Management Hacks for the Recently Promoted

Management Hacks for the Recently Promoted

So you made it. You are in management now. There you sit at your new desk, or whatever outward sign of seniority is normal in your workplace. Now what? Front line employees attach a lot of cachet and glam to achieving the level of “management”.  After all, senior people have snazzy titles, more privileges, better pay, and perks or whatever. Most people understand that the trade off is that more accountability or responsibility comes with the title. Or at least it should. Assuming we are talking about a workplace where you now have responsibility for the performance of others, what can you do to learn the ropes of your newly acquired and complex role? What kind of manager are you going to be? The answer has a lot to do with what kind of person you are, and the culture of your workplace. For instance, the management tools required for a restaurant manager are vastly different than those needed to run an office of lawyers or accountants. New managers evolve by learning from the mistakes they make along the way. If you don’t learn from them, then we have a whole other conversation coming. You are new, and if you are in the average modern workplace you probably didn’t get a whole lot of formal management training to do your job. Likely you got the promotion because you are skilled, or smart, or somebody died and left a spot open. No matter, you have the big chair now, and need to think about how you are going to pull this off. You probably feel like you haven’t got a clue. You are right.  I can’t give you a detailed guide, but I will give you a few suggestions that are pretty much universal. Never underestimate how much impact your mood can have on your staff. Try not to have moods. The worst leaders are “chocolate box managers” you never know what you are getting when they walk in the door. People hate having to adjust to your mood, and they shouldn’t have to. Get to know your staff if possible. They are humans and you should have a mental list of their observable strengths and weaknesses. They should trust that your list is fair, and that you genuinely want to help them when they struggle.  Get training around personality styles. I GUARANTEE you will save yourself a lot of frustration if you understand what drives introverts and extroverts. Learn about blind spots in people’s behaviour. If there is one area you can learn which will bring peace and understanding to the land is “personality style” issues. Invest in this training, it will serve you for your whole career.  Be...
How to save the world – just say something

How to save the world – just say something

What do you stand for? Do you even know? It strikes me as strange that although most people hold some pretty strong beliefs, few actually express them. Ask anybody in your social circle and you will find they are either pro or anti something quite fiercely. Actually, they may have views you don’t even know about because they believe that polite company does not speak religion, politics or human rights. I suppose that’s OK, but when things start to get real out there in the world, it would be nice to know where people draw the line. What would cause them to take action? I wonder what would happen if the good people of the world spoke the hell up a little more? But we don’t do we? We hear plenty from the misguided and the foolish. They carry signs, protest and come up with some pretty stunning versions of history and science. It is so easy to mock and dismiss their campaign to take society backwards. We have the luxury of shaking our heads at the “crazies”, because we don’t think they can get anywhere with their agendas. At some level many thinking intelligent and educated people used to truly believe that decisions are being made by governments, business and social leaders without bias. We believed that separation of church and state, fiscal responsibility and protections against corruption were being monitored and protected by somebody. We believed good people in positions of power are vigilant. Maybe that is why we don’t carry signs and protest so much as the people who wore foil hats to keep the Government from reading their thoughts. It all started to become quite alarming when all of Wall Street cashed in on mortgage laden Americans in the last few years. So I guess regulators weren’t actually at their posts after all? Then the US Government shut down because right wing conservatives has a big old snit and decided nobody should have access to healthcare who isn’t upper middle class and employed. They locked down 800,000 jobs and effectively made a mockery of the American system. So the crazies actually did exert some power. What did the public do about it? Did they take to the streets? Were class action lawsuits filed against the GOP and Fox news? Nope. The citizens of the world took to the internet and made memes. Really… that is what happened. It is still happening. Canadians will riot about hockey at least, but Americans let their Government shut down and did nothing. On an even grander scale, we know about Monsanto but most of us only have a vague idea of the poison we are feeding our children. I...
Fat women can’t dance?

Fat women can’t dance?

Recently I spent time working on blog posts over on Blunt Moms.  One of the tasks involved searching for topical images to accompany piece about fat girls not wanting to join in at a party. (If you have time jaunt over and read the post by a fablos BluntMoms author.. it is really good Fat Girl Club. ) The more I looked for the perfect picture to reflect the spirit of the post, the angrier I got. I was looking for a really fun image of a zaftig woman dancing and having a blast. Who knew this might be hard to find? I scrolled through page after page of fat women photos.  There was no lack of the big girls, but they were all depicted on scales, looking sad, working out or holding large plates of donuts. There were endless options of large women looking unhappy in a gym, or standing next to a thin woman in a “before and after” pose. There were no photos of a larger woman looking happy dancing. There was a cartoon of a joyous octogenarian type with boobs like tennis balls in socks busting a move… not what I had in mind. Every image related to the weight and not what that woman might be doing or portraying. One of the most random photos I found came up in two different searches. Large woman dancing/happy Lazy woman both search terms produced this: In fact, on the same day, I was looking for a photo for a different post which would portray a slacker Mom in a funny way. Shockingly, a significant percentage of images under that category were fat women. I guess thin women aren’t slackers… ever. I know that a few random websites selling photos do not a biased society make, but really… we all know it is a reflection of what people think. In fact, fat disdain is so pervasive that it is impossible to deny. I was so surprised about the dearth of body positive images but I suppose I shouldn’t be. Happy images for women were all either thin white people, or fitness themed. So let me get this straight… if you have extra body weight or aren’t doing sports you can’t dance or are lazy? Joy is only possible in yoga pants? This could be a very very long post, but this is what it all comes down to: Searched the words “Happy Fat Woman”   Also find me on Blunt Moms and Huffington...
Vanity Sizing – Just another moving target

Vanity Sizing – Just another moving target

Size inflation. Did you even know this was a thing? Ya, news to me too. Listen up to this shit: Mostly in the USA and the UK, the standards for clothing sizes have changed over the years. So when your friend says “Oh I have been a size 6 since I was in my 20’s” you can passive aggressively send that bitch this post.  A size six isn’t what it used to be honey. You see, ready to wear clothing has become bigger over time. In the 1937 Sears Catalog, a size 14 dress had a bust size of 32 inches. By 1967 that size of boobs snagged you a size 8 frock. In 2011, you and your little B cup breasts get a high five from the girls at the gym because you wear a size Zero. Yes… Zero. This from Wikipedia: Some argue that vanity sizing is designed to satisfy wearers’ wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves. Designer Nicole Miller introduced size 0 because of its strong California presence and to satisfy the request of many Asian customers. It introduced subzero sizes for naturally petite women. However, the increasing size of clothing with the same nominal size caused Nicole Miller to introduce size 0, 00, or subzero sizes. Sub zero sizes? What is THAT shit now? So women are chasing the elusive skinny jean and the size is being altered like a fun house mirror to make them feel better. On top of that, a study in 2003 said that the more expensive the jeans are, the smaller they are cut. So rich women have to pay trainers more to fit into small sizes, and fat women are easily fooled? Is that how this works? Is it that rich women are more focused on their size? That would be a great chapter in a psychology book. So which is it fashion industry? Are you trying to make us feel good about ourselves or ashamed of ourselves? Oh wait… that is it. The fashion industry is trying to make us do stuff. They keep moving the sizing around because they KNOW people will do shit like this to wear a particular size number: So when somebody says they don’t get on the scale they just go by how their clothing fits, the could conceivably outgrow a size 10, go to the store, buy a size 8 that fits perfectly and be happy. Which makes them want to buy more size 8 stuff. Maybe I am on to something here? On the flip side, for me anyway, the idea of going shopping for an evening dress is so daunting, because in the designer racks, I am easily three...
Has the idea of virginity changed?

Has the idea of virginity changed?

One of the most interesting posts and documentaries I have come across recently is this masterpiece about virginity. It is a documentary, and it is interesting.  Jezebel how I love thee… The idea of virginity all wrapped up in purity and “goodness” is quite confusing for me as a grown woman, with a young daughter. That dichotomy is not discussed too often is it? I have a set of ideas for myself based on my own history, and totally different views for her. Hypocrite? Yup. It is such a complex issue and I am sure that a number of people much smarter than me have beaten this issue to death. I am not going to pretend to open up new avenues of sociology with this post, I am just trying to get my head around what messages the young women of today are facing. What decision will my daughter have to make and using what compass setting? Exploring the idea of navigating sexuality was not in the parenting manual. I watched the documentary trailer on Jezebel with incredible interest because I was hoping for answers.  I got a few I think. As a starting point though, I would never tell my daughter she should wait until marriage. That is an ancient construct that people of deep religious conviction continue to hang on to. I mean Dad’s taking their daughters to purity balls??? You know what that is besides deeply creepy? It is about men, who have sexual urges they are taught are shameful, and beating those urges down by controlling their daughters’ hymens.  Call it being good faith indoctrinated fathers or whatever, it is still creepy as hell watching a bunch of girls read off a manifesto for keeping their legs closed while their Dad has his hand on their backs. Then along the same vein… there is that story about a virgin birth. Ya, maybe humans bought stories like that long ago, but now we have the internet and science, but it was a nice fairytale in its time. I would tell my daughter to save it for somebody who would treat her well, but then I remember teenage boys. Gawd. Good luck with that. I realize that there are more people laying claim to my daughter’s sexuality than I first thought. Her friends want to influence her. Her Father wants to keep her in the house until she is 30 because he remembers what he wanted from girls. The larger world wants her to make a choice now. Good girl or slut? Which will it be? They want a label so they can file her away. She and I talk about how meaningful sex can be, but I want...