Fancy Someone In The Office? St Valentine to the rescue!

Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day at work or do you hate this ancient, obscure ritual whose origins are buried in the mists of time?  Most of us are incorrigible romantics even though we like to appear calm and in control of our lives. We tend to become undone when that special someone enters a room or brushes past us in the office. If we try to talk to our dream girl/boy, we turn into gibbering idiots. What can you do about this unsettling state of affairs?  Oh, of course, here’s St Valentine to the rescue!

 As far as I know, the cards received from one’s secret admirer never reveal the author, so what’s the purpose of sending one again? Is it so that the unwitting recipient of one’s affections can employ some magical powers to return the compliment? Perhaps the card itself has the magical ability to turn a disinterested person into a smitten puppy with eyes only for you? Whatever the original intention of the secret practice, it has evolved into the not so secret purpose, to start a relationship in a way that leaves the recipient a way out, if the object of your affections is not interested, and it also protects the sender from outright rejection if there is no response. Hang on, if the card is anonymous how is a response possible? I’m told by a very reliable seven-year-old source that ‘you have to give them a clue silly…’ Okay, out of the mouth of babes comes the solution, a clue.

Now, what possible clue would work from a relative stranger to another, considering you just work mates, right? What on earth do they know about you to give them even the tiniest hint? Ehh, perhaps from the girl who brought the files to you last week; the guy you bumped into yesterday;  the girl you never talk to or cheekily, the man in your dreams! None of these may work, or if he/she gets it wrong then you could be in real trouble! Imagine your Valentine card starting a romance between two other people. Not exactly what you want, right?

 I guess one of the simplest things to do is confide in a reliable, trustworthy person to deliver the card; someone who ‘accidentally’ reveals your identity. Or find a helpful cleaner to put the card on your Valentine’s desk before anyone arrives and when she/he starts looking around the office searching for clues, you give her the broadest smile ever and find the flimsiest excuses to chat to her EVERY hour, to nudge her in the right direction! Exhausting you might say, but true love knows no bounds. 

 The one rule all smitten would-be lovers must stick to is, to make sure before you start a workplace romance that the person you want to become better acquainted with is available, for your sake as well as for everyone else. You don’t want to have to change jobs over a Valentine Day affair gone wrong! If you’re lucky enough to succeed in starting a relationship at work is it on Valentine’s Day or any other day, remember to keep it professional. No undue show of affection or anything else while at work; keep it for after hours, after all, said and done delayed delight is twice as gratifying!

 One more thing, those origins of the pagan fertility ritual re-invented by Christianity into St Valentine’s Day, make for interesting reading albeit a little confusing. The legend goes; a pope in the third century was the re-inventor, for the purpose of converting pagans to Christianity. Here it gets a little foggy. There were three Saint Valentines who were contenders for the title. The most popular choice over time was a martyr, who died for converting to Christianity after falling in love with a Christian girl!  Not the best way to convince pagans to convert but beautifully romantic! Now the big question is, would you give up your life for love? Or, to be a little more gentle on this beautiful day, what would you do for love? 

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

One of the most challenging situations you can find is a job having to work for a difficult boss. Because ‘difficult’ can be a subjective term depending on your perspective, it is advisable to make sure that you are dealing with a ‘Bad Boss’ before you go screaming, out of your job, in frustration. To do this try to establish a possible reason for their behaviour to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be under pressure that is out of their control. Also, try to assess their emotional intelligence and develop your emotional intelligence to deal effectively with situations that arise.

 ·       Emotional intelligence will assist in identifying motivation, and once you know the motivation behind the behaviour you get insight into their management style, e.g. they may be more concerned with rigid rules than flexibility; more with the appearance of things than real issues that need more attention. Try to understand their insecurities – we all have those.  Adjust your behaviour accordingly without compromising ethics.

 ·       Don’t get even by using go-slow tactics or taking unnecessary time off under the pretext of being ill because this will increase your workload and others in management will be observing your behaviour.

 ·       Anticipate the boss’ requests by getting things done before he comes to you. It will make him realise that he can rely on you. This way you could also become a valuable asset to him and the company.

 ·       Make notes of all interactions with the boss be they requests or criticisms. It is invaluable should he ever contradict himself and this can often happen with a manager or boss who is under undue pressure. Take all instructions in writing, and for the boss, who gives verbal instructions, follow up with an email to him that outlines the discussion for your records. In a conflict situation, it is sometimes better to wait before reacting especially with a boss who is under enormous pressure. They will not appreciate your adding to their woes. 

 ·       Take the initiative in dealing with projects without being bossy – you don’t want to antagonise colleagues. Even a demanding boss will appreciate a worker who has initiative, as long as your actions do not show them up – keep them informed.

 ·       Identify what it is that triggers a conflict situation e.g. if it is punctuality then come to work early and double check all written work if the grammar is a bug- bear. Be extra careful to avoid triggers that set them off.

 ·       Be very aware of all that transpires in the office. Do not make assumptions based on gossip or polite misinformation posing as advice. Put that emotional intelligence on high alert. Tackle misunderstandings when they occur. If necessary, seek information to correct wrong impressions from the source by requesting an appointment with the boss, to discuss any disputes.

 ·       Take problems with middle-management to the next level if these cannot be resolved amicably between you.

  If the problems arise out of office politics, there is little you can do except to walk a tight neutral line and if this becomes too much, prepare to move on as in the case of an inexplicable dislike from a boss. You simply can’t win if the boss hates your guts because you remind them of someone who makes him miserable e.g. ex-girlfriend, ex-wife or ex-husband, or a high school teacher from hell.  

 For the next job research the company by becoming friendly with some staffers from the organisation to elicit general information without appearing nosey.

Attributes-of-a-Strong-Woman

While International Women’s Day on 8th March belongs to no one organisation, and although started as early as 1909, the role of women in the modern day work situation, is as important now as it was in the first decade of the last century.

 For the ordinary person in the workplace arriving at work daily to assist in or entirely support the family is a reason to celebrate being a woman. What should ordinary women aspire to at work? What is the mark of a strong woman? Strength suggests fearlessness, yet more than being merely brave, she must know who she is and not compare herself to others. She must know what it is she wants and know how to achieve her goals. With many role models to look to since the beginning of International Women’s Day, one would assume that this would be an easy task. However, a little help can do no harm.

 1. CONFIDENCE: particularly to lead, if a woman is in a leadership position or aspires to be a leader she needs to be confident. To develop confidence she needs to be self-aware.

 2. COMPASSION: to be compassionate one requires the ability to read situations correctly. Important too is to be so without appearing to be soft. It is not to say that a woman has to compete as a strong male because it is vital to retain her exceptional feminine quality of empathy and her natural nurturing spirit. In these qualities lie a woman’s real strength as supported by the scripture … you are strongest when you are weak …

 3. EMPATHY:  that does not sacrifice discipline but an insight that allows her to understand the needs of those still aspiring to be as strong as she is.

 4. DISCIPLINE:  starts with you and must be fairly dispensed to others. A strong woman must look out for the negative in themselves before dealing with it in others. It’s important to deal with a negative attitude in staff members immediately it arises.

 5. HUMILITY: none of the above can develop without humility. The strong woman admits to mistakes even when she is the boss. It develops leadership skills and is a good example to those she works with or leads. When staff see these attributes demonstrated, it engenders trust in her ability to lead or believe in her support as a colleague. The humility shown, by the African American woman who all worked for the Space Task Force in the sixties, such as Miriam Mann, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Katheryn Peddrew and especially Katherine G. Johnson, in continuing to do their work without complaint in spite of not being recognised for their contribution to space travel, is a good example of this quality. A strong woman as colleague should also remember to stand alone if necessary, to stand tall. It should not be mistaken for arrogance, as it is simply resistance to negative peer pressure. The opposite applies to pride, the mark of a weak and insecure person.

 6. NURTURER:  the strong woman nurtures and develops colleagues or staff without neglecting the stronger people in the company. Sometimes, to do this is to walk a tightrope that requires delicate management, because you do not want anyone to feel sidelined. A plan to have the stronger workers mentor those needing help could work to avoid this, and allay any fears they may have, of being ignored. In contrast to a nurturing style of management, the bully barking orders cannot develop qualities in others that allow them to become strong, productive people. It needs a humble, nurturing and disciplined person to see the potential in others.

 7. AWARENESS: there is no place for self-absorption. A strong woman in the workplace is always aware of others’ needs. This knowledge enables her to guide and direct when required to do so while resisting the temptation to sermonise. A subtle suggestion is sometimes all the guidance a person needs. A more direct assistance in developing skills as in further studies, courses and workshops for any staff requiring this, is always a good idea.

 A final word – all influential people have a plan, a plan that is flexible enough to allow for change when change is needed.

Fancy Someone In The Office? St Valentine to the rescue! February 9, 2017 |By: Lynda Stephen

Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day at work or do you hate this ancient, obscure ritual whose origins are buried in the mists of time?  Most of us are incorrigible romantics even though we like to appear calm and in control of our lives. We tend to become undone when that special someone enters a room or brushes past us in the office. If we try to talk to our dream girl/boy, we turn into gibbering idiots. What can you do about this unsettling state of affairs?  Oh, of course, here’s St Valentine to the rescue!

 

As far as I know, the cards received from one’s secret admirer never reveal the author, so what’s the purpose of sending one again? Is it so that the unwitting recipient of one’s affections can employ some magical powers to return the compliment? Perhaps the card itself has the magical ability to turn a disinterested person into a smitten puppy with eyes only for you? Whatever the original intention of the secret practice, it has evolved into the not so secret purpose, to start a relationship in a way that leaves the recipient a way out, if the object of your affections is not interested, and it also protects the sender from outright rejection if there is no response. Hang on, if the card is anonymous how is a response possible? I’m told by a very reliable seven-year-old source that ‘you have to give them a clue silly…’ Okay, out of the mouth of babes comes the solution, a clue.

 

Now, what possible clue would work from a relative stranger to another, considering you just work mates, right? What on earth do they know about you to give them even the tiniest hint? Ehh, perhaps from the girl who brought the files to you last week; the guy you bumped into yesterday;  the girl you never talk to or cheekily, the man in your dreams! None of these may work, or if he/she gets it wrong then you could be in real trouble! Imagine your Valentine card starting a romance between two other people. Not exactly what you want, right?

 

I guess one of the simplest things to do is confide in a reliable, trustworthy person to deliver the card; someone who ‘accidentally’ reveals your identity. Or find a helpful cleaner to put the card on your Valentine’s desk before anyone arrives and when she/he starts looking around the office searching for clues, you give her the broadest smile ever and find the flimsiest excuses to chat to her EVERY hour, to nudge her in the right direction! Exhausting you might say, but true love knows no bounds.

 

The one rule all smitten would-be lovers must stick to is, to make sure before you start a workplace romance that the person you want to become better acquainted with is available, for your sake as well as for everyone else. You don’t want to have to change jobs over a Valentine Day affair gone wrong! If you’re lucky enough to succeed in starting a relationship at work is it on Valentine’s Day or any other day, remember to keep it professional. No undue show of affection or anything else while at work; keep it for after hours, after all, said and done delayed delight is twice as gratifying!

 

One more thing, those origins of the pagan fertility ritual re-invented by Christianity into St Valentine’s Day, make for interesting reading albeit a little confusing. The legend goes; a pope in the third century was the re-inventor, for the purpose of converting pagans to Christianity. Here it gets a little foggy. There were three Saint Valentines who were contenders for the title. The most popular choice over time was a martyr, who died for converting to Christianity after falling in love with a Christian girl!  Not the best way to convince pagans to convert but beautifully romantic! Now the big question is, would you give up your life for love? Or, to be a little more gentle on this beautiful day, what would you do for love?

Self Re-invention

How real is the new person once we have undergone re-invention? If DNA , experience and circumstance makes us who we are, can re-invention through all sorts of self-improvement techniques really change us? I’d like to think that this is so because growth and development is what we’re all about, right? It can only be a good thing to remove negative thinking, brought on by past experience perhaps, and start afresh armed with the necessary tools to become the person we want to be; a sort of rebirth. The question I find myself grappling with is which is the authentic me? Is it the old or the new. Did I perhaps throw out the baby with the bath water? Why this uncertainty you may ask?

As an author, I like to think that the stories I write reflect who I am as a person and that the new sanitised version would be a little short of  genuine. With all the advice on the modern way to promote stories, such as the writer must be promoted if the readers are to accept that what you offer is authentic and worth the readers time, should it not be a concern that we present the genuine person and not the re-invented person? On the other hand, there’s the opinion that all readers care about is  a good story that is worth the money spent. Which then is the reality? What will get you to pick up a book and want to own it? The snippet of the story on the cover,  or the author profile? For me, and perhaps I’m naive, a good story trumps whoever wrote it. The next question is how do you know the story will be good until you read it? My answer, that’s life isn’t it. The adventure of the unknown is what makes life worth living. The best books I’ve read were the one’s that were not recommended and that I stumbled on quite by accident and also the ones I spent fifteen minutes flipping through the pages before making it my own. I seldom remember if the writer is man or women, lives in New York or Timbuctoo or how many children they have.

I  know that mine is not the way to go to promote readership and that in this digital age of free books the competition is steep, but here’s the challenge to anyone who loves to read good fiction – take the risk, it could change your life without the need to re-invent yourself.

Compartments, Discipline and Creativity

Having spent most of my time on health issues this year, I find it almost impossible to follow the advice recently received via email that says one should divide time into three parts – 33% learning; 33% earning and 33% returning. My question is where does fun fit in? Agreed all three could be fun but separate recreation is as important surely? I would love to earn from writing and that would cover both creativity and fun. Strict discipline and creativity have always made difficult bedfellows for me. Does that mean that if I am not a disciplined writer writing is merely a hobby for me? I’ve grappled with this simply because I’m afraid to turn a fun occupation into a dutiful chore. In the actual process of writing I am fairly disciplined, abiding by most of the requirements such as daily writing, diligent observance of grammar, use of language that best serves the plot and purpose (holding the reader’s interest long enough to deliver the entertainment promised). Once the baby is born though I tend to feel that my job is done.

With learning new things to keep a sharp mind, I have no problem; dealing with the internet and its many, for me, intricate applications is an ongoing mental challenge. Giving back to ??? whoever needs the benefit of my wisdom I suppose, can be confusing for me. I thought the mere fact that one creates is giving the public a return on raw talent, whatever one’s creative choice is. Does the serious artist not serve a two-fold purpose – aesthetic and social. If the artist can entertain while holding up a mirror to society and also produces a fairly good product, surely one can ask no more. The digital era has given rise to a new multi-purpose creature, one that has to be delivering surgeon, mother, teacher and promoter of the baby.

Regardless how multi-talented a writer needs to be she still needs help. To this end, I have engaged a young generation genius to handle the mysteries of world wide web while I focus on the business of writing. My new website is http://www.lyndarogle.co.za. Comments on aesthetics and utility welcome. I know the competition is overwhelming but is there not the risk of information overload for the public? When I find it difficult to choose when spoilt for choice I usually don’t. It’s less stressful to simply walk away. I like the advice that the solution lies not in trying to get the attention of a million readers but rather that of a few loyal supporters whom you take very good care of by communicating with them diligently. Learning anything new is always rewarding and my next project, learning how to write scripts is almost there. Should start in the new year 2016.