• Tipping – Penalty Free

    As a much young man I was a bartender.  I worked at local nightspots that tended to get very busy in the evenings.  Until that time it never even dawned on me that bartenders got tips – but they do.  Not too long after commencing my career in cocktails I learned that a good bartender (one who got drinks quickly and was generous with the spirits) earned a lot of tips.  This was extra over and above wages.  I liked this.  I remember one bar owner teaching me that TIPS was an acronym for To Insure Prompt Service.

    As I learned about working in the service industry, I then became a generous tipper, because I knew how appreciated the tips were.  To this day, I still have the utmost for respect for any of the service people who provide personal services to me; such as shuttle drivers, cabbies, bartenders, doormen and waiters especially the latter. So over the last couple of years I have started to do something that brings me a little joy, and a smile to my waiters and waitress, when I dine out.

    It is simply this,  pay your dinner bill with a credit card or debit card as most of us do – BUT TIP WITH CASH.   Not that I am advocating for not paying taxes, everyone has to do what works best for them.  This provides them options.  And typically most people would carry enough cash to leave a tip, while putting the dinner on a bank card.

    I did this the other evening and elicited a comment from my waitress.  She said she L-O-V-E-D my idea.  I asked her then how do I tell the world about it.  She said a lot of people read blogs – maybe you should write about it.

    So let’s review… restaurant bill with credit – TIP with CASH.

     
  • Project Social – Getting to know You

     One of the goals for the LD (Laura & Dave) Project Social team was to post weekly about our activity. We certainly want to meet our goals and objective and not evoke the ire of Program Coordinators Victorio and the Ruthless Ben Eubanks, so we will stick to our guns.  This week we have hatched out a plan that is rather large in scope, and thus will require several weeks of behind the scenes work before we can divulge the nature of our Project Social Project.  So in the mean time, we thought we would do kind of an eharmony like profile of ourselves, well sort of. 

     There were some things I found very interesting about Laura and her life style, living internationally and such.  So I asked her some questions about it. Both the questions and answers are posted below.  And while my lifestyle is little less cosmopolitan, and a lot more mid—western,  sadly the only two thing I really had much to comment about was Human Resources and Ice Hockey.  So Laura was kind enough to fashion some question about me and my mundane life as an HR guy and an Ice Hockey Official. 

    So if you dare… skate on over to Laura’s Blog Site Working Girl and have a look… 

    DAVE: As an American Citizen and working outside the country how do you al with the disconnect, that you feel with family and friends who are state-side?

    LAURA: As an LA girl I feel like a bit of a hothouse flower, especially during the cold months.  On the other hand, my immediate family’s quite small – I’m an only child with no first cousins – and I spent 7 years at boarding school before going away to college so my best friends are as ‘global’ as I am.  I don’t keep in touch as well as I’d like to but I like knowing they’re out there.  I read a lot and blogging also helps me feel connected.  And of course I visit the US on business and personal trips, which is always great for re-charging. 

     

    DAVE: Working outside of the country has career challenges/advantages –What is the biggest challenge or advantage that working outside the country has presented to you?

    LAURA: The biggest challenge is not being there.  Work at a software company is fast-paced and things can change hourly around the water cooler.  Plus you miss the small celebrations and interpersonal connections.  As the workforce inevitably becomes more virtual my situation will become more common but today it’s still a challenge.  I think of myself as a pioneer.  My situation isn’t always easy but if I can make it work, it may help people in the same situation down the road.

    But you asked about career challenges in particular.  From a career point of view most of the ‘action’ in my chosen profession happens in the US.   For example, you don’t find a lot of product management or strategy for global products happening outside the US.  Before I had kids I managed software development teams and managed global projects but as a remote working mom I don’t have the same options I would have living in the US.   

    The biggest advantage is I have a lot of freedom to structure my work load, which as a working mom is a huge benefit.  I don’t have to reschedule meetings if I have a doctor appointment or a child stays home sick because everyone on my team’s asleep during my work day anyway.  As long as my work gets done no one cares what hours I work or whether I answer email in torn PJs and bunny slippers – not that I would ever do that, in fact I’m wearing a 3-piece suit right now and having a fabulous hair day!  So, sometimes I feel very lucky, other times I miss being in the center of the action.

     

    DAVE: How do you use social media help stay connected with issues or matters going on state-side?

    LAURA: Blogs are a great source of information about market trends and also a wonderful tool for shaping opinion – it’s neat when you write about a topic from a new perspective and find that same opinion cropping up elsewhere.  And I’ve found Twitter to be a great resource as well.  Often while I’m pondering my next blog post someone will Tweet an article that has exactly the information I need. 

      

    DAVE: Describe some of the major difference that you see in the average German employee compared to the average American employee.

    LAURA: I find Germans more pragmatic about work than Americans. They spend less time on social niceties and have a ‘let’s get this done’ attitude.  Americans (by German standards) like to discuss things and change their minds a bunch of times while the process ‘evolves.’  This sometimes bemuses the Germans, who think you should analyze the problem, figure out and communicate what you’re going to do and then DO it.  They don’t rush or over-commit but they do what they say they will do.  Of course, getting an email from them can be a bit of a shock because they use so many capitals you think they’re yelling at you until you get used to it.   And they can be a bit rigid to work with, or less open to change or new ideas.  However, I don’t want to generalize because I’ve worked with lots of creative, flexible Germans. 

     

    DAVE: What advise would you give a recent college graduate who is considering an offer of employment that would have them living outside of the country?

    LAURA: Easy: Do it!  If all you know is your own country your horizons will be smaller.  And it’s harder to follow your dreams later with kids, mortgage, etc., so the best time to be footloose is right after college.  Why wouldn’t you live abroad for a year or two if you had the chance?  Oh, and if you want to be an au pair in Munich, Tweet me.

    Ok well there you have it from the LD Project Social team for the week.  We are really and truly working on something big and will roll it out later.  In the meantime follow the both of us to see what mischief we can get into before the big roll out!

     
  • Blog Post # 1

    After quite a bit of coaxing and some valuable  coaching I have decided to launch into the world with a new blog of my own. While I have posted on several other sites this endeavor leaves me no where to run and hide if I really offend someone – and I will.  If you would like to know a little bit more about the blog and the guy behind it, just visit the about page; otherwise make the connection by yourself.

    In this my first post I would like to talk about how I got to this point.  Looking back I first post on a blog site in  December of 2007.  At that time I was following some bloggers who are still on the scene today. Those pioneers are Suzanne Lucas The Evil HR Lady, Wally Bock – Three Star Leadership and Allison Gree at Ask a Manager.  These folks are still doing it, so hats off to them for thier service and longevity.  Take a look at them and learn from thier wisdom!

    At HR Official I am going to talk about Human Resources related stuff, from my views as an HR Generalist and as an Ice Hockey Official. Many times during my work day I feel like a referee, and when I am on the ice I feel like a Compliance Manager.   I will try to make the connection.  There is an old adage in officiating that at the end of the game if both coaches are mad – you  did a good job. 

    I hope to see many of my old friends in this space, and to make some new friends as well. 

    So here we go….