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Helpful Hints on Getting Better Respect in the Workplace Sometimes, an inhospitable work atmosphere can ruin the best job in the world. If you work in an office where people don?t respect each other and you feel undervalued and taken advantage of, then you are likely to give up and move on--no matter how much you love the work. When people work closely together, disagreements and problems are bound to arise from time to time. There are, however, ways you can get more respect in the workplace, so you don?t have to dread heading to the office every morning. As the old adage goes, you have to give respect to get respect. Are you doing everything you can to treat your co-workers with dignity and respect? Put another way, are you doing everything you can to avoid annoying everyone in the office? There are a lots of little ways you can make the day more pleasant for everyone, including showing up on time for work and for in-house meetings, not talking too loudly on the phone, keeping your personal cell phone ringtone on silent or vibrate, and cleaning up when you use the common break rooms and kitchen area. Things like spamming everyone in the office with incessant ?funny? emails, sending political or religious emails (or challenging everyone on political or religious issues), or invading privacy by looking at someone else?s emails, phone messages, or mail are also not a good idea in the office setting. Then there are the big ones ? you should never take credit for someone else?s work, talk behind people?s backs, lie, steal from other?s desks (even if it is just a post-it note or white-out), or have a general bad argumentative attitude. If you are doing anything of these things, trying to correct your own behavior is the first step to earning a little more respect in the workplace. What happens if you are doing everything you can and you still aren?t getting the respect you feel you deserve in the office? How you handle things may partly depend on who is showing you the disrespect. Are your subordinates treating you like you?re not the boss? In this case, having a little one on one conversation might do the trick. It doesn?t have to confrontational. You can simply point out that you are getting the impression that they may be having a little trouble with your leadership style and offer them a chance to raise any problems. If they bring up a legitimate problem, then there is something you can work on to make things go smoother in the future. If they can?t point to any one thing, let them know politely, but firmly, what you will need from them going forward in terms of respect. And then, stick to it and hold them accountable for their behavior. If your boss is not respecting you, things can get a little trickier. If your boss has a bad attitude, being pulled up on it by his subordinates is probably not going to do much to improve it. Your company may have a grievance policy in place to deal with issues like this, and it is best to go down this path when dealing with a boss with a respect issue. There are some respect issues in the work place that can?t be resolved with the softly, softly approach. If you are being persecuted on the basis of your gender, your race, your disability, or your sexual preference, you have a right to demand a stop to that at once. If the abuse is coming from your co-workers, go straight to your boss. If your boss is unresponsive, or if your boss is the offender, go right over their head, and keep going until you get some satisfaction.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

Highlights for Free Stuff for Educators Everybody knows that teachers work hard for little monetary compensation. Fortunately, there are many fine resources available that allow educators access to free stuff. Who deserves free stuff more than our teachers? If you are a teacher searching for the best of what the web's freebies, here are some places that offer freebies just for educators. Teaching Education Aid Available for Free There are many websites on the World Wide Web that offer totally free educational and teaching aids. If you teach younger students, you can find great coloring pages. You can also find several teaching aids, including alphabetical pages. Why spend money on expensive preprinted alphabets? You can gain easy access to your own free alphabet pages. Print them out, color them and seal them to make them last. This is an easy way to put together very elemental packets and gain access to fun activity pages. There are many fine teacher resources available for free on the World Wide Web. Here are even more resources for finding great and free resources for educators of all stripes. Getting Access to Free DVDS for Educators Did you know that you could get access to free educational DVDs? Izzit.org offers you a free DVD on your birthday (or another day of your choosing). This offer is limited to teachers of grades 6-12. This website also offers educators discounts on educational DVDs as well as coupons for free ice cream. Gaining Free Nutrition Educational Materials If you are an educator seeking out free nutritional materials, you are in luck. The Dole Corporation is currently offering free educational materials to teachers. Their 5 a Day program offers free downloadable teaching materials. You can also request professional teaching materials by using mail and fax. Simply request your free nutritional materials on your school's official letterhead. Free Computer Tools for Educators If you need access to free teacher tools, Microsoft Office has got you covered. Microsoft is currently offering free learning essentials that can help you create handouts, compose tests, and make presentations and other educational content. You will need a registered copy of Microsoft Office 2002 or 2003 that runs on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Need Teaching Aids for Your Classroom? If you are looking for free teaching visual aids, there are many nonprofits that can provide you with such aids. The Human Genome Project offers educators free posters. Although this promotion is directed specifically to educators, anyone can take advantage of this great offer. The National Institute of Drug Abuse also offers free visual teaching aids. These are great to hang in the classroom. You can order multiple copies directly form the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The USEPA is another organization that offers educators a variety of free posters, as well as other teaching materials, including activity books, CD-ROMs, lesson plans and more. Keep Your Classroom Safe With Free Cleaning Aids Keeping the classroom clean is one of the biggest challenges of any educator. The Clorox Company is trying to make it easier on teachers by offering them a free "Clean Up the Classroom" multimedia kit aimed specifically at classroom educators. The free kit comes loaded with a poster, a cleaning guide and DVD. You will also get a free canister of handy Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Get Free Magazine Subscription Offers Educators have access to many free magazine subscription offers. Yes Magazine is offering educators a free one-year subscription. This is a magazine published by the Positive Futures Network. This is non-profit organization that helps promote social change to a more compassionate and sustainable world. Take advantage by contacting the magazine for your free educator subscription.

Yes, Freebies are Real! If you tell someone that something is free, they immediately start looking for the catch. After all, the words of wisdom ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? have usually been proven true for people time and again throughout life, and so a healthy cynicism towards free stuff usually springs up with good reason. If you are one of these skeptical types, however, you may be missing out on some really great stuff. The truth is that you CAN get free things that are really and truly free, and yes, actually worth having. You just have to know where to look. OK, here is where the caveat comes in. The definition of ?free? often depends on the definition of ?cost.? As any economist can tell you, cost really doesn?t only come down to how much money you have to hand over to get something. There are additional costs, like inconvenience and time spent doing something. And true, some freebies have these ?non monetary? kinds of costs associated with them. You have to balance all of the costs with the value of the free stuff you are getting and decide if it is worth it to you. The two biggest costs associated with freebies? Time and convenience are at the top of the list. Time is a big factor in many free offers. Companies want a bit of your time in exchange for their free products. Indeed, some companies literally want hours of your time. Have you ever taken advantage of one of those ?free weekend vacation? offers in which you received free accommodation in a beach house or condo for a weekend in exchange for suffering through a long presentation and intense sales pitch? For some people, they can handle the presentation and have no qualms about refusing to buy anything and the free vacation more than makes up for it. Other people would rather pay any price to avoid having to listen to one of these spiels. So, while these weekends are freebies, for some people, they cost too much. More often, a company wants your time in a less obvious way ? they want you to spend time filling out forms. These forms may simply be your name, address and email address, or they may be very lengthy, quizzing you about buying habits and the like. The reason the companies want you to do these forms is often for market research, and they are more than happy to give you a freebie in exchange for this. Many people find the time spent filling out these forms will worth it to get a great free product. Convenience is the other cost involved with many freebies. Time and convenience go hand in hand in some cases ? after all, it may not be especially convenient to fill out form after form simply because it is time consuming, but convenience takes another hit from freebies in the form of spam email. Often, signing up for a freebie can land you on a spam email list, and for some people, getting tons of spam is so inconvenient that they would rather pay full price. The truth about all of these costs of freebies is that the freebie is in the eye of the beholder. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in order to get a free product. Once you know the limits to your freebie costs, than you can cash in on some really great products that don?t cost you a dime. When you spend five minutes filling out a form and get rewarded with a free DVD player that you have been wanting, you will realize that there are free things out there to be had.