company http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9394/all en-US Best Money Tips: What You Should Know About a Company Before You Join http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-what-you-should-know-about-a-company-before-you-join <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-what-you-should-know-about-a-company-before-you-join" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview-4301047-small.jpg" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on what you should know about a company before you join, 2013 gift guides, and lowering your food budget without coupons.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dailyworth.com/posts/2282-find-out-if-a-potential-employer-is-right-for-you">What You Should Know About a Company Before You Join</a> &mdash; Before you take a position at a company, comb message boards for gossip. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Holiday-Gift-Ideas-2013-32388522">2013 Gift Guides: Perfect Presents for Everyone on Your List!</a> &mdash; Consider getting the pet lover in your life a funny animal-inspired book. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.beingfrugal.net/3-ways-to-lower-your-food-budget-without-using-coupons/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=3-ways-to-lower-your-food-budget-without-using-coupons" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">3 Ways to Lower Your Food Budget without Using Coupons</a> &mdash; Lower your food budget without using coupons by cooking from scratch. [BeingFrugal.net]</p> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/do-you-have-enough-life-insurance-really/">Do You Have Enough Life Insurance? Really?</a> &mdash; If you have financial dependents, you need life insurance. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/11/7-reasons-to-not-always-live-frugal/">7 Reasons to Not Always Live Frugal</a> &mdash; It is important to spend money on your family from time to time, which means you don&#39;t always have to live frugally. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/11/21/what-are-savings-for/" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">What are savings for?</a> &mdash; Savings can get you through emergencies or can help you afford college or a house. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/maximum-401k-contribution-for-2014-has-been-announced/">Maximum 401k Contribution for 2014 Has Been Announced</a> &mdash; The maximum 401k contribution limit for 2014 will be $17,500. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/kids/wednesday-welcome-the-first-steps-in-college-bound-cost-cutting/" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">The First Steps In College-Bound Cost Cutting</a> &mdash; When trying to save money for college, analyze your family situation. [Jean Chatzky Making Money Make Sense]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/11/25/what-do-you-consider-risk/">What do you consider risk?</a> &mdash; Risks are everywhere, from your career to inflation and beyond. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ways-to-be-a-leader-in-healthy-living">7 Ways to Be a Leader in Healthy Living</a> &mdash; To be a leader in healthy living, surround yourself with like-minded people. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-what-you-should-know-about-a-company-before-you-join">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired (and Some for the Rest of Us, Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hard-truths-about-getting-hired-that-you-dont-want-to-believe">10 Hard Truths About Getting Hired That You Don&#039;t Want to Believe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cool-jobs-for-retirees">6 Cool Jobs for Retirees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting best money tips company job hunting Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1098790 at http://www.wisebread.com Company Coming? 10 Areas to Clean to Make It Count http://www.wisebread.com/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-4237229-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I do not need a sparkling house. What I need, and what I think the average person wants, is to not be embarrassed if someone drops by. I realize that I have set a low bar here. If we have the same mindset, you are probably also wondering where you should spend your time cleaning to make it count.</p> <p>Fortunately, several Wise Bread writers share the same house-cleaning goals. After reading their posts and taking an informal poll of some friends, I came up with a good plan of action and road tested it. Here's all you need to do to keep your home presentable. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">Your One Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>1. Declutter</h2> <p>Andrea Karim explains why it's important to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">manage the clutter in your life</a>: clutter clouds the mind and saps our energy. An empty laundry basket is great for this &mdash; load it up, and then go empty it. I probably could have used a wheelbarrow. My mother used to have a quote about this process: &ldquo;A place for everything, and everything in its place.&rdquo; If I could force myself to declutter once a day, I am sure it wouldn&rsquo;t be so overwhelming under the pressure of an arriving visitor.</p> <h2>2. Stow Your Cleaning Products in a Plastic Tote</h2> <p>Cleaning will go a lot faster if you have everything close by, from cleaning products to wipes, trash bags, and vacuum bags. I noticed I had been putting some cleaning products in the kitchen and some in the closet with no particular rhyme or reason. It&rsquo;s so nice not to run back and forth.</p> <h2>3. Clean Top-Down</h2> <p>Start with the cobwebs, then move to the dust, and then your floors. If you do that in the wrong order, you&rsquo;ll make yourself crazy recleaning.</p> <h2>4. Multi-Task in the Bathroom</h2> <p>I know that sounds odd, but bathroom products need time to soak in and work before you wipe them down. I like to spray the shower with an anti-mildew cleaner, squirt toilet cleaner into the toilet, and then wipe down the mirrors, windows, and counters. Then I go back and clean the shower and the toilet after the chemicals have done the hard work for me. If you prefer not to use harsh chemicals, check out Nora Dunn&rsquo;s post about <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">all-purpose vinegar</a>. If visitors are on the way, make sure you empty the trash can and put out fresh towels and fresh soap.</p> <h2>5. Make Your Bed</h2> <p>If it takes you more than five minutes to make your bed, you probably have too many throw pillows (guilty!). If the tangle of sheets and blankets is too much to deal with on a daily basis, check out duvets.</p> <h2>6. Put Away the Dishes</h2> <p>A good rhythm is to run the dishwasher after dinner and then empty it in the morning. If you do dishes by hand, wash at night, and empty the drainer in the morning. Change your kitchen sponge and towels frequently and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">keep your dishwasher clean inside and out</a>.</p> <h2>7. Don&rsquo;t Forget the Stove</h2> <p>Cooking is messy, and no matter what type of stovetop you have, it gets grimy. I have a small commercial range with burners that get bad build-up. I fill my sink with Dawn and hot water, gently set the burners in to soak, and then attack the surface of the stove. Be sure you check your stove manufacturer&rsquo;s manual to see what products they recommend. The stove knobs may also need your attention, and if you have stainless steel like I do, it will need to be wiped down.</p> <h2>8. Clean Your Counters</h2> <p>Hopefully your decluttering rounds included the kitchen. If so, the counters can be quickly wiped down.</p> <h2>9. Sweep or Vacuum</h2> <p>If you decide to vacuum, is the bag fresh? If it&rsquo;s not, the house will smell musty. If you write the date on the bag when you change it, you&rsquo;ll have a good idea of how long it has been since you last emptied it.</p> <h2>10. Make Your Decorative Items Decorative</h2> <p>Blankets and throw pillows don&rsquo;t look very HGTV-esque if they are strewn about randomly. Take a minute to fluff, fold, and arrange.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place prepped for visitors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You&#039;re Forgetting to Clean</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer">27 Things You Should Have in Your Utility Drawer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clean company dust sweep vacuum Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Marla Walters 971474 at http://www.wisebread.com How to be the best customer http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-be-the-best-customer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/customer_servicetempx.jpg" alt="" title="Customer service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've no shortage of &quot;How to do good customer service&quot; articles designed to be applied from the company's side. But <strong>what about customers?</strong> We need each other to thrive, and whether you're in front of the sales desk or behind, we're all humans. An obvious point worth remembering because just about anyone who's worked in customer relations has tales of customers who weren't just dissatisfied, they were abusive jerks. And there's <strong><em>never, ever</em> a good reason to heap hurt on someone else</strong> &mdash; such wasteful emotions clog reasonable complaints.</p> <p>As someone who's both answered thousands of issues in varying roles (and created documentation to support it) and has bought products from a variety of companies ranging from the monolithic to 1-person operations, here's what I've learned. It's biased towards smaller companies since it's easier to enact change with them, but can apply wherever you'll be listened to.</p> <h2>Document everything</h2> <p>If a frontline agent isn't doing a service to their company by being rude to you, get their name. Consider recording your calls (be aware of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws">obtaining consent</a>; companies will often say on the line they're recording <em>you</em> for training purposes!). Tagging the emails they send you. And so on. Create a history if you're routinely being wronged.</p> <p>If you need to bring bad behavior to a supervisor's attention, <em>don't</em> present your case as &quot;I hate ALL OF YOU IN THIS COMPANY&quot;. Rather, if it's a specific problem with an individual, you're willing to go beyond and point out <strong>you generally like doing business with people who work here, with an <em>exception</em></strong>. It'll be their word against this troublesome employee's, but if you have evidence, they can't cover it up. (And if it's numerous people or the general mindset of a company that has you irked, yeah, you should take your business elsewhere.)</p> <p>In an age of electronic surveillance, taped support calls gone wrong have become a way to escalate problems when a company doesn't listen and a consumer feels helpless, so they amplify it through The Consumerist or one of many comedy sites.</p> <p><object height="385" width="480"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ryas9OANw-E&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed height="385" width="480" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ryas9OANw-E&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1"></embed></object></p> <p>Related, <strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/consumer-affairs">Wise Bread has a Consumer Affairs category</a></strong> you'll want to check out, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">Paul Michael's sucky experience with a Dyson vacuum cleaner</a>.</p> <p>I don't recommend going out of your way to destroy a company, but use documented proof to substantiate the poor treatment you've gotten, which will hopefully <strong>help management solve the problem</strong>, and possibly thank you for getting their attention, as a result.</p> <h2>Learn to file effective bug reports</h2> <p>A surprising second point? Not so much when you realize it's a finer level of documentation. Observe the connections: while &quot;bug report&quot; is most commonly associated with computer software and electronics, the <strong>key importance is being able to show someone else how you arrived at a problem via a series of steps they can follow</strong>. If it sounds similar to giving driving directions, that's exactly true. And it's important in <em>any</em> sort of conflict resolution.</p> <p>If you buy an app and discover bugs, sending bug reports (via the developer's preferred channel) will help them make it more stable, and hence, better. Bug reports don't have to be boring text instructions. Especially when you need to show visual elements, consider using a video recording tool like <strong><a href="http://www.jingproject.com/">TechSmith's Jing</a></strong> (free basic version, I love it) to make video bug reports and narrate what's happening &mdash; show stuff as-it-is!</p> <p><em>Don't</em> assume a company's quality assurance will find all bugs. It's true they should do rigorous testing to deliver a robust end result, but the fact is <strong>there are far more variations of possible computer systems than they'll ever be able to try inhouse</strong>. Customers who whine about problems they're aware of instead of spending the same time to step up and communicate aren't useful.</p> <p>Many companies give discounts and free products for being an exceptional bug reporter, including <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_test#Beta">beta tests</a>. Don't expect entitlement and be familiar with the company's culture beforehand &mdash; some, like <a href="http://torley.com/picnik-is-beautiful-convenient-and-a-lot-of-fun">Picnik</a> who I'm helping test their Show feature, are much more amendable to personal contact with customers than others. After all, continue <strong>to communicate. Loyalty never gets old</strong>, and if a product is going to serve you for months and years, having a close bond means you'll be taken seriously. Not all customers are the same and you <em>do</em> want to be the best, yes?</p> <p>Plus, after you've gained an understanding, you can teach other customers how to file bug reports, too, empowering their experiences.</p> <h2>Don't bitch about what's out of an employee or company's control</h2> <p><strong>Focus on actionables.</strong> What <em>can</em> be done.</p> <p>For instance, if your Internet Service Provider goes offline because someone drove their car into a tree, knocking down power lines and cutting off your connection, it's uncalled for to ring the ISP up on a cellphone and scream &quot;FIX IT NOW YOU @#$%ING IDIOTS!&quot; They can't &mdash; that's likely the electric company's responsibility. All your insults serve is demonstrate is what a jerk you are. Better approach: <strong>call and ask for a status update</strong>: &quot;What's going on and when can you expect it to be fixed?&quot; <strong>Learn instead of accuse.</strong>&nbsp;<em>Simple.</em></p> <p>Yes, professionals should have backups and contingency plans. But notice how there's no such guarantee as 100% uptime in the industry. Be forgiving of occasional mistakes, and they will be forgiving of yours. <strong>Continue to make suggestions where a company can improve their service</strong>: you may not get a personal response depending on volume, but if I really enjoyed my stay at a hotel, I send in the comment card.</p> <p>Another example of fruitless bitching: you're calling a human in billing about technical issues you have with a website. They cheerfully mention they'll escalate your details to the engineers (who aren't on the phones since they're heads-down programming) and suggest you take the initiative by posting on the company's forums. But you continue to gripe to the billing agent about it. They can be sympathetic, but your words are being wasted and you're tying up time that could be spent on another customer's actionable problems. <strong>Make it a priority to learn about <em>what</em> goes <em>where</em></strong> so urges you have to connect will be effective.</p> <p>When in doubt, ask questions &mdash; for emphasis, <strong>learn instead of accuse</strong>. You have every right to remind a company if they haven't been responsive (<a href="http://torley.com/acronis-true-image-2009-awful-customer-experience">like I did for Acronis True Image 2009</a>). But don't point fingers. The blame game is played by losing attitudes which are too much talk, not enough walk. <strong>If someone is just, they'll admit fault.</strong> And for all you CS reps reading this: unfortunately, while a rare minority, there are customers who have mental illness and need to see a professional. Don't be their doctor. And <em>never, ever</em> tolerate abuse. It works both ways.</p> <h2>When you're treated right, be vocally appreciative</h2> <p>Perhaps this should've been #1. But I wanted to see if you noticed.</p> <p>Customer service reps endure more abuse than they should have to. Like I said, no one deserves abuse. On the flipside, <strong>I've hardly ever felt productive, friendly workers get sufficient customer praise to inspire them each day and keep going!</strong></p> <p>This is why I'm doing my part: <strong>every time I believe I've been treated exceptionally, I directly send a testimonial</strong>. I also often use <a href="http://twitter.com/torley"><strong>Twitter</strong></a> and <a href="http://torley.com/"><strong>my personal blog</strong></a> to get the word out about awesome products that are made by awesome people. Word-of-mouth is especially important to small companies that can use all the earnest marketing they can get to thrive. Like what I wrote about bug reporting earlier, some savvy companies keep track of &quot;key influencers&quot; and may offer you goodies. These are mutually beneficial: <strong>the company's product adds value to your life, you help support them in ways beyond paying money</strong>.</p> <p>In the service industry, this also applies to eating out. You're a restaurant's customer. Received lovely, attentive service? Then <a href="http://www.oprah.com/media/20080909_tows_waiter">generously tip waitstaff</a> who've given you consistently excellent treatment. <strong>Actions have consequences and you're frugal, not chintzy.</strong></p> <p><strong>Customer service is an ecosystem</strong>: an honest, friendly worker who gets berated and hears no good words is going to be very confused, and even frustrated about why they even bother to go above and beyond. So pay attention to what makes you smile.</p> <h2>What is a supercustomer?</h2> <p>A supercustomer is not necessarily someone who throws a lot of cash at a company, although that can be part of their makeup. I use &quot;supercustomer&quot; to describe those &mdash; <em>the best!</em> &mdash; who <strong>go beyond the call of customer duty</strong> (intriguing way of looking at it, hmm?) and don't just routinely consume, they <strong>actively participate in improving the people &amp; products of the businesses they enjoy</strong>.</p> <p>The Internet has opened up many opportunities, from the trusted reviews of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help">Amazon Vine</a> to the &quot;People-Powered Customer Service&quot; (as redundant as that may seem, we need to be reminded in an era of voice mail and faceless megacorps) of <a href="http://getsatisfaction.com/">Get Satisfaction</a>.</p> <p>Old ways of putting a wall between the people who use the products and those who make them are stupid and dying, because in the end, <strong>we're all humans who want to be happy</strong>.</p> <p><strong><em>So be the best customer you can be!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping abuse bug company customer Help product service support twitter Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:26:18 +0000 Torley Wong 3349 at http://www.wisebread.com Will Companies Ever Woo Again? http://www.wisebread.com/will-companies-ever-woo-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/will-companies-ever-woo-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rose.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I remember my first “office” job.<span> </span>It was arranged through a temp agency, and I had auditioned for the role for a full two weeks before they practically begged me to come on permanently.<span> </span>I was young and nervous about my abilities.<span> </span>Some of the staff treated me like a “temp” for a very long time.<span> </span>Others welcomed me on board with enthusiasm, upscale dining, and the occasional gift certificate.<span> </span>My services helped keep a top-notch sales team running at peak efficiency, and I loved my job. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Down the street, my good friend was not so lucky.<span> </span>Her college degree had landed her a position with a company of equal size, where she was in charge of promotions and newsletters.<span> </span>Her skill set was wide, and she had the kind of attitude that could bring a kind of happy excitement to any bland environment.<span> </span>Every day they reminded her that there were dozens of others who had wanted her job, and that if she wasn’t fully committed to the company and its ideals, she could go elsewhere. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is it the industry?</strong><span> </span>It would be easy to say that I had it better because I was working in a niche market with very little competition and a wide open sky of possibilities within my company.<span> </span>There were no pressures to downsize, cut costs, or ramp up productivity (yet). My friend’s industry, however, was dime-a-dozen.<span> </span>Their eyes were on the enemy, watching the every move of the competitor, and rarely focusing on the employees that made it all go.<span> </span>It’s possible that the lack of “wooing” by my friend’s company had more to do with the kind of work being done, and not her personally. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">On the same note, I once managed a fast-food restaurant.<span> </span>While I wanted every new employee to feel treasured and welcome, it was necessary to keep a continuing stream of “warm bodies” in the hiring pipeline to guarantee our operations.<span> </span>I was lucky if I could get each new employee a uniform that fit (or had at least been washed) and training was a luxury that only the most promising ever received.<strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is it our culture?</strong><span> </span>Some Americans are experiencing less perks than ever (a reduction in maternity leave and bereavement pay), while the India Times discusses a new trend of <a href="http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Features/Special_Pages/LiveITUP/Companies_woo_employees_with_new_set_of_benefits/rssarticleshow/2863735.cms">“heartbreak” leave</a> for employees that have recently broken up with a partner and need time to cry it out.<span> </span>And while some may say that this is taking &quot;perks&quot; to the extreme, it may be another example of how the U.S. has fallen behind other countries in our treatment of some sectors of workers. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is it the tenure of the employee?</strong><span> </span>It is easy to say that new-hires will get more coddling and appreciation than those that have been around awhile, but this is also becoming a faux pas.<span> </span>Just recently, a close friend accepted a dream job, only to find that the real interviews came “after” he was hired.<span> </span>With no formal training in his new job, the expectations were grossly above his pay scale.<span> </span>Instead of the company trying to encourage him, they continually reminded him of the “perils” of the job, and questioned him time and again if he was making the right decision by working there (all of this within the first week.)<span> </span>It turns out that this was a regular practice of the company, and that they often tried to “psych” out new-hires to see if they were of the rigid material they supposedly needed. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">On the other end of the scale, you may see new hires being promised the world.<span> </span>Or maybe that 20+ year employee gets everything he asks for (parking space, extra time off for family activities, etc.)<span> </span>It seems that there is no fast or hard rule for this behavior. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">In a society where relationships rarely start out with dating (the style of the movie “<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478311/">Knocked-Up</a> ” isn’t that uncommon), I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to see employees clawing their way into contention for jobs they already have.<span> </span>It saddens me that anyone would be made to feel like less than a person or treated as completely disposable by any employer.<span> We laugh at the &quot;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458352/">Devil Wears Prada</a> &quot; mentality as a far-fetched exaggeration of the work world, but it does exist. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">While there will always be strange anomalies in the workplace that prevent us from ever knowing if we will continue to be courted beyond our “new-hire” status (or at all), it is something that we must consider if we are looking for a long-term company partner.<span> </span>This <a href="http://www.workhappynow.com/2008/04/17/%E2%80%9Cwoo%E2%80%9D-your-employees/">excellent article by Work Happy Now</a> lays out the rhyme and reason for wooing your employees (in case you didn’t already know that it is a good idea.)<span> </span>And while there are still companies willing to try something new to find and retain good employees, I would personally want something a bit <a href="http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070613/BUSINESS07/706130468/-1/BUSINESS">more substantial than a sand volleyball court</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>If you are being wooed at a new job (or you’re still in love with your steady, long-term work partner) please let us know! <span> </span>We’d love to hear your stories of company courtship.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-companies-ever-woo-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-15-coolest-silicon-valley-job-perks-you-wish-you-had">The 15 Coolest Silicon Valley Job Perks You Wish You Had</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Career Building benefits company jobs new hire Wed, 02 Jul 2008 13:52:10 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2213 at http://www.wisebread.com