Remember: An EPIC View Of Employee Relations Is Easy

Once again we head to the bathroom in today’s blog. Then the kitchen. Then the carpet. But primarily the bathroom. What does EPIC stand for: Employee Potty Indicates Concern. Yes, Dear Reader, it’s ranting time.

You, dear reader, will be spared any photographs in this blog edition. There will be graphic descriptions tied in, nothing too horrible, but let’s get real: your employee bathroom, its condition and supplies, are key indicators of what you think of them, how you care for them, and is far more accurate an indicator than any happy talk on the corporate website.

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Major corporations spend a lot of time and money on placating their employees. Read that carefully – placating, not making them happy, better workers, or feeling loved. Sometimes a wellness program is thrown out there to make sure they are healthy. The under lying concern is the amount that corporate entities have to pay for any health insurance premiums.

Sometimes it’s daycare. Yes, absenteeism drops when you have their kids on the property.

But what about the actual indicators of how the employer views the employee? How clean are the carpets/walls/windows? Is there an actual kitchen area, or some old conference room with a couple of microwaves that employees brought in themselves? Finally, how clean is the bathroom, and what kind of toilet paper and soap are in the employee bathroom versus the visitor bathroom?

If the showplace bathroom in the lobby has soft toilet paper and gel in the soap dispenser, but there’s the large roll of industrial strength deli-paper and foam (or empty containers) in the employee bathroom, it’s all about the show. Further, speaking as one who has cleaned more bathrooms than the average reader (janitorial gigs/military service taught me all about the right way to do it), the level of cleanliness is significant.

If the visitor bathroom is shiny, and has functional lights and stall doors/handles, but the employee bathroom has broken doors, flickering lights, and grout that is dark gray below knee height, it’s all about the show. I’ve been in several employee bathrooms as Santa that were vile. These places had professional janitorial companies doing the work, not employees. Consequently, you know that management only complained when visitors found it gross and disgusting. Employees? Well, they shouldn’t be spending that much time in the bathroom anyway.

There’s the rub. Especially when it comes to toilet paper. Your employees are captive there for 8 to 12 hours a day. Most humans will find a need to use a bathroom during that time. Let’s make it a given that the majority of your employees will not steal the toilet paper to take it home. Why, in the name of humanity, is there cheap paper in the employee bathrooms? Cost? Of course. But when you use nicer paper it’s a sign that you care, understand less paper will be used (it takes a lot of the cheap stuff to do the same job) and want your employees to leave the room without having a pain in their tuchus. If cost is the sole point of decision, then why isn’t the cheap stuff in the visitor biffy as well?

Back to cleaning. Yeah, kind of a sore spot. The janitor swamping the floor out with the same bucket of water they used to do the hallway, the women’s room, the entry way, and the men’s room merely means that you distribute all the germs around the building. You’ve got to use soap, rinse, rinse again, and then change water before moving on to the next venue.

Same with the toilets themselves. If it matters enough to spray the blue stuff in the toilet and scrub the sides in the lobby, why should it suffice to just splurt a little cleaner in the employee bathroom and then leave it there until someone uses the toilet? This could be why the sides of most employee bathroom porcelain units would scare Frankenstein.

Tired of the Bathroom? Let’s move on to the toxic ooze in the employee kitchen. Take a look at the walls near the trash cans. Yuck. Lots of spray up there from near misses, bouncing waste. Why aren’t those wiped down every day when the room is cleaned? Same thing for the sink/counter/coffee pot.

Last, and not least: if the lobby is worth vacuuming every night, why aren’t the areas where your employees work. Let’s be honest: there’s way more need in the cube farm for a good vacuuming than in the lobby where only delivery people and visitors trek through. By letting the carpets/floors/walls in the cube farm go to blazes, and remain unpainted for decades, you are signalling the people who work for you that you don’t actually care.

No number of smiley faces on the home page, nor announcements that you’ve been voted the best place to work at in Hades, will change the minds of your minions when they are faced with the fact that their employers consider them lesser animals who don’t mind living in a wallow.

So, corporate rulers, if a bozo like me picks that up from occasional visits to your facility, what do you think the inmates in sector 7G think as they head off to work each morning?

And you wonder why the referral bonus that HR offers isn’t bringing in friends and relatives.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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How Great Is The Darkness: A Book Review

It’s not very often that I run across another author who demands this kind of attention. In general, as a society, we do a pretty good job of locking up the deeply disturbed. I have managed to escape detection thus far. Thankfully, Jamie Greening is also on the loose and writing funny, smart, Christian fiction. Really twisted stuff, but so enjoyable that even the “tut-tut” crowd will find some whimsy and humor in the books. For those who do not tut, it is going to be a great read. I thus present my review of How Great Is The Darkness.

How Great Is the Darkness

How Great Is the Darkness

Jamie Greening

Jamie Greening

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Before we begin, let me set out the usual caveats: if you want a plot synopsis, go the book page. If you want to know why I liked the book, I lay it out below. Fair enough? Here’s the review I posted on Amazon.

How Great Is The Darkness? Pretty Darned Big, But Lit Up Well By This Author.

Let’s start with full disclosure: I paid for this book. My own money. Nothing free, no promise of an unbiased review. Nada. I’m reading the whole Athanatos catalog this summer and Jamie’s book was next up on the list. Man, I’m glad it was.

Some say you can’t judge a book by its cover. I say this is a great cover, and if you pay attention as you read the book you’ll totally get the reference to the artwork. The insides are every bit as good as the cover. Plus, they’re every bit as disturbed as the cover.

The Butch Gregory series has one other novel, and I probably should have read this second, not first. Fortunately it’s a great stand-alone book, and because of the minimal (but well done) back-story, I just purchased the first book to find out what happened in this universe prior to my arrival.

Here are the things I liked about the book: the characters were not only eccentric, but they were the kind of pastors I know from personal experience. The dialogue was snappy, sarcastic, and realistic. Just the kind of thing you’d hear when smart people meet insane people. There was a second-tier character who had a characteristic that made me want to scream at my Kindle more than a little bit. Or smash it. Or enjoy the fact that just dropping a few lines of description into the text made me clearly see this person and allow them to drive me nuts with this habit.

The ending is usually the saddest part of any book. Everything wraps up with a ribbon, everyone goes home, all is fixed. At least that’s how most Christian fiction works. Jamie didn’t read that handout at the writer’s conferences. I’m glad. Sloppy, unkempt ending (I mean that in a good way) that left you wondering about the characters. That tells me there’s another book coming. Yes, please.

Christian content – I’m not even sure how to answer that one. There’s violence. It’s pretty graphic. It’s also appropriate for the story. Kind of like the Bible. Scriptural content? That’s there in a larger percentage than you might expect, but it’s there for a reason, not to bash you with the Bible. You need to understand some of the characters and their motivation in light of scripture. He uses his pastor characters to do just that and it works. Part of a pastor’s duties are to teach. He (Jamie Greening) is a pastor and a teacher and he keeps it to the minimum needed to clear the plot over the hurdles.

All in all, it’s a Five Star read. I had a lot of fun and look forward to reading the next one.

This is where you open up your browser and buy the book. You’ll enjoy it if you enjoy this blog.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Prozac Princess. The Story Of Love’s Limits In Canine Anxiety.

Some of you know the story of my dog Stormy, some of you don’t. Today’s post is about her background and how it’s impacted her life with us over the last three years. It’s also about what is in store, hopefully, based on the last week.

First, a new picture for you to enjoy.

How dare you photograph me!

How dare you photograph me!

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Stormy is a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) who has lived a life of double rescues. She is not just a pretty face, but she’s a girl who’s been rescued on two different occasions. Why is beyond me. She is a very sweet, loving and kind dog. She’s smart and funny and all the things you look for in a canine companion except face-licking-affectionate. I can live without the last one as long as she’s happy.

For the past 3 years we’ve been working very hard on her becoming a part of the family, and being happy in her skin. Unfortunately, no matter how much love and attention we lavish on her she’s still fearful. Not snapping-at-any-movement fearful, but the kind of fearful that means when you drop your soda can into the trash she hides upstairs in the bathroom (known as Sheltie Headquarters at our house.)

This past spring was a terrible time for her. The house next door to us was demolished. You want to make a fearful animal truly insane, bring on the big machine that eats houses, dump trucks, boulders crashing into dumpsters, and strangers just on the other side of the fence.

Add to the mix a new privacy fence that blocks your view of the universe at 2 feet tall (the barrier of the hedges/house next door left with the demolition and left us feeling vulnerable and exposed,) and all the workmen that did the building.

Finally, add in the morons in our neighborhood who set off large explosions all summer long around ten at night. Yup, not just on the fourth, but pretty much year round, there’s one fool who detonates a large explosion almost every night. It’s semi-randomly timed, so I can’t figure out which yard it’s coming from when I go out to look.

This has left our girl with such an excess of anxiety that it was manifesting itself every day in the form of panic attacks. Before you really annoy me, and try to tell me that dog’s don’t have anxiety issues, I’d ask you to just remember that I’ve had plenty of dogs who were a little skittish over loud noises, but generally had the same level of “who cares” that I try to maintain.

This was different. She was ready to crawl out of her own skin most days for the past few months. She’s been like this on occasion in the past, but now it was becoming the norm. I’d tried everything I could think of: prayer, treats, petting her, holding her (supposedly dogs hate that last one) and keeping things low key.

It all went in the tank after a week where we had a 3 a.m. thunderstorm five nights in a row. She was bonkers, I was sleep deprived. The call to the vet was made and a diagnosis rendered. I picked up the puppy Prozac on Friday.

My greatest fear was that I’d be messing with a mind that is full of fun things. She’s really a clown some of the time, and enjoys her capers almost as much as I do. I was worried that she’d quit barking at airplanes, running in circles and all of her other quirky behaviors.

I need not have feared.

The change, thus far, has all been for the good. Each day she seems a bit more at ease with her world. A little less frantic about noises, sudden movement, and my recording equipment. She spends less time upstairs, and more time in the living room with us.

I know it’s too soon to bank it. But after a few days it seemed that it was helping. I pray that it continues. You see, I’m in love with my dog and want her to be happy. She was miserable the last two months. Now she’s back where she was prior to April. I’m hoping to see it move to a new level.

Perhaps yesterday was an indication of the goal being met. I was working on editing an audio book and she spent about three hours sitting next to me on the couch while I clacked on the keyboard and listened to the edits on my headphones. No way that would have happened even three months ago. It’s almost as though she’s getting past the cloud of anxiety and enjoying the love that’s been there all along.

I won’t preach about mental health and medication to you. Not my place. But given the change these medications have made in many people I know, and what they seem to be doing for my dog, I’d encourage you to seek professional help if you suffer from anxiety.

That itchy skin is no fun for anyone..

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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Move Along, Nothing To See Here. Islam Is Cool. It’s Those Christian Gun Nuts You Have To Worry About.

I’m pleased to report that none of my weapons have killed anyone today, not even the axe or the very sharp knives in the drawer. You’d think that they just randomly hop out of the safe, check to make sure I’m still a conservative Christian, and then proceed to hurt people when you listen to the losers on the television. Some of those weapons are way behind on their quota since I’m a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. Oh, and I don’t let children play with my weapons, leave them where the dog might shoot me, or drink and shoot.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

However, the death cult known as Islam has once again trotted out it’s broadly diverse ideology and killed a whole bunch of people in Orlando. They didn’t even bake a cake for their victims. I guess they left it out in the rain.

Mind you, it’s thrown the media into a tailspin: do we protect Islam, or mourn the other minority in the bar? *(It was actually a two-fer for those counting, and a major part of the grievance industry is counting. It was Latin night at the local Gay bar. You have to get up early to make sure you feel badly about which minority group was worse off. I’m not counting here when there was an act of terrorism against innocent victims: they were murdered by a terrorist. But I’m sure MSNBC will have it all sorted out soon.)*

Me? I’m fine with gay bars, Latin music/people (sorry if that leaves out anyone who self-identifies as something of a mix here) and the right to bear arms. I’m not okay with the President pushing gun control over a terrorist act. I wonder about That guy.

The shooter on Sunday morning was a fellow who’d cropped up twice before in terrorism investigations. He worked as a security guard, and thus flew under some color of authority (that’s a legal term, not a racial remark.) He called the 911 dispatcher and wanted to make sure ISIS got the credit. But it wasn’t an Islamic terrorist attack, so don’t jump to that conclusion.

Meanwhile, back in the real universe, I’d like to point out that a room full of unarmed victims makes for a tempting target. You don’t see much of this at a gun show, or pistol range (with the tragic exception of Chris Kyle) as all those armed people tend to shoot back rather promptly.

It’s pretty clear that the gubmint isn’t really capable of protecting us with the current catch-and-release program for terrorism suspects. (Yes, I have read the Constitution. Just seems we keep seeing the same pattern over and over and nothing much changes.) Perchance, just maybe, a few more weapons in the hands of trained individuals of a less virulent social system than Islam might make a difference some time down the road.

Then again, what do I know…. yeah. I know Islam. That putrid stench that throws gay people off rooftops, blames women for their rape, and perpetuates a social construct where doubting their system results in your death.

Other than that, I’m just another extremist.

Excuse me, I have to go check my gun safe and make sure those silly revolvers aren’t plotting anything.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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#Freebooks In A Splendid Giveaway Of Assault On Saint Agnes

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Assault on Saint Agnes by Joseph Courtemanche

Assault on Saint Agnes

by Joseph Courtemanche

Giveaway ends June 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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