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Dancing Dan

Dancing Dan – Sacramento

During the height of the housing boom, there was a man that worked here and there on Howe Avenue in Sacramento.  He would wear super hero outfits and dance on corners of Howe Avenue to get drivers to stop and go to the store he was promoting.  He was a sign guy.  His name is “Dancing Dan.”

Dancing Dan was fun to watch.  He would be jamming out to whatever was playing on his headphones, twirling around with his sign and was able to get everyone’s attention.  A lot of motorists would honk, and at times – he would put his sign down and put his hands together as if to pray and place up to the sky to thank God for the job he had.  Dan was a muscular kind of guy, extremely athletic.  Let’s face it there are those who just barely wave a sign – and there are those like Dan that make it an art.  Something fun to watch.  I appreciate a little fun like that while stopped in traffic.

Once the housing boom went B-U-S-T,  I did not see a lot of Dancing Dan.  Now in all fairness, I worked in another office for a period of years so I didn’t have the opportunity to see a lot of him.  However I did frequently visit my family in the area and noticed that Dancing Dan was not around.  I looked forward to seeing him at Enterprise Drive and Howe Avenue or Fair Oaks Blvd and Howe Avenue doing his thing – dancing and making motorist smile.

I recently moved back to a larger office on Howe Avenue, and noticed on my commute into work – that he is now working again on Howe Avenue.  However, it’s a quite different “Dancing Dan.”  At first, he didn’t even have a sign.  He wore his old Superman or Spiderman shirt over his clothes and he looks a bit haggard.  He wore a huge fanny pack and had a bicycle.  My first thought was …. oh cool, there is Dan.   However, I thought again – this isn’t the Dancing Dan I know.  He is no longer working in the best part of Howe Avenue – but at Marconi and Howe.  I think hard times have hit Dan…..but he still continues to dance.   Two weeks ago, he was able to get his own sign made so he can gain employment.

It is my hope that he will gain employment so he doesn’t have to work on the corner of Marconi Avenue and Howe Avenue anymore.   However, what I have seen as of recent that is not helping Dan’s cause is the weird female mannequins who are charged by a car battery on many corners in Sacramento.  I understand the fact that this is an inexpensive way to get foot traffic to your business, but at what cost?  I personally would prefer a “Dancing Dan” or a Moving Pickle – than seeing this impersonal job taking piece of machinery on the corner of my local streets.  In fact, I wish these machines were banned in the hope that people see that REAL people need jobs – just like “Dancing Dan.”  Let’s not take away jobs from people who really need them.  Again, seeing real people being creative with signs is more fun and productive than seeing them homeless on the streets of Sacramento.

So if you are someone who needs a “sign person” for your small business to promote your business in Sacramento, call this guy – Dancing Dan.  I tried in vain to catch his phone number on the photo….so if you can read it, which I had a difficult time doing so – great.  OR stop by Marconi Avenue and Howe Avenue on any given morning between 7AM to 9AM, Dan will be out there doing his thing …… Dancing.

~K.G.

*One more photo of Dan to HIRE him!*

Dancing Dan

Hire Dancing Dan!!!!

Suzanne

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My Mom – Suzanne

Since it is Mother’s Day and everyone is appreciating their Moms….I thought I would share some thoughts about my Mom.  How in God’s green Earth that she has tolerated me for over 46 years is a testament to her utter patience.  I would have to say there must have been times where she may have thought “and why did I do this again?”  I know that I’ve had those thoughts about my Son from time to time…..and it is normal to do so.

My Mom had three daughters – yes three.  I was the oldest and my other Sister was not born until ten years later.  The youngest came three years after the second.  So there is definitely a gap between age wise between myself and my two other Sisters.  Yes, we are from the same Dad…..just planning was not there I think.  I’d have to ask my Mom about that one.  How she managed with three daughters – I have no clue.  I could only handle one.

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My Best Friend

So, first off – my Mom is awesome.  I am sure that your Mom is too.  She is part of the generation where one was a stay at home Mom.  She took care of us daughters while Dad was at work.  That is super hard work.  I think that women these days look down on other women who choose to stay home these days with their children.  I wish I could have done that when my Son was born but it just wasn’t in the cards financially.  Stay at home Mom’s have a tough job.  I choose to call them Domestic Engineers.   If a woman in 2014 wants to stay home with her Mom – GOOD FOR HER.  Let’s stop that whole tearing women down thing and applaud those who make that choice.

I recall that in Kindergarten, I was difficult.   I NEVER cleaned my room until I was in like….oh sixth grade.  My poor Mom was constantly pulling her hair out about that.  So I remember while in Kindergarten that I wanted a sand box in my backyard like at school.  My Mom and Dad – no go.  So I decided that I was going to put sand in my socks and then hide the sand underneath my bed so I could make my own.   One can just imagine the reaction my Mom had finding sand underneath my bed.  Poor woman.

Sue, Laredo Road

Coolest 60’s Bob Ever….

My Mom really tried to get me to learn how to cook.  I mean she TRIED HARD.  My Nana Kay was an amazing cook and canner.  My Mom has this amazing Mac and Cheese dish she makes that is my most favorite on this Earth.  Mom tried to get me to bake (I only liked to decorate the cookies), cook eggs (that I still can’t master well), and she tried to get me to prep the food.  I hate prepping!!!!  I guess the cooking gene was passed down to the middle Sister and her Daughter.  I just didn’t have it in me….but by God that woman tried her best to domesticate me.  Just didn’t work – but not by any fault of her own.  Her Daughter (me) is incredibly stubborn.  If I don’t want to do something – my heels become cement in the sand.  No recovery.

My Mom has been there for every high and low in my life.  Gosh, she supported me when I decided not to go to my High School graduation because I just wanted to be “done” with High School.  I know she probably would have wanted to see me walk across the stage – but I was DONE with school.  She was there when I moved out on my own and developed three months of insufferable chicken pox.  She was there at my first and second wedding.  She clearly preferred the second wedding because she loves my Husband dearly.  She was there for the birth of my son, my first divorce and God knows what other drama I go through.

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Coolest Mom Ever!

She has the best heart and accepts a person for what they are warts and all.  She has incredible wisdom that I wish I had when it comes to people’s feelings or relationships.  She can talk to anyone with ease.  If anyone hurt my Mom, I would go absolutely ape-shit ballistic.  I would be completely lost without my Mom as she is my best friend, my rock – she is my Mom, Suzanne.

~ K.G.

 

Rambling Tuesday.

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jonnagl

As promised, I said to my readers that I was going to write everyday – and here I am.  I decided to take my one hour of solitude I get five days a week to write something.  It may not be spectacular or fabulous, but I am determined to do it.

So writing during my one hour (guess what that is) is kind of weird.  I can hear people talking about miscellaneous things such as candy (it’s like a convenience store at my office), some people needing a Xanax (I don’t take them so don’t even start) or talking about current happenings (such as that idiot owner from the L.A. Clippers), or what they are having for lunch today.   I am eating last night’s salad and a box lunch (Meh) of fettuccine.  I need to take sandwiches instead – getting tired of the ole’ microwave lunch.

Now, I will say when I woke up this morning – I thought I had my day mapped out.  I actually have four calendars.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  The date book (paper), my Gmail calendar, the outlook calendar (work) and the Day in the Life calendar (work again).  Unfortunately, thus far I have dealt with nothing but reports, complaints and issues (fires) thus far and it’s not even 1 PM!  That’s what I get for planning to the point of being an absolute control freak.

In my posts each day – I plan to show you all, my readers – what I am focused on, obsessed with, want but have no payola to buy it or what I’ve found on the cheap that is really cool…..it’s what I like to call: Kellyaddiction…..here is what I am obsessed with today:

pan am

K.G. Pan Am Bag

Pan Am Bags - remember Pan Am Airways?  I found this bag in my 1969 VW Bug – but need to find a professional cleaner because it was in the truck for a good 30-40 years.  Here is a cool site to check out “newer” Pan Am Bags!  http://www.panam.com/

Have a Great rest of your day!

KG

Diversity Day – The Office, Season 1, Episode 2.

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**College Paper**

“The Office,” a show on NBC that originated from the United Kingdom was a huge hit for those who worked in office situations and or just enjoyed comedies in general in the United States.  Although there were several characters named Jim, Pam and Dwight, the focus for this essay is Michael Scott.  Michael Scott is the Branch Manager for the paper company “Dunder Mifflin” who has a supervisory style that most individuals would not want to emulate.  However through his bumbling ways, the message is never intended to hurt or insult an employee.  In fact he tried to have the employees work as a “TEAM” which will be discussed later in this essay.

“Diversity Day” is the second episode of season one of “The Office” (NBC, 2005).  What individuals do not know is that this was considered a pilot when it was aired.  Another little known fact that “Diversity Day” was pulled from the United Kingdom sitcom.  The BBC believed that it had too harsh of racial undertones to be aired in Britain.  The episode focuses on Michael Scott conducting a Chris Rock monologue in the office that garnered a visit from a Mr. Brown, who was in charge of giving a racial diversity course in the office.  What happens next is not recommended in the office environment, ever (YouTube, 29).

Michael Scott learned that Mr. Brown was going to give the diversity seminar, so he decided to beat corporate to the punch by conducting his own.  What Michael Scott did not know was the reason for the seminar was to enlighten him on what not to do in the workplace environment, such as the Chris Rock incident.  During the episode, Michael decides to place index cards on each employee forehead which are clearly marked “Martin Luther King Jr., Asian, Jewish, Indian” and the like. He called this meeting the “Diversity Tomorrow” (because today is almost over) (NBC, 2005).

While the index cards are on his employees’ foreheads, he begins to have each employee play a form of the game “Jeopardy” and each employee has to guess which nationality, race or creed is placed on their forehead.  At one point, Michael turns to an employee of Indian descent named “Kelly Kapoor” and begins to hurl insults at her.  Kelly is wearing the Indian index card.  Clearly, this is not what a supervisor or manager should do to promote diversity and awareness (NBC, 2005).

Meetings on diversity or any other topic for that matter should never been conducted in a manner that Michael Scott did.  Although awareness training, education is a part of the Diversity awareness process, it should never be considered a “game.”  His arrogance clearly in the episode got away with him.  However, the focus is that he tried to “communicate with a Team, or Together Everyone Achieves More.”  (Conlow, 2001)  In conducting the Diversity training, Michael Scott did hold a “work-group meeting” to share “company information and conduct training”  (Conlow, 2001) albeit completely inappropriate in nature.

Scott’s character during this episode did exhibit inspiration as a means to “fire people up” and clearly he was “honest” in his intentions (Conlow, 2001).  However, Michael Scott displayed some of the worst coaching behaviors as a Manager such as “provide only negative feedback, listened ineffectively, and has poor people skills” (Conlow, 2001) .  His techniques were not effective because he was inflamatory in nature in the training subject, he had no familiarity with the subject at hand and clearly in the episode, the diversity training was for him.  The “Diversity Day” episode causes more stress on his employees by not wanting to participate in the class, and giving the feeling that Michael Scott has no clue as to what he is talking about and almost borderline racist.

All is not lost with Michael Scott’s character in this episode.  The message that he tries to relay and fails at is that not everyone is a label, and therefore should not be treated as such.  As someone who works in the corporate workplace, most individuals have received diversity training by a manager or corporate head.  As someone who has had to train individuals in diversity, it is key to have set “clear expectations” of what the meeting is about.  “Give constructive feedback” on discussions such as the topic of diversity.  “Listen” intently to what each individual has to say and clearly a person should have such as this writer, “good people skills” to discern the information being given and responses back from employees  (Conlow, 2001).

My personal experience in working with at team happens everyday currently.  We hold fifteen minute meetings every day in the office which have clear objectives.  An agenda is set, there are branch priorities that are discussed such as metrics for office production from the prior day.  Announcements and office procedures are reviewed in the event that there is something new to learn and there are discussions regarding either a positive customer experience or if there is a customer pain point that should be reviewed so that the team finds a new and effective work around.  The huddle meetings is a time to reflect on positive team work as well, where an employee is highlighted for exemplary customer service or going that extra mile.

In closing, there are individuals who have the traits, personality or behaviors to lead and there are those who do not.  Using a textbook per say to supervise employees is not a sure thing because there are situations that occur everyday that may not “textbook” in nature.  A guide is always good to have if a person has not held a supervisory position, but a individual needs to have life experiences and or the traits to lead to be a fair, clear and effective supervisor.  These are traits that Michael Scott does not possess in this episode of “The Office” or any other episode for that matter.  Unfortunately, the Michael Scott’s of the supervisory world do exist and it is clear that those are individuals who could use a textbook manual in supervising employees.

References

Conlow, r. (2001). Excellence in supervision: essential skills for new supervisors. Crisp

NBC. (2005, 29 March). The Office, “Diversity Day” Season 1, Episode 2 .

YouTube. (29, March). The Office, Diversity Day. 2005.

 

Watershed Year

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wallyg

**college forum post**

What were the critical events of 1968 that have led historians to describe it as a “watershed year?”  If an individual looks at the 1968 timeline (Brown Education ), one would think that the world was ending.  The Vietnam War, protests across the nation, assassinations to name a few.  However it was the events that defined a generation.

The Vietnam War was in full swing.  At the beginning of the year, the Tet Offensive ensured.  The Vietcong attacked South Vietnam which included Saigon and the U.S. embassy.  To make matters worse, television now could broadcast horrific images of people dying and executions (Henretta, 2012).  The Tet Offensive was considered an utter failure and President Johnson’s numbers plummeted.  During 1968 there were draft card burning days and thousands of people were protesting.  It was an unpopular war with ultimately a bad ending.

Protests were occurring all across the country as the youth of the United States was taking a stand against the government.  Students and young people did not want to participate in the war and would avoid the draft by hiding with friends, family or running to Canada or Mexico to avoid participation.  At the Democratic Convention in Chicago garnered a full on police riot on full display in people’s living rooms via television. (Henretta, 2012) Over 100 people were sent to emergency rooms and 175 people were arrested.  (Brown Education ) The young people of this era were not going along with the governments’ status quo and were defying authority.

The world suffered a loss of two great men in 1968.  First, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th while in Memphis Tennessee.  The murder of King Jr. spurred riots in “Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Newark and Washington D.C.” (Brown Education ) 46 people died as a result of these riots.  King Jr. was a champion for the black rights movement in the United States.  Another individual who was murdered was Senator Robert Kennedy.  He had announced his run for the 1968 Presidential race.  On the early morning hour on June 5th, Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in San Francisco. Kennedy was only forty-two at the time of his death.  (Brown Education )

1968 was a year of turmoil of the United States and the world.  It is clearly understandable why that year was named the “Watershed Year” based on all of the death, mayhem, protests and destruction that the year left in its wake.  Not only 1698, but the 1960’s as a whole clearly defined a new generation of free thinkers, to question authority and to protest when wanting to be heard.

References:

Brown Education . (n.d.). The Whole World Was Watching, an oral history of 1968. Retrieved

from Brown Education: http://cds.library.brown.edu/projects/1968/reference/timeline.html

Henretta, J. A. (2012). America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865. Boston: St.Martin’s.