How to Deal With an Unwanted Office Flirtation

SFD_153

Everyone deals with unwanted flirtation here and there. Some guy cat calls you in the street, and you yell something (probably mildly profane) back at him. Obviously not pleasant, but also not the end of the world. But when it happens in a work environment, it’s a totally different story. You’re probably seeing this person every day, and you don’t want to risk creating an even more uncomfortable environment for yourself. There’s no doubt that it’s a delicate situation.

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Is Your Computer Making You Sick?

(Image Credit: Ray Smith)

(Image Credit: Ray Smith)

We are living in a technology-obsessed society. Even those who argue they aren’t obsessed, I bet they won’t deny they need their gadgets. These days, phones and tablets are doubling as computers as everyone is on the go, trying to get their fill of information and entertainment. But what some don’t know is how much these devices are turning into vices, as they are beginning to affect various parts of our health. Continue reading

Making the Case for Pawternity Leave

Ronin

A little while back I did two separate articles about furbabies becoming part of the family. However, the one I want to direct you to is the What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Puppy Edition. Puppies are hard work, and while they grow up faster than human babies, they do have a fairly strict first couple of weeks that you need to follow.

This includes early morning potty breaks, crate training, teaching them the boundaries and easing them into their new environment. They also have several vet visits that need to happen very soon after they turn eight weeks old. Of course, this doesn’t have to stop at puppies, it can also include kittens, and new adoptions from a shelter in both the canine and feline realm.

All that extra work that comes with a new pet can really throw you off your groove, and when you’re set in your ways it can be exhausting. When you’re exhausted, your work will suffer and your mood will suffer, and that’s never a good thing. So I want to talk about a little concept that our wonderful friends from across the pond are starting to slowly introduce in some professional places.

The concept is fairly simple. You’ve heard of maternity and paternity leave before; you get a specific amount of time off to care, love and recover from bringing a new baby home. Well, imagine when you got a new furbaby, you could go to your employer and ask for a few days off to acclimate the new animal and get used to the new schedule you’re going to have.

In a purr-fect pun, this concept for your new furbaby addition is called pawternity leave, and I think we over here in the States need to hurry up and make it a reality.

I can’t tell you how many hours of work and school I have missed due to vet visits or furbaby emergencies. It became increasingly difficult to explain to my bosses and professors that I needed more time off to take care of routine vet visits or to monitor a pet after a procedure. And when I first got my little bundle of fur-joy, I felt horrible leaving him alone so soon after getting him, and I was exhausted from the late night potty breaks and early morning play sessions.

I would have loved to have had a week off to just adjust to my new commitment and also allow my puppy to learn the ways around his new environment too. I know, it seems a little strange to think that people should get paid time off to deal with new pets, but I think that it’s something we should definitely begin slowly introducing into the  workforce.

Now, before you start to whip out the torches and start rioting – no, this is not to take away from the wonderful miracle of bringing a child into this world. And it’s not to take away from the fact that babies are much more work than a pet, but let’s remember that pets are part of the family too. Some people may only ever have furkids, and they should be allowed to not feel guilty for skipping work for pets, or guilty for not being able to properly care for the furkid.

We’re moving towards a new world, times are changing, and I think allowing furmoms and furdads to be granted an appropriate amount of time to deal with that transition would help boost the work-life balance and increase workplace happiness.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s make pawternity happen. Like, yesterday.

How to stop thinking about work on the weekends!

Weekends (Image Credit: Mark Sebastian)

Weekends (Image Credit: Mark Sebastian)

Is it possible to stop thinking about work on the weekends? Perhaps not entirely, as you probably know. However, if you’re thinking about work on the weekends, odds are you care about your work, meaning you probably have a pretty decent work ethic. So, take a step back, and realize that the weekend is a time for you to breathe. While you may be nervous to shift some of that work stress off your shoulders next weekend, you can check out some of the tips below for help. Go ahead, it’s ok. Continue reading

11 Ways to Spruce Up Your Work Space (and Your Work Day!)

Workspace_featured

The modern cubicle was developed as a way for office workers to attain some privacy and independence while allowing in natural light. As you may have noticed, that is not really the way it’s turned out. Let’s be real, the best cure for the modern cubicle is finishing up your work and getting out of there, but here are some ideas to keep the daily grind from grinding you down.

 

  1. Potted Plant

 

Marimo Moss Balls (Image Credit: Pistils Nursery)

Marimo Moss Balls (Image Credit: Pistils Nursery)

A potted plant helps brighten up any office space. In addition to bringing something green and pleasant to your desk, the plants help clean the air of toxins and provide an oxygen boost.

The golden pothos and snake plant are both hardy plants, able to thrive in the low-light, low humidity conditions of an office. Also, if you want to make a new office friend, put a cutting in some water and wait for it to begin rooting, then spread the greenery around to your coworkers.

Alternatively, try a marimo moss ball – these are super low maintenance. Just replace the water when you remember.

 

  1. Fancy water bottle
DRIPP WTR BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle (Image Credit: Amazon)

DRIPP WTR BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle (Image Credit: Amazon)

Staying hydrated helps stave off the afternoon blahs and keep that skin glowing, but those plastic cups by the water cooler fit about a teaspoon of water. A fancy water bottle will both brighten up your desk and remind you to get that H2O.

DRIPP WTR BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle (Image Credit: Amazon)

 

  1. Lamp

 

RANARP Work Lamp (Image Credit: Ikea)

RANARP Work Lamp (Image Credit: Ikea)

Fluorescent lighting is the worst. It contributes to eyestrain and headaches, and just looks depressing. Natural sunlight is the best, but if you’re short on windows, try lamps. One or two can add some more natural light to your workspace.

 

  1. Photos

 

Umbra® Hangit Photo Display (Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond)

Umbra® Hangit Photo Display (Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond)

Sick of looking at spreadsheets? Go to the local print shop and get some of those camera photos printed out. (Or, ok sneak the office color printer.) Tack them behind your computer, or hang them on a display like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond. When those zeros and ones start getting to you, glance up and remember blue skies and friends.

 

  1. Fix up that storage
DIY Decoupage Storage Box (Image Credit: The Crafted Life)

DIY Decoupage Storage Box (Image Credit: The Crafted Life)

Tired of looking at stacks of papers? Hide them in a pretty box and give yourself something to look at. The Crafted Life has a great DIY option, or you can cheat it with these flower stickers.

 

  1.  Big Shawl
Shawl (Image Credit: Rusclothing)

Shawl (Image Credit: Rusclothing)

Here are two problems with offices. The air conditioning is weirdly unpredictable and rapidly changing. Secondly, office chairs are pretty damn ugly. I’m sitting in one right now, and it is really ugly. Solution? A big,pretty shawl. Drape it over your chair to dress up your office, and cover up those weird black adjusting bars that never really work. Then, when the air conditioning gets cranked to eleven, drape it over your shoulders for extra warmth.

 

  1. Nice Pens
Sakura Pigma Micron Pens (Image Credit: Discount Art Supplies)

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens (Image Credit: Discount Art Supplies)

There is honestly no luxury like writing your notes with a good pen. I’m a big fan of these super fine markers, but maybe you like a fountain tip, or luxury ballpoint. Remember gel pens? You could become the office Gel Pen Lady, and that is an honored position.

 

  1. Hourglass
30 & 5 Minute Gravity Hourglasses - Time Management Set (Image Credit: Amazon)

30 & 5 Minute Gravity Hourglasses – Time Management Set (Image Credit: Amazon)

Have you heard of the pomodoro technique? It’s a system of giving yourself periods of focused work and breaks, to keep you working at your best. There are obviously computer based timers, but these hourglasses are a beautiful way of keeping you functional.

 

  1. Cool Staples
Swingline Color Bright Staples (Image Credit: Amazon)

Swingline Color Bright Staples (Image Credit: Amazon)

Want to differentiate your reports from your coworkers’? Stay late and do exemplary work! Or, buy purple staples. That’s way easier. Do they come in green? They do come in green.

 

  1. Nail Polish
Ombre Nails by Julep (Image Credit: Julep)

Ombre Nails by Julep (Image Credit: Julep)

Ok, so, nail polish is not an office supply. We know. That said, in any office, you are going to spend a lot of time glancing as your hands as you write emails, file files and stalk your exes on Facebook.  Some glittery nail polish will give you a bright focal point. Also, taking some time to yourself is the perfect antidote to the office blahs.

 

  1. Good Mouse Pads
Mouse Pad Persian Style Carpet (Image Credit: Amazon)

Mouse Pad Persian Style Carpet (Image Credit: Amazon)

 

This tiny carpet is actually a mouse pad, so do I need to write anything else? How about a kitten floating through the infinite void?

 

Mouse Pad Persian Style Carpet (Image Credit: Amazon)

Mouse Pad Persian Style Carpet (Image Credit: Amazon)

Can we give it a tiny taco? This is the future. Of course we can give it a tiny taco.  

Dauntless Fight Running Cat for Taco Mouse Pad (Image Credit: Amazon)

Dauntless Fight Running Cat for Taco Mouse Pad (Image Credit: Amazon)

Who has the best job? You have the best job.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Internship Etiquette

IT

I’ve done a number of internships in my day. I’m still doing some at the moment actually. I mean, check out my LinkedIn if you think I’m lying, and while you’re at it, I don’t mind if you leave me an endorsement. So, you can say I’m very familiar with the do’s and don’ts of internship etiquette. Here are some of the best tips for when you finally land an internship:

  • Dress to impress. You probably already know this off the bat but you’d be surprised how many people still show up unpresentable. I’m not saying come in your best club outfit, but get a scope of the company you’re interning for. Are people wearing jeans and sneakers? Or, are people dressed in slacks and midi skirts? The last thing you want is to stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Ask questions. You’ll feel stupid for asking a question that seems obvious, but you’ll feel even more stupid if you didn’t do something right the first time because you didn’t ask for clarification. The worst that could happen is that they think you’re incompetent, which is most likely not going to happen. More times than not, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to ask the question.
  • Take on internships for experience and not for the pay. Honey, if all the internships I took paid me, I’d be stinking rich, but that’s just not the case with most opportunities. A lot of people look past internships if they don’t pay, but that shouldn’t matter when it comes time to make a decision. I was ready for gaining experience, which lead me to more and more opportunities. Come on, I started at So Fetch Daily (formerly The Daily Quirk) as an intern and now look at me. This position alone has been brought up in countless job interviews in the past. I could literally talk for hours about everything I’ve done for this site.
  • Don’t be scared to take on projects that intimidate you. You might not know how to tackle the new project, it might even feel as if it will make or break your position, but how else will you learn?
  • Always look busy. Don’t sit there on your phone because it’ll seem like you’re not committed. Even when you literally asked everyone if they need help or for assistance on a project, you better find something to do… even if that means cleaning your desk for no reason.
  • You’re not above coffee runs. You’re the intern. You do what is asked of you even if it is fetching coffee. Your time will come eventually but for now, you gotta pay your dues.
  • Don’t go in with the mindset that you’re “just the intern.” There’s often a negative stigma around the title but an intern is just as important as everyone else contributing to the team. After all, they have given you projects that they want you to complete that are important to the company.
  • Practice your communication skills. Look, being the new kid and the intern is intimidating as hell. Don’t let that get to your head. Work with other people in the building other than those in the department you’re enrolled for. You never know what might happen.
  • Keep your phone on you at all times. Doesn’t matter if you’re interning as a sock collector (if that’s even a thing), you never know who will call you at the most random time for some help.
  • There’s a place for quirkiness and a time for seriousness. Don’t mistake your friendly banters with your boss and co-interns as something that you can take advantage of. No matter what, there is still that hierarchy system and you still need to respect everyone. They’re not your best friend. They’re your mentor.

There are many more words of wisdom that could be useful but if I wrote them all this list would be never ending. However, if you want more tips, feel free to reach me via Twitter. Speaking of that, always remember to network, because any connection you make from now on is important. Good luck, interns. You got it.

The 5 Best Graduation Scenes of All Time

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE'S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE’S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)

Uncomfortable robes, less-than-stable hats and tassels that appear to want to be consumed by the way they swing into the mouths of almost alumni are common during the months of May and June. Hundreds of pictures will be taken, thousands of envelopes will be thoroughly destroyed and many a distant relative will groan at the sight of another party invitation.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Graduation season is among us, and no one has managed to capture the essence of such a milestone in life quite like that of the entertainment industry. We all want our graduations to be like the movies, with grand proclamations of love and inspiring speeches to motivate us into high-end careers while still capturing the innocence that is youth.

Boy Meets World

Topanga proposes to Corey instead of following her dreams to Yale! Shaun delivers an amazing “Ode to Feeny” speech! The excitement of the Boy Meets World graduation still captures the attention of many, even 15 years after its original air date. There’s just something about the Corey/Topanga love that will always get to an audience, but where they were the golden couple that every class seems to have, Shaun was the outsider that every high school student feels like at some point.

(Image Credit: Disney)

(Image Credit: Disney)

Which is why his speech gained the scene, and episode, so much respect. He spoke to everyone, especially with lines like “I was thinking about how much this place has been my home, and how many times I screwed up while I was here. I was thinking about how I could have done better. I could have done better.” Well, Shaun, we think you did pretty great.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

A mayor-tunred-giant worm demon and his trust hoard of vampires attacks the unsuspecting group of Sunnydale High graduates during an eclipse, naturally, and you can’t help but think, “Oh no. It’s snack time.” Then, BAM! Those graduates throw off their crimson robes to reveal stockpiles of weaponry, ammunition and enough time for the Buffy to lure the mayor away from the graduates and into the booby trapped high school library. This graduation came complete with action, explosions and military battle tactics, enough to make any fan of a little adventure jealous.

She’s All That

(Image Credit: Miramax)

(Image Credit: Miramax)

We all wanted to be Rachel Leigh Cook in this 1999 classic about the nerdy-art girl who manages to snag the misunderstood Prom King Zach, played by the ever-adorable Freddie Prinze Jr. But one of the most memorable scenes from this movie, besides the after-prom pool scene (swoon) was graduation, where Zach strips down to nothing but a soccer ball and marches towards the stage, tossing the piece of sporting equipment back to his now girlfriend, Laney (Cook). Forget the inspirational speeches. This is the childish way of viewing the world that every graduate wants to experience in his or her last high school moment.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

(Image Credit: Disney)

(Image Credit: Disney)

It’s cheesy and laughable, but you know you loved it. This graduation scene was filled with references to previous movie themes, like breaking the status quo and being who you want to be. And Troy Bolton being his typical wonder boy self. But let’s be honest. The real reason we wanted to be in the class of East High 2009 was because we wanted to sing and dance our way through the ceremony.

It sure beats listening to another motivational speaker, right?

And for the college graduates out there…

Legally Blonde

(Image Credit: MGM)

(Image Credit: MGM)

Elle Woods gets the law degree, the guy and the vindication in the final moments of this hit comedy. We love Elle, and this graduation, because Elle achieves her dreams and still manages to remain uncomfortably upbeat and perfect. She even looked amazing under that horribly unflattering cap and gown. This graduation goes into the record books because Elle is how we all imagine ourselves looking and acting on our graduation days.

Warning to all recent college graduates, do not watch this scene if unemployed and in debt. It’ll make you feel like four years of undergrad was all for naught.

Originally posted May 28, 2013.

Texas State University: Why Are You So Awesome?

Texas State University: Why Are You So Awesome?Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last three years here, but I gotta say that Texas State in San Marcos is one the best places I have ever been. It’s possible that I’m biased, though, so I’ll try and prove it with a few examples. Here are a few aspects that makes Texas State University so special.

 

The River

Texas State students spend probably around 70% of their year at the river. It’s currently February (granted, a very warm February) and I saw about a dozen people at the river yesterday! It’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people enjoying the Texas heat and decompressing after class. It’s also tradition to jump in after graduation, robe and all, no matter the weather.

 

The Bubble Believer

The Bubble Believer is a guy who popped up on campus last semester and spends his time blowing bubbles at and with students while spreading positive vibes to everyone. One time I popped one of his bubbles and smiled at him and he said, “Thank you for blessing my day with your smile.” He won my heart that day and whenever I see him on campus my day is a little bit brighter.

 

LBJ Statue

President Lyndon B. Johnson graduated from Texas State in 1930 and we have a statue of him at the end of the quad. He has his hand stretched out and students have a tradition shaking his hand before a big test. Tradition says doing so will get you an A!

 

The Fearless Squirrels

While our squirrels aren’t particularly friendly (you can’t pet them or anything), they aren’t afraid to run in between the legs of hundreds of students. You’ll see a few lounging on benches around campus and if you’re not careful, they’ll steal your french fries right out of your hands.

 

Outspoken Students

There are very few quiet days on campus. During the week, the free speech area is usually full of people expressing their opinion on something, whether it be sexuality, abortion, or religion. Texas State encourages this by having a designated free speech zone at the beginning of the quad around the Fighting Stallions statue.

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Honestly, I could talk about my school for hours. I graduate next semester and I am absolutely struggling at the prospect of not walking through the quad 5 days a week. If you’re looking at schools to attend or maybe just reminiscing about your alma mater, let’s take this time to appreciate everything Texas State has to offer us.

5 Tips for Surviving Finals

(Image Credit: voyagerix)

(Image Credit: voyagerix)

Once you get back from your very relaxing and fulfilling Thanksgiving break, you have about two weeks left before Christmas break. And those two weeks are not business as usual for anyone. Those two weeks are a living hell known as finals. Here are just a few tips that may or may not help you survive and get over the stress.

 

Cry

There’s no shame in it. Once you get back from doing absolutely nothing during Thanksgiving break and realize how much work you have cut out for you for the rest of the semester, there’s only one thing to do. Break down and let out the stress. It’ll help, I promise.

 

Naps

Sleep deprivation is probably the number one cause of breakdowns among college students. Naps are the best way to combat that stress. If you stay up until 2 or 3am studying for that bio final, be sure to take a nap some time the next day. Maybe after you’ve had a good cry, you can take a great nap.

 

Coffee

What better way to perk up after you take a nap? Head to your local coffee place and buckle down and write that essay. Or invest in a coffee maker or Keurig and make your own caffeine at home. If you’re not a coffee person, tea is a great alternative.

 

Block studying

Rather than cramming for an exam the night before, it has been proven that studying in blocks over the course of a week or two is a lot more beneficial. Even studying every day for 30 minutes to an hour can help you become more comfortable with the material you’re studying. Besides, this system of studying will help you avoid that overwhelming stressful panic.

 

Netflix

This may seem counterproductive but it’s actually a really good reward system. If you study for an hour, watch a 30 minute TV episode as a reward. But be careful because 30 minutes can easily turn into a season binge session. So exert some self-control and use this time to relax, but after one episode, be sure to hit the books again!

 

Everyone has their way of coping with stress, but these are just a few tips to try and get through the hellish weeks. Eat well, drink water, sleep enough and do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. Godspeed my friends; we’ll get through this.

10 Things You Should Never Do at Work

(Image Credit: Olly)

(Image Credit: Olly)

So you got a new job? Congrats! Working in a new place is exciting, but also a big adjustment. If you’re unsure of how to present yourself, avoid an awkward  faux pas and check out this list of 10 Things You Should Never Do at Work so you at least know what not to do. Continue reading

5 Reasons Waitressing is the Worst

(Image Credit: Scott Griessel)

(Image Credit: Scott Griessel)

To waitress or not to waitress? That is the question.

Most people have seen the movie Waitingwith a young Ryan Reynolds and the hilarious Anna Faris. They play servers at Shenaniganz, and throughout the movie they encounter rude and needy customers, ridiculous co-workers, and hard decisions. And I can tell you, that movie hit the nail on the head when it comes to the service industry. Continue reading

Your First Time: Teaching

(Image Credit: Johoo)

(Image Credit: Johoo)

The night before my first day as a teacher was one of the most restless nights I’ve ever had. Every question I could have possibly asked myself, I did. Did I prepare enough? Will I at least sound like I know what I’m talking about if I didn’t? Will these kids even care about what I had to say? Will they learn anything? What if I trip in front of them? What if I go blank? Will I still be throwing up tomorrow (side note- I had borderline pneumonia that first week without knowing it and had started throwing up that afternoon as a side effect- best luck ever!) What is the difference between a gerund and a participle? Why did they hire me? What the hell have I gotten myself into? And on, and on, and exhaustingly on. By the time I fell asleep, my alarm was pretty much going off. Thankfully, adrenaline kicked in when I needed it most. Continue reading

Things I Wish I Knew In High School

(Image Credit: Voyagerix)

(Image Credit: Voyagerix)

I graduated high school four years ago, so I don’t know if kids are still being fed the same story I was, or if they’re still buying into it. I remember coming out of high school thinking, “Alright, I’m ready for that job now.” Well, it’s been four years since then and I’m still waiting. I’ve had jobs, don’t get me wrong. I spent a few years making coffee for the types of people I thought I was going to be, but the truth is, I won’t be one of those people with the briefcases and salaries until I get a good degree, or maybe three. Just “some college” doesn’t cut it. I’m one class away from an Associate’s, a stepping stone to my next stepping stone: a Bachelor’s degree. And after that, I really ought to get a Master’s, and maybe one day, when I’m sitting on a doctorate and I’m neck deep in a heap of student debt, that’s when I’ll finally get hired for a decent salary. Continue reading

Managing Your Money Post-College

(Image Credit: Masson)

(Image Credit: Masson)

So you’ve finally graduated from college. Congratulations! Now what? For many of us, this means finding a job, moving to a new place and starting our “adult” lives. This is an exciting step, of course, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. One of the most daunting aspects of this new chapter of life is the financial responsibility. Some graduates may be lucky enough to walk away with no debts and the start to a substantial savings, while others are struggling to see how their last four years of education will ever be paid off. Regardless of where you fall on the financial spectrum, here are some tips for managing your money post-college. Continue reading