Sunday, February 28, 2016

Learning About Swagbucks From Angie of Angie's Angle

This month I joined Susannah Kellogg's blogging buddy match up called Solidarity Sisters. Susannah who blogs at Simple Moments Stick, pairs two like bloggers to connect and work together over a specified period to grow their blogs. I was paired with Angie of Angie's Angle. Angie is a full-time lifestyle blogger with many talents and interests. Immediately I noticed we had several things in common: dogs, food, health, gardening and books. Angie was also there to console me when I lost my beloved dog Buck to cancer earlier this month. She is no stranger to grief having lost her childhood fur baby Rascal at 17 1/2.

For our final challenge, a collaborative effort, we decided to swap posts. Angie is a member of Swag Bucks – something I’ve always wanted to know more about, so today she is sharing her insights into their program. Since I read a lot about nonfiction,  for my post Angie asked that I recommend some of my favorite histories or biographies. Head over to Angie's Angle to learn what biographies I recommended.

Here is Angie:

Today I am going to talk to you a bit about Swagbucks. 

What is Swagbucks:
For those that don't know, Swagbucks is a program online (no downloading required but can earn you a bit more points if done so) where you earn points towards gift cards completely free.
My husband and I now both do it on a daily basis.  Yes, you are allowed more than one account in the household, as long it's separate emails and they are the one working on it, not you working on both.  We mainly work towards getting our goal on a daily basis and each month we cash out for at least $25 a month in Amazon.  Most of the time we each get $50 but some months, it's only the $25.
How do you earn?
It's really easy but does take a bit of time each day.  
Search - use it as your regular search engine and you can randomly earn points for doing that.  I do believe most of the time you can earn up to three search wins a day.
Daily Poll - there is a daily poll each day that you can earn a point with, so really simple there.

NOSO - each day you go through their daily offers, just clicking more deals and hit the end where you put in a code and earn 2 points.  Again very simple.
Answer - you can go through and do surveys to also earn points on a daily basis.  You can earn 1 point for each survey you disqualify for up to five times as well. 
Games - you can earn 10 points a playing their very easy games, like Swagasaurus Run.  Get 2 points for every 2 games you play.  So play 10 times and you can earn your max 10 points for that.  Sometimes it takes a bit more than the 10 times to earn it, but still very simple way to earn those points.
Shop & Earn - you can also earn points just while doing your regular shopping online and going through Swagbucks to earn a bit of extra points back.  It does take 30 days I think it is to credit, but still worth it in my opinion.  
Mobile - there are some videos you can watch on your phone to earn extra points in your day.  Each of them you can earn 10 points a day on and there are 6 different programs to do so.
Discover - there are also various other ways you can earn, but it varies with the type and what  you are doing to earn it.  But just clicking around on Swagbucks itself will familiarize yourself with the ways you can earn and how.
Curious and want to hop on the Swagbucks train?  I swear to you it's totally legit and sometimes can be an enjoyable way to earn some extra for your household.  Join today through my referral link and I'll earn while you earn.  
Any questions?  I'd be happy to hop over to Savvy's blog and see if there and answer them to my best ability. Thanks for Savvy wanting me to tell you all & her about Swagbucks.

If you would like to participate in the Solidarity Sister's program click here to apply.

Disease Called Debt

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Do Software Conversions Force Older Employees into Retirement?

I’ve joined a real-life book club. Our first selection was Fredik Backman’s book A Man Called Ove.

What is A Man Called Ove about?
Ove is a grumpy old man. So when a chatty young couple moves in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, he has some choice words for them. But the altercation is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association their very foundations.

Highlights from our book club discussion:

Since Ove is considered a curmudgeon, we started the meeting with a definition:

From Merriam-Webster::
A curmudgeon is a person (especially an old man) who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains.

I was offended that Backman considers Ove, who is “only” 59 at the beginning of the book, as old and a has-been in the work place. (My fellow 50-something book club members nodded in agreement at this observation). Ove is forced to retire from a job he’d held for more than a third of a century because he did not have adequate computer skills. This led to a lively discussion about whether companies are properly guiding older employees through change.

The current trend at many firms is to convert their client-server business software to a cloud-based system. Supposedly this will eliminate manual processes and allow employees to access information from anywhere. Managers and business owners especially like the idea of better access to crucial information at their fingertips.

When I stated I had been privy to discussions at both my professional organization and in my own company of employers hoping these changes will frustrate older curmudgeon-like employees and force them into retirement, a book club member piped up:
In her twenty years of working as a manager of HR she has yet to see a company implement change properly. 

At my own company I’ve seen over and over where a software upgrade, a new program or tool is rolled out with almost no instruction or training given. This is after thousands of dollars have been spent on the new feature. If we are lucky, we are given a link to an on-line demo to review. The most adventurous of us may read the on-line tutorials and teach others, but the majority of the long-term employees continue to perform processes the way they’ve always done them or manipulate the new system into the old manually or with excel causing more work in the long run.

As to whether the soft-ware change will force the older employees into retirement:

I think not. Most likely these older employees would have already retired if they could afford it. They will continue to work holding onto that paycheck as long as possible, but will become more caustic. Making them even more susceptible to layoffs.

Behind Ove’s bitter exterior is there a softie inside?

All our book club members seemed to think so and that the circumstances of Ove’s life had made him bitter. Again I can relate this question to one of my co-workers. He is going on 70 and continues to work to pay for his wife’s in-home care and medical expenses. She suffers from M.S. and has been bed-ridden as long as I can remember. This co-worker is loud, abrasive and intimidating. Other employees are terrified of him. He is also at the top of the list of employees my company hopes will retire during the software conversion. For some reason, I’ve always gotten along with him and will volunteer to call him when others are afraid to. Just last week he told me how he had recently almost lost his wife. He choked up as he told me she was his sweetie. I asked about his dog (we both have labs) He mentioned how the dog wouldn’t play or eat while his wife was in the hospital.  I am positive I changed his mood for the better when I asked how the dog reacted to her homecoming. Definitely a softie at heart.

Can a relationship between two opposing personalities work when one is black and white and the other is rainbows?
Ove describes himself as a man of black and white. And his wife as color. All the color he had.
Our book club facilitator didn't think so, but the rest of the group thought it could work if they didn't have children. Again I can relate this question to my work place. Some of the largest conflicts in my organization are between departments or employees where one has a black and white personality and the other is rainbows. As my boss likes to say about a colorful employee, “I will agree to disagree with her.”

The one and only comment from the lone male member of our group – he enjoyed the Saab references.

In closing, I don’t want to give away any of the plot, so I will just say my fellow book-club participants thought A Man Called Ove was a good book. I thought it was good, not great, but an excellent book club selection. 

Have you read this book? Did you like it?

Does your company manage change well? Do you think too much change forces older employees out of the work place?

Please Note, I am an Amazon Affiliate

Disease Called Debt