Monday, December 24, 2007

Do Snow Days Reveal Your Bad Attitude?

Do you make the effort to drive into work during a snow storm? Recently, the Milwaukee area experienced a snow/ice storm. Most of the schools were closed and there was an ice storm advisory for those living to the south. In my area, we received only snow; the radio announcers advised that the roads were not treacherous, to take it slow and give yourself plenty of time. My husband who left for work before me called to report the roads were fine; all of his co-workers had made it in safely coming from every area of South Eastern Wisconsin.

My department was a different story; five out of twelve did not make it in. Yet, all the employees in the other departments at our location had made it. This statistic reminded me of a recent article I had read indicating that employees with bad attitudes do not bother going into work during inclement weather. Our company’s owner did walk around making a mental note of who came in and who did not. His only comment was, “I can understand why Jim's not here he has that long commute.”

These same workers grumbled amongst themselves when they returned the next day seeming to have forgotten our company policy, "In fairness to those employees who do not come in to work under adverse weather conditions when we are not closed will not be paid for hours not worked." Understandably, there are family situations employees must attend to; two of the five had to stay home with their children due to school closings. If you truly can't make it in, you can try to handle the situation in a positive manner. Plan ahead, if weather reports are predicting bad weather take work home, call your managers and co-workers to make sure important tasks are completed in your absence, keep up with your work by checking voice mail and email from home, our company is set up so that everyone can do so. Lastly do your career a favor, if the roads are not that bad make the effort and go in.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wal-Mart $4 Generic Drug List

I thought this was an excellent resource for you or family members who may take some type of prescription drug. Wal-Mart has provided a list of drugs which are $4 Prescriptions up to a 30-day supply fill and refill. I have attached the link for your reference. I hope some of you could benefit from this cost savings program. Prescription drugs is one of the highest cost benefits for a employers health care plan. Wherever we as consumers can save money, we should take advantage of that benefit.

Wal-Mart $4 Generic Drug List - 10/07 Ever wonder what drugs were covered at Wal-Mart for $4?

"Ode to Joy"

This year my husband's holiday party was at the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and included a performance by the Milwaukee Symphony. Each year his company provides new and unique ideas for their summer parties and holiday events. Past events have included outings to the State Fair, the zoo, a casino night, and Hawaiian entertainment. By providing a variety of events, they ultimately should find something everyone will enjoy. For my husband and me this one was a winner. We both love music; and are always looking to attend cultural events. Others felt differently. Unable to appreciate the two hour concert, they would have preferred a party with an open bar and continuous social interaction. From the owner’s perspective, the President probably preferred an event such as this over one where the entertainment’s focus was alcohol for potential liability reasons.

As more and more companies are doing away with the "Holiday Party", I think we need to appreciate the efforts of company’s such as this who continue to provide a unique “Holiday Party”.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Penelope Trunk's resent blog posting: What to Consider when Considering a Workplace Hook-up hits close to home. My husband and I were a workplace-hookup.

I'm glad we met and all; we have now been married ten years, but looking back on the situation I see it was a stressful time. Also, I am sure our relationship interfered with my work performance at least initially. I spent an awful lot of time wondering if my new boyfriend was in the office, what he was doing, and who he was talking to. I went out of my way to find reasons to visit his department sometimes carrying around a stack of project files pretending I had questions. From the beginning, we both agreed to be discreet and keep our relationship a secret even if it meant attending the holiday party separately. I worked in accounting and was privy to confidential information including the company’s financial position, payroll and human resources. Even though I took the confidentiality aspect of my position seriously, I am sure senior management would have been more cautious sharing information with me if they had known about our relationship and may even have thought twice about promoting me to manager.

My future husband was a consultant with sales goals he needed to meet and projects he had to manage under budget. After we had been dating a couple of years, I was promoted to Controller. I then had to sit through uncomfortable meetings and had a few awkward moments as my future husband’s performance was reviewed and critiqued in front of me. I left the company a month before we  married. After our marriage was made public, my former female co-workers claimed they had been on to us for quite some time; whereas senior management, all of whom were male, had been completely taken by surprise. My husband left the company three years later.

In retrospect I believe we were fortunate our workplace-hookup worked out as well as it did. We had been good friends for a year and a half before we started dating which I am sure made a difference. Also, I have never regretted our decision to be discreet and to keep our relationship a secret.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We've never done it that way before!

Snow and freezing rain caused havoc this week at my place of employment. Two employees slipped and fell in our company parking lots. Luckily, neither of them was seriously hurt. In the past, some of our company's largest workman's compensation claims have resulted from employees falling on ice. After the first incident, I instructed the employee who is responsible for salting our parking lot to please salt the entire lot. After the second spill, which occurred at a different location, I realized our entire lot still had not been salted. When I confronted our employee he replied, “We’ve never done it that way before.” He has always salted the entryway only and besides we were almost out of salt. To which a co-worker overhearing our conversation responded, "That is not true we have always salted the entire lot, weigh your options $4 bag of salt vs. 1,400,000 liability suit. Hmm what sounds better?" I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Today in our litigious society companies need to constantly manage risks. Slippery parking lots are a hazard to the company not to mention the loss of productivity, pain and suffering for the employee.