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Archive for the ‘Human Behavior’ Category

[tweetmeme] This is a blog I wrote for Kristi Gustafson’s On The Edge Blog back in July when she was on vacation.

Blog Post by: Rose A. Winters

I don’t have children, so I consider my dog my child….

In 2007 my boyfriend Michael and I were at my realtor Terri and her husband Bob’s house and met their adorable little Chi-a-poo named Molly. We spent most of the evening playing with little Molly. Up until this point Michael always used the argument that little dogs weren’t manly and the long-haired ones should have a broom handle shoved up their butts and be used as mops. Just the idea I liked little dogs surprised many because I’m originally a Doberman gal…. By the end of the night Molly had Michael wrapped around her little paw.

A couple of months later when I was getting ready to close on my house Michael fessed up that he wanted to buy me a puppy as a surprise for my housewarming gift. I’m glad he told me because a pet is a life changing, long-term commitment. He told me he’d already been speaking to a breeder and there was a litter being born that week and we could pick her out soon. Since he’d already done so much work finding her I figured I’d at least check it out.

Isabella - 2 Weeks Old

It took me all of about 10 seconds to pick her out of the 5 in her litter and to know I’d love her forever! She looked like a tiny little guinea pig! To give you an idea of the demand – the pictures were posted online and in 8 minutes Isabella’s entire litter was spoken for. As the weeks passed until we could pick her up in Buffalo, KY, the breeder posted a new picture of her every week until she was 7 weeks old.

Isabella - The Day We Met

The first time I held Isabella it was love at first sight. We spent hours at the breeder’s house getting to know her and getting her to feel comfortable with us. We flew home with her and she became our daughter.

We feed her, dress her, cuddle with her, and give her the best care that we’re able to give. We chronicle her life like most parents chronicle their children’s lives. We measured her to track her height and weight. We wrote down the date when she lost her 1st tooth, and had her 1st haircut. We taught her all kinds of commands – sit, stay, down, paw, and roll over. She’s so well-behaved! She’s our little darling 🙂

Do you have a pet that you treat like a child?

Please comment and subscribe.

Click some of the links in the blog to see more pictures of Miss Isabella….
All Photos by Michael T. Henry except 2 week old picture courtesy of Sunset’s Toy Breed Puppies
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If you get good service you may tell one or two people about it – BUT – if you get bad service you’ll tell everyone you know.

[tweetmeme] Just to prove that we don’t only speak up when we get bad service… let’s talk about some awesome service we’ve gotten lately!!

Kristen at Berkshire Bank in 20 Mall in Guilderland.  She is top-notch!  Michael had a problem with his account last week due to a mistake Price Chopper made. (One of many, they’re on my shit-list this week) Kristen was quick to get us in touch with someone who could resolve the problem.  She did it all with a smile in her voice and a good attitude.  I didn’t mention that we spoke with her over the phone.  Her positive attitude came right through the phone.  We called her manager Jason who was working in another location and he immediately rectified the situation.

We stopped in to thank Kristen and Jason in person the next day.  Kristen was there and we had a wonderful conversation.  We were sad to learn though that Jason was transferred to their Colonie branch.  Not as convenient, but still not too far away.  I highly recommend either of these two branches for your banking needs.

The other awesome service we received was at Max BMWMichael was in contact with them regarding test-riding a couple of motorcycles so he could talk about them on his biker blogCraig and Ben took the time to meet with us and answer all the questions we asked.  The dealership was quite busy since they were sponsoring an event, but they made us feel like we were the only two on their sales floor.

These days I won’t do business with a store who’s customer service ISN’T top-notch.  Tons of businesses compete for my attention, so why should I put up with rudeness or bad attitudes?

Where have you gotten awesome service lately?
Where has customer service fallen short?

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This was originally posted on my friend Lynn Hidy’s website Up Your TeleSales on May 31, 2010.

Who Will You Be When The Pilgrimage Is Over?

Rose Niekrewicz-Winters is a friend of mine, I met when we were both on a bus trip with a band in Ireland…. ‘nuf said. Instead of telling you, I’ve asked Rose to share her pilgrimage and thoughts about it:

It’s been quite a long pilgrimage.  I’ve traveled through the past year and a half searching for a job.  Not just any job, but “the” job.  I know, I know – in this economy many would say I’m a fool to NOT just take any job.  What those people don’t realize is that if I just take any old job and then if it doesn’t work out and they lay me off, it could jeopardize my future unemployment status.  The bottom line is that I’m picky.

Who

Some may say it’s all about who you know.  I’ve found that sometimes that just doesn’t matter.  I have over 600 friends on Facebook, over 200 members in the motorcycle club, I’m in, thousands of hits to my blog, piles of former clients….  The list goes on and on.  Nobody seems to know anyone who is hiring.  I keep my ear to the ground because all it takes is 1 “right person” to drop your name at the right time.

Who I will be at the end of the journey is hopefully someone gainfully employed and happy at my job.  Push that angle aside and I’ll also be a person who took the time to get to know hundreds of people in the process and did good things for others along the way.

What

What did I do to keep my sanity?  I helped others.  I spent time working on a charity poker run for a girl with optic nerve cancer.  I helped some friends whose house burned down rebuild their lives.  I volunteered to help do work to open up the Double H “Hole in the Woods” Ranch in Lake Luzerne, NY.  I helped out a friend who was in a motorcycle accident. I supported a friend whose daughter has leukemia and tried to help her spread the word about a fundraiser for her.  I tell friends that I may have an empty bank account and can’t financially contribute to everything I’d like, but I do have time and a bank full of good karma!

When

When did I find the time?  Being out of work many people assume you’ve got all the time in the world to run around and help them with their errands.  There is nothing further from the truth.  I look at my schedule lately and wonder “when will I find the time to work when I get that new job?”  When you get extra time in your life, life decides to throw things at you to fill the time!

Where

Where do you meet the people?  Anywhere and Everywhere!  I talk to people every chance I get.  I make friends at a local coffee shop, on vacation, at concerts, at networking events, online, through other friends….  I keep saying it only takes talking to the one right person to land that perfect job….

How

How I’ve dealt with being out of work so long is a common question.  The answer is by keeping a positive attitude.  I always keep in mind that nobody wants to hire a complainer who’s crying in their beer all the time.  So I’ve been careful not to be that person. At the end of the How Far Are You Willing to Travel article in the A Chip Off the Block newsletter some questions were asked.

How would you like it to be instead?

Obviously I’d like to be employed.  I’d love it to be with a solid company that’s willing to recognize and pay for a quality employee.  Those $10/hour job calls just frustrate me to the point of asking “Did you even read my resume??”

How open to new, sometimes crazy sounding ideas are you?

I started my job search very focused on a sales job.  Later I reflected on my career and realized I was selling myself short.  True I’ve held many sales positions as of late, but I also have done marketing, data processing, management, etc.  So pigeon holing myself was a horrible thing to do!  I later realized that opening myself up to other markets and other professions was a great idea and now I tell people that I’m keeping my options open and I’d love to hear their ideas, no matter how crazy they may sound.

Just last night a good friend told me that another mutual friend counts on me for my ideas.  Apparently I’m her “think tank” and I never knew it.  I’m analytical and try to think three steps ahead and my friend doesn’t normally think past the first step.  She let’s things unfold as they happen.  I’ve learned in life to think about the future because your actions today can make or break things.

How much effort will you put in?

I work hard so I can play hard.  Everyone likes to make money.  They’d be lying if they said otherwise.  I like to do a job in the most efficient way and get it out of the way.  I put in the effort to get a job done right the first time so it doesn’t have to be revised 4 times therefore wasting valuable “play time.”

How does this fit into your goals?

This all fits into my goals.  My goals are to work hard so I can afford to play hard.  I love to travel (in fact that’s how Lynn of Up Your Telesales and I met and became friends), ride motorcycles, attend concerts, etc.  All of that is tough to do when you’re unemployed.  So I’m hoping my positive attitude and outgoing personality I’m putting out there will pay off with the job of my dreams!

How will you keep going when it gets tough?

That’s a loaded question if I ever saw one!  Things have gotten tough.  Life is tough.  The question is will you choose to have a “Whoa is me” attitude or a positive attitude?  Attitude is half the battle!  Times get tough and somehow it motivates me to work harder and put in even more effort than I had prior.

In closing the How Far Are You Willing To Travel article said:  “It’s your pilgrimage so there are no right or wrong answers – plus if you’re happy with the path you’re on, continue!”

I may not always be happy with the path I’m on, but I’m always aware of the next crossroad and am very aware that my life can be very different based on the choices I make.  All events shape the outcome of future events.  Just like Marty and Doc discussed in Back to the Future It’s all about the “Space Time Continuum”. Make every moment count.

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smAlbany Small Business Day 2010

[tweetmeme] I started my day remembering a blog I’d read the night prior.  Tea Contains Less Caffeine Than Coffee on the Broken Secrets blog.  I couldn’t get my caffeine soon enough!  I rarely drink coffee, but when I do I get the caffeine kick I need.  Since I knew I’d be talking to people though – I did them all a favor and DIDN’T drink coffee.  Coffee breath stays with me all day — so I opted for Mountain Dew Typhoon instead.  (I needed something caffeinated to help me function on 2 hours sleep!)

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Once Michael and I checked in at the registration desk and mingled some, we settled in to the auditorium at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering building (For those that don’t know it’s the big glass building at the corner of Fuller Road and Washington Avenue Ext. in Albany)

Below are some notes about the forums that were offered.
I found as I started writing this that it was VERY difficult to keep up with all the information the panels were presenting.  Many of the following sections will appear more as “notes” vs. a “narrative.”

Times Union:  Tools for Small Business Success

Speaker: Tena Tyler – News and Information Services Senior Editor 518.454.5324

To have your business information printed in the Times Union you need to understand your audience.  You need to know how to speak their language.  She stressed that a business needs to know when to call an editor.  If you’ve sent in a press release and two weeks have passed and it hasn’t been published, make sure you call in.  Tena stated that one of the biggest problems with small businesses in the region is that they don’t accept that online is a form of publication.  Many businesses are turning to Facebook and Twitter to market their businesses, but small businesses seem to be slower to use the online medium for marketing.

The TU wants to help small businesses in the region
If you have a story about your business: TUBusiness@timesunion.com
If you have a business event and would like it added to our business calendar: TUCalendar@timesunion.com
If you want your event to be in the print version – please contact them 3 weeks in advance
Eric Anderson – Business editor 453-5323

Speaker: Craig Eustace – Retail Advertising Manager 518.454.5529
Craig spoke about the paid marketing that the Times Union offers.
The Times Union now has Niche publications.
Life @Home – geared towards your home – design ideas, DIY projects, etc.
Healthy Life – geared towards women’s issues and things women would like to read about.
Explore – Where to go what to do – travel/tourism
In Motion – Automotive magazine
Vow – Brand New – Wedding magazine (Just launched Tuesday!)

You can advertise your small business in these publications to get your ad in front of a targeted audience.
Pay per click is also offered.  You will know how many people clicked on your ad.  It is track-able so you will know what your return on investment is.

They offer direct mail marketing.  They can provide demographic lists.  For example – If you’re a roofer – they can get you a list of all houses in the readership area that are 25 years or older.  You can target them and send your ad to those target customers.

Tim Cronin & Lisbeth Calandrino

Keynote Speaker:  Lisbeth Calandrino – Make It Happen
Lisbeth CalandrinoOwner of Lisbeth Calandrino Business Consulting, speaker, trainer, business coach and author of Red Hot Customer Service.

We have huge growth in the technology market in the capital region.

2 out of 3 jobs are created by small businesses

Earlier this month Sam’s Club did a survey of their small business customers.
“What is it that you need in order to stay in business?” was the main question.
The answer: MONEY!  Sam’s Club partnered with the National Business Association and the Small Business Administration to figure out how to get small business loans for the small business community.  If the small businesses don’t have money to maintain their businesses, it will directly effect Sam’s Club’s bottom line.  This act alone shows that Sam’s Club partners with their customers.

What do small businesses need around Albany?
Many have good business but it isn’t steady.
Figure out how to get your customer out to shop.
Consumers are afraid to shop.  Afraid to spend – need to save their money.
If you want to make it as a small business, you need to be a partner with your customer
It’s your job to be friends with you customers.

She quoted 212 – The Extra Degree by Sam Parker & Mac Anderson
“At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And steam can power a locomotive.”

Meet the Media Who Cover The Local Business News
Moderated by Lydia Kulbida from WTEN and Times Union Blogger

The Panelists
Larry Rulison
Lauren Rose
Mary Darcy
Mike Hendricks

Read your tweets and messages out loud.  Would you want to buy whatever your pitching?
Engage with your audience – have a fun personality.
Friend every reporter out there to get your name out in many forms of media.
Comment on the blogs, Facebook, Twitter….
Interact with your customers on Twitter & Facebook with personal tweets and comments.

Times Union – Panel on Social Media, Blogging and Your Customers
Moderated by Mike Huber – Interactive Audience Manager at the Times Union

The Panelists
Sonja Stark

Merci Miglino
Lissa D’Aquanni
Rev. Alan Rudnick
Vic Christopher

Questions that you should ask yourself prior to blogging are:
“Why should people read your blog?  Why should they care?
People blog for different reasons.  Some blog to market their business, others blog to build a sense of community.
“Careful what you put out there.  Count to 10 before you hit publish.”
“What degree do ethics play in a community?”
Rev. Alan Rudnick spoke about people who “hide behind the veil” AKA – Anonymous bloggers.
Merci reminded us that “Blogging is a knee jerk – reactive media.”
“If you don’t believe in your product, in yourself, and that you can cheer yourself out of a corner – you shouldn’t start a blog.”
“Be a follower OR have a following.”  Your choice.
They spoke about the recent “Ding Dong Ditch” incident that happened locally last week.  Why did it become such a firestorm?  It was a story that contained emotion.  It could happen to any home owner.    Social Media helped that story spread like wild-fire.  So much so that CNN picked up the story.

An audience member Karen McGowan spoke that she hadn’t considered a blog for her business until today.  The panel encouraged her to start blogging about her business Capital Interior Scapes an interior plant scape business.  By blogging she would humanize her business and she would appear as an expert in her industry.  She could post customer recommendations, pictures of plant-scapes she’d designed, lists of plants that people could consider and so many other things.

Going Mobile – The Mobile Revolution in Social Media
Presented by Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media and Verizon Wireless

Why is  mobile taking over everyone’s lives?
It makes our lives easier.

What is social media?
“Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques…  They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.”

Benefits of social media
New customer acquisition
Current customer outreach
Loyalty rewards
Corporate branding
Personal branding
Brand monitoring and management

They spoke about using Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Yelp, FourSquare GetListed and Know Em to market your business.  Go to these sites and fill out your business profile.  They stressed to fill in EVERY blank and as many keywords as are relevant to help your business come up in internet search engine results.

54% of the phone users in the local market use Verizon service.
30-40% of them are smart phones.
52% of the phones sold last week in his store were smartphones – ie. Droids, Blackberries, etc.

Top 10 Things Your Small Biz Website Needs in 2010
Presented by: Miriam Paska – Creative Strategist from Intellisites

She didn’t present them as a “Top 10” but some of the key points were:

Have a unique Design
You need to know who you’re competing against and what their web presence and marketing strategies are.
Keep your important information “above the fold”
You want the viewer of your site to see the important information without having to scroll down the page.
Use keyword phrases in your blog and on your website so you will organically show up on Web search results.
She also spoke about using Google Alerts to monitor the online activity of your company name.

Using Social Media For Your Job Hunt
Presented by: Alexis Grant

Use social media to:
Tap into your existing network
Expand your network s to include contacts at the companies where you want to work.

Facebook
Biggest online community – most bang for your buck – IT’S FREE!
People know you, like you, and WANT to help you
Great excuse to keep in touch with people who could help you

She stressed the importance of making small-talk first.  Don’t friend request someone and immediately ask them if their company is hiring.  Make some small talk and as the conversation evolves, your job search will be mentioned.

Alexis spoke about using your Facebook privacy settings to control what potential employers could see on your profile.    You want to be personal, yet still professional.

LinkedIn
Connect with professionals you might not want to see your personal life on Facebook
Your resume will appear on Google, showing potential employers what you want them to see.
LinkedIn has job boards as well as groups you can join based on your alma mater and industry.
You can find out background information about potential employers
There is an introductions feature that you can use to meet someone who a mutual friend knows.

Twitter
Network outside your circle of friends
Prove yourself as an expert
Hear about jobs
Keep on top of new trends in your industry
Make connections with companies and employers who may not have otherwise noticed you)

Tips when using social media
Fill out your profile completely
If you’re not going to do it well, don’t do it at all
Rather than being on every network – choose a few and grow quality followings

Thank you to Tim Cronin and Larry Zimbler for the invitation to be a VIP Guest Blogger at the smAlbany Small Business Day 2010.  I look forward to interacting with you in the future.

smAlbany Image from: http://www.smalbany.org
Mountain Dew Image from: http://thishelpdesk.com/mountain-dew-typhoon/
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Image from: http://todaysfacilitymanager.com/facilityblog/2009/12
Tim Cronin and Lisbeth Calandrino image by Michael T. Henry: http://tcrpmg.wordpress.com

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[tweetmeme] I have friends that send me all kinds of messages like this.  This one has many good lessons to remember.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Mental Feng Shui

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

FIVE. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! . . . When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. . When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

TWENTY ONE. Spend some time alone.

A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart

Please comment and subscribe.

Image from: http://www.mosaikos.com/feng-shui/live-in-harmony-with-feng-shui.html

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Teen’s father calls incident ‘regrettable’

Update: Parent of teen in prank controversy speaks

UPDATED: Homeowner charged in apparent doorbell ditch incident

Ridiculous charges against Delmar homeowner

Lawyer: Bethlehem man “terrified” before tackling teen

All the above news stories and blogs have been online.  I’m sure there are more but these are the ones I’ve found so far.  Twitter is going crazy talking about this story.

The basic gist of the story is – 4 local teenage boys who were having a sleepover decided to play “ding dong ditch.”  In this instance the front doorbell was rang while someone pounded on the back door.  The homeowner saw shadows through his windows and decided to disarm his home alarm system and run out his door and attack one of the kids.  The stories say that he attacked the kid off of his property and then hauled him inside his house while he called the police.  In the man’s interview he claims that he was terrified for his family.

Here’s my take on this whole thing.

  • The kids should be punished by their parents.
  • They are guilty of ringing a doorbell and banging on a door.  (Not illegal last I checked)

People keep calling these kids “intruders.”

Main Entry: in·trude Pronunciation: \in-ˈtrüd\ Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): in·trud·ed; in·trud·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin intrudere to thrust in, from in- + trudere to thrust — more at threat
Date: 15th century

intransitive verb 1 : to thrust oneself in without invitation, permission, or welcome
2
: to enter as a geological intrusiontransitive verb

1 : to thrust or force in or upon someone or something especially without permission, welcome, or fitness <intruded himself into their lives>

2 : to cause to enter as if by force

in·trud·er noun

  • I would love to know what is technical trespassing.  Does the law state that no trespassing signs need to be posted in order to press trespassing charges?  I agree the kids were trespassing.
  • These kids were NOT intruders.  From all the accounts that I’ve read these kids did not vandalize anything and made NO attempt to enter the house.
  • MY BIGGEST ISSUE – The homeowner states during his interviews that he was “terrified” for his family.  This guys does not know TERROR!  If he did he wouldn’t have ever disarmed his alarm system (as the news said he did) and opened a door.  He would have kept the alarm armed and called the police.  He opened the door and chased the kid while in his underwear.  I wonder if he locked the door behind him??  If he DIDN’T he just put his family in danger because the other 3 kids could have entered and harmed his family if that was the true intention which I don’t believe for a minute was the intention of these boys.  True terror doesn’t run towards the threat.
  • After tackling the kid, the homeowner hauled him into his house and told him he’d kill him if he said one word while he called the police.  IMHO – this is kidnapping.  At that point the homeowner had to know it was a kid in front of him.  Bringing him inside the house against his will shouldn’t have happened.  Go to the door, yell to your wife to call 911, that would have made this situation a little better.  Then the homeowner threatened the kid with death.

At the end of the day, the kids pulled a prank.  The kid who was caught was mouthy.  Kids will be kids.  Ground them, and punish them severely.  (Don’t go on a bad parenting tangent – none of us know how these kids will be punished)  The homeowner needs to be accountable for his actions.  He’s an adult.  He injured a child.  He intentionally threatened the child.  He should have called 911 and let the police handle the situation.

Another thought to ponder – Hypothetically, if the kid didn’t get tackled, but got picked up by the police, then released and went home.  If his parents hit him as punishment, everyone would be crying child abuse right now.  Remember that.

This kid had poor judgment.  That still doesn’t excuse the fact that the homeowner who is an adult made extremely poor choices given the circumstances.

**These are my opinions – I am VERY aware that most people have differing opinions.  I’m not writing this to start a big debate or an argument.  I am writing this to put a differing point of view out there for people to consider.  Because of this, this blog is closed to comments**

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[tweetmeme]About 2 weeks ago I put up a poll about your local library use.
Here are the results.

Do you use your local library?
67% Yes
33% No

If they answered yes, they were asked to complete the following questions.

How many books do you have checked out usually?
80% 1-3    20% 5-10

What types of books do you usually check out?
50% Fiction  50% Non-Fiction

What genre of books do you read?
Romance 22.22%
Thriller 22.22%
Humor 22.22%
Sci-Fi 11.11%
Self Help 11.11%
Other 11.11%

Do you find your own books, or request them online and have them waiting for you?
80% find their books on their own
20% request them and have them waiting

I’m surprised at the large percentage that don’t use the library.  Honestly, how many people go back and re-read books?  I understand buying reference books, but book that are read for pleasure – I can probably think of less than 5 books I’ve re-read in my life.

Do you re-read books?
If so, what are some that you’re gone back to read again?

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