Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Don't let questionable work habits tarnish your reputation

I have encountered several workers who have recently begun reporting to new managers. Many of them are experts in their field and have been employed with their current companies for ten years or more. Unfortunately, these long-term employees are experiencing difficulties adapting to their new manager’s rules. They have been written up, reprimanded and even fired. Most of these instances relate to sloppy work habits and questionable behaviors that were overlooked by former managers but are unacceptable under the new regime. Here is a sampling of behaviors found to be unacceptable:

1. Continuing to submit expenses for reimbursement several months after the expense was incurred even after a new policy was put in place requiring all reimbursable expenses to be submitted within one month of occurrence.

2. Continuing to arrive a minute or two late every single day after being warned tardiness was no longer going to be tolerated.

3. Selling outside of the employee’s territory or product line. Don’t assume your new manager will continue your former manager's practice of not enforcing territory lines. Your new manager may have been brought in set up structure and accountability in the department.

4. Signing customer's name to legal documents. In order to save time and gas money, the salesman, with the customer’s permission, signed the customers signature to a document missed in the closing process. The salesman’s new manager viewed this as forgery.

5. Using company computers to send joke emails despite the company’s new policy forbidding it. Many employees forget computers are company property. Even without a company policy, think twice before forwarding a joke email; what you consider to be a funny a co-worker, customer or boss may find to be offensive, a waste of company time and resources. If you must forward joke emails do so to family and friends only from your home computer.

6. Refusing to attend required training because employee was too busy and felt his years of experience exempted him from further training. The new manager concluded this employee wasn’t a team player.

Your new manager will not care about your seniority and past sales records if you do not comply with his/her new policies and procedures. With the economy in the doldrums and new jobs increasingly hard to come by do your career a favor and clean up sloppy, questionable work habits before your new manager arrives.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Billy McLaughlin Is Truely Inspirational

Last night we attended an amazing performance called the "Acoustic Archery FTG" featuring Andy McKee and Billy McLaughlin at the Northern Lights Theater. We arrived late for the performance which provided us with an added bonus; the opportunity to meet Billy McLaughlin in person. He was standing in front of the theater's entrance with his ear to the door listening to Dean Magraw . He said, “This is the first time I’ve heard this guy. It seems almost sac religious to enter while he’s playing” My husband looked at him and said, “Your Billy McLaughlin.” It was, and DH began telling him how we had discovered him on public TV about ten years ago when his performance of "Fingerdance" was featured as a filler. We were so enamored with his innovative guitar playing we went out and bought not one but two of his CD's. He talked about his new DVD and an upcoming documentary to be aired on PBS. He was extremely personable and sincerely thanked us for coming.

During his performance he kept referring to how happy he was to be performing his music. Why was he so happy?

In 1997, he had suffered a hand injury resulting from a fall. He began having difficulties playing solo guitar. His performances received poor reviews; he was even accused of playing while under the influence. Finally in 2001, he was diagnosed with focal dystonia (a neuromuscular disorder with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease) which had afflicted his hand. His doctors advised him to look for a different career; his career as a virtuoso guitarist was over. Billy refused to give up. In 2006, he began a comeback. He had relearned to play the guitar one note at a time left-handed. His documentary describes this retraining as learning how to speak every word in reverse - phonetically. His story is phenomenal. Watch it here.

“Many people fail because they quit too soon.”
Quote taped to Billy's dashboard