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Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the office may not seem like a good idea to most people. Supposedly the day is for sweethearts which keeps most people from feeling it is a little too mushy for the office. The fact of the matter is that Valentine’s Day did not start out as a lover’s holiday, but rather as a feast day in many Christian religions. It is commonly held that in many European communities that Valentine’s Day is a celebration to the coming of spring. School children make decorations and exchange Valentine’s cards as a sign of friendship and esteem. In the US about 190 million cards are sent each year.

Valentine’s Day does not have to mean love, it can be simply a day to celebrate people we care about. Most of us spent 1/3 of our week at work. I say it is important to celebrate Valentine ’s Day in the office with some simple signs of caring to show the people we spend so much time with that we think they are special. Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for appreciating coworkers on Valentine ’s Day.

DO
• Bring in a special treat, such as donuts or cookies. A little sweetness in will bring a smile to everyone’s face, with the added benefit of making the team just a little more productive.
• Wish your coworkers a happy Valentine’s Day with a smile or a card.

DON’T
• Make suggestive remarks, that is never appropriate.
• Buy anyone an expensive gift, which may make them feel uncomfortable.
• Initiate any physical contact. Shaking hands or friendly hugs are okay but should be initiated by your coworker. Some people do not feel comfortable with physical contact and that should be their decision.
Valentine’s Day can be a great team builder in the office if it is done with an appropriate amount of decorations and lighthearted wishes. Keep in mind that celebrating in an office should always be achieved without making anyone uncomfortable but rather feel a sense of happiness to carry them through this special day.

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We are pleased to announce there were 11 winners this round instead of the usual 10. The 10th and 11th place entries were tied with the same number of votes, so both will be moving on!

Join us in congratulating all of our Seventh Round Winners!

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How To Get Along With New Co-Workers

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We’ve all experienced those “first day” jitters when starting a new job. You’re the newbie and you want to start off on the right foot; so what to do and not to do:

Don’t :

  • Stare at your new coworkers trying to determine ages and who’s single or married!
  • Take the last cup of coffee without making a fresh pot!
  • Take the last custard donut…actually don’t take ANY unless they were offered to you!
  • Ask the girl with the gorgeous red hair what brand of dye she uses!?
  • Congratulate your slightly overweight neighbor on her forthcoming child!

Okay we could go on and on with the Don’ts but if you seriously want to get along with your new coworkers, just follow a few simple rules.

  • Be sure to listen and learn and ask questions when you don’t understand.
  • Be Honest and Productive
  • Offer to help out others when your own tasks are completed.
  • Be kind.
  • Be punctual as well as considerate of other’s time.

In essence, if you follow basic good work ethics, act like a human being, and bake some dynamite chocolate chip cookies; you won’t have any problem getting along with new co-workers!

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Sending Thank You Letter After Job Interview

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In today’s market many companies continue to find ways to stay profitable and still grow, but control costs. This is a big contributor to the idea of one person with many hats. More often than not when a new task is added to the workload a new position isn’t created instead it is added to the daily list of managers, supervisors, team leaders, and the supporting team. All that this means is that most employees, at any level, have a full day of work ahead of them when they get into work.

In the event companies are hiring for a position, you should have this understanding of how some workplaces may be before entering for the interview. You should understand that several employees have taken anywhere from 30-60 minutes out of their schedule to meet with you and give you an opportunity to join their team. This amount time is extremely valuable in today’s workplace. This time given to an interviewee can mean skipping a lunch, missing another team meeting, pushing back their daily schedule, missing a child’s sporting event, or even just sitting longer in traffic.

For these reasons a thank you letter for time given on an interview shows the company that you understood and are grateful for the time and opportunity given regardless of the outcome. This letter shows that you as a person respect other peoples’ time and schedules and would be a valuable employee if given the chance.

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What to Wear to a Job Interview

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The question might be “What NOT to wear to an interview, rather than “What to wear to an interview”? I have seen people arrive for interviews with the most interesting outfits. They are drawing attention to themselves, however, it is not in a flattering way. Midriffs, cutouts, holey and/or dirty clothes and t-shirts with arm holes that show skin down to the belly button, are not appropriate attire for an interview. Even if the temperature outside is 80 degrees. Resist the urge to “under dress”. Some companies are more casual than others, so you may not have to wear a suit, but you still want to make a great first impression. Appropriate clothing is just as important as good hygiene.
 
How much to dress up or not, depends on the position you are trying to obtain. A management position would suggest that you wear a suit. A manufacturing position may be less formal. Following are just a few guidelines:
 
Men
Dress in a manner appropriate to the position you are applying for
Suits should match, fit properly and be pressed
Avoid “loud” colors, including ties

Women
Dress in a suit with pants or a skirt
It should be understated, comfortable and well fitting
Avoid anything tight, bright, short or sheer
Makeup, jewelry and nails should also be understated

If the position is less formal, such as in manufacturing, jeans may be acceptable. They should be neat, clean and free of rips and tears. Shirts should be the same. Keep accessories to a minimum and pay attention to hygiene. Dress to impress. Sit up straight and speak clearly. Avoid slang. Smile! Remember – the person that is interviewing you needs to see you as an asset to the company. For more suggestions, check out the web. There are numerous articles devoted to this very subject. Good Luck!

 

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Low Calorie Recipes For Work

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These are quick easy low calorie recipes for work. It will keep you full until the next meal without fail. It is also something you can eat either as a breakfast or lunch. For those worried about carbs, the early part of the day is fine for a higher carb intake since you have the rest of the day to burn them!
REMEMBER: Carbs are helpful for lunchtime walks!

Sliced banana with peanut butter on crisps.
1 medium banana – 105 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 27g Carbs, 1.3g Protein
2 tablespoons All Natural (Better’n Peanut Butter) – 100 Calories, 2g Fat, 12g Carbs, 4g Protein
3 Wasa Crip N Lite Crispbread (Crackers) – 60 Calories, 0 Fat, 13g Carbs, 2g Protein
Total – 265 Calories, 2.4 Fat, 52 Carbs, 7.3 Protein

Spread the peanut butter between the 3 crispbreads and cut up the banana and divide evenly between the crisps and that’s it! Delicious as well!

Sliced cucumbers with hummus in a whole grain pita.
1 Whole Grain Pita (Toufany) – 155 Calories, 1g Fat, 30g Carbs, 6g Protein
1 Cucumber Medium – 45 Calories, 0.3g Fat, 10g Carbs, 2g Protein
2 oz Hannah’s Hummus – 120 Calories, 9g Fat, 10g Carbs, 4g Protein
2 ribs Romaine Lettuce – 10 Calories, 0g Fat, 0.02g Carbs, 0.6g Protein
Total – 330 Calories, 10.3 Fat, 50 Carbs, 12.6 Protein

Slice along one side to open the pita, spread 2 oz. hummus (any flavor, mine is roasted red pepper) along the inside of the pita. Add thinly sliced cucumber cut lengthwise, a few ribs of chopped romaine lettuce to plump it up and you are all set! Tastes really refreshing, better than you might believe. Try it, you’ll like it!

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Why You Should Buy Birthday Cards In Bulk

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If you run a business, whether it is Nationwide or Global you probably have many, many customers. These customers can be located anywhere in the world. It is a great idea to send individual birthday cards to them which will remind them of you and your business.  A small gesture like this will make you stand out in the crowd.  Not many business associates remember this very special day for your customer. However, those who do reap the rewards, Loyalty! Customers who feel that you really truly care about THEM are the type of customers you want to do business with again and again for the long term.  

This is the why you should buy birthday cards in bulk and save yourself or the company a lot of money. At the local store a birthday card can cost upwards of $2.49 each for the bottom of the rack discounted plain cards.  However, The Gallery Collection can beat that price per card if you purchase in bulk, and the cards will arrive personalized with your name or company name printed inside. Keep in mind, the price continues to drop as the quantity increases, so be sure to order as many as you need. To purchase your high quality birthday cards,  please visit The Gallery Collection.  You will not find classiest cards at such an affordable price. 

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Congratulations to our Sixth Round Winners!

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Last year for the Holiday season I received a great Christmas card from one of the companies I have done business with in the past.  The card was a sturdy one with a really great picture on the front of all the employees with these great happy smiles! It made me think about the fact that knowing the faces of the actual people you talk with to do your business really can make a difference.  I realized this fact once I saw a picture of the lovely woman I have spoken with over the phone.  Putting together the face with the voice and her mannerisms gave me a warmer connection to the company, which happens to sell many items I can get in numerous other places.  Since many other companies also offer most of the same stuff, having this connection made a difference.  I liked the service and then the picture of the employees solidified my feelings towards this company.   I guess you could say there are benefits of sending photo Christmas Cards to your Customers since it might bring in new business and also get some business back that may have gone elsewhere.  An increase in the bottom line, something we all want!  Just because of employee faces on a Christmas card.  Good wishes make good connections!

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Congratulations to our Fifth Round Winners!

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