of working with toxic people are widespread and can make you miserable.
Here are five of the most common toxic colleagues and what to do about each one:
It's easy to pick out the flaky co-workers: They're the ones who call in on the day the big project is due or check Facebook while you make all the calls. Along with the obvious effect of reducing your productivity on joint projects, if you let them, flakes can gradually leave you feeling bitter about a job you enjoy. No. 1 rule: Don't let them distract you, Stever Robbins, an executive and personal coach, told Forbes.
"Human beings are funny that way. We will spend more time focusing on the fact that our colleague isn't doing their work than it would take to just do it ourselves."
Robbins also urged co-workers to focus on their own job performance and not to get caught up in the issue of fairness. Not being able to change the flakey co-workers' behavior doesn't mean you just pick up their slack, Robbins added. "When you're given a project where you'll have to depend on your lazy co-worker, factor their anticipated laziness into your schedule."
These co-workers will throw you under the bus the second a project goes wrong or a supervisor questions their mistakes. They're easily spotted as the ones who never, ever take the blame when things go wrong, according to Forbes.
This kind of friction can cause you anxiety, rage, depression and stress, according to Alan Langlieb, director of workplace psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He told Tesh.com that those symptoms caused by backstabbers can lead to problems from headache to heart attack.
Tesh.com recommended not losing your temper or resorting to negative gossip about the betrayer. Other suggestions include:
• Protecting your ideas by sending a memo that summarizes your thoughts and actions after important meetings.
• Clearing the air tactfully, in a way that won't start a fight.
• Letting it go instead of retaliating. This can be easier said than done, but you're better off just moving forward.
As for future interactions with the betrayer, there's no need to be sociable, only professional, according to an article on Chron.
The Full-time Downer.
Misery loves company and a negative co-worker can suck you into his reality before you realize what's going on. According to The Balance, the first step to coping with “Debbie Downer” in the workplace is to sort out whether a co-worker is chronically negative or has a legitimate, one-time cause for being a downer.
For those who exude negativity constantly, The Balance recommends spending as little time with them as possible. If you must work with a negative person, establish a policy where you don't let yourself be drawn into negative discussions.
The Office Gossip.
A study Forbes stadd wrote about found that 27 percent of those surveyed had a friend who blabbed secrets. If this friend is a co-worker, embarrasment on the job could result. Forbes' tactic for diffusing the office Big Mouth is simply to keep your personal details and at-work secrets close, along with limiting this co-worker's access to your social media posts.
Job coach Lea McLeod encourages forthrightness in her Job Almanac column on The Muse.
"When I hear something outrageous or questionable, I push for real answers: 'Oh, wow, that sounds pretty extreme. Is that a fact? Or did you hear that from someone?'" McLeod noted. "You'll quickly set the expectation that you won't engage in frivolous chatter that's not based in fact.”
"The narcissist is particularly difficult because he or she often lacks the ability to see things any other way than their own, needs constant attention and admiration, and generally lacks empathy," noted AirPR chief strategy officer Rebekah Iliff in Entrepreneur. "And somehow, amidst all of it, they can make you feel like the biggest loser on the planet. It's much like dealing with the antics of a spoiled child."
Tips for dealing with a narcissist, according to executive coach/management consultant Steven Berglas in Forbes:
•Keep your expectations of what they will deliver as low as possible.
•Understand they will give you only what they need to sustain your involvement with them.
•Berglas also recommended being responsive the moment they demand attention. "If you cannot respond to the bell, don't sign up for the job," he noted. "If you do react as desired, what can save you from psychic torment is learning to temper the narcissist's demands without incurring his wrath. Responses such as, 'Sounds good to me,' chill the needy child by affirming his worldview while limiting your involvement in actualizing it."
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:06 AM
— Be sure to check your freezer because there’s a new recall on frozen biscuits that were sold in nearly two dozen states.
Hom/Ade Foods is recalling Mary B’s brand biscuits due to listeria concerns. The biscuits were sold in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Company officials said the problem was discovered in a product sampling conducted by an outside company that manufactured the product.
Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.
The Mary B’s products affected are frozen bagged biscuits. All have “Best If Used By" dates before Sept. 23, 2018, and with the letter “M” immediately after the date.
UPC codes affected by the recall:
Customers are urged to return affected products to the store for a full refund.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:52 PM
— No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right.
But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, according to a Forbes piece co-written by Travis Bradberry and Joseph Grenny.
"A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success," they said. "How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect and connection you have with your colleagues."
Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne gave tips for winning arguments in any setting in Psychology Today, borrowing ideas from Israeli psychologist Eran Halperin about political conflict and interpreting them on a personal, rather than global, level.
"In an argument, your appraisal that you're losing, your belief that you need to be 'right' and the extent to which you like the other person can all have an impact on the emotions you experience," she wrote. "Your emotions can also get aroused by the desire to gain the respect of onlookers - no one enjoys being made to look ignorant in front of others, and when you feel that you're being made the fool, your outrage only increases."
Anger pretty much kills your ability to win an argument in any sense of the word "win," Whitbourne said. Instead of building to an outraged furor, she recommended six key, argument-winning tools:
Know your facts
Whitbourne reminded people of all the times they made a claim about a bit of trivia, quickly realized they were wrong, and then stuck to their guns anyhow. "This is not an ideal way to win (or enter) an argument." Stop and think before you make a blooper and you'll be less likely to lose an argument, whether it's trivial or actually important to your career.
Prepare to acknowledge the other person's point of view
You don't have to agree with your foe, but if you want to win the argument, "you do need to be able to see the world the way your opponent does. Stepping into the mental set of those you argue with allows you to figure out what's influencing them. Perhaps they're feeling threatened, anxious, or annoyed. Perhaps they know something that you don't. In any case, showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate."
Try to be, or at least seem, open-minded
"Becoming defensive is one of the worst ways to win an argument. Don't let your opponent sense that you're digging into your position without being willing to consider alternatives. And if you let your opponent speak, he might come to your side without your having to do anything other than listen."
Keep your emotions in check
Halperin's research revealed how important emotions are in determining your ability to appraise situations. "If you lose your temper, you'll only antagonize your opponent, which will further heighten his or her wrath, and the process can only escalate upwards," Whitbourne explained. Worried that you'll seem weak if you suddenly become calm in the middle of the argument? Don't worry. You'll gain points by showing self-control.
Stay hopeful that the argument can be resolved
Arguments can stir up negative emotions. If you're in the midst of a screaming fest, it's tough to envision a resolution where you still have your dignity intact. But strive to stay optimistic. "Invoking the feeling of hope allows you to think more clearly, leading to the possibility that you'll win by sheer force of logic." If you believe there's a way out, you're more likely to find one. "This is what happens in ordinary problem-solving, when thinking outside of the box can help all sides come up with a solution. Such an 'aha' moment in an argument can lead you straight to victory."
Respect your opponent
You may not emerge as the clear victor in an argument, or you may get your way but make your business relationship worse. It's important not to insult or degrade your opponent during the conflict. "Even if the individual is someone you'll never see again, it's still important to show that you meant 'nothing personal' in the dispute."
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:29 PM
— Whether it's the teen who'd like extra money for things like clothes or gas or a parent who'd like to see their high school or college-aged child get off the couch when school’s out, a part-time job can be a wonderful thing.
Of course, child labor laws dictate how young is too young to work and what hours (and under what conditions) older teens can work. They'll eliminate a few job options for teens, but there are still plenty of places to work.
Just keep in mind a few things, according to the team at Localwise: "It's important to be able to get to your job easily and relatively stress-free." They also advised teens to make sure the job fits with their schedule and note any unique experience a job might require before applying.
»Localwise and other employment bloggers recommended these eight part-time jobs for full-time teens:
Barista: "Working as a barista will hone your skills at making the perfect cup," Localwise noted. If you can hack the early morning shifts, it also gives you a chance to become a coffee snob.
Juice/smoothie shop cashier: "The only thing you need to know going into this job is how not to stick your hand into a blender," Localwise joked. There is also a little math involved, so overall this job is great for teens looking for money-handling experience or who are interested in non-greasey fast food work.
Lifeguard: Localwise considers this job as "close to Super Hero as it gets." While lifeguard jobs can involve winter hours at health clubs and indoor pools, they're more likely to be available in the warm months. Check into water parks too. Be sure to find out where you'll get your CPR training and lifeguard certification - and who pays for it.
Caddy: One of Localwise's "best paying jobs for teens," caddies can make $50 to $100 in a day, sometimes in cash, and you can choose your own hours. You do need to know your way around a golf course and be able to walk and lift equipment, though.
Product merchandiser: Teens can flourish on the sales floor of a shop, restocking, taking inventory and styling display mannequins. Expect to make around $12.50 per hour in this position, according to Localwise.
Car wash attendant: Money Crashers highly recommended working at a car wash for students who like to stay busy at work, like to have a shiny car themselves (since they can probably get washing services free) and would appreciate the occasional tip in adddition to minimum wage.
Packing and moving services: If you like to stay active and are organized, look into working for a bonded and insured moving company as an assistant for packing and moving personal possessions.
Photo scanner and archivist: Teens whose schedules are chock-full of activities and high-pressure homework can still take on work if they concentrate on side hustles instead of employer-based schedules, according to Money Crashers. One good idea scanning and archiving documents and photos. "No one has the time to tackle this time-consuming task," Money Crashers noted.
How to help your teen get a job
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 12:04 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 2:04 PM
— Walmart officials on Thursday announced plans to increase starting wages for hundreds of thousands of the company’s employees, affecting the wallets of more than a million people across the country.
In a news release Thursday morning, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon characterized the wage increases and other announced benefits as “building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development.”
“It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families,” he said.
The announcement came on the same day that dozens of Sam’s Club locations announced they were closing for good and just days after company officials said they planned to expand Walmart’s “Mobile Express Scan & Go” app to 100 more locations. The app allows users to pay for their Walmart purchases in-store from their phones without the need to go through a checkout line manned by a cashier. The expansion has led to speculation that Walmart, the country’s largest employer, might replace some of its workforce with technology.
“(The app) means no waiting in line at the register, but presumably also means that cashiers will lose their jobs,” the Arkansas Times reported.
It was not immediately clear how many jobs would be affected.
Here are six things to know about the planned changes:
1. The starting wage rate for all hourly associates in America will rise to $11, $3.75 over the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and $2 over Walmart’s previous starting wage of $9. The wage change will apply to all hourly associates in the U.S. who work in Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs locations, eCommerce, logistics and Home Office, according to company officials.
2. The pay bump will take effect starting during the Feb. 17 pay cycle. Walmart officials said its employees will determine which associates qualify for the cash bonuses before February, “and payments will be paid as quickly as practical thereafter.”
3. Some associates will also be eligible for cash bonuses of up to $1,000, depending on how long they’ve been with Walmart. Officials said the $1,000 bonus would go to those with 20 or more years of Walmart employment.
4. The company plans to expand on its maternity and parental leave policy. Full-time hourly associates will be eligible for 10 weeks of paid maternity leave. Both hourly and salaried employees will also get six weeks of paid parental leave.
5. Walmart will create a benefit to help associates with adoption expenses. The company will provide full-time hourly and salaried associates who are adopting children with $5,000 per child to help cover expenses like adoption agency fees, legal costs and translation fees.
6. McMillon credited the recently approved tax reform bill for the changes. Company officials said they are still reviewing their options for additional investments.