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    Entries in list (22)

    Saturday
    Apr082017

    Situations where you should mark Emails as "Urgent", ranked

    It's Saturday!

    Woo hoo!

    I woke up this morning to the sun shining, the snow melting, (yes, it was STILL snowing yesterday where I live), the birds chirping, my Liverpool Reds on TV, and not one, but two early morning business emails both marked as "Urgent".

    Since I believe many readers would benefit from a better understanding of when, why, and in what circumstances one should mark an email as "Urgent", I present my unscientific, unresearched, subjective, and COMPLETELY biased breakdown of the situations where you should mark an Email message as "Urgent".

    Here goes....

    10. Never

    9. Never

    8 - 2. - Never

    1. Never

     

    Never mark an email as "urgent".

    If your message is truly urgent, then email isn't the medium to convey that message. Call, or text. Or get off your butt and walk down the hall to my office.  And besides, who are you to decide your problem is really "urgent" to me? Maybe I don't really care. Maybe I have 37 other problems that are more pressing. Maybe that little red flag you just dropped in my Inbox has the opposite effect that you intended, and I shuffle it to the bottom of the 'respond' pile because I just got annoyed.

    And if you are the boss, or CEO, or owner, then you don't have to make your messages as "urgent", if the folks on your team are not reacting to your directives in the way you see as appropriate, then you have a people problem, not an email problem.

    Never mark email as "urgent". Especially on a sunny, springtime Saturday morning.

    Of course you could disagree with these rankings, but of course, you would be wrong.

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday
    Dec062016

    Terms that mean 'employee', ranked

    Lots of us are employees. But some of us work at places that don't refer to us as 'employees.' Somewhere along the line, (I am guessing in the late 1970s, but I really don't know for sure), it became trendy, if not fashionable for organizations to move away from the more formal sounding term of 'employee' and start referring to their, well, employees using other terms.

    Inspired by a weekend spent in heavy retail environments and overhearing an 'All available associates, please report to the front of the store' announcement, I started thinking about all the various terms that are now used by organizations to substitute for 'employee.'

    And then I thought it made sense to rank said terms.

    As always, this list is unscientific, unresearched, incomplete, subjective, and 100% accurate.

    Here goes -  Terms that mean 'employee', ranked:

    10. Worker - About as cold as it gets. Unless you go with 'peon' or 'serf'. Which don't seem to be used (much), any more.

    9. Co-worker - Slightly softer version of 'worker'. Still pretty cold though/

    8. Staff member - As generic as it gets. Best used when the organization hates taking any kind of a stand about anything.

    7. Teammate - Unless the 'team' is designed to kick a ball or run really fast, probably should not be used in the workplace.

    6. Team Member - A little less cloying than teammate. But still not great. But yay - we are on a team!

    5. Crew or crew member - Are you on a boat? Do you build boats? No? Then you are not on a crew.

    4. Partner - This is actually sort of dumb. Unless the company is just made up of actual partners. Then it's ok.

    3. Colleague - This actually would be the one I would choose if I had to choose. Rides nicely that fine line between 'touchy-feely' and 'we all just work here' that I like

    2. Associate - a solid move if you for some reason need to move off of 'employee', but want to stay appropriately distant, yet convey a (fake) sense of importance to everyone in the organization. 

    1. Employee - Call me old school, but I still think the simplest solution is the best. I don't think anyone is really offended by being called an employee. At least I don't think so.

    Did I forget anything? Hit me up in the comments.

    And as always, you could disagree with these rankings, but of course you would be wrong.

    Friday
    Nov182016

    Learn a new word; Word of the year finalists, ranked

    Earlier this week the good folks over at Oxford Dictionaries released their pick for 'Word of the Year' for 2016, and they went with 'post-truth', an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."

    Seems like a fitting choice for the current social and political climate, where it seems that how you say something has become more important that what you are actually saying. You can read more about 'post-truth' and the reasons why Oxford tapped it as the 'Word of the Year' over at their site.

    There were nine other words that qualified as finalists for Oxford's Word of the Year for 2016 and taken together they paint a picture of a not-so-great year overall. 

    But as Fitzgerald suggested many years back, we beat on, boats against the current and all that...

    So let's end the week with some fun, and rank the Oxford Word of the Year finalists, and crown our own Word of the Year.

    As a reminder, these rankings are unscientific, unresearched, subjective, and 100% accurate.

    Here goes:

    Here are the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year shortlist choices, definitions, and my revised rankings:

    10. alt-right, n. (in the US) an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content. Find out more about the word's rise.

    9. Brexiteer, n. British informal a person who is in favour of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union.

    8. post-truth, adj. relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief 

    7. glass cliff,  n. used with reference to a situation in which a woman or member of a minority group ascends to a leadership position in challenging circumstances where the risk of failure is high.

    6. Latinx, n. (plural Latinxs or same) and adj. a person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina); relating to people of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina).

    5. hygge, n. [mass noun] a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture):

    4. woke, adj. (woker, wokest) US informal alert to injustice in society, especially racism.

    3. chatbot, n. a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.

    2. adulting, n. [mass noun] informal the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult,especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

    1. coulrophobia, n. [mass noun] rare extreme or irrational fear of clowns.

    I have always been a little leery of clowns.

    Of course, you can disagree with these rankings, but as it turns out, you would be wrong.

    That's it from me - have a great weekend!

    Sunday
    Oct022016

    Blues Brothers Band members, ranked

    Since I am on the way to Chicago for the HR Technology Conference this week, I thought it would be fun (and be a needed short diversion), to run a Chicago-themed Ranked post.

    And what says Chicago more than the Blues Brothers Band? Well, I suppose plenty of other things are more 'Chicago' than the Blues Brothers, but this was the first idea that came to mind. That, coupled with I only want to spend 10 minutes writing this sealed the deal.

    Quick clarification on the criteria for inclusion - the list is limited to the original lineup of the Blues Brothers Band and who appeared in the first Blues Brothers movie.

    As always the rankings on the blog are unresearched, unscientific, completely subjective, and 100% accurate.

    Here goes:

    10. Murphy 'Murph' Dunne (keyboards) - His role in the movie was meant to be Paul Shaffer's

    9. Donald 'Duck' Dunn (bass) - What are the chances two guys named 'Dunn(e)' would be in the same band? Weird.

    8. Tom 'Bones' Malone (trombone) - How many successful, mainstream bands have actually had a trombone player? Can't be more than 10 in the last 4,000 years.

    7. Willie 'Too Big' Hall (drums) - Played with the Bar-Kays for a while. (that is all I have for Wille Hall trivia)

    6. 'Blue' Lou Marini (saxophone) - Was for a time a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Which seems pretty cool.

    5. Matt 'Guitar' Murphy (guitar) - Pros - Doesn't let Aretha Franklin boss him around, Cons - boring nickname

    4. Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper (guitar) - Doesn't every 'military rank' nickname sound awesome? I want to be called 'The Colonel' or 'The General'

    3. 'Joliet' Jake Blues (lead vocals) - Probably should be #2. 

    2. Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin (trumpet) - Vaults way up the list due to his fantastic nickname

    1. Elwood Blues (harmonica) - Takes #1 because the harmonica is cool. And has the single best line in the movie with the 'It's dark and we're wearing sunglasses' bit

    There you have it.

    Of course you can disagree with the list, but of course you would be wrong.

    Happy Sunday and if you are out at HR Tech this week be sure to say hello.

    Wednesday
    Aug102016

    Upgrades, ranked

    It's been a while since I ran a solid 'ranked' post on the blog, and since it's the middle of a 'hard to get anything done since everyone I need to get in contact with seems to be out on vacation' week, let's take a break from the normal highbrow content and break off the definitive, unscientific, unresearched, subjective, incomplete, and 100% accurate rundown of Upgrades, ranked.

    And as always, you can disagree with anything on this list, but of course you would be wrong.

    Here goes:

    10. Windows 10 up from Windows 7 - Windows 10 may or may not be better. It doesn't matter. Windows 10 is the PRESENT. Don't be that guy stuck in the past, clinging to a technology just because it's familiar. You label yourself a Luddite. Do you still have a Blackberry? (Don't answer that one Canadian readers).

    9. 'Mid-size' up from 'Compact' - Let's face it, all the rental car companies need a serious lesson in what actually constitutes 'mid-size'

    8. The 'Junior suite' instead of the standard room - Who doesn't love an uncomfortable, non-reclining arm chair?

    7. 'Jelly Bean' up from 'Ice Cream Sandwich' - you can have your Apple nonsense. Who want to use an operating system called '6.2' - give me a fun name anytime.

    6. 'Beach view' up from 'Resort view' - You will want to tell yourself that you won't be looking out of the window all that much. You will be wrong.

    5. Gran Patron Platinum up from Jose Cuervo Especial - If you are going for flavor vs. volume. If you are going for volume, then none of this matters.

    4. Oracle E-Business Suite Version 11i up from 10.7 (you have to be a major ERP geek to appreciate this, but trust me, it was BIG)

    3. Courtside up from Section 307 - You'll remember courtside forever. Section 307 is just another game.

    2. Bose QC 25 headphones (over the ear) up from your crappy earbuds - I bought these for myself as a birthday present a few years ago, and about 200 flights later have not regretted it for a second.

    1. First class on the red eye flight from Vegas to JFK

    Disagree with anything on the list? Think I left something out? Too bad, get your own blog.

    Have a great Wednesday! I mean that.