Monday, November 23, 2009

Beware of the '12 Scams of Christmas' - ABC News

As we prepare to begin the Christmas shopping season, I thought this was a good time to share this article from ABC News:

Have a Happy & Safe Black Friday :o)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recession Intensifies GenX Discontent at Work

By MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer Martha Irvine, Ap National Writer – Sun Nov 15, 1:40 pm ET

CHICAGO – They're antsy and edgy, tired of waiting for promotion opportunities at work as their elders put off retirement. A good number of them are just waiting for the economy to pick up so they can hop to the next job, find something more fulfilling and get what they think they deserve. Oh, and they want work-life balance, too.

Sounds like Gen Y, the so-called "entitlement generation," right?

Not necessarily, say people who track the generations. In these hard times, they're also hearing strong rumblings of discontent from Generation X. They're the 32- to 44-year-olds who are wedged between baby boomers and their children, often feeling like forgotten middle siblings — and increasingly restless at work as a result.

"All of a sudden, we've gone from being the young upstarts to being the curmudgeons," says Bruce Tulgan, a generational consultant who's written books about various age groups, including his fellow Gen Xers.

This isn't the first time Gen Xers have faced tough times. They came of age during a recession and survived the dot-com bust of 2000. In recent years, though, more members of the generation — stereotyped early on as jaded individualists — had families or began settling down in other ways. It was time, they thought, to enjoy the rewards of paying some dues.

"We were starting to buy into the system, at least to some extent," Tulgan says, "and then we got the rug pulled out from under us."

Now, in this latest recession, nearly two-thirds of baby boomer workers, ages 50 to 61, say they might have to push back their retirement, according to a recent survey from Pew Research.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the age spectrum are Gen Yers, who are often cheaper to hire and heralded for their coveted high-tech knowledge, even though many Gen Xers consider themselves just as technologically savvy.

"It's so annoying," says Lisa Chamberlain, another Gen Xer who wrote the book "Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction." "First, it was always the baby boomers overshadowing everything. Then there was this brief period in the mid-'90s where Gen X was cool.

"Now it's, 'What are the new kids doing?' It's like 'Yo, hello, the Google guys are Gen Xers.'"

They can sound a little whiny. But there's also some evidence that Gen Xers really are being taken for granted at work.

One survey done this year for Deloitte Consulting LLP, for instance, found that nearly two-thirds of executives at large companies were most concerned about losing Gen Y employees, while less than half of them had similar concerns about losing Gen Xers.

The assumption is often that Gen Yers are the least loyal and most mobile, says Robin Erickson, a manager with Deloitte's human capital division.

However, she points out that a companion survey of employees found that only about 37 percent of Gen Xers said they planned to stay in their current jobs after the recession ends, compared with 44 percent of Gen Yers, 50 percent of baby boomers and 52 percent of senior citizen workers who said the same.

Everyone surveyed worried about job security. Gen X and Gen Y were most likely to complain about pay. But a "lack of career progress," was by far the biggest gripe from Gen Xers, with 40 percent giving that as a reason for their restlessness, compared with 30 percent of Gen Yers, 20 percent of baby boomers and 14 percent of senior workers.

Gen Yers, meanwhile, were more likely than the other generations to cite "lack of challenges in the job" as a reason they would leave, while baby boomers more often chose "poor employee treatment during the downturn" and a "lack of trust in leadership."

The Deloitte study warns of a "resume' tsunami" once economic recovery begins, especially among Gen Xers, and notes that many executives were largely unaware of employee complaints unrelated to money.

Such findings don't surprise Rich Yudhishthu, a 37-year-old Gen Xer who's a business development consultant from Minneapolis.

"The lack of promotional opportunities has pretty much killed job loyalty within a generation," he says.

Liza Potts, a 35-year-old professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., agrees, but also notes that the disillusionment took hold for many of her peers as far back as childhood.

"Many of my friends had hoped to have jobs like their parents — places they would stay forever that would take care of them like they did their parents. But then we saw that start to crumble for our folks," she says, recalling friends whose fathers and mothers got laid off from companies such as IBM or had to relocate.

Now worried about their own foreclosures, debt and unemployment, her generation is left to do the soul-searching their parents did.

"Is there still time to become something different? Must we just accept where we are? Is there time to innovate elsewhere?" asks Potts who left her own career in the software and Internet industry for a life in academia. It's meant less money, she says, but also more freedom to choose her work hours and projects.

In Chicago, 40-year-old real estate agent Adon Navarette has taken on extra jobs to make it, from consultant for an energy supply company to starting his own health and wellness business. He's heard his peers sniping about other generations, but also thinks their experience with other rough economic patches makes them resilient, too.

It's a pivotal moment, he says.

"What's going to define me as a Gen Xer is how I come out of this. What's going to define me is, 'What have I done to allow myself to take advantage of the market when the market turns around?'" he says.

Sometimes, it means working for less money.

Jon Anne Willow, co-publisher of, an online arts and culture site in Milwaukee, is among employers who've recently been able to hire more experienced candidates for jobs traditionally filled by 20somethings.

They're hungry to work, she says. And as she sees it, that gives her fellow Gen Xers and the baby boomers she's hired a distinct advantage over a lot of the Gen Yers she's come across.

"When the dust settles, they'll be exactly as they were before and we'll just have to sift through them and take the ones that actually get it and hope the rest find employment in fast food," she quips.

Spoken like a truly jaded Gen Xer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jesus is the Reason...

Twas the month before Christmas when all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand.

See the PC Police had taken away, the reason for Christmas - no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing, about Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say

“December 25th is just a 'Holiday'.”

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears

You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday.

Please, all Christians join together and

wish everyone you meet


Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

“He who denies me I will deny before my father.” Matthew 10:33