Business Digest - September, 2009

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Constant Contact --> Your Email Marketing Manager


Overheard at the Office   Preventing Falls Among Seniors   Theo's Corner  

Email Etiquette

Email makes it easy for people to communicate. In fact, there has never been a time when it has been so simple to send written words to another. But along with the ease of email has come a watering down of some of the etiquette associated with letters. Next time you get ready to send off an email, take a moment to remember these simple tips.

Don't Use All Capitals

Although it may seem easy to set your Caps Lock key on and forget it, this makes it very difficult for your recipient to read your message. Our brains are wired to detect the differences in large and small letters when we read. All capitals slow us down. And in the world of email, using all capitals is akin to shouting out your message-not exactly how you want to make most people feel.

Be Careful of Abbreviations

Since the inception of email, all sorts of abbreviations have been coined-like LOL for Laughing Out Loud, among many others. But if you are writing to a business associate or client, or are not on a familiar level with your email recipient, it is always best to avoid abbreviations like this, in order to keep your communication clear.

Be Polite

Since email is associated with speedy communication, it is tempting to be as short and to the point as possible. But in email, this can come across as curt and rude. Especially when composing business correspondence, be sure to retain the proper form of a business letter, including a salutation, clear introduction of the subject matter, and a proper signing off, using a word like "Sincerely." Even your casual acquaintances will appreciate a more proper form.

Be Discreet

Email is easily sent, and then resent, to any number of recipients. Keep this in mind when you compose your missive. Don't say anything in an email that you would not allow to be shared with others-chances are it might be! If you have something to say that is private or confidential, consider the tried and true methods of phoning or writing a hard copy. While even this can be copied and shared, it is more difficult to widely disseminate your text.

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Overheard at the Office

Overheard at a recent meeting: "We are going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done."

Overheard in the hiring manager's office: "What you see as a glass ceiling, I see as a protective barrier."

Boss to subordinate: "I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame it on you."

Overheard in HR: "We passed over a lot of good people to get the ones we hired."

Quote from the boss after overriding the decision of a task force he created to find a solution: "I'm sorry if I ever gave you the impression your input would have any effect on my decision for the outcome of this project!"

From the cubicle farm: "My boss frequently gets lost in thought. That's because it's unfamiliar territory."

Overheard at the local bar: "I thought my boss was an idiot, so I quit and went to work for myself. My new boss is an idiot, too . . . but at least I respect him."

Quote from a frustrated employee: "Some people climb the ladder of success. My boss walked under it."

From a telephone inquiry: "We're only hiring one summer intern this year, and we won't start interviewing candidates for that position until the boss' daughter finishes her summer classes."

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Preventing Falls Among Seniors

It does not have to be inevitable that as you grow older, you will suffer from a debilitating fall. There are several steps you can take to help prevent falls.

First, take time to make your home safer. Remove items you might trip over on stairs and in walkways. Throw rugs should be secured with double-sided tape to keep them from slipping, and stairways and bathtubs should have handrails installed. You should also wear shoes that give good support and have thin non-slip soles. Avoid wearing slippers in your home.

Your health status can also affect your chances of falling. With your health care provider's review, you may wish to begin a regular exercise program. It can improve your balance and coordination and make you stronger. You should also have your vision checked to ensure that you do not have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. If you wear prescription eyewear, be sure that your glasses are the correct strength. Finally, discuss with your doctor the medications you are taking, including non-prescription medication. Some medicines, or combinations of certain drugs, can make you drowsy or light-headed, which can lead to a fall.

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Theo's Corner

Pet Friendly Gardening

I know this may be late, but next year as you begin to plan and plant your garden this summer, take a moment to consider your family pet. Even the most harmless looking garden can hide dangers to your pet. Consider your garden from your pet's point of view and you may be surprised at what you find.

First check for entry points in and out of your garden. Your garden area should be secure enough so that your pet cannot escape. This is especially important for animals that are used to spending most of their time indoors. You also should be aware of predators that may gain entry into your garden and then pose a threat to your pet. Check for intruders such as foxes, raccoons and snakes. Also check your garden area for bee, wasp, and hornet nests. Even toads can be dangerous, as some secrete poisons that can be very dangerous to a pet's eyes or mouth.

Take time also to check for debris or dangerous objects hidden in the plantings in your garden. Remove all broken glass, sharp stones, trash bags, and power tools.

Before you place any pesticides on your garden, be sure to check if they are safe for animals. It is sometimes a better idea to use non-chemical approaches to removing pests from your garden. If you must use chemical methods of pest control, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Herbicides can be dangerous to your pet if ingested. Some of these chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin. All spills should be cleaned up promptly and all garden chemicals should be stored in a safe container out of the reach of your pet.

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