Monthly Archives: September 2012

Bad-mouthing your employer will hurt you more than your employer.

A recent survey by Harris Interactive, and reported by abcnewsradioonline entitled “Is Your Social Media Hurting Your Chances of Getting Hired?” revealed the following top negative findings about why applicants/candidates were not hired:

– Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info, 49 percent.
– There was information about candidate drinking or using drugs, 45 percent.
– Candidate had poor communication skills, 35 percent.
– Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer, 33 percent.
– Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc., 28 percent.
– Candidate lied about qualifications, 22 percent.

The one that resonated with me the most was the one about bad-mouthing a previous employer. If an applicant for a job will bad-mouth a previous employer then he or she will probably bad-mouth your company when he/she is either hired or when they leave your company.  The message for applicants is simple:  Even if your current or previous employer deserving bad-mouthing it is best to avoid making negative comments.

Autumn is a good time to trek on up to The Hike Inn.

August 26, 2012

With autumn approaching, now would be a good time to consider booking a hiking trip to the Hike Inn, an environmentally oriented destination in the scenic Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia.  A visit to the Hike Inn is an invigorating, educating and relaxing experience as my wife, daughter and son-in-law discovered in April 2012, but I can only imagine what it would be like to go there at the height of the “leaf-peeping” season.

We began our weekend at Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, starting point for the hike. We arrived at the park around 11:30 a.m. and paid the $5.00 per car entry fee.  We immediately checked in at the park Visitors Center as required for those hiking to the Hike Inn.  Hikers must check in by 2:00 p.m.  The Visitor Center is a combination snake museum, t-shirt shop and convenience store.  The hike registration form includes not only the usual contact information, but vehicle tag number and whom to notify in case of emergency.  (Hmm.)  After completing registration we drove up to the lodge and had lunch at the restaurant ($10.95 for the buffet; $7.95 for soup and salad).  The view from the restaurant is spectacular.

After lunch we headed to the parking lot at the trailhead for the 4.8 mile hike.  The lime green-blazed trail is ranked as “easy to moderate,”  and takes two to four hours complete.  The trail briefly joins with the blue-blazed Approach Trail to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.  Backpacker magazine lists the trail to the Hike Inn as one of 36 “Best American Hikes.”  The elevation gain is about 500 feet to the Inn.

Upon arrival we were informed that dinner would be served at 6:00 p.m.  The Inn consists of four buildings, each of which is connected to another at different levels.  They are reception/bunk house, bathhouse, dining and game room.  The ceilings in the reception area and the game room are high (maybe 20 feet), with windows around the top for ventilation.  All four buildings are built on stilts so as to not have to do any leveling of the mountain.

We played horseshoes, took in the mountain views and had a short tour while waiting for dinnertime to arrive.  We learned about Len Foote, Guy Reynolds, solar panels, LEED certification, compost from toilets and Stargazer.  The dinner bell rang at 6:00 p.m., and we feasted on pork loin, cream corn, salad and cherry cake.  It was a “Take all you want, but eat all  you take” affair because leftovers are discouraged.  They are not only discouraged, they are collected and measured.  Our group of approximately 40 hikers had only a few ounces left over so we got a smiley face. :)  After dinner, we played Scrabble and pondered the night sky.

The place is a cell-free zone, and that is stressed verbally, with signage and on the website.  Alcohol is not allowed.  Rooms are small and minimal.  There are two bunks, hooks, a shelf, a small corner closet, fan and no plug-ins.  Sleep was difficult because the bunk house sways slightly when someone walks by.  Floors are wood, no rugs.

Coffee was ready at 6:00 a.m.  Sunrise that day was at 7:04 a.m.  Breakfast was served at 8:00 a.m.  Afterwards, we bought a couple of t-shirts, said farewell to our fantastic hosts and hiked back to the beginning of the trail.

All in all, a great weekend.

Reflections on “context.”

“Context” is generally defined as “… the part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.” (see thefreedictionary.com/context)  Taking something out of context often changes a meaning entirely or it can cause one to form opinions that are sometimes not justified.  Failing to consider historical or setting context can do just that.  Two examples of context came to me this morning.

The first appeared in a Kindle sample book , Jar City, A Reykjavik Thriller, authored by Arnaldur Indridason and Bernard Scudder.  In one scene, the main character, a detective, slaps his daughter in the face.  I almost deleted the sample at that moment because I consider that to be an offensive and unacceptable in today’s world.  But I was not reading about today’s world, and it was not a novel set in the United States.  I read on and considered the context.  The daughter was an adult and was on drugs.  I’m not saying that she deserved to be slapped, but a father slapping his daughter in the face needs to be set in context.  And yes, I bought the book and am enjoying it.  I discovered it by way of a Schumpeter blog in The Economist entitled Those Bloody Scandinavians – What the Nordic crime-writing boom says about globaliatiosn.

The second thought about context appeared when I went to the grocery store for a bottle of Aunt Jemima‘s syrup for the pancakes that I cook for my wife on Sunday mornings.  The image of Aunt Jemima has changed with the context of the times.  From racial stereotype to “modern homemaker,” depending on the context.

If you really want to get into a discussion about context, just bring up the Bible.  There are numerous instances of traditions, customs and practices that are mentioned that cause consternation today.  For example, should women cover their heads in worship?  Read 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 for reference.  Some may say that women should cover their heads, while others say look at the context.  I have no interest in getting into a conversation about the subject, but I believe it is a good illustration of context.

In short, when considering controversial statements and issues, consider the context.