A Valentine’s Workplace Tale

first_imgTHIS BLOG SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE, PERTAINING TO SPECIFIC FACTUAL SITUATION OR ESTABLISHING AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Well, there are now fewer calls to the phone banks of plaintiffs’ lawyers’ as most problems resulting from holiday parties already have been raised.  But plaintiffs’ lawyers have no fear: there will be a salvo of calls after Valentine’s Day.  And that reminds me of a story.It is 9:00 a.m.  A secretary reports to her desk.  Waiting for her is a sealed card.The secretary opens the envelope and it is a Valentine’s Day card from her manager.  Having undergone sensitivity training, the manager signs it “fondly” as opposed to “lovingly.”The employee is creeped out and goes to HR. HR talks with the manager based on a script we had prepared together.HR asks the manager if he knows why the card is inappropriate.  He responds “No.”HR asks the manager to whom else he gave a Valentine’s Day card and he answers, “his wife.”  Again, it is asked:  “Do you know why card was inappropriate?”  Again, he answers “No.”We now take out the crow bar.  Is there anything you do with your wife in privacy that you don’t do with secretary?  Ding. Ding. Ding.Of course, we did not directly ask the last question, but we get the message across.We explained to him that employees can be “so sensitive” when their bosses tell them:To the love of my lifeI cherish our moments togetherI love youRecommendation: A little email education on this issue to your managers now could save your company a lot of money later.  It’s not complicated: don’t give employees in your chain of command, or over whom you have direct or indirect influence, a Valentine’s Day card. There is some risk in giving cards to peers. But in the absence of a power differential, that risk is less.Of course, that does not mean that everyone who sends a Valentine’s Day card is intending to convey a romantic message.  After all, there are now Valentine’s Day cards for parents, kids, etc.For some, the Valentine’s Day card is simply a way to say you are important to me.  The problem is the nature of the holiday may confuse the reason as to why the employee is important.Yes, Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Saturday, so there will be fewer cards. That means even hungrier plaintiffs’ lawyers to fall in love with you.last_img read more

A Hack for Managing Business Relationships

first_imgWhen you’re running a startup you have a lot of demands on your time, more than you can fit into your day. Your top priority should always be responding promptly to user bug reports and questions, and then come other stakeholders like investors. Where it gets tricky is dealing with other requests. For example you may have open-sourced some code, and are now getting bug reports or feature requests. You want to help those people out and generate goodwill, but you don’t have enough time to spend on all of them. How do you prioritize? It’s like qualifying your leads in sales: you need as much information as you can to make tough decisions about where you expend your resources. Is it manipulative? It does feel a bit artificial at first, but I focus on how much better it makes me at helping the people who really need my time. Judging by this Quora thread, I’m not the only one to feel like this. So next time you find yourself in a dilemma about where to spend your limited time, try applying reciprocity to understand who needs it most.Photo by RAWKU5 How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? pete warden Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzes The secret I discovered is reciprocity. You want to put the people who really need your help at the front of the queue, and asking them for something trivial in return is a good way of figuring out how strong their need is. For example, I’ll very often get bug reports on my open-source code that are missing some information that would help debug the problem. Instead of spending time speculating, I’ll email them back thanking them for the report, and asking if they can give me the information I need, typically something as simple as the OS and browser versions. It’s amazing, more than half the time I don’t even get a reply! This tells me that they don’t really care about the problem, so I can leave their issue at the bottom of my priority list. What I’ve discovered is that the same approach is applicable to a lot of business relationships where you need to prioritize who you spend your time with. I will take an initial thirty minute phone call with anyone; I love how many interesting people this allows me to discover. I write off one day a week where I don’t expect to get any coding done thanks to meetings, so squeezing another few in doesn’t hurt my productivity. I will often get requests for a follow-up or in-person meeting, and that can be a tough call to make. Before I invest my time, I want to have some assurance that it has a chance of helping me make progress with the business. I want an equal relationship, and that won’t happen if I’m giving up my time and expertise in return for nothing. What I do is again ask for some reciprocity. If they’re well connected in a particular industry, I’ll ask for an introduction to a related company I’m interested in. If they work for an interesting company, I’ll ask for some free product licenses I can give away on my blog. If they blog themselves, I’ll ask if they’ll write a quick story about their experiences with my site. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#hack#How To Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Intel-based Tablets & QuickBooks Pair Well for Small Businesses

first_imgFor organizations needing accounting software to stay current on their affairs, QuickBooks has long been a popular program and the most widely used software among small businesses. Remote access capabilities, improved metrics for SMBs, remote payroll assistance, electronic payments, online banking, mapping features and marketing options through Google, and improved e-mail functionality through Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express can give entrepreneurs a variety of tools to help them succeed under a single platform.Similarly, tablets are quickly becoming the go-to device for smaller teams that may need to complete tasks in and around a store, warehouse, or multi-use office in addition to offsite work. Together, the hardware and software can be a powerful pairing. But, it’s crucial to understand the reach and limitations of QuickBooks on mobile. To gain a better perspective of performance, Intel commissioned Prowess Consulting to put multiple devices running QuickBooks to the test.Prowess Consulting evaluated QuickBooks options for mobile users and examined the software’s capabilities and user experience on a range of mobile devices. The QuickBooks user experience varies notably between different mobile device platforms. Of the devices Prowess tested—the Dell™ Venue™ 11 Pro, the Samsung® Galaxy Note® 10.1, and the Apple® iPad Air™—they concluded that the mobile device best suited for productive QuickBooks use was the Dell Venue 11 Pro powered by an Intel processor and running Windows* 8.1.The tests conducted on the three tablets included basic mobile tasks like comprehensive reporting, standard banking, along with importing data and exporting data. Using the Dell Venue 11 Pro, users were able to create a greater amount of reports and get deeper customer insight. Customer service saw improvement, too, with twice as many ways to access richer features, functions, and customer data. Plus, QuickBooks data was better leveraged by exporting it as an Excel spreadsheet available for use anywhere with Windows* 8.If you’re a small business owner looking to stay productive by using QuickBooks on a mobile device, be sure to review your options before purchasing. And be sure to keep an eye on the variety of services available in the market as cloud services may soon disrupt traditional accounting software.For more on the Prowess QuickBooks study, head to “Do More with Intuit® QuickBooks®” to read the full text and view the infograhic for a more detailed overview.last_img read more

India vs Zimbabwe: Ravi Shastri to skip tour

first_imgIndian team director Ravi Shastri will not be travelling to Zimbabwe with the Indian team next month. According to Cricbuzz, the veteran will be back with the squad for the Sri Lankan tour in August. Shastri, who had informed the board about his decision before the Bangladesh series, is likely to manage the team till the 2016 T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, Indian support staff Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are likely to get two-year contracts ahead of the Zimbabwe tour.Will the regulars go to Zimbabwe? The question over the availability of key players MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ravi Ashwin will be answered when the national selectors meet in Delhi on Monday. The chances of a Dhoni-led side touring Zimbabwe are high as there is no limited over cricket in the schedule for the next four months after the African tour.last_img read more