Monday, July 28, 2014

New Job Anxiety

I had a long conversation with my daughter the other day about her new job. She’s working for the same company, but they recently transferred her group into a new area—with new responsibilities. And little or no training.

The employees were given a checklist and told to follow it. However, the checklist continued to change—once three times in the same day. And they were provided no details about what had changed—or why.

When her rating came out at the end of last week, many of her cases had errors. She is a lot like her mother—a perfectionist/overachiever. She’s used to being the go-to person in the group and getting high ratings on her work. She is not used to errors, especially since she’d done a conscientious job and tried to follow the checklists exactly. She was devastated.

Her boss called a meeting of the group to talk about their performance—or lack of same. Turns out, all of them had errors, many had more than my daughter. However, that realization didn’t make her feel much better.

Years ago, I hired many entry-level people. I trained them, and then other departments ‘stole’ them for better positions. Therefore, I was continually replacing personnel, since I had twenty-six in my group.

Even though I thoroughly trained each one, occasionally I found an overachiever who expected to be perfect after the first week or two. When it didn’t happen, they panicked.

I developed this standard ‘timeline’ for a new job, which I shared with my employees and my daughter. You may also find it useful.

You are in training. It’s interesting (or not), and your expectation is that you don’t know it all yet. Same for week two.

You are starting to get into the groove and feel as though you really understand how to do the job. (This is about where my daughter was last week.)

Reality crashes in. You discover you’ve made mistakes. For the hyper-conscientious, this is the point where you start to think, “I’ll never get it! I don’t even understand the terminology. There’s no one else to go to since we’re all busy.” This feeling is exacerbated if the training was insufficient or non-existent.

At this point, hunker down and hang in. Several of my employees attempted to quit when they reached this stage because they felt overwhelmed. I talked them into staying for just two more weeks. That was all I asked for.

At the end of two more weeks, they had started to really understand the job and develop some proficiency. From then on, their progress continued, not necessarily swiftly but consistently.
Many went on to better positions, and I started the training process again.

I can remember passing this insight on to a friend who had reached the point of giving up. She has now been in her position for about twenty years. I also had to talk my brother into staying with what turned out to be the best job he ever had.

So if you are starting a new job, just remember this timeline. During the last few years I worked, I was hired on contracts and had to remind myself of this reality with each new position I accepted. I got through the rough times with all of them to perform at my accustomed level of proficiency.

Do you have any other pieces of wisdom for folks staring a new job? Would you be willing to share them?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Loss

On Saturday, my funny friend and fellow writer, Rebecca (RE) Geneck Delo, died after a heroic battle with cancer. I HATE CANCER! I’ve lost entirely too many friends to it, and now another.
Rebecca was a member of our church. She had also belonged to our critique group, although she had stopped attending before we began. Still, the group continued to cheer her on, and in 2012, she announced that her first book, Another Crappy Diet Book, was finally available in paperback.

I got one of the first copies, and found it laugh-out-loud funny. The next time I saw her, she said she knew some revisions were still necessary. I said I’d help her edit it for a second edition and also get it into Kindle as an ebook.
Life happened, and we never completed either of those tasks. Then came the cancer.
In the final chapter of her book, Rebecca (almost prophetically) says:
“Through the course of living, we lose some of our loved ones, No matter how old or young they were, it’s a painful loss. However, from our grief comes strength.”
Later she continues:
“…Our gifts are many; use all of them. When we do this, an interesting thing happens—life becomes so much easier, and simply happier. We must embrace what we have, because we are the lucky ones.
“Our parents have given us the greatest gift of all: our life. Maybe it’s time to let the little child in us come out to play. The future has amazing possibilities for us. Enjoy your path.”
And she did.
Her husband wrote a note to the church today:
To our Church Family. Rebecca passed after a long and painful struggle. Cancer got her body, but not her Spirit and her Soul. Your thoughts, prayers and love sustained her over the past three years and was a monumental support to both of us. May God continue to bless you all.”
Her book is available on The proceeds are donated to the animal rescue group she and her husband ran on their ranch. If you want to enjoy a hearty laugh, get a copy. Like Rebecca herself, much of the narrative is unfiltered, and all of it is real and genuine.
You can find it here:

Your life was much too short, my friend, but your legacy of laughter will bring joy to all who read your words. Rest in peace.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I’ve been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

The purpose is simple. It’s designed to introduce authors to readers and to other writers who are creating some of the finest blogs on the Internet today. I was nominated by author John Lindermuth. When you have a chance, check out his blog ( and writing. I think you’ll enjoy both.

Here are the rules of the contest:
  • Thank and link back to the amazing person who nominated you. (Thank you, John!)
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself
    1. I was born and raised in California, one of those rare beings, a true California native.
    2. I have lived in other states (Illinois and Colorado) and a foreign country (Japan), and I have traveled all around the world.
    3. I’ll be married to my incredible husband, Larry, for 49 years as of September 4.
    4. I was married the week after my 18th birthday. (So now you know how old I am!)
    5. In locating my high school class of 600 students for our 50th high school reunion, I’ve become a pretty good detective—and I enjoy it!
    6. I now have eleven books in publication. My goal was twelve books in twelve years, and I’m already at eleven books in nine years. I just might make it!
    7. My father died when I was seven years old. His early loss was probably the most influential event in my life. I became aware at a very early age that life was finite, so I never take ANYTHING for granted!
  • Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and remember to comment on their blogs to let them know you have nominated them. Also, follow the blogger who nominated you.

Here are the 15 people I’ve nominated. Do yourself a favor and check out their blogs and writing, too:

Barbara M. Hodges (And listen to her podcasts!)
Rabbi Ilene Schneider

You’ll find my blog at

Monday, July 7, 2014

Facebook 101 – Part 2 – Pages and Groups

Remember, Facebook is about communication. Engage in conversation with other Facebook users. Start with your Facebook friends. You’ll see their posts on your Timeline (that’s your Home page). If you like something a friend has posted, click Like below the post. If you really like it, Share it. When you click Share below a post, it will appear on your profile and your friend will receive email notice.

If you want your friend’s name to appear on your post, type the ‘at’ sign (@) ahead of the first letter. Keep typing the letters of the name, and their name will appear. Click on the name, and Facebook will connect your reference to your friend.


If you are an author, artist, or other business owner, you may want to create a Page for your business. Follow the instructions here:

Some of our friends have created separate pages for each of their books. Since we had published a couple of books already, we created our page (and our website) using our names. Fortunately, mine is uncommon, so it’s not likely to be confusing for anyone looking for us.

Our son, Toshi, created a second page for our first book, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park. This one is specifically for staying in touch with our Japanese friends.

What do we post on our pages? Updates and information specific to our business. In our case, we post links to new reviews, announcements about new releases. If we’re doing a signing or personal appearance, the information goes on our page. This is NOT the place for noting what we ate for breakfast (unless we’re at a conference or other book-related event).

On your page, you can invite your friends to like your page. We just passed 500 likes for ours. You can also post the link to your page on your profile to let your friends know you have one.


Do you have a particular interest? Do you share friends from work, school, church? A group probably exists for people who share your interest. If it doesn’t, you can create one.

Many groups are open. All you have to do is ask to join and you are a part of the group. Others are closed, and the administrator has to approve you.

Through your groups, you can stay in touch with old friends. 
We have been planning our high school class reunion for the past year. I created a class group on Facebook. There we can post updates on the plans, lists of those we have yet to locate and those who have sent their reservations. Classmates are posting their old photos and starting conversations, reconnecting with old friends, and making plans for connecting at the reunion.

Once you get the hang of it, you might even get hooked on Facebook.

Any questions? Feel free to ask them!