Office Bullies

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Everyone has known one, or worked with one, the credit takers- the gossip gal – the boss and their sidekick. The office meanie.

Recently while attending a meet and greet with a very upscale buying group association I had a conversation with an administrator about hiring for her practice. While explaining her past hiring experiences, she reflected on the present staff; particularly about an office meanie (while she didn’t call her that).

The story was about a new hire who had their first day ruined by this meanie.  The new employee arrived a few minutes before scheduled, yet the first greeting was from the “meanie” whom said,  you should have been here 5 minutes earlier..  “you messed up and might as well go home – ‘cause you wont fit in – the whole time zig zagg-ing her pointer finger at the newbie.

Yikes!

Everyone has had an office meanie at one time in their past.  I would love to hear your short story and how you handled it.  I’ll tell if you will! Let’s swap stories!  Post your story about an experience with an office meanie or email it to me at charisse@imatters.net and I can post it anonymously!

security flaw in internet puts millions at risk. create the perfect password!

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COFFEEKLEENEX2DOGS

 

A bug in certain security features of the internet that has potentially allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive info undetected for the past two years. You can read more about the bug here.

While your sensitive information such as passwords, bank info, etc. are likely unaffected there is still a small chance they could have been compromised during a large scale attack over a vulnerable connection. imatters has already changed our passwords across the board, and we recommend you do the same! Here is a quick tip for building the perfect password:

Look for an inside joke or a phrase that would make sense only to you! for example: I am drinking a coffee, fighting a cold – so I have a Kleenex on my desk and I love dogs! So mine could be coffeekleenex2dogs. It’s harder to crack because its long and the mental image will make it easier to recall than a random string. Capitalize as needed, add an extra special character in the passphrase and there you have it: the perfect password!

Young eyes aging quickly- digital eye strain

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Neck-aches, back-aches, red-eyes, dry-eyes, headaches, migraines, even blurry or double vision! Are your eyes crying out for help? Probably! According to a recent report put out by the Vision Council… nearly 70-percent of U.S. adults are experiencing digital eye strain due to electronic devices.

“We hardly watch TV… everything’s on the computer, everythings on our phones, the social media. It’s killing our eyes,” said Natalie Castellano.

Natalie Castellano should know. Her work has her on the computer almost all day. At 29, she started experiencing dibilitating eye strain two years ago.

“Headaches, the computer would start getting blurry in and out. Really tired at the end of the day, migraines,” explained Castellano.

Fortunately, Castellano happened to work at Gould Vision on Miami Beach, where Dr. Adina Gould diagnosed her with digital eye strain.

“We have six muscles here and six here (pointing to the area around the eyes) and you feel a lot of pain around the eyes, behind the eyes, it can even radiate down the neck from this strain of our muscles turning in,” explained Dr. Gould. “If you can imagine being on a thigh master all day and pulling in your thigh muscles… you’d be pretty sore in the morining. That’s happening to our eyes.”

Eye problems and diseases are happening at startlingly younger ages.

Said Castellano, “I’m wearing lenses normally patients would start wearing in their 40′s!”

Ed Greene is CEO of the Vision Council. “You know the other thing that we don’t really think about is we aren’t used to looking at little tiny dots all day long. That’s another thing, everything we’re looking at is pixels.”

And there’s more bad news for digital device addicts, it’s called High Energy Visible Light.

“And it’s an area of blue light that has through studies, shown to cause and contribute to such things as age related macular degeneration,” said Michael Vitale, an optician with the Vision Council.

Bascially, if you are using electronic devices for more than 2 hours a day… you need to be aware of what is now being called “EYEGONOMICS” and use the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20-minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20-feet away. Other tips to reduce digital eye strain… Enlarge your computer and cell phone text Remember to blink every 10 seconds Position desktop screens at arm’s length without any tilt and use anti-glare protectors on screens

“We can’t get by without technology. So due to the technology, we really need to start wearing computer glasses,” said Dr. Gould.

Digital eye strain is now the leading cause of work environment complaints. If you begin to experience eye strain symptoms, the first thing you need to do is see an eye doctor so he or she can help you determine the proper eyewear that will help relax your eyes.

Sick Leave Laws – Required for many cities! Are you on the list?

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As you likely are aware, New York City implemented a new law requiring most employers doing business in the city to provide paid sick leave to employees. The law (as recently amended to include private employers with 5 or more employees) requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time in each calendar year. Employees who work at least 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City shall accumulate paid sick time at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Among other requirements, the law permits employees to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave from one calendar year to the next. However, an employee may not use more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year. Additionally, the law does not require payout of accumulated sick time upon separation of employment unless otherwise required under the employer’s policy or practice. The law goes into effect on April 1, 2014. Employers must provide written notice to employees of their rights under the law at the time of hire and for existing employees, within 30 days of the law’s implementation.

New York City is not the first, and likely will not be the last, jurisdiction to implement paid sick time. Washington D.C.; San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Newark, New Jersey all have passed similar laws or ordinances requiring private employers to provide some level of paid sick time to employees. Employers with operations in these cities should ensure that they comply with the requirements of these laws and that their sick leave policies are up-to-date.

States such as Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Arizona have passed legislation prohibiting their own local governments from enacting their own sick leave requirements. These states will not implement city specific sick leave laws until more bills are passed.

Check this link out for state specific family and medical leave laws

State family/medical sick leave chart

Casinos push to ban Google Glass

http://www.mediafire.com/convkey/5857/bdb2q4s20w3iz9yfg.jpg?size_id=6Looks like it’s bad news for fans of Googles innovative Google Glass headset. Several Casinos have now begun to regularly ban gamblers from wearing the headset whilst inside the building. Their concerns are that gamblers will be using the headset to alter their game. The tiny head mounted eye-glass device is capable of taking photos, recording high quality video, internet browsing or using apps like mobile casinos, all whilst sitting comfortably on the users face. Gambling regulators are claiming that owners of these devices could use them to cheat on card games whilst in the casino.

The director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck said: “If these eyeglasses were worn during a poker game, they could be used to broadcast a patrons hand to a confederate or otherwise be used in a collusive manner. Although it would be incredibly difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone wearing a Google Glass headset was using them for cheating, the Division has felt to play it safe rather than take the risk.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has subsequently issued a directive to begin enforcing a ban on the device. They’ve began telling Casino owners in the Jersey area to begin instructing their staff  to advise any patron of a casino caught wearing a device to remove it or be removed from the premises if they refuse to take off the headset. In a statement issued by the division Mr Rebuck said: “Even if the glasses had not been used for cheating.

Their presence at a gaming table would lead to the perception that something untoward was occurring.” In regards to these increasing bans and tighter controls on where customers can use their product, Google said: “We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues.” They continued saying that they will:” ensure that our uses become active participants in shaping the future of this technology.” But the strict controls that are being enforced on Google Glass are not a recent development, for years casinos have been regularly enforcing the rule that all photography and videotaping within the casino is strictly banned. Or if patrons are going to take a photo they must ask staff or security for approval first.

Google Glass has only just come to light because the Division of Gaming Enforcement have only just realized how much of a problem they could face from the technology and are scrambling to try and enforce some sense of control over them. But it’s not just there, casinos in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut and even the mecca of all gambling in the world Las Vegas, has begun enforcing the Google Glass ban. From now on all Las Vegas guests at the MGM and Caesars Entertainment resorts will also be asked to remove their Google Glass devices. Spokesman for Caesars, Gary Thompson has said: “Gaming regulations prohibit the use of computers or recording devices while gambling, so guests can’t wear Google Glass while they’re gambling. The devices will also not be able to be used in showrooms.”

Currently the Division of Gaming Enforcement are also looking to contact other state gambling regulators to being forcing them to enact this rule on their gambling floors as well. With a lot of ground to cover, the Division of Gaming Enforcement has their work cut out for them.

Reprinted with permission from The Optical Vision Site

are dogs really color blind?

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Can Your Dog See in Color?
Despite common misconception, your dog can see in color. He can’t see the same range of color you see, but he can use color to distinguish between different objects.

Scientists believed for many years that dogs could only see in black and white, but recent research has shown differently. In fact, dogs see colors the way a color-blind human sees them. Read on to learn how your dog sees the world in color…

A sky of blue and grass of… gray?
Because dogs have fewer light-catching cells, called cones, they can only see colors in the blue and yellow wavelengths. So they can see blue and yellow, but not red and green. Overall, their world is colored in yellow, blue and gray.

Can they see light or dark colors?
Although their color range is limited, dogs can see different shades of color. If seeing a rainbow for example, they’d see it in shades ranging from dark and light blue to gray, light yellow, dark yellow and dark gray. Tests show they detect items based on color and shade, so the ball you throw him might appear light yellow against the gray-looking grass.

Canine closeup
Although some breeds can be nearsighted or farsighted, dogs in general have less visual acuity than humans. They can see fast-moving objects, but can’t clearly focus on objects up close, which might look blurry or out of focus. If Fido visited a human eye doctor, for example, he’d be classified with 20/75 vision instead of 20/20.

Now that you know more about your dog’s view of the world, be mindful of the colors you choose. When training, avoid red and green objects together as they might be confusing. Choose dog-friendly colors instead.

Speaking of dog-friendly colors, our stores offer a variety of toys and items your dog will recognize clearly… including our shopping bags! Is it any wonder why they’re bright yellow?

take control of the stress, anxiety and change in your life!

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By: Ashley Shewmaker, ABOC

If your practice is anything like mine, you’ve cast aside the day-to-day upkeep of business for the whirlwind that is our changing industry. I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about disputes between insurance and lens companies, software crashes, and staffing shortages. My morning coffee and commute are spent evaluating a list of priorities that rush out the front door of the office as soon as I open it. You see, opening the front door feels like it only lets in oxygen to feed the fire.

In this situation (and in most), we have a choice. We can let the feelings of anxiety overwhelm us, or we can embrace the challenge. Like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, this tumult can take us on a magical adventure where we utilize our courage, brains, and hearts. Sure, we’ll have apples pelted at us, and angry monkeys will terrorize our companions, and some force of evil will try to steal our shoes, but if we choose to start our journey down the yellow brick road, we can find our inner strength and get some help from our friends to navigate the road.

Luckily for us, we are on Spring’s front door, when the climate outside will start to mimic the climate inside our offices. Things are changing, yes, but things are always changing, aren’t they? Even if it’s not comfortable right now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t fight through the chaos to get to a Technicolor Kansas, better than how we remember it.

My challenge to you: put on your ruby red shoes, embrace your strengths and those of your coworkers, and stick to the path. You’ll make it to the other side eventually and be wiser for it. After all, it’s about the journey not the destination.

Ashley Shewmaker is the Dispensary Manager for Vision One Eye Care in Fort Mitchell, KY and a member of the Mentoring Committee. You can reach her at ashewmaker@visionone2020.com.

Inspirational Quote

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

locks of love!

Thank you Charisse for your wonderful donation to Locks of Love!

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http://www.locksoflove.org/

 

is it time to update your resume?

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Whether or not you are actively seeking a job it is always a good idea to keep your resume up-to-date. You never know when a great opportunity might come along, or when you might find yourself in the midst of a search. Having your resume updated, polished, and ready to go means one less thing that you need to worry about. Your resume is a fluid document that changes over time and should reflect your current situation.

Not sure if your resume needs a facelift? Here are a few telltale signs:

1. You are looking for a new job.

This is one of the most obvious signs that your resume could use some revisions. You want to show potential employers what you have accomplished and why you are a good fit. If you have been at your current job for a while, it may not be listed on your resume at all, or your responsibilities and accomplishments may have changed. Update your resume to showcase your most recent position and skills.

2. You are switching careers.

If you are switching careers, updating your resume is a must. You need to tailor the content to where you are headed. Include any new degrees or courses that are relevant to the position you are seeking. Also focus on transferable skills that will support you in this transition. Oftentimes there are overlapping traits that can carry through from one position to the next and show a solid foundation.

3. You acquired new skills.

Whether you earned a new degree or certification, completed professional development courses, or learned how to use a new program or machine at work, it can prove valuable. Take the time to include this on your resume before you forget. With busy schedules and increasing responsibilities, these things can be overlooked. Even if it does not seem like much at the time, it could be something that gives you an edge in the future.

4. You achieved new accomplishments.

Just finished a big project at work? Add it to your resume. Highlight your role and the results that it led to. Think in terms of results- or action-oriented descriptions. This can show employers what you are capable of and can bring to their company.

The same goes for awards or recognitions. Indicate that you recently received a promotion or were a top performer. Be proud of what you have accomplished and let it work to your advantage.

5. You have outdated work history.

Ideally your resume should reflect the past 10 years of employment. Anything beyond that can be included as “additional experience” or left off all together. Recounting every detail of the last 20 years can make your resume lose impact as it becomes too long and drawn out. Focus on the most relevant and beneficial information that highlights your strengths and accomplishments.

super multi-taskers

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In a surprise discovery, researchers have identified a group of people whose cognitive abilities allow them to accomplish much more than the rest of us in any given moment. The secret of their success may be simply ignoring more—and doing and feeling less—than the average person.

The moment the broadcast goes live, Joe Perota suddenly goes from normal to extraordinary. Perota is a director for live multi-camera TV. While you’re watching Saturday Night Live or Monday Night Football, someone like him is standing in the control room before a massive bank of monitors, deciding what you will see.

In the same situation, a normal person would panic and freeze up, but Perota seems to be having a peak experience. He’s grinning broadly, laughing loudly at each punchline. Processing massive amounts of information, forced to make decisions with split-second timing, all on the high-wire of live TV, Perota isn’t stressed out; he’s the picture of bliss.

Perota is almost certainly one of those rare people whom cognitive psychologist David Strayer of The University of Utah calls a “supertasker”: someone who can juggle two demanding tasks without pausing or making mistakes. The existence of supertaskers came as a surprise to Strayer, an attention expert. His experiments have proven that while we think we can handle several tasks at once—driving while fiddling with the radio, say—most of us can’t. We slow down, trip up. The very concept of multitasking is a myth. Our brains don’t do two things at once; instead, we rapidly switch between tasks, putting heavy burdens on attention, memory, and focus. In Strayer’s studies, talking on a cellphone while driving (perhaps the most ubiquitous type of multitasking) leaves people as cognitively impaired as if they’d had two or three drinks.

About five years ago, however, Strayer found an exception to this rule. He was running an experiment in which people were supposed to use a driving simulator while doing two mental tasks: memorizing the order of words that were interspersed with simple math problems. “It’s really hard to do,” Strayer says. Unsurprisingly, most participants tailgated, smashed into simulated obstacles, and couldn’t correctly solve the math problems. (It’s thanks to such research that laws prohibit texting while driving.)

Yet as he crunched the data, Strayer discovered a volunteer who could do all three tasks at the same time—flawlessly. Did the program have a glitch? Did the guy cheat? “Nope,” says Strayer. “This person was phenomenal.” Through other soul-sucking multitasking tests, Strayer has since found that about 2.5 percent of people he studies have exceptional abilities. They don’t get overloaded. In fact, a few actually get better when doing both tasks at once—a paradox that Strayer suspects is related to the reasons why elite athletes or musicians sometimes shine the brightest under the most difficult circumstances.

While people’s capacity for attention, decision making, and information processing ranges widely, there’s something distinctive about such elite minds. They’re outliers. Using brain imaging, Strayer has discovered that their brains are especially efficient. Despite the supertaskers’ outstanding performance, one neural network involved in attention actually has less metabolic activity during the demanding tasks than an ordinary person’s would. Strayer thinks that supertaskers have some way of overcoming the processing bottlenecks that prevent the rest of us from effectively doing more than one thing at a time.

The ability to supertask probably involves a unique blend of attention, memory, and resistance to distractions—Strayer has just begun to probe what the distinctive abilities of the supertasker might be. While his definition of supertasking is specific and data-based (the capacity to handle two attention-demanding tasks at once without paying a cost), we’ve all probably encountered someone in real life who shows every sign of being a supertasker: flourishing under stress and displaying masterful emotional control, processing vast amounts of information quickly, and making essential judgments in a flash.

As diverse as such superpowers may seem, research by University of California, San Francisco neurologist and neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley suggests that they could be manifestations of the same underlying ability: cognitive control, which he defines as the ability to interact with the world in a goal-directed way. Stimuli do not simply flood into our brains, he says. We selectively let them in by regulating attention. What Strayer calls a supertasker could from this perspective be called an elite cognitive controller—a person who precisely selects what information gets in and, as Gazzaley has shown, what gets screened out.

Juggling tasks without making mistakes, according to Gazzaley’s research, relies on the ability to weed out distractions—say, the internal daydreams of a mind-wanderer or external disturbances like the chatter of a coworker. (Interruptions, by contrast, present information you need to attend to, such as an email from the boss.) The better you are at ignoring distractors, he’s found, the better your ability to keep track of multiple streams of information, error-free.

(Psychology Today Magazine)