Be Unique – Ideas To Decorate Your Cubicle

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When you are feeling stressed or unhappy at work you might not think of how to get out of the doldrums.  You might just be in need of a change in you workspace. It might be time for some new visuals or decorations. You can place things on your cubicle wall that will make you take a second or a deep breath and remember a moment. Giving you pause to change your mindset and take a mental break.   Maybe a holiday is coming or the seasons are changing. It really picks me up when I make a few changes to my workspace.  Some favorite things can become ideas to decorate your cubicle. There are pictures of family, friends and neighbors that bring you to a happy space. It doesn’t matter whether they are nearby or far away.  Some pictures taken during a holiday celebration, or a very special wedding perhaps!  Some of the best pictures are those where you catch someone off guard.  One of my favorite all time fun decorations are drawings by my children, and the children of some of my co-workers. It really is adorable and funny for office co-workers and also anyone visiting the office to see such colorful items tacked to the walls and given such a prominent spot.  What can you think of to break the spell of a dull day???

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A co-worker’s retirement is a wonderful occasion to celebrate.  You will no doubt want to share a heartfelt sentiment to wish your co-worker well on a retirement card.  Here are some tips and suggestions to help you express your warm wishes.

-Be positive.  Sometimes retirement can be a scary time of transition in a person’s life.  While he or she may really want to retire, it is still a big lifestyle adjustment and can make even the most financially comfortable retiree a little nervous.  Also, retirement signals that one is definitely getting older, which can also be a little unsettling to your co-worker.  You can help ease the tension by being nothing but positive in your message on the retirement card.

-Be personal. While it’s nice to express standard congratulatory sentiments-like wishing your co-worker the well-meaning but generic “good luck”, it’s even better to try to be specific and show your co-worker that you connected to him or her on a personal level.  Instead of just saying, “Now you will have more time to pursue your hobbies”, get specific!  Is he or she an avid reader? Say “Now you’ll be up-to-date on all the current bestsellers!” Maybe gardening is more your co-workers thing?  Mention that “now you’ll have more time to tend to those gorgeous roses!”  If she or he is a sports and fitness enthusiast, you can quip that you expect to see her in the next marathon, or see him serving aces on the tennis court.  Many retirees long to travel, having put it off while working.  If this applies to your co-worker, you should definitely wish her or him exciting and safe travels. If you happen to know where he or she is interested in visiting, it’s even better to mention it specifically!  Whatever your co-workers interests or hobbies, it will mean so much to her or him that you remembered and mentioned it!

-Be sincere.  Everyone wants to hear that they will be missed, so make sure to end your message with such a sentiment.  It’s great to get personal here as well and mention something that you will specifically miss about your co-worker.  We all want to be remembered for something other than just showing up every day and doing our jobs; we like to be recognized as individuals.  Maybe she has a great sense of humor and you will miss her witty one-liners that always made your Mondays a little less bleak; be sure to tell her!  Maybe he always had a bowl of candies that often got you through a rough day; let him know!    If you don’t know your co-worker that well, try to at least think of one anecdote or memory that you share and mention that-perhaps there was a dreadfully long meeting you both attended or a festive holiday party where you shared a toast?  Taking the time to recall such memories will make your co-worker feel very special.

 

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CHEAT SHEET: WHO TO SEND THANK YOU CARDS TO AND WHEN

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In this age of instantaneous communication, it might seem like there is no need to send a personal Thank You Card to anyone anymore.  Surprisingly enough, there are many scenarios, both personal and business, for which this is still appropriate – and even expected.  The question is, who to send them to and when.

Below are the top scenarios for which this show of appreciation is still warranted and also appreciated by the recipient, along with guidelines for when to send the Thank You Card.

Gifts Received

  • Send within 6 weeks after receipt of the gift (sooner is better).

Scenarios:

  • Gifts received at an event that you host or is held in your honor.
  • Gifts received in acknowledgement of a major life event.
  • Gifts given by guests who could not attend and could not be thanked in person.

Examples:

Birthday · Anniversary · Engagement · Retirement · Graduation · Bridal Shower ·Wedding ·

Baby Shower · Birth of Baby · Baptism · Communion · Bar/Bat Mitzvah ·Confirmation · Congratulations · Housewarming · Surprise Party · Gifts received during an illness ·

Condolence Notes/Gifts

Kindness/Show of Appreciation

  • Best to send within a few days of the kindness you have received, but can be sent up to 2 weeks later. Beyond that time-frame, the sentiment will lose some impact.

                Scenarios:

  • A favor from a friend or neighbor such as pet sitting, house sitting, transportation, errands, etc.
  • After a hospital stay, to thank a nurse or doctor who went above and beyond.
  • To thank an exceptional teacher or babysitter.

Thank the Host/Hostess

  • Best when sent within a few days after the occasion, but best if sent no more than 2 weeks later.

                Scenarios:

  • A friend’s dinner party
  • An extended visit at someone’s home

Employment Search

  • Best when sent within 1 day of the interview, but no more than 2-3 days later.

Tips:

  • Not necessarily required, but definitely recommended.
  • Shows the interviewer that you have manners and reinforces your interest in the position.
  • Makes you stand out from the competition (most people do not send them).
  • Puts your name in front of the interviewer again.
  • Should be sent to each person who interviews you.

Business Thank You Cards

  • Should be sent within 5 business days after the event or action you wish to acknowledge, but no more than 10 business days (2 weeks) later. Sooner is always better.

Scenarios:

  • After meeting with a prospective new customer.
  • After a customer places their first order.
  • In appreciation of a customer’s continued business.
  • To a customer who has been patient in a difficult situation.
  • To the host of a business meeting or conference you were invited to and attended.

There may be many other reasons to send a hand-written Thank You Card.  The point is, there is really no reason not to take the initiative to show your appreciation to another person.  So go ahead!  Be creative, be appreciative, and send a beautiful Thank You Card.  It will be well-received!

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Assortment Boxes Are Indispensable

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Our All Occasion Assortment Box is Indispensable

You KNOW your intentions are good when it comes to sending cards to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.  You WISH you had just the perfect card on hand when condolences or get well wishes are in order.  You REGRET missing an opportunity to let someone you care for realize that you’re thinking of them and value their friendship.

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This is why, in my opinion, EVERYONE should have an ALL OCCASION ASSORTMENT BOX on hand.  You’ll never again have to flounder around looking for just the right card.  It will be right there at your fingertips, in the sturdy and colorful box that keeps them fresh and clean and at your disposal.  No more last minute trips to the store to pick up a card, or time spent going through the racks to find an appropriate one.

In this nicely organized box, there will be a matching envelope for each card – even a few extra – and they’ll have those wonderfully convenient self-adhesive peel strips.

There are two assortments to choose from – Box 1 and Box 2.  They both have an excellent variety of cards including Birthday, Anniversary, Get Well, Sympathy, Thank You, Congratulations and Thinking of You, along with a few blank Notecards which have proved very useful to us.  Each of the boxes has the same set-up but with different designs.  We keep one of each on hand and find we NEVER have to waste time running to the store for cards.

With the beautiful designs and excellent card quality, we’ve had so many compliments on the cards we’ve sent that for us, the All Occasion Assortment Box is indispensable.

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Birthday Party Themes for a Coworker

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Most companies celebrate a coworkers Birthday with the traditional card that’s signed by coworkers, a cake, maybe some snacks, and on those special birthdays ending with an zero (you know those), you may receive balloons or flowers if you share the magic number with your coworkers.

Why not think outside the box and do something fun & unexpected by having a Birthday Party Theme for a coworker.

Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with the traditional card giving, & cake to celebrate ones big day but, how fun would it be to decorate the birthday persons cubicle with a theme based on their favorite hobby, last vacation, favorite sport, or base the theme around a holiday that falls in their birthday month.

Go ahead, throw a themed office birthday celebration and see the surprised reaction from the birthday coworker.

Here’s just a few ideas to decorate a coworkers birthday cubicle.

All the decorations can be found at a party supply or $1.00 store.

  • HAWAIIAN LUAU THEME: Leis, grass skirt, tiki drinking mugs, palm trees, beachcomber straw hat, little umbrellas to put into your drinks (non- alcoholic).
  • WESTERN THEME: Cowboy boots, cowboy hat, vest, bandana to tie around the neck, so little horses to place on the desk, and a lasso.
  • SPORTS THEME: Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, golf, and hockey.
  • MARDI GRAS: Lots of beads & feathers, masks, in the traditional colors of yellow, purple & green.
  • CASINO: cards, dice, casino chips, fake bills, coins, a little slot machine & roulette table.
  • BEACH THEME: Sunglasses, flip flops, sand, plastic fish & sharks, beach balls, shells & star fish, maybe even a little goldfish bowl placed on the desk.

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Tips on Goal Setting in the Work Place

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I think the first tip on setting goals in the work place actually works in any environment and it’s to make the goal realistic.  Nothing is more demoralizing than to see a goal as so unattainable you don’t even want to try and reach it.

Assess the situation carefully and set a goal that people have to work hard to achieve, but is still doable.  A good manager doesn’t set people up to fail.  I’ve worked in an environment where we had a daily shipping goal and you could hear the cheers at the end of each day when that goal was met.  And since it was a team effort, everyone worked to make it happen and everyone could take pride in the success.

When setting a goal you want to be certain all parties involved in attaining the goal have all the tools they need to make success possible.  Also, be certain communication is clear and concise so there is no confusion as to what that goal should be.  When employees are involved and knowledgeable, they are more likely to give their best effort.

Lastly, reward employees when they reach the goal you’ve set.  It doesn’t have to be monumental, but acknowledging hard word and determination go a long way in building a satisfying work environment for everyone.

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Fitness Tips for the Office

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Keeping in shape is one of the hardest things to do. When you work in an office it gets a little harder since you have to sit all day. I have 3 tips to keep you in shape in the office without disrupting the workplace.

Take the Stairs:  This here is a sacrifice because I know we all love the ease of an elevator. But this is a fitness conversation. The trip up the stars in the morning will be your cardio and weight training. Your bag will act as a weight while you do inclined leg lunges up the stairs. The walk up the stairs will burn fat and slim your arms, thighs and legs. And the walk down the stairs will be your daily dose of cardio.

 

Healthy Well Portioned Lunch & Snacks: Now some people get a bit dismayed when they hear well portioned healthy meals. It’s easier than you think and tastier as well. You breakfast can be a banana with a muffin or bagel and cottage/cream cheese. Your lunch should consist of 1 cup of grain (i.e. rice, potatoes, quinoa), 1lb of protein (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, veal, fish), 2 cups of vegetables (i.e. spinach, broccoli, kale) and a glass of water/fruit juice. Your afternoon snack should consist of a muffin, water/fruit juice, and an apple.

 

Leg Lifts: This is an exercise that you can do at your desk without anyone even noticing. It’s also great for your calves and abdomen. As you sit at your desk every now and again just lift your legs up side by side and hold them straight for 10 seconds. Now do this 10 times and repeat this every hour after your lunch.

 

If you continue this routine every day for 3 months, I guarantee you will be satisfied with the results.

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WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE TIME FRAME TO SEND A SYMPATHY CARD?

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Expressing sympathy when a friend or a colleague has lost a loved one seems to be difficult for many people. What should I say? Should I go to the service? If I go to the wake how long should I stay?  What is the appropriate time frame to send a sympathy card? It is easy to be caught up in an internal struggle of how we should act on these occasions. We can give advice to others on all these questions but the simplest answer is, do what feels right. The simple fact that you care will be comforting to anyone.

The time frame for sending a sympathy card should be dictated by when you found out about the person’s loss. If you heard right away, say when a colleague at work is out for a death in the family, the appropriate time would be within one to two weeks. Your colleague will be most likely be back to work in that time and you don’t want the card to appear to be an afterthought as if you finally could find the time to write the card out. When you decide to send a card you should send it as close as possible to the time of loss so the person can feel this is a genuine expression of sympathy. It is also appropriate to bring a card if you are attending the wake, however, sending it a few days later is considered a good time frame.

The only time sending a sympathy card after the two week period, would be if you had just found out about the person’s loss. Sometimes we have friends who live a distance away and you may not have found out until several weeks or months later. It is then appropriate to send a sympathy card with a personal note saying you have just heard about their loss.

Many times we just don’t want to do the wrong thing and so we do nothing. It is always better to take a positive step to sincerely express your compassion and concern.  People will accept any attempt a friend takes to comfort them with an open heart. Taking the step is what is most appreciated.

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What to write on your boss’ birthday card

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The hardest decision you may have at the office is: what to write on your boss’s birthday card. If your office is like mine then you get a birthday card from the boss with a little personal note. As of a matter of fact it is signed by several of my superiors. So when their birthday comes along, my dilemma is what to write that is a little more personal. Friendly without being syrupy is the way to go. I have made up a list of good and bad phrases for use in a bosses birthday card.

BAD

  • Happy Birthday to the most awesome, beautiful, funny, great friend – Have a fabulous birthday.(a little over the top)
  • Boss in honor of your birthday we are all taking the day off. (if only)
  • Boss you are not hold just vintage. ( might not fly)
  • Happy birthday to the big cheese. (a little to familiar)
  • Wishing you success since you are the best boss in the world. (can we say – really!)
  • Even a boss like you is human on their birthday. (time to find another job)
  • To the best boss – from all your nuts. (a step too far)
  • To the king of the rat race. (maybe not)
  • To celebrate your birthday – you can give everyone a raise.(I’m out of here)

GOOD

  • You inspire me to do my best. Happy Birthday.
  • Wishing a great day to a great mentor.
  • It’s your birthday boss – celebrate!
  • It’s been a pleasure to work with you – Happy Birthday.
  • To the best boss – Happy Birthday
  • May the year bring you more success.
  • Enjoy your day – you deserve a celebration.

It may seem simple to wish your boss a happy birthday, but remember what you put in writing lives forever. I happen to like my boss. Out of respect for him, I will only write something polite and warm. Crossing the line to funny can always be misconstrued. Bye the way – Enjoy your next birthday.

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Retirement Party Themes For A Coworker

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There are many stops along the trail leading to the end of a career.  Whether those forays were from one occupation to another or simply from one desk to another, the final destination of this journey is always the same – retirement.  This is often a happy occasion as concluding a career will offer an individual the freedom to invest more energy in their hobbies and passions, to spend more time with the ones they love, and to bask in the feeling of a lifelong job well done.  At the same time, retirement has the potential to engender a sense of loss and finality as an individual is permanently leaving work they may have felt strongly about and coworkers whose company they’ve come to appreciate and enjoy over the years.  Therefore, it is usually a good idea to keep retirement parties fun and light both to celebrate the positive aspects of retirement and mitigate any sadness associated with it.  A few retirement party theme ideas found below aim to accomplish just that.

Retirement Party Themes

  • Gag gifts – In addition to any actual gifts the retiree may receive, make a point to throw in at least one or two gag gifts to put a smile on his or her face. For example, you may wish to wrap up an alarm clock set to 5:00am and a shiny, new hammer and welcome the retiree to make good use of that hammer.
  • Mock Award Show – The red carpet could literally be rolled out for the retiree as coworkers pepper him or her with fun award show-type questions as he or she arrives at work. A video montage of work accomplishments could be shown as background narration is provided by someone impersonating an overly dramatic movie trailer announcer (In a world where budgets are always balanced…).  A silly award (maybe a “Linda” if the retiree is named Linda) could be presented amidst thunderous applause.
  • Retirement Interview – Easy “yes or no” questions could be fired in rapid succession at the retiree much like those asked during a job interview, but the questions would be instead attempting to evaluate if he or she is the right candidate for retirement.  For example, “Do you have any experience relaxing on the beach?” “Are you up to date on the latest television shows?,” “Is your greatest strength spending time with your family?”  Of course, no matter the answers given, the interviewer must say, “I’m sorry, Joe, but I just don’t think you’re the right fit for retirement.  We’ll see you at your desk on Monday.”

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