Monthly Archives: July 2011

Excuses, Excuses or Pet Peeves

Ever noticed how someone can be incredibly rude and then think they are being clever when they suggest their rudeness is the result of a disability? GRRR…

Recently entered a bank and was accosted by the grating sounds of a female shouting nonsense into her cell phone- when told she was Yelling, instead of toning it down this ignoramus laughed that she was” deaf”.  Her use of a very real disability that afflicts many people as her excuse for rudeness was even more disgusting than her decision to expose all of us to her ridiculous conversation.  This is not just another tirade against misuse of cellphones – the person was an adult female whose ignorance was grotesque and proved the point that when some people open their mouths, their ignorance shows.  Over the past decade I have come in contact with many students with special needs- Please help me spread the word that pretending an illness instead of saying “excuse me”  is bottom line low.  I understand when people shout in their cars and forget to change the decibel level once entering a public space- but don’t pretend to be a wit by mocking a group that have a very real need.  That this woman was a fool was apparent to all in the bank- unfortunately her attitude may not change without social pressure reminding people to offer each other, regardless of perceived need – a little bit of thoughtfulness. 

Summer and Volunteer hours

Often I discuss basics relating to education, and volunteering is one of the better ways to gain experiential knowledge.

I love sharing great websites- what makes a website great?

When a website does offer helpful information in an easy to apply format-

The following comes from Patricia Rossi, America’s Etiquette and Protocol Coach,who is based in Florida, and her comments relating to “Intern Success Secrets” apply to the many students here in Toronto who are gaining community service hours this summer. 

Some tips to help you get ahead:

  • Be professional. Take your responsibilities seriously and treat your internship as if it were a full-time job.
  • Dress for success. Make sure you dress appropriately by observing what your co-workers are wearing. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
  • Be punctual. Make sure you show up for work on time, including after lunch and breaks. Tardiness is not a quality potential employers are looking for. Also, do your best to avoid missing work. If you must take time off, be sure to request permission in advance.
  • Develop a good rapport with the boss. Don’t complain about the tasks you are given and even offer to do the project no one else wants to do. Don’t underestimate a menial chore, as it is just one more task that teaches you how an office works.
  • Find a balance. Be proactive by identifying office needs. This will demonstrate initiative and motivation. But, be sure to find a nice balance so you don’t appear to be a brown-nose or overly confident.
  • Approach your work with enthusiasm. Even though some projects may not appear too exciting, your eagerness may convince supervisors to give you bigger responsibilities.
    • Watch for growth and training opportunities. If there is a project that interests you, ask a supervisor if there is anything you can do to help. Let them know your interest in the project. Never stop learning!
    • Build a network. Be polite and courteous to everyone and establish valuable connections. Getting to know people in the company may lead to great opportunities. Try to set up informational interviews with various staff members. Always avoid office gossip.
    • Relax and have some fun. An internship probably won’t make you rich, but it has the potential to be very rewarding. Make the most of your experience and it will help get you started on the right career path.

    Wishing you much happiness and success!

 

 

Just a minute…

Pregnant, purple stretch jumpsuit doing little to hide the obvious, bare feet in sandals, and slightly out of breath from a quick walk along Broadway from West 67 up to the campus at 116th I approached my professor for clarification- my paper had received an A- but only had one word with a line drawn through it as a marking, and I wondered how I could improve the focus, the details, the general tone of the piece?  The piece as a whole was fine I was told, but the word had been a poor choice-diction- and suggested more than one meaning.  “But it’s just one word?” I asked, unsure…and letting my annoyance slip through.  “Never “JUST” one word” replied my prof in his inimitable way, then the clincher: “Alison,EVERY word counts; this IS linguistics,”  Well I laughed, and I learned.

Today I hear students referring to word count and they mean how many words are allowed on a paper, or rather, how many words must they write.  I want them to write “as much as possible”, because editing a work is part of the process.  But most assignments do have a word count as do admissions essays and twitter blogs-

Diction or word choice becomes essential when the reader only has a minute to decide about a piece, Valuing the reader’s minute is a sign of respect, saying, “I care that you understand this”-and it is a skill that can be taught. But like many skills, the learning rarely takes only a minute.