Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Being Civil Towards Those You (gasp!) Can't Stand!

I was doing research this morning, hunting down contracts (which my friend referred to me as a bounty hunter - I guess you could call it that). I came across this website: Fistful of Talent. I was actually seeking information on another company.

Side note:
Always research a company before you attempt to do business with them. There are some pretty shady companies out there who will take you for a ride and then some. Don't be the sap who is crying about how Company X took your money because they promised this for that. Just don't do it! Researching and triple checking the information will always be your friends.

I am always doing research. I spend the majority of my time learning. Sometimes, I get lost in the vast ocean of knowledge that's out there. I mean, literally, I read and read until I feel my limbs protest because I have been sitting for far too long. Hey, I can't help it. Greatness isn't accomplished overnight. Go hard or go home!

This company has a plethora of articles. I could spend ALL DAY reading, however, one of them caught my eye right away: Incivility... The Signs Aren't Always Obvious. I began thinking about people and their manners. I work really hard with my children to instill ethics and manners into them. I also tend to do it with my nieces and nephews. To be honest, it is something that has become automatic for me. I don't even think about it. If one of them wants something, they either ask politely for it or they won't receive it. I'm not above refusing to give something to a child if they rudely demand it. The same goes for adults. I don't tolerate rudeness very well, especially from other adults who should know better.

Most of my time spent in public is on errands. I have to come into contact with many people because, well, that's what happens when you're in public. I also watch the people I come across. I noticed that most of them lack the manners my children have learned. Who taught (or didn't teach!) these people to be polite? Did they grow up with parents who never bothered teaching them how to be decent adults? Apparently not.

They lay on their horns, don't let people in who are trying to get on the interstate, don't hold the door open for the person behind them, talk away on their phone right at the register as they check out - the list goes on. Thank goodness I don't have to work with them!

I have worked for companies who had managers who felt it was okay to belittle their employees. I have a big problem with this. You should too. It is absolutely unacceptable to treat your employees like garbage. I have left a job here and there because of this very thing. Let me rephrase that, I lit the bridge on fire and made sure it completely burned down.

I refuse to be treated as though I am worthless. Every person deserves better than that. Don't allow someone to treat you in that manner. If it happens, contact upper management. If that doesn't solve the problem, then perhaps you should start looking for work elsewhere. Find a place where you are treated respectfully.

I have also worked with people that I didn't like, but I was still professional and kept my feelings to myself. It's part of being able to adapt and display common courtesy - even for the people you don't like! You shouldn't treat others differently solely because you don't like them. It's unethical and extremely wrong/rude.

The reason my children use manners is because I use them myself. It begins with you. The changes will occur around you because you don't just expect them, but practice them as well. I would never expect my children to use manners if I did not. That's hypocritical. If you expect others to be civil and polite around you, then you should do the same.

A business that is impolite to each other will probably not be so polite with the customers at some point in time. Maybe not right away, but it WILL happen. Also, if a customer witnesses you treating your employee or co-workers like garbage, they may not come back. Word will spread about how the company operates. Wouldn't you rather good news spread about your company than bad news? Inspire others to be better than they are through your actions and the rest will fall into place.

Thanks for reading! Leave your comments below!

~ Crystal ~

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Technical Glitches?

I just recently realized that I had made a mistake on my other blog. NONE of my pictures were showing. They were linked to my student account, so no one could see them. You have to log in to see them. A friend pointed out to me that they were still not showing after I thought I had fixed the problem.

Here's another example. I went onto the Seminole Tribe website because I am doing research about someone who we believe is our ancestor. We're actually about 70% certain. As I browsed their website, I found it to be outdated and in need of some work. There are broken links and their online store is nonfunctional. It was disappointing to say the least.

This post isn't going to get into anything too serious. I simply want to point out that when you have a website for your company or a blog, you need to check to make sure it is working properly. Triple check your uploads. Check the website across different browsers to ensure compatibility.

The majority of users don't take the time to see if it is their browser that is causing the problems or if it's a glitch with the page. I was fortunate that my friend was kind enough to point out the problem. Normally, they move on to find something that works. If something isn't loading fast enough or the link doesn't work - they go back and try another page.

If you sell products on your website, don't you want to ensure the links to those products work? I can assure you that I will move on if something isn't working or if there isn't a picture of something I am interested in purchasing. I will only cross-check browsers if I don't have another option.

The moral of the story? Cross your "t's" and dot your "i's" multiple times to avoid mistakes. Check, check, check and check again.

Be diligent and ensure everything works over time as well. Sometimes things become "broken" over a period of time, but it flies over our head and we don't see it.

If you want to be successful, then you have to put in the time and work. That's all there is to it. :-)

Thanks for reading!!


~ Crystal ~

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Creating an Exclusive Work Space

Before you even begin working at home, you should consider WHERE you will work inside the premises of your humble abode. And, why? Why does that matter? Well, I'll you why below:

1. It's good for the psyche. If you think about it, when you work where you play, you don't get much accomplished. It's difficult to break out of that relaxed mode and shift gears. If you draw a boundary by having a distinct space for work, then it makes it easier to get to down to business. You are less likely to be distracted by the television or the dirty dishes if you are in a completely separate room or different area of the house. 

2. It is tax deductible. Who doesn't want to shave off some of their taxes? I certainly do. Even if you do not have an extra room, the area you consider to be your office space qualifies. It doesn't matter if the space is only a 5x5 section. It is still considered eligible to be written off in your taxes IF the area is used solely for business. This also includes purchases such as a computer, printer, other office supplies, some of your electric bill, phone bill and etc. You get the idea. You can find more information under IRS Publication 587, which you can find here: 2013 Publication 587 - Internal Revenue Service

Make sure to keep your records of everything organized. It's important because when it comes time to file your taxes, then your life becomes much easier. I recall a former client of mine who had an extremely bad habit of tossing his receipts into multiple bags. Then, when it came time to claim expenses, guess who had to organize every single stinking receipt?? Oh, you guessed right, it was me! It was the worst! Don't be THAT person. If you don't feel like you can keep everything straight, hire someone to help you. 

Also, remember this:

3. Tailor it to your comfort level. You will spend many hours working away in this room. Does it have a nice window, with natural sunlight streaming in? Being in the dark encourages the production of melatonin. If you are sleepy, your production levels will be down. Sunlight is an excellent way to keep the sleepiness at bay. Is your desk and chair comfortable? You can't sit in a chair that kills your back after 30 minutes. Do your wrists hurt from being at the desk after a while? Perhaps a pad to support your wrists could help.

Make sure you have everything you need to be productive. Don't forget a filing cabinet or container to keep those important papers you need for taxes in order! I recommend making a list, then going through it to ensure you have everything you need. This way, you can set up your exclusive workspace and get down to business as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day!

~ Crystal ~

Saturday, December 7, 2013

No landline phone? No problem!

Some companies, like Comcast or AT&T, offer digital phone service instead of an analog line. The downside to using a digital phone - If your power goes down, so does your phone line. I also found that my phone line would go down when my internet went down. I've been there with Uverse and it sucks. I will stick with my hard, analog line from now on. Thanks!

Other companies allow either an analog or a digital phone, but NOT VOIP. A digital phone uses your cable/network connection for phone calls. You will use an actual phone to make/receive calls this way. Voice over Internet Protocol just uses the internet. No phone is needed for VOIP calls. You only need a microphone, speakers or a headset(preferably) to make/receive calls in this manner.

Many customer service or sales representatives are required to use an old fashioned analog line. It is the most reliable when you compare digital vs. analog. However, not everyone is able to afford a regular phone line, especially if you haven't been steadily working for some time.

My soon-to-be SIL sent me a message asking about potential work at home jobs. I sent her a list of companies who hire representatives without an analog phone line that I found here: Phone Jobs - No Land Line Required. I went through the list and started narrowing down the ones who require a digital or VOIP phone instead of an analog line. Please remember that you WILL need a headset for any of these companies AND a hard-wired phone (no wireless phones).


VOIP or Company software:

Next Wave @ Home
OnPoint Advocacy
Acanac

Digital:

American Support

Any:

Pierce-Eislen
InteliChek
Virtual Office VA Staffing (This one said any in the WAHM post, but fill out the form and send it in anyway.)


Again, I have only just started going through the list. I wanted to go ahead and post this, so if you can check out the entire list without having to wait on me to finish sorting through the companies. There are a LOT of them out there. Hope this helps someone!

Until next time!

~ Crystal ~

Saturday, November 30, 2013

End of the Semester!

The end of the semester is here!! I have final exams next week, then I will get back to work. I will finally graduate with my Bachelor's. I'm very glad that I made that decision.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. See you soon!

~ Crystal ~

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hiatus

I am taking a short hiatus from the majority of my writing to complete my Bachelor's degree. I will graduate in December. I am very excited for the future and will continue on with this blog, but the posts will be extremely limited because this semester requires a lot of studying. I haven't written one since the semester started! Homeschooling has taken up a lot of time as well. Third grade is so grueling. I don't recall it being like this when I was younger.

Hopefully, I will have a post completed by the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Crystal ~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Education

For many of those in south Florida, school started last week, including many universities and colleges. Traffic is packed as school lets in/out. Families adjust to their new schedule to conquer another year of school. I'm homeschooling my children again this year, so we never really stop. We take little vacations throughout the year. 

My university started this past Saturday. I will finally graduate with my Bachelor's in Psychology. I'm very excited and looking forward to the doors it will open once I finally complete my degree. I may even go back for another degree or move on to obtain my Masters. Most likely, I will move forward with my Master's degree in Psychology.


What does all of this information have to do with my topic? Well, it has everything to do with it! Education is very important. First of all, a high school diploma or GED is an absolute must. It would be advantageous for you to further your education with an Associates or a Bachelor's degree. An education enriches your life. You will learn things you probably would not have learned if you had not attended a university/college.

An individual without an education will face more barriers. I completely agree. I have been turned away from many potential contracts because I do not have my BA. They tell me, you have what we are looking for, but you are missing that little piece of paper. Come back to us when you finish your degree. It can be extremely frustrating. I don't want to keep smacking into walls, so I will graduate in December and then move on.

An education specializing in the field you wish to pursue is always going to work to your advantage. You cannot go into nursing or work as psychologist unless you have a degree in that field. There are many schools that offer online courses for those who are unable to attend school on campus. I am taking one of my courses online this semester. I have taken online courses every now and then. They are convenient, but you have to be disciplined and follow through.

Don't think you can't afford the college tuition? Well, great news, financial aid is available for those who qualify. However, take precaution, if you decide to take a loan, watch the amount you borrow. You always have to pay it back, with interest.

You don't have to obtain a degree. It really depends on what you choose to do in life. Not everyone is a Bill Gates or a Mark Zuckerberg. I do know this though - once you have that degree, nobody can take it away from you. 


Thanks for reading! Leave a comment or suggestion below!

~ Crystal ~