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Showing posts from August, 2015

Time Out! Gap Puts An End To On-Call Scheduling

On-call scheduling. It's the woe of retail workers everywhere, because calling into work to see if they'll be working today is no way to live. Retailers have come to rely on "on-call scheduling" as a matter of employment, keeping employees (who are essentially treated like day laborers waiting on a corner for a work van to pull up and load them in) on short notice.Will I work today? And if so, when? How many hours will I get? Will I make enough to cover the bills this month? Will the company call me any minute and tell me to report to work within the hour? Could I lose my job if I can't make it on time, because I had to find a babysitter or was stuck in traffic? Now imagine living this scenario every day. This is where we are in our work couture, and while it's fashionable it sure isn't very pretty. Retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Starbucks and Victoria's Secret have begun to move away from on-call scheduling, but Gap is strutting the wo…

Naked And Underpaid XL: Survey Ranks CEO Pay

How much do you earn in comparison to your company's CEO? Well, a new Glassdoor.com survey released yesterday concludes that the average U.S. CEO is earning roughly 204 times more than the average U.S. employee. Glassdoor poured over the SEC filings of Fortune 500 firms and compared these filings to information the employees of these firms have posted to Glassdoor's website and...ugh, where to begin. Let's start with Discovery Communications, the home of naked and blurred survivalist shows, where the CEO-to-employee pay ratio is around 1,951 to 1, based on Glassdoor's estimates. Discovery's CEO made in excess of $156 million in 2014, while the average Discovery worker made $80,000. Meanwhile, the CEO of Chipotle was served up a cool $28.9 million in salary last year while the median Chipotle employee salary was 19,000. The CEO-to-employee pay ratio according to Glassdoor, in case you're wondering? 1,522 to 1. CVS, Walmart and Target round out the top five…

Study Finds Men More Likely To Quote Themselves

A new study finds men are more prone to "self-citation," meaning they tend to cite their own, past work in their latest project. And you can quote me on that! Researchers at Stanford University, New York University, and the University of Washington analyzed 1.6 million research papers going back to the 1950s and found that male authors were more likely to reference their own past work, and by a 10% margin! Even more, the tendency to quote oneself appears to be growing over time. Thanks a lot, social media! Of course, the study explored the ivory tower world of "H-Index" academic research. Citations are sort of like Facebook likes for the research community, only citations actually mean something. What about the modern, non-tenured workplace replete with white papers, PowerPoint presentations, break-out sessions, team meets, work retreats, and the like? Metrics must be met. Are men in private industry more likely to say, "As I wrote last year..."?As on…

Survey Reveals Top 10 Childish Behaviors At Work

If you think temper tantrums end by age five, then you're in for a big shock because a new CareerBuilder survey reveals the Top 10 ways employees are pouting, shouting, crying and trying to get their way at work! CareerBuilder/Harris Interactive surveyed more than 2,500 HR managers, as well as more than 3,000 employees, to find out what grown working people do when they don't get their way. Let's just say a national time-out might be necessary, because slightly more than 3 in 4 employees (77%) have recently "witnessed some type of childish behavior among colleagues in the workplace." Surprised? Without further delay, here are the Top 10 childish behaviors witnessed by survey participants:Whining (55% of those surveyed have seen it at work); pouting over something that didn't go our way (46%); tattling on another co-worker (44%); playing pranks on another co-worker (36%); making a face behind someone's back (35%); forming a clique (32%); starting a rumor…

The Simple Moral Of Amazon's Workplace Story

I've been taking a summer blogging break to rest my mind before returning in September. I figured that everyone is on vacation (in mind, if not in body) this time of year. Also, I like to think that I'm practicing what I preach on this blog by taking some time off. How can I encourage anyone else to put the work away if I never do it myself? Then I read the New York Times story about workplace practices at Amazon.com, and so much for my self-imposed summer blogging break. From reportedly having employees navigate a "rank and yank" system to encouraging verbal aggressiveness in meetings to questioning the loyalty of employees facing the worst life has to throw at them, Amazon's workplace culture sounds like a case of mean management on steroids. The moral of the story, at least to me, is how easy it can be to lose perspective in today's overwrought workplaces that run on caffeine and contradiction. The contradictions are everywhere. We're encouraged to thi…

Calling Out Co-workers Who Call You On Vacation

You're vacationing in a warm, pretty place (or taking a "staycation," nothing wrong with that!) when a co-worker contacts you out of the blue to ask a very basic, work-related question. Here's a basic question: Why can't your co-worker handle it himself and leave you alone? If you've ever experienced this common workplace problem on holiday, then you're not alone: A poll conducted on behalf of mental health charity Mind reveals nearly one-quarter (24%) of 1,250 employees surveyed have received work calls on vacation. If it's that bad in Britain, then it's probably worse here as we enter the dog days of August! We've all been there. Our co-worker is on vacation, and we have a question pertaining to a problem, a project, or a client. For whatever reason, we feel like we can't answer it ourselves. So we ping our vacationing co-worker with an "urgent" flag. Let's hope the answer isn't sitting front and center on our des…

The Best (and Worst) States For Student Loan Debt

You have student loan debt, because the average university education is onerously expensive these days. But you'll make up for it by landing a great job in a great state after graduation! We've all been there. Maybe we're still there decades later, just kicking back with our student loans and wondering when they'll go away. Maybe we need to move far away? Wonder no more, because personal finance website WalletHub is here with its ranking of the best and worst states for student loan debt! The "WalletGurus" at WalletHub wanted to learn which U.S. states have the highest levels of student debt compared to their residents' income levels and the overall muscle of the state economy. WalletHub relied on seven key metrics to look at all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These metrics included the level of average student debt; the percentage of students with past-due loan balances; and the state's unemployment rate for 20 and young 30-somethings. …

Working Women Don't Know What They Want For Lunch

It's lunchtime, the best part of the work day! But do you know what you'll be having for lunch? Well, a new survey finds that many professional women don't know what they're having for lunch until they actually go to lunch! Cleveland-based marketing services company WorkPlace Impact finds that 90% of 3,435 professional women surveyed make their lunching decisions in the moment. As in, it's lunch time RIGHT NOW and they have to decide what, and where, to eat, stat! According to an excellent rundown in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:"Not only are working women spending money frequently on lunch, but they are making last-minute decision on where to go," said Tara Peters, director of marketing at WorkPlace Impact.Quick! What are you going to have for lunch today? (If you thought ahead and brought a sack lunch to work -- good for you! -- then you don't have to answer the question.) More than half of professional women surveyed buy lunch at least three tim…