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April, 2017

  1. Do Happy Employees Make Less Mistakes?

    April 12, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

     

    photo credit: Miranda Mylne presentation images cc via photopin (license)

    I can feel it’s officially time for me to seek out new pastures at my present job. Between coworker issues and just a general feeling that I’ve hit the wall of growth at this place, I’m just not that happy at my job anymore.

    And lately I’ve noticed I’ve started making more careless mistakes. Not reading emails completely. Getting behind on small assignments. And a few other small mistakes which made me wonder today if being happy at your job equates making less mistakes?

    Sure, we’re all human.

    Yet, somehow I don’t think me wishing for an earthquake every morning is likely to improve my ability and drive to succeed at this currentjob.

    I came across a bit of research that proves my theory. According to the Journal of Applied Business Research (Vol. No1, March 2014), “Engaged employees make fewer mistakes than disengaged employees because they want to ensure a job well done. They pay more attention to details and work with a greater sense of accuracy.” (SOURCE)

    Isn’t that interesting? When we’re engaged at our job, we’re less likely to make mistakes. We’re more accurate. We pay better attention.We WANT to do well. I ask myself – do I want to do well at this job? In all honesty, I don’t really care. Mostly, if I was being honest with myself, I just want to get through the day and go home. Considering I’m spending eight hours of my day feeling like this, I think that may be why I’m making more mistakes.

    Perusing on Google brought me to one site that recommended ways to make employees happy. One key tip jumped out at me.

    “Listen to your employees.” (read the full article here)

    The thing is, I do know I am asked for feedback at work. They send out the yearly surveys which I answer as honestly as I can without being rude. I even sit with my supervisor every few months to talk about goals. Recently, I sat with a supervisor to talk about what motivates, what I like about working there (including what I don’t like) and what perks would I appreciate.

    Yet, for me, there is a difference between someone listening and someone being heard. Anyone can listen. I listen to conversations on the bus all the time. But I feel like when you are HEARD, your words are taking action. They have an impact. They get legs and start running a marathon.

    I think what I want instead of my supervisor listening, I want active listening to happen at work. I don’t want to just suggest that working from home be more of an option. I want active listening. I want to hear in a meeting about how they know people want to work at home, but here’s why it isn’t happening or here is how it CAN happen.

    I mentioned to a supervisor recently that when people are afraid of making mistakes, they make more. She acknowledged that of course. Admitting that management worries a lot about losing money which is why the reaction is so bad.

    But can a company reduce that fear?

    I remember once when I was in my first few days of a new job (not the one I’m in now) and the person training me said, “There is no mistake you can’t make here that can’t be fixed.”

    I can’t tell you the burden that lifted off my shoulders when I heard that. I can also tell you that the place I’m working in now does not keep this truth close to heart. The last thing they would tell anyone is that mistakes are okay or even understood when you’re new. People are intolerant to mistakes and sadly that impacts the level of happiness people have at this place.

    So back to my question – do unhappy employees make more mistakes? I think the answer is yes. And I think the theory here is if you can’t make your job a happy place, it may be time to move on. What are your thoughts?


  2. Will the Mall Survive?

    April 8, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

    photo credit: Nicholas Eckhart The Old Mall via photopin (license)

    For those who haven’t heard Macy’s is closing 68 stores this year.  Sears and Kmart are closing 150 stores. I pass a Macy’s department store enroute home and the images of clearance posters are haunting. And now Payless Shoes has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  It seems like the mall as we know may be dying.

    All of this has made me nostalgic. I think back to my childhood and teen years and think about how much fun I had going to the mall. Even if all the mall had was a few discount outlets, a coffee or ice cream shop, and some benches, you could still have a nice time. A few years ago, I visited a Barnes and Noble that I grew up near. I had spent my pre-teen years all the way to my early college years at this store. I even remember the day it opened. It was ironic and haunting when I heard recently it had closed. This was the bookstore I visited to find my 5th grade science experiment idea. It was the same one I sat in while writing short stories and poetry while I waited for my mom to pick me up when I was in high school. It was also the same one I met several first dates for coffee during my brief attempts at online dating in college. Not to mention, this was the place I bought all those countless books, journals, bookmarks, and coffees over the years.

    I’m not sure what this now closed Barnes and Noble is now. Maybe it’s become an outlet store. Maybe it’s a series of holiday shops that change every season. However, it’s part of a bigger picture. It’s attached to a modest tiny mall that never really got bigger than having a Target and a Nordstrom Rack. I haven’t been back in a few years, but I can’t imagine it could take more closing stores for it to stay afloat.

    Hearing all these major stores close down – ones that usually occupy the malls of the suburbs – reminds me that the mall as we know it has changed and may longer part of our future. To be honest, I can’t afford to shop anymore. I would love to support the place of my nostalgia, but I’m barely making ends meet as it is.

    In fact, quickly Google search abandoned malls and you will find a creepy walk down suburbia lane. In fact, there’s a whole website revolved around it. 

     

    According to NPR, many malls have returned from their watery retail grave as churches, medical centers, schools and disaster recovery centers.  About a year ago when I was venturing down the path of my obsession about abandoned malls, I found an CBS article about how one mall became “Plaza Fiesta” which had everything the local Hispanic neighborhood needed.

    I feel a tad worried about what this means for neighborhoods surrounding closing malls or malls down to minimal stores. I recall one mall I used to go to that had an amazing arcade, some cool stores, good food shops and now is down to a theater and an empty retail walk through experience. I read recently it may be revived thanks to a developer that purchased it, but I’ve seen it go down that path before and I have little hope for that actually happening.

    What do you think can be done about the malls of the past that seem to be going by the way of the dinosaurs? Do you work at a near empty mall? Do you live near one? Have you seen a mall return from its retail grave? I want to think that some innovative person will come along and revive these old relics the same way you will see old furniture piece turned into something new. Or maybe that’s just the nostalgia talking.

    UPDATE: Yesterday I watched a TED video that talked about America’s “Dead Malls” and the guy makes short films based on the dead malls of America. Well, I highly recommend you watch this but you know he made an interesting point. Late in the video he wonders why malls don’t just build a bar and add a ton of seating and then the stores will come. I was thinking that same thing. Maybe add a space for food carts, healthy options, and add a TON of better seating and I think the stores will return. Maybe the malls are going away because they aren’t advancing with the times and the interests of people anymore.


  3. 5 Grown Up Things I Dread Doing

    April 3, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

    via GIPHY

    Would it surprise you if the majority of what was on this list was money related? Probably not. So, here’s the start of a new day with LadyUnemployed.com. So, there’s a few things I need to do and some things I’ve done that I am just not a fan of. It just makes me wish this was automatically done for me and that I could just press a button and WOOSH it’s complete.

    1. Shaving my legs.

    I can’t be the only one. In reality, I hate shaving my legs. More specifically, I hate shaving my legs after the winter season is over. So, it’s spring time, a razor hasn’t touched that skin for a while and it just sucks. I can’t imagine waxing and that Nair stuff is like waiting for water to boil. I just have no patience for it. So I shaved my legs over the weekend and it was just, yuck.

    2. Doing my taxes.

    Oh yes and that deadline is just around the corner. I will likely worry about this when I know it’s the due date. It’s getting later and later for me every year too. It’s annoying and I’m always disappointed by the refund I am getting. It’s also a process for me, because there are a million forms.

    3. Paying student loans.

    I’ve exhausted the ability to put things off for my student loans and in comparison to other people, it really isn’t that bad. I pay twice a month and for the most part it isn’t breaking the bank (yet). But it sucks. It’s like when you go out to dinner and they give you a check at the end and you think to yourself, “What am I buying this for now? I’m not even hungry!”

    4. Drinking water.

    It’s one of those have to things that I do, but seriously unless I have chocolate or I’ve just gone to exercise or I’m’ hot and I need iced water, it’s a hassle. Maybe not a hassle. But I’m not a fan of the taste. I know I should appreciate that I even HAVE clean water to drink. So I do know that my appreciation level for water really isn’t as high as it should be.

    5. Commuting.

    You know I wonder if about 100 years ago if they thought we would have teleportation available by this point. In about 45 minutes, I will venture off to my commute home. And I just wish there was like a tub I could step into and ZAP I’m home in 5 minutes. I’ve looked into the whole teleportation thing though and I think the risk is far too high to ever feel comfortable doing.

     

     


  4. Lady (Un) Employed – Is This Thing On?

    April 3, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

    Long time no speak everyone!

    Yes, it has been close to six months maybe even longer since my last post. Confession – I’m sneak writing this at work.

    Well, I thought I would write a post and check in on people. I may need to rethink my promotion methods and seek out some ways for this little blog that could to get some attention.

    Anyways, life is sort of the same in some ways. I’m still at the day job I got over four and a half years ago. Still in a city I’m not too happy about. However, I think change is on the way. Have you ever felt change coming before it came? That’s how I’m feeling. Maybe that’s why I decided to revive this dusty blog.

    As the seasons turn and I rethink how I can reach new people, I thought it was time to find out if you were still out there, reading this blog. I would love to know!

    I still accept Unemployment Stories by the way. Feel free to send me an email to lady_unemployed@ladyunemployed.com if you want to share.