Eating on the Toilet: The Growing Leniency of Dating in the Workplace

For anyone who works anywhere, we all know that pursuing a romantic (or casually promiscuous) relationship within the same work space is usually highly discouraged and in most cases prohibited in company policy.  However it doesn’t help that we spend most of our days and waking hours around the same coworkers.  Human nature somehow permeates and we do what we do best: get busy.

Although this practice has always been frowned upon on multiple levels, there seems to be a recent shift in attitudes, in a more shameless direction

I began working at a call center for IT support, and I cannot say for whom.  Regardless, this place was like many other call centers, messy with its corporate organization and interpersonal relationships.  The ages ranged from 18-65, but many of my peers were my peers, around my age with a margin of 5 years.

Corporate romances pose many threats:

  • Employees are distracted and less productive
  • Sexual Harassment charges are likely to increase
  • Company favoritism (real and perceptual) has room to breed

All of these were apparent at my job.  Every third person was involved with somebody at this company, and goodness was the gossip thick!

I had a coworker, who we’ll call Dory, who  was in a group with me on the first day of training orientation, just another new girl but a few years my junior.  As the months went by, she became a trainer herself.  I also assisted lightly with this new training group.  I witnessed her growing interest in a boy in her class, we’ll call him Mark, and once he graduated orientation they were always sitting next to each other.  They didn’t care to hide it.   Mark would flagrantly flirt with Dory and ask her about her plans for the night.

I approached Dory one day and asked her politely if they were actually dating, and she excitedly nodded her head and said, “Yeah!”

The words came out of my mouth before I could even think about stopping them.

“Why would you sh*t where you eat?”

She gave me the most dazed and confused look.  As if the question itself was incredibly asinine.  As if I should easily understand why she’s dating Mark so openly.  Dory didn’t answer, just shrugged me off like a teenager.

Just like many shifts happening in this time, the blame is placed on millennials.  But this isn’t another “cry millennials” case either.  Rather, there is statistical backing to it.

In 2012, The Huffington Post reported a survey on workers between the ages of 18-29.  84% of participants admitted they would have a romantic relationship with one of their coworkers.  Only 36% of GenX and 29% of Baby Boomers shared that sentiment.

In 2014, Forbes reported that 71% of people involved in corporate relationships don’t put much effort into hiding it.

So free thinking millennials are pushing boundaries once again.  Of course they may be engaging in relationships with older generations, which spreads the attitude shift across the board, slowly but surely.  They are actively making the case for this type of relationship as well.  We spend most of our time with our coworkers, in a work force where we predominately start off single, and a good 31% of workplace relationships end up at the alter.  Finding your spouse at the same place you find your check may not be the worst thing.

But is it really worth the corporate risks? The potential drama that can push through your home and work life?

For me, personally, no it is not.  But you can’t help who you fall for I suppose.

Also, does this shift in attitude have the potential to shift corporate policies in the future?

Well only time will tell…and it may be sooner than one assumes…with the growing support and engagement and all….

 

 

References:

http://brandongaille.com/19-unbelievable-workplace-romance-statistics/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/office-romances-on-the-rise-among-millennial-employees_n_1412190.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peggydrexler/2014/04/07/the-truth-about-office-romance/#63d5d4a4413c

“Is It A Scam?” Probably. 10 Tips for Job Seekers.

Looking for a job takes sweat, tears, and tenacity.  We all know this.

In the midst of our hard work and a desperation to get hired at this very moment, there are many phony corporations who prey on just that.  Whether they are hidden pyramid schemes or phishing emails (emails hoping you’d provide important personal information), these companies are obviously something to avoid.

Scammers not only hinder your job search progress, but allowing them to hire you stagnates your skills and abilities.  Normally, there is essentially no real growth with these organizations, unless you pay your way up.   Ultimately, they have the potential to ruin your financial inventory and professional reputation.

So how can you tell if a potential job offering is a scam? Well there are many!  In my years of job hunting, I have dealt with a good amount of these companies trying to reach out to me, and it didn’t take long to pick up on the patterns.

I’m taking these observations from my own experience, as well as my closest friends’.

Tell-Tale Signs of a Scammer

1) The company name is extremely generic.

Some mess like “Better Management Inc.”

2) There are spelling errors or an extreme informality in their emailed approach to you.

’nuff said

3) If you’re on Craigslist or classifieds site: The posting only talks about benefits with barely any requirements and NO information about the company.

4) You have no idea how they got your information.

Just like if any other person walked up to you, talking about you, soliciting you, and you know you never met them in your life. You should probably run.

5) If you applied to one of these jobs and they call you in less than 24 hours. 

6) The company tries to schedule an in person interview with you AS SOON AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN.

Most legitimate places will try to schedule an in-person interview with you within 2 weeks of receiving your application(and of course, this could take much longer).  A scammer will literally ask you to come in today or tomorrow.  Again, they’re preying on your desperation.

7) Once the interview is scheduled, they tell you to bring your resume and dress professionally.

WHY WOULD A PROFESSIONAL TELL YOU TO COME TO AN INTERVIEW DRESSED WELL WITH YOUR RESUME?  This is one of the most understood practices of interviewing.  If a recruiter feels the need to tell you this prior to your interview, then it’s a scam.  They know that they are literally just calling anyone and trying to get them in, so they feel the need to put out that reminder for those who never had a professional job.

8) At the interview, they discuss salary and benefits before they even get 2 sentences deep into the job description.

They shouldn’t be discussing it AT ALL, but it is a super sure sign of a scam if it’s almost the first thing they bring up.

9) Under the guise of “marketing and advertising”, will ask you to join for a managerial position, even if you REALLY don’t qualify.

These people will put out job postings for a Marketing Manager or something similar, but the requirements would be that of a high school student.  Let’s get real, no one is asking you to manage something with ZERO experience right out the door.  They use these words to make everything sound too good for you to pass up.  Then you apply, and the company has you canvassing, cold calling, or setting up store demos asking people to “try this” when they would rather ignore you.

10) It requires you to spend money first. Such as buying a demo product.

Looks like you applied to a Scam already? It’s Cool.

You could do a few things.  In fact,Google can help you with most of it.

A lot of these companies have already been figured out, because the internet is great with connecting people with others based on shared experiences.  8/10, if you Google search a scammer, the first page of results will confirm your suspicions.

If Google doesn’t help and you’re still wary of a company, you can respond by paying attention to the signs above the way you see fit.  Many times,  if I see a good amount of tell-tale signs, I just won’t show up to the calling.

If I REALLY can’t get a handle on it, then I entertain the first interview.  There’s honestly no cost in that other than the gas to get there.

I hope this helps in your future job endeavors!  Protect your identity, and protect your wallet.

 

…Why Greedy Though?

Greedy Girl With Pile Of Sweets

“So you date boys AND girls? That’s greedy….”

If your sexual preference includes more than one gender you’ve probably been told this, and it probably rubbed you worse than sandpaper on eczema.

Because it should have.  It makes absolutely no sense.

I am pansexual, which means I don’t care what parts you have or what gender you choose.  Bisexual is different from that in the sense that a bi person would typically want a cis-gendered male or female.  I don’t really care if you’re cis or trans or what have you.  If you’re an awesome person (and physically attractive by my standards) then you have a chance with me.  It took me a while to find that word, so for the longest time I was just telling people I was bisexual.  Both forms of revealing my preference were oft times met with some dumb statements and stereotypes.

But greedy?  That might take the cake of illogical.  Here’s why:

Greed holds no preference, just people.

Just because my scope of dating is wider than yours, doesn’t make me any more greedy than the next person.  What makes you greedy, is being greedy.  There are plenty of greedy heterosexual and homosexual people.  They can be the cheaters, or  the players, the bachelors, etc.  But here’s my question: how am I greedy if I’m still dating one person at a time?

Greed implies a limit.

Let’s be honest.  If I wanted to have all the people I wanted to have, I still wouldn’t have every single human being in the world.  I’m not taking 20 cookies out of a jar that has 21.  My dating pool doesn’t affect yours.  It didn’t change when you learned my preference.  And if I happened to steal away your crush, it’s because I’m better than you.  That’s it.

Is it even greed? Or do you just want to hear your voice?

It seems like anytime a person is romantically or sexually liberal, they’re deemed immoral if they’re not a cis-gendered male.  If I were a straight guy, I could have a harem and it would be overlooked.

Monogamy is not the only type of love.  Polyamorous people can hold healthy romantic relationships with multiple people at a time.  If that works for them, then good for them.  We encounter different people and beliefs everyday.  As a race, humans should be conscious that there are way too many people in the world for all of us to think and feel the exact same way.  Any relationship dynamic you can literally think of exists.  You don’t have to agree with all the differences, but you should never put someone else down because of them.  If it’s all consensual, who cares?

Those are just my big three.  The main point I want to drive home is just don’t be disrespectful.  You asked me for a piece of personal information and I decided to tell you.  Don’t ask about my preferences and my beliefs just so you can try to shit on them.

If you have anything else to add or refute, please don’t hesitate to comment ^_^.

Looking for Tech in ArtPrize 7

It’s a warm evening in late September.  The streets of downtown Grand Rapids become densely saturated with people and food stands decorate each corner.  Public lots raise their prices by $5 and it becomes apparent that the largest art competition in the world has commenced.

Man in the midst of it all
ArtPrize Crowding

ArtPrize is an annual event that began in 2009, and from the beginning there has been a technological component to the competition itself.

A total of $500,000 will be given out to two sets of winners: one judged by a panel of expert art critics, and the other by the votes of the general public.  Each ArtPrize entry is accompanied by a code, which public viewers can text to 808080.  This is one way to vote.

Another is to download the mobile app, which has many other useful functions.  The official ArtPrize app has been evolving for years.  The 2015 version dropped the routing feature, one that allowed users to map out their own tour according to what they wanted to see.  Regardless, you can still do things like vote quickly, search for art, and get walking directions to anywhere you need (and thank goodness, it tells you where the nearest bathroom is!).  The city of Grand Rapids is also offering free Wi-Fi to the public.  How generous!

Speaking of generous, Pantone is a main sponsor of ArtPrize 7.  Pantone is a company that specializes in color measurement and management, leading in coloring and lighting technologies. Meaning if you want an image to show up one color, this company makes sure the rest of the world receives it in precisely that color.  You might recognize one of the featured pieces on their blog.

Mural under US 131
“In Our Element” By Ruben Ubiera

Throughout ArtPrize, you can find many pieces that have some immersion in technology.  For instance, each year there are a number of entries that include a great deal of LED lighting.  It’s a very simple addition, but one I can’t get enough of!

LED TRex
“Bones” piece

Another trend I’ve picked up on comes from the number of installation pieces that include a visual or film component.  For instance, there’s an entry called “A Mouthful of Flesh” nestled in an edge of the Calder Plaza.  It is a white “room” that observers can walk into.  There is nothing in this room except a bare twin mattress to the left and a small TV screen in the middle of the center wall.  “Blood” is splattered on the walls and the bed, and the TV played a short film that I still have yet to interpret.  It aims to explore themes like love and risk-taking, but there’s a relation to a futuristic cell and Jungian psychoanalysis.  Definitely one to check out yourself.

Inquisitive Roommates.
“A Mouthful of Flesh” exterior

Shot Film Blood on walls Blood on bed

Normally Artprize is concentrated in downtown Grand Rapids, but the competition has been spilling over to residential streets in recent years.  This year, I found myself on Rumsey Street where many abandoned houses and buildings have been converted to artistic representations of varying concepts.  If you walk past the port-a-potties, through the lot, and follow the mulch pathway, there is a piece called “How to Feed a Wolf”, an installation with two projectors involved.

Projectors through 9 panels
“How to Feed a Wolf”

Technology present in ArtPrize is either for visuals or practicality with engaging in the event.  Otherwise, the bulk of technology you’ll see is all the obsolete hardware used to make sculptures.  When it comes to voting and the mobile app, I appreciate the minimalism.  It’s honestly all anyone would need for a competition of this nature; though I will note that I feel the routing feature was a great idea and should probably come back.

However, I could see a great deal of potential with artists incorporating more technology in their work in the future.  Some interesting things could happen with use of that public Wi-Fi alone.

Of course, this is all going off the tip of the iceberg.  I have much more ground to cover, and two weeks to do it!

Kaczmarczyk, J. (2015, September 5). Check out ArtPrize 2015’s new app at Google Play Store. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2015/09/check_out_artprize_2015s_new_app_at_google_play_store.html
Shapiro, B. (2015, April 8). Here’s Everything You Need to Know About ArtPrize 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://observer.com/2015/04/heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-artprize-2015/
Xrpdigital. (2015, September 22). In Our Element: Brought to life through color and light – X-Rite. Retrieved September 29, 2015.