Scaredy Pants

So, how about that earthquake?

Living in Maryland most of my life, I’ve only experienced one earthquake which was just a little shake when I was in high school.  No big deal.

Yesterday’s earthquake was rated at a 5.9 and was the most shaking we’ve felt in the East in over 100 years. It’s also less than a month away from the 10 year anniversary of September 11th, so people were totally freaking out.

I was totally freaking out.

I was sitting at my desk and at first I thought that someone was walking very heavily down the hallway. When it continued and got stronger, I then thought that they were doing construction on our building. About 20 seconds into it I came to the conclusion that it was either an earthquake or a bomb had gone off. I grabbed up my purse and cellphone and walked quickly out to our front reception area where there was a report on the TV. After finding out it was in fact an earthquake, I went outside to wait with a bunch of coworkers until we felt it was safe go to back in the building.

My hands were shaking and my heart was going a mile a minute. Logically I knew that it was just a little earthquake and nobody was even injured (that I heard about), but my mind went straight back to September 11.

On the morning of 9/11 I was working at NSA. I was on the phone with my mom the moment that the first plane hit the twin towers. She was watching it on TV and told me about it. As soon as I got off the phone with her, we found out that there was intelligence suggesting that one of the planes may be heading to the NSA. They evacuated all non-essential personnel in our building and as we were quickly walking out of the building, military in full uniform were running in.

It was literally one of the scariest moments of my life and yesterday’s earthquake gave me that same shot of fear in my body.

In this day of technology, it’s ironic that just as on 9/11 the cell towers were immediately overwhelmed due to people calling and texting their loved ones. It took me 50 minutes to get a text out from my phone and hear back that my husband was okay. Over an hour later I still wasn’t able to make any calls from my cellphone and when I used my landline I kept getting a busy signal. Rather than being a fun distraction or a marketing tool, I saw a real value in Facebook since I was able to check status updates and see that my family was fine.

This was just a little earthquake.

But it still scared the crap out of me.

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The Secret to Having the Happiest Employees & the Best Relationship in the World

I know that’s a pretty big promise to live up to. I’m about to give you the one secret that can make everyone you deal with happier.

Crazy, right?

Impossible!

But let me ask you this. What is the one thing that you’ll never hear anyone say?

“I really love to feel unappreciated!”

Okay, maybe you’d hear it if someone was being totally sarcastic. However, nobody is ever thrilled to feel like someone is taking them for granted.

This is true in the workplace, as well as in your personal relationships. To keep someone around, they need to feel valued. If they don’t feel valued, you can bet that they’ll be looking around for someone else to value them – whether it be on match.com or monster.com.

As a manager or business owner, it is important to realize that by recognizing employees for doing a good job, it actually helps motivate them to continue performing well. Although some business have an entire employee morale program complete with a large budget, many things can be done for less than $100. Check out “1001 Ways to Reward Employees” by Bob Nelson, PH.D. for a bunch of great ideas and low-cost activities you can implement at your company.

I’ve given it a lot of thought though and I really think I know the best tip ever invented.

Are you ready for my awesome secret of making everyone happier?

Here it is in one little word: Praise.

Praise your employees.
Praise your spouse or significant other.
Praise your friends.
You can even praise your freaking dog.

It’s that simple. If someone is doing a good job – TELL THEM!

If you appreciate someone for doing something awesome, or even just consistently being a super friend or supportive spouse – TELL THEM!

If you value an employee and you want them to continue working for you, TELL THEM that you value them. Otherwise, when they hand in their resignation… it will be too late.

So my Pocketful readers,* let’s spread the love. Here’s your homework for the day: the next time someone does something great – whether it be the super friendly waitress that takes your order or the fact that your husband finally remembered to put the dishes in the dishwasher – tell them what a great job they did!

*By the way, my sweet and sassy Pocketful readers, I owe you a bit of praise. I appreciate and value every single person who has taken a minute out of their day to read my ramblings.

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Tech Update

I’m flabbergasted. Completely flabbergasted.

After dealing with Verizon yesterday I was told that my new DVR would be arriving around 8/25 and had resigned myself to living in technology limbo for the next two weeks.

I got quite a (flabbergasting) surprise when I got home from work today and saw the package waiting for me less than 24 hours after I spoke to them!

Since the new DVR would take the place of both my ‘old school’ Tivo and our Verizon HD set top box (STB), I decided to totally chance it and just start dismantling everything. You would not believe the amount of random wires and cords I pulled out of there. I don’t know what they were all for, but apparently most of them weren’t doing anything at all.

I broke the old Tivo and STB free of the mess, threw most of the cords in plastic baggies in case I needed to hook anything back up in the future, and pulled out the directions for my new DVR.

Now this is where it would typically all go wrong…

But I had that thing hooked up to our new system perfectly in less than 10 minutes! It took me another half hour to program all our shows into it, but I was (yes, I’m going to say it again) flabbergasted at how easy it was.

Now I’m not going to get too cocky since I still have to cancel the Tivo service, return the Tivo and STB, and also hopefully get my replacement phone in the mail* from T-Mobile. However, I’m so happy that we can finally use our TV to it’s potential now. You know, since we’ll be paying for it on this month’s Visa bill.

Flabbergasted.

 

*Oh yeah, I didn’t even bother to mention that my cellphone also went nuts earlier this week and they’re sending me a new one. A friend told me that much of this may be due to Mercury being in retrograde and after reading this, I was kind of freaking out. However, after I got sucked into the site and checked my horoscope, I found out that starting August 28th I’m about to have one of my best year’s ever… which sounds pretty awesome!

 

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