Monthly Archives: December 2010

30 minute Lunch Activities

Have you ever spend hours trying to figure out what you were going to do with the 30 minutes you have at lunchtime? It is incredible that we spend so much time thinking of how we are going to cherish a 30 minute break in our hard driven day.

 
The most obvious way that many spend it is catching up on the texting. All those friends we have that have nothing better to do than text us, we have to use our time at lunch catching up on all the latest news and or gossip. Or the few of us that are contacting our financial advisors (yeah right). It is amazing how much time we spend exercising our thumbs.
How about dashing to the bank to make that last minute deposit. You know the one, the one where we have to make a late payment before the end of the work day. For some reason that is unknown to man, we always wait to the last minute to make some of our payments so we have to use that cherished 30 minutes of lunch time to race to the bank.
Besides eating a well balanced lunch, this is probably the second best thing you can do in that 30 minutes. As most doctors will tell you, a brisk 30 minute walk during lunch will help you heart and well as rejuvenate the rest of your work day. I am sure many employers would advocate this so that they could squeeze that little bit of extra work out of us. But then in the long run, we know we did this walk to better our over all health. Just think how refreshed one would feel after a brisk walk to relieve all that morning work stress.
Now this one I can attest to. Being so busy during the morning, I have to play “catch up”. I mean, I have to read and answer all the emails I received that I didn’t have time to answer while doing all the projects that were given to me first thing in the morning to complete. Of course we cant answer all of them but my gosh we try.
OK, even I have to admit that this is probably the most common. As we dash out the door, drive like a Nascar driver to the nearest fat food restaurant to get that hot quick meal. Then race back to work to see if we have enough time to sit down with our friends to enjoy it. and not to mention when we do sit down to enjoy it, we might do some of the above if we have time (i.e. texting, paying bill or emails).
All I can say is that the short 30 minutes we have is precious time well spent. We might spend hours trying to figure out what we are going to do in that small time but we do get it done. Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday Season !!
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Reusable Mugs For Work

As simple as it is to be “Green or Eco” at your job, you would think that almost everyone there would have their own reusable coffee mug. I can’t tell you how many employees at my last employer relied on the company to pay for Styrofoam coffee cups. There are 3 things that are wrong with this picture:

  1. The cost that a company spends is astronomical
  2. The Styrofoam in the landfills will take thousands of years to break down
  3. It is pure laziness & cheap not to provide your own mug

One can take pride in the mug that they have at work. To me, mugs reflect one’s personality. One’s likes and dislikes: whether it be sports, hobbies, religion, cats, dogs or any type of theme. Like me, I have been using a “Dunder Mifflin” mug for years: it tells everyone that I am a geeky nerd. My whole cubicle was set up as  – The Office.
Here are just a couple if ideas on how you can buy reusable coffee mugs for your job and be environmentally conscious as well. Just click on the photo and it will link you to the site where you can buy it. I have not included any type of theme since that is up to your personal taste.

 
This is an example of the first reusable mug I owned, In fact I still have and use this one when I am at home at the computer writing my blogs. It is very sturdy and has lasted many falls on the floor. It’s awesome features include:  durable BPA-free plastic with a nonslip sleeve attached, double wall insulation to keep fluids hot for hours, the lid seals tight to prevent leaks or spills, is a 16oz mug that is microwave and dishwasher safe.

This mug is perfect to have on your desk instead of carrying it around from cafe to cafe. The mug is elegant looking and is breakable yet sturdy enough for a busy day in the office. It features: it is constructed of double-walled porcelain for hot or cold drinks, has a flexible silicone lid that is fits snug to prevent spills or splashes, is dishwasher safe but can only be warmed in the microwave (remember warm not boiling hot) and this mug only holds about 10 ounces.

The last mug is a personal favorite of mine. I do know that some of these mugs listed are one’s I have used or have owned but they are durable, lasted years and help save the environment. This mug is the one I use in my backpack when I go to sporting events or expos. The great features include: one hand activation, has vacuum insulation for hours of hot coffee, double wall stainless steel that makes it odor free and the major feature is that it has 3 seals that keep it from leaking or even spilling. I hope that you have found this helpful and I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season.

To Knock or Not to Knock

Today’s blog is being written on one of my major frustrations with being unemployed. I have been unemployed for about 10 months now and I am hating it. Blogging about the subject of unemployment is a very sticky and hard subject to blog about. Mainly due to all the pros and cons that I have been reading from all the other blogs and forums on employment. I have read many forums and blogs where people tell other people to get off their “rears” and just get a job and stop whining about unemployment of or their unemployment benefits. Well let me tell you from one educated man, times are tough and jobs are more scarce than meets the publics eyes.
Us educated people can apply at McDonalds or Burger King just to makes ends meet but these places usually “99.99%” of the time wont hire highly educated people because they are afraid that after all the fast food training, that employee will leave in a heart beat when a better job is offered to them. So they just hire high school people of people that they know wont leave. I have been scanned over on more lower paying jobs than jobs that fit my area of expertise.
Which now leads me to the Blog title – To Knock or Not to Knock. I have heard from many people that we unemployed people just need to go out and “pound the pavement” and knock on potential employers door. Well, I am here to tell you that in today age, this does not work. I cant even begin to count how many potential employers I have been to “in person” and then I hear from the front desk or from Human Resources, “we don’t take applications or resumes here, you have to get online with the companies website and enter your application there.”  Not to mention, the gas used to drive all over the North Texas Region and then come home with empty hand and empty hopes. Another wasted day, another wasted tank of gas (which is nearly $3 a gallon).You see, the frustration comes in when you enter it online, you are competing with hundreds of other applicants and you don’t know for a fact that your resume or application has even been seen. I have only received less than 10 responses in 10 months telling me that  that my resume was received or that they chose someone else. Again, I say less than 10 out of the 30+ resumes/applications sent out every week. Very frustrating during these hard times during a really bad recession.
I have a family and I WILL prevail but I ask – Do I knock or do I not knock?

Plants For The Cubicle/Desk

This blog was really hard to figure out due to everyone’s likes and dislikes. Do I want put a small plant or do I want to put a big floor plant in my cubicle or next to my desk. As I am well aware of, they all have their pros and cons. So I decided to just list the plants that we can set on top of our desk tops. Again, as with my last couple blogs, you can click on the picture and it will take you straight to the site where you can purchase them.

First is the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, most commonly called the ZZ Plant.  This is nice due to the cat that all of the plants listed will thrive and grow in dim or low light areas around the office. The most notable feature on the ZZ Plant include: it is an easy to grow house or office plant, will grow in lower light areas and it also makes an unusual indoor bonsai plant if you keep it trimmed.
The Aglaonema, most commonly known as the Chinese Evergreen Plant, is a favorite of almost anyone. In fact I will lay odds that everyone has received one of these as a gift. These are mostly sent as a gift from a florist. I have gotten these perfect office plants on my wedding and on the birth of our daughter. And they live forever and ever. The things we have to remember about the Algaonema is that they are a very easy to grow house or office plant, low maintenance, 7 water when dry & grows in dim or low  light conditions, These would also be great in a apartment as well due to being easy to take care for and being a low light plant.
There is a lot of things that cane be said about our next office or desk plant. It is the Tropical Aloe Vera or tropical medicine plant. I remember seeing this on our warehouse mangers desk so that he could use it to help someone who cut or scraped their hands. It is very easy to grow and only needs water when the soil is completely dry. Some people use the leave (after they are cut in half to expose their gel liquid) to treat burns and minor scrapes. They also produce some very neat color variations on the leaves.
For the people that love to grow plants at work, this would be perfect. It is a Mini Hydro Greenhouse. It is small and would fit in a nice corner of your desk or cubicle. The Mini Hydro Greenhouse is fully self contained and  uses the latest advanced hydroponic technology. You can grow vegetables, herbs, plants, and flowers. Just think of the herbs you can take home after work and use them in your dinner when you get home. The kit includes planting bed, greenhouse incubator, auto feed system, 24 ounce nutrient reservoir, refill indicator, inert growing gravel, nutrient mix, and gardening tools. Everything to be an office or cubicle farmer. I think it would be a perfect gift for someone in your office that plays the online game – Farmville.
Having a plant at your desk or in your cubicle is all about personal taste. But remember to get one that is for low light or dim light. They are also good for the office and planet environment as the purify our air that we breathe. You can be “green” without being a “Green Thumb”. And plants also calm our surroundings and as we all know, we need “calm” at the office. I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday Season.

Pets for your Cubicle/Desk

Working or “living” in your cubicle can be quite lonely sometimes. Just think about all the hours that you sit and work without any human or living creature contact for 8 to 10 hours a day. It is almost enough to drive us insane or make us us have imaginary friends sitting in that small cube with us. Well I think I have a solution to this dilemma. Whether you like Goldfish, Bettas, Hermit Crabs or even those cute small African Dwarf Frogs, there is a solution for you to have that special Cubicle Companion.  I have included 4  items that look very interesting and suitable for anyone’s desk, just click on the photo and it will “Direct Link” straight to the website where it can be bought online.
I wish I knew about this one when I worked in my cubicle at my last employer. It is to me the ultimate cubicle wall decoration. It is the Wall Mount Fish Bowl Aquarium Tank and is perfect for a Betta. The features are: a 10″ diameter. 1/2 bowl made of Acrylic and  easily mounts to a wall or a cubicle wall. It has an open top for easy cleaning. Holds approximately 1 gallon of water. Does well for the employee that want to keep their desk clear and clean and yet still offers another breathing creature in your “cube” with you.

This habitat is for the lover in animals that are not aquatic. It is the infamous all child pet, the Hermit Crab. The easiest way to have one or two at your desk is to purchase Lee’s Hermit Crab Hideaway. This is an all in one kit and features the following sea sponge, plastic plant, gravel, hermit hut, reversible background, and a hermit crab food sample. It is constructed of plastic and has great ventilation or your cubicle pal to breathe.
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This is one of the high tech item’s that every desk geek wishes they had.  It is the USB Powered Small Desktop Aquarium. It features a fully functional small desktop aquarium with running water that is powered by the USB port in your computer. It comes with an adjustable overhead light, multicolor interior lights and it even comes with a low voltage working pump and an under gravel filtration system. The small aquarium doubles as a desktop organizer/pen holder. Built right into the USB aquarium is a multi-featured digital LCD information system that displays the time/date and week/temperature that also features an alarm clock with snooze and a countdown timer. It also emits pleasing nature sounds to further compliment this desk organizer/aquarium. Perfect for a Betta or couple of Neon fish. I have to admit that this is something I would buy. I love this.
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Last but not least, this is a Classic African Dwarf Frog EcoAquarium. This is something my daughter had in her classroom at school. I thought it would be great for a desk at work as well. In fact, I will probably get one of these when I start work again. They are no mess and have special rocks for filtration. It features and includes the following: 4″x4″ tank with 2 Frogs, Lucky Bamboo Plant, Decorative rock, Living Gravel, care guide and your choice of Colored Gravel (9 different colors including some that are Neon colored). Besides you get that special feeling on the inside that you are helping the environment.
I hope this has helped to answer some questions on what type of pet to have in your cubicle or at your desk. Just remember that you don’t have to alone in that dull grey cubicle.