Archive | Careers

Getting ahead

How does one get ahead in life? Does everyone have the same drive to get ahead? Like many things, getting ahead has different meanings for different people. For some people, getting ahead has a short term focus, such as making enough money to pay the monthly bills. For other people, getting ahead means constantly improving […]

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Getting ahead, as Melissa suggested, is an idea which is subject to much interpretation.  I agree with Melissa though, that getting ahead requires one to take steps to make it possible.  Education is probably the most universally accepted step.  But, it is interesting as I talk with people to listen beyond the words, and sometimes […]

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Those little annoyances

Someone told me long ago that he lacked the personality characteristic to be able to tolerate performing mundane tasks, including dealing with automated telephone systems; working out problems with a bank; balancing a checkbook; etc. I share this absence of the personality trait that obviously includes having patience to handle being placed on hold for […]

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It’s not easy being OK to Handle.  I think we’ve written about that story before.  But, in the recent example, I was dealing with one of our banks.  I don’t enjoy that kind of experience, but I know I can get through it; I have to.  Melissa could not.  I just have to persevere.  This […]

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Ramifications of “You’re Fired”

I’ll start with the obvious: anyone can be fired. As long as someone works for someone else, they can be fired and, in many states, with or without reason. (If someone is self employed, they can be fired by clients, but that is a different situation.) Some people seem to think, so what if I’m […]

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This topic has been on David’s list of things to write about for many years, however, recent events evidently inspired him to write about it.  During the almost 30 years Magnus has been in business, David has always performed the human resources functions in our company, including hiring, training, disciplining, and firing employees.  More people […]

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Helping without Realizing

Sometimes in life people make a difference without even realizing it. Without trying to make a difference. “Leading by example” is the term often used to describe this phenomenon. Melissa was pleasantly surprised when the owner of a small hotel and conference facility “comp’d” our stay at the hotel for a non-work event. The woman, […]

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As corny as it sounds, I try to “let my light shine” in my dealings with everyone.  When I was growing up, my parents treated everyone with respect, whether they were dealing with the lowest or highest members of society.  Mom always told me to watch what I was doing because I never know when […]

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Helping People Who Don’t Believe They Need Help

Sometimes, the people who need our help the most do not think they need any help, from anyone. These individuals may thwart our efforts to help them in various ways: (1) they try to cover up their problem(s); (2) they deny a problem exists; (3) they cancel appointments we make with medical providers or providers […]

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Helping those needing help is especially challenging when that person is an adult, a parent perhaps, as Melissa noted.  Our experience with my parents was certainly difficult because, for a long time, neither of them realized what the rest of us did – they needed help.  They needed help to move, while they were still […]

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Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness

I’m not certain why there is a stigma surrounding mental illness and those who suffer from it. Perhaps the stigma originates from social pressures to conform, that is, to act like “everyone else.” Obviously, when someone is mentally ill, he/she cannot act like everyone else, even if we wish this could happen; even if we […]

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It seems strange to me that some things have stigmas when they should not.  Mental illness is one of those things families like to hide in a closet.  A few years ago, when Melissa and I lived in a small city in Broward County, we had occasion to interact with our little police department.  We […]

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Mental Illness is in Every Family

This topic has been on my list of things to write about since 2015, but today is the day I will discuss this serious issue. The issue is mental illness. As much as many people would prefer not to talk about mental illness, it is a pervasive part of almost every family, such that we […]

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What does it mean to be normal versus mentally ill?  I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know.  But, as an observer of human behavior, I believe “normal” is a pretty broad description that probably includes many people who function pretty well despite some degree of mental abnormality.  Thus, the question becomes, where is the […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Steal!

This is the last in the “you will get fired” series (I hope). Even when the employee does something bad, like stealing, going through the conflict of termination is unpleasant, not satisfying. In owning a small business, there are ways employees “steal” from the company. I’ve been remembering about a direct financial theft we suffered […]

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Reading this series of posts about reasons for firing an employee might give the reader the impression that David and I have had terrible luck with our employees.  If so, I want to explain that, to the contrary, we have had many wonderful employees in our almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus.  I […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Talk Back!

Sometimes, lessons from your mother go a long way. Unfortunately, not everyone learns those lessons. As I’ve been pondering some of our termination experiences, I recall a few instances when the problem was friction between an employee and me, or more concerning, between the employee and the “big boss,” Melissa. We have had a few, […]

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David and I have told countless people about the employee who, after being fired for insubordination, refused to leave.  It is beyond me to understand why anyone, knowing he/she is unwanted, would stay around, but that is exactly what this creepy guy did.  Until the deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department showed up at […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Forget to Press Record!

Few things are as important in our mock trials or focus groups as recording the presentations and, more importantly, the deliberations or participant discussions. We’re not in the video production business, but it sometimes seems that way because we have to capture the video, and particularly, audio, from our research sessions. This is a pretty […]

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Oh my!  Words I never want to hear during a mock trial, focus group, or any other type of research for a client are “Dr. Pigott, I forgot to press record when the mock jurors started deliberating.”  I particularly dislike hearing these words via a walkie-talkie while I am in the presence of the clients […]

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