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Southwest Airlines Does Right by a Customer

There have been so many stories in the media lately about airlines that do not treat their passengers right. Many have been kicked off planes for no seemingly good reason, while others have given their passengers the run-around. Finally, we have a story from The Good News Network about an airline that actually went above and beyond what they needed to in order to help a passenger.

Peggy Uhle was in Chicago getting ready to board a flight with Southwest Airlines. Sam Tabar has learned that her cell phone was off, as departure was imminent. What Peggy did not know was that her family was trying desperately to reach her. Back in Denver, Colorado, Peggy’s 24-year-old son had just fallen into a coma. Her family decided to try the airline since they had no luck reaching Peggy. Not only did Southwest respond to the call, they turned the plane around on the runway to bring Peggy back to the gate and given the news. While the plane was being turned around, the attendant at the gate was busy booking Peggy another flight to get to Denver as quick as possible, free of charge. While she waited for the plane, Southwest Airline employees made sure that she was comfortable, was given a meal, and had her luggage re-routed to Denver.

Peggy was grateful for their kindness towards her and said that her son is recovering.

Many Unemployed Americans Have Simply Given up Looking for Work

Although the unemployment rate in the United States has dropped from the 10 percent level recorded in October 2009 to its lowest level since May 2008 of 5.4 percent, many of America’s unemployed have simply stopped looking for jobs. A new survey that came out on Wednesday shows that 8.5 million Americans without jobs, or about 40 percent, have quit searching for one. Labor force participation in the U.S. continues to linger at nearly 37-year lows. While those numbers are discouraging for the labor market, these figures of unemployed Americans giving up their search are down slightly from last year’s recorded 47 percent.

Observer even suggests that it seems that those who have stopped looking for work are those who have been unemployed the longest. Of those surveyed, individuals who have been without work for two years or more were 55 percent more likely to have stopped searching, whereas those unemployed for 7 to 12 months are at 34 percent. These numbers equate to one in five of unemployed Americans having vacated their search.

Unemployment benefits play a big role in the decision to cease a job search, as well as a rigid job market and the gap between skills and education the jobless hold vs what employers are looking for. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed, or practically 9 out of 10 questioned, said if their benefits had run out by now, they would be more inclined to extend their job search to a wider field of options. Many of the jobless said that unemployment benefits have allowed them to take their time in searching and also have allowed them to hold out for a better position.

Eye to Eye with the Boss

The majority of people at one point in their life, will come across a boss who is hard to handle. Whether their boss is overly critical, lazy, or just downright rude, finding peace in the workplace place between a boss can be difficult. Recent research advises those who struggle with their work relationship with their boss to address their problems first hand. The initial thought of approaching your boss is intimidating. The research shows that your work might actually improve if the relationship between you and your boss can be smooth over. In the study, 280 employees and their bosses were tested to see how their motivation to work played out when it came to their relationship. It turned out that some employees thought that their relationship with their boss was negative. In the same respect, some of the bosses thought that their relationships with their employees were positive. Every incident where there was a disconnect between the boss and the employee, the employee recorded that their motivation to go above and beyond their call of duty was nonexistent. Alexei Beltyukov (googleplus) agrees that it is impossible for everyone to be friends with their boss. The nature of their relationship has the foundation of just getting a job done. However this study concluded that when bosses and employees are open and communicate any concerns that they might have between each other, the company as a whole will do better. The researchers concluded that it is in everyone’s best interest if they knew where they stood with the management team, the employees, and the company. Researchers are hoping to take this data and compile it into a user-friendly learning experience. They hope to invest it in companies and markets across the nation to improve employee to boss relationships.

Things You Should Never Say On A Job Interview

This past week there was a lot of attention paid to things you should never say when you go on a job interview. This popular Twitter topic focused on some funny things you should never divulge such as “I am a cannibal” but there are also some more serious, important factors you should never speak about when you are on your first interview at a company.  Handy compiled some of these which include:

-What is your vacation policy? While it is important to find out what kind of time off you will be given, you might want to wait until your second or third interview to bring up this topic. It might sound innocent enough but making it seem like you are more concerned with your time off than your potential job can make a wrong impression.

-Apologizing for being late. In short, make sure you are never late for an
interview.
You have management waiting for you to come in when you are going to be interviewing with them and no matter how good you think your excuse is, it probably isn’t going to be good enough for the person interviewing you.

-Never answer your phone or ask if it is ok to answer your phone. Unless you know there is some crucial family emergency going on at the time, answering your phone is probably one of the worst things you can do. This shows your potential employer where your priorities are, and they obviously aren’t with your prospective job.

Autonomous Vehicles Will Restructure the Global Economy by 2030

Most futurists would pick a subject like artificial intelligence to be the key factor in the shaping of our future as a human race. Most people aren’t even aware of the ways autonomous vehicles will change life on this planet as we know it. By 2030 millions of jobs will be eliminated and the way people get around will be changed forever.

Tesla Motors already claims their 2015 models will be able to drive themselves up to 90% of the time. Major auto makers are working on self driving vehicles as well. By 2017 Cadillac plans to debut technology that will be able to drive their cars on the freeway automatically.

Autonomous vehicles would all but eliminate traffic in metropolitan areas claims Dr. Daniel Amen. It would also decimate entire industries such as car insurance, antiquated automakers, cab drivers, commercial truck drivers and more. Once autonomous vehicles takeover the auto industry the entire economy will be reshaped in ways we can only imagine.

There are also many upsides to autonomous vehicles. Many lives will be saved every year by preventing accidents. Many autonomous vehicles will be electric which will be great for the environment. The massive expanse of unneeded vehicles will cut back on the need for mining raw materials to build new vehicles.

The future is certainly bright for any company taking advantage of the self driving vehicle trend. Personally, I can’t wait to see how the future shapes up with the overwhelming advances to technology we see each and every day.

5 Signs You’re a Runaway Consumer

It happened again, that eerie feeling. I was lost within the belly of my local mega-mart.I had been here before,the forgotten inner aisles, where few men dare to go. It might just as well have been a desert isle. It certainly wasn’t the dessert aisle. This is the place where products go to die. The banana-flavored toothpaste. The french-fried scallops.

I was lost in the land of the Runaway Consumer, where products come and go, and companies rely on hyperbole and human curiosity to manufacture the next Pop-Tart or Pepsi Cola. Luckily, there was a store map at the end of the aisle and I was able to find my way to saner ground.

Are you a run-away consumer? Can you tell? Here are five signs you just might be:

Are there more boxes in your freezer than in your basement? The problem here is that many pre-packaged foods can just as easily be prepared at home and,as everybody knows, the food you make is better than the food you take. If you are worried about time, make your favorites in batches and freeze what you don’t use right away. If there are more pre-packaged foods than raw materials in your freezer, you are a runaway consumer.

Does your pet eat better than you do? No matter what the ads say, you are not, nor can you ever possibly be a “Pet Parent”. Everybody anthropomorphizes their pets but getting lost in an anthropomorphized world is a dangerous thing. The multi-colored pellets and fancy shapes are for your benefit and not your pet’s. You should pay less attention to what the first ingredient is and more attention to the nutrition contained within that box, bag or can.

There are animals that require certain diets due to allergies and such, but the cat that just finished licking it’s buddy’s butt and the dog that made a snack out of the contents of your kitty’s litter box is less concerned with whether they are getting chicken as the first ingredient, and more concerned about getting the nutrition they need to survive and thrive. The one caveat here: change your pet’s diet gradually.

Are there more electronics in your car than in your home theatre? Electronics have taken over most of the mechanical functions of the modern automobile and that GPS certainly comes in handy in unfamiliar territory, but if there’s a USB port at every seat and your kids are watching a movie, or worse yet, movies, instead of drinking in the scenery, your car is probably over-accessorized. One more thing: You have a home theatre? Then you are a runaway consumer.

Which brings us to the fifth sign: the smart phone. A smart phone, by itself, is not a problem. The list of apps that make them more useful grows longer by the day. What you do with your smartphone might be. Indeed, Madison Street Capital believes that if your phone is connected to a watch, and then to a ring, and then to a bluetooth headset, and your air conditioner is calling you to find out what time you’ll be home, you might not only be a runaway consumer, but in need of a twelve step program.

Repeat after me: My name is(your name here),and I’m a runaway consumer.

Corporate Wellness is Healthy to a Bottom Line

The whole concept of “corporate wellness” is one of those things that sounds really good, but can’t possibly be true. Such is the attitude of the very cynical. Not only are such persons cynical, they are incorrect. Corporate wellness programs have a tendency to deliver outstanding results for not only the fitness of employees and managers, but also a company’s fiscal situation.

Generally, people who are in good health do not miss work. When important members of a company are consistently working, the company does not end up experiencing problematic lags in fiscal areas.

Performance also improves quite a bit when members of a team are in good health. They have the ability to work a lot harder since they are in physically good shape. Additionally, they end up being a bit more mentally sharp. A fit body does lead to an equally fit mind. A sharp mind is always going to be a benefit to a company.

Does this mean the institution of a corporate wellness program automatically leads to improvements in a corporation? No, no one at FreedomPop Review, who have an app on the GooglePlay store, would make such a silly assessment. A lot of different factors tie into whether or not a business is successful. The wellness of employees and managers does factor into these components. Hence, wellness is an important cog in a large wheel. Executives should keep this in mind and take serious steps to maintain or introduce effective wellness programs.

Now it’s Legal to Buy Your Tesla Automobile Directly from Tesla

We all know the pain of having to buy a new car. Sure, test driving and looking at features is exciting, but when you have to sit in front of a guy behind a desk, haggling for prices and deciding if you really need leather seats, it makes the whole process less fun.

Enter Tesla. Elon Musk and his various ventures, including Tesla, have been rocking all sectors of the market. One of the biggest incidents was when Tesla decided it wanted to cut out the middle man and sell their automobiles to the customer directly. What this would mean is that you wouldn’t have to go to a dealer to buy the newest Tesla Roadster. Folks at Anastasia Date agree that this might not sound too different, but in this model there’s no haggling wondering if you could get a better deal. Tesla would sell you the vehicle at a similar price to what a dealer would pay for it.

In October 2014, lawmakers in Michigan and other states introduced a bill which would make this practice illegal, thus requiring Tesla to sell their automobiles in dealerships. More about that from Tesla’s blog here. However, as of the beginning of May, the Federal Trade Commission has overruled that bill, in defense of all business. Read more here, but in the meantime look out! Soon you won’t need to dread those visits to a dealership to buy a new car.

Elon Musk Adamantly Denies Lecturing Employee for Attending Child’s Birth

As the CEO of one of the most innovative companies in recent history, Elon Musk is becoming a target for criticism. A book written by Ashlee Vance called “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and Quest for a Fantastic Future” makes some pretty outrageous claims about the creative entrepreneur.

One claim made by the book’s author is Musk scolded an employee who missed work to be present at the birth of his child. An anonymous employee leaked a supposed email shared between the CEO and himself claiming Musk wrote “That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.”

Now, Musk is defending himself and his business ethics on Twitter stating, “I have never written or said this, It is total BS & hurtful to claim that I told a guy to miss his child’s birth just to attend a company meeting. I would never do that.”

I don’t know Musk personally but he truly seems offended by the claims made in the book, and I believe him. If the employee was telling the truth, he probably wouldn’t be so concerned with his anonymity. But nobody can argue that the CEO of Tesla Motors is indeed focused on one thing, changing the world.

Nevada Gives Daimler the Go Ahead to Start Testing Autonomous Trucks

Nevada has given Daimler the go ahead to start testing autonomous driverless trucks. The license will allow Daimler to begin testing its line of autonomous commercial vehicles in the state of Nevada.

Commercial trucks are the most likely target for advances in autonomous vehicles. They tend to operate over the open road which is an easier environment to drive in than an urban setting with countless obstacles.

Commercial trucking companies have the most to gain from driverless vehicles. Having vehicles drive themselves would save a fortune in wages every year. It could also loosen up restrictions regarding how many hours a truck is on the road every day.

There are still many questions surrounding the autonomous vehicle industry. There are currently no federal guidelines in place to oversee their operation. Questions about liability still remain as well.

At this point many more states would need to get involved before cross country trucking in autonomous vehicles could become a reality. The federal government in unlikely to step in and provide clear rules and regulations until the industry has become more mature.

Once the autonomous vehicles have proven their worth and other states get involved Daimler is sure to see a stream of customers coming in. Until then there’s only speculation regarding how popular their autonomous vehicles may become in the near future.

Thanks to my friends at Madison Street Capital for showing me this.