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10 Ways to Make a Bad First Impression and How to Recover

Posted by freddysetiawan on October 20, 2009

In the book “You Are the Message,” media executive Roger Ailes wrote that it takes only seven seconds to make a first impression. With a job on the line, the pressure to immediately impress is even more intense. No wonder we get flustered.

The good news is that no matter what goes wrong — your fly is down, you spill your water, you mispronounce the company name — it’s all about how well you recover. “I had one candidate who sat on a chair, it flipped out from under her, and she landed on her back,” says Ellen Reeves, author of “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?” “But, she picked herself up, picked up the chair, and made a joke. She knew how to recover — and she got the job.”

Below are 10 ways to potentially botch your interview, and the steps to take to right your sinking ship.

1. You’re Sick the Day of the Interview
Don’t try to be a martyr. Even if you just have a cold, you should call and reschedule. “I once interviewed someone who told me she threw up on her way over,” says Reeves. “I was just thinking, ‘Why didn’t you cancel?'” You may be trying to prove your dedication, but employers would rather interview you when there isn’t a risk you’ll give them the flu.

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8 Restaurant Ploys to Watch For

Posted by freddysetiawan on October 13, 2009

As business has continued to drag at many restaurants, some have tried to trim the fat by cutting costs. Savvy consumers may have noticed those green garnishes disappearing from dinner plates. But plenty of other strategies are also being employed. Here’s a look at a few.

The Incredible Shrinking Snack

That bowl of nuts at the bar may be complimentary, but don’t be shy about asking for a refill. Some efficiency consultants say they help bar operators reduce their costs by switching generously sized snack bowls with smaller ones.

Unbundled Bread

The true cost of “freebies” like pre-dinner bread typically get wrapped into a restaurant’s menu prices. Yet certain eateries ask patrons to cough up cash for these items; Company, a New York pizzeria, charges $3 for bread, $2 for butter and a full $4 for mixed olives.

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10 Tips for Approaching Single Women

Posted by freddysetiawan on September 22, 2009

What do you do when you see a woman you are attracted to? Do you run and hide? Do you use some canned line that you read on the Internet? Do you stand there in fear trying to think of the right thing to say? What is the right thing to do?

When approaching a woman, most guys make the mistake of thinking too much about what to say. They believe there’s one magic line that will work in all situations. They rehearse this magic line, and when they deliver it, they hope the woman will become instantly attracted to them.

Unfortunately, rarely does this approach work — because most of what you say is irrelevant. To catch a woman’s attention, it is all about the confidence you display when approaching her.

Here are 10 surefire ways to intrigue her every time:

1. Observe something. Make a comment about something you observe in the environment. This is especially effective at the grocery store. For example, if she is ordering a turkey sandwich, ask her if the turkey is good here. Make your comment immediate to the situation and it will seem perfectly natural. No matter where you are, there is always something interesting to comment on.

2. Smile. This shows her that you are friendly and confident. A genuine smile not only feels good to you, but will put her at ease while creating openness in the interaction — a requirement for building rapport.

3. Do not hesitate. If you hesitate in your approach, this tells her that you are not feeling confident — an immediate turn-off. When you see her, walk over to her within a short period of time (the three-second rule). Show her you are a man who knows what he wants and goes after it.

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Dating Tips: 9 Signs a Guy Is a Keeper

Posted by freddysetiawan on September 15, 2009

#1. Keeper clue: He has his act together.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a good place to start. “It’s very important that you two be able to have a lot of fun together, so a party boy or a screw-up will probably not work out for you,” says Mira Kirshenbaum, a family and couples therapist and author of Is He Mr. Right? “No matter how charming he is, if he is still struggling to grow up, it will get very old, very fast.”

#2. Keeper clue: He puts you first.

Picture a delicious platter of grilled steak. Does your man offer it to you first to pick the best piece? He does if he’s a keeper! “When it comes to taking the best piece of meat or offering it to you, that’s a metaphor for how he’d always put you first the rest of your life,” says Rachel Greenwald, author of “Why He Didn’t Call You Back: 1,000 Guys Reveal What They Really Thought of You After Your Date.”

#3. Keeper clue: He’s not afraid of your germs.

You know a guy is really into you when he can’t stay away, even when you’re bedridden and snotty. “When you’re sick with the flu, he says, ‘Let me come over and take care of you,’ rather than, ‘Oooh, you sound really contagious… call me when you’re feeling better,'” Greenwald says.

#4. Keeper clue: He’s a family man.

He asks about your family, and he seems to genuinely want to hear about them. “Interest in your family shows that he thinks about you as a whole person, and he knows that being with you means understanding and accepting your relatives too,” says Sarah Harrison, senior editor of yourtango.com.

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Tips to Save Money on Car Expenses

Posted by freddysetiawan on September 8, 2009

With gas prices zooming up and down like a roller coaster and financial cutbacks continuing, many drivers are looking for ways to save a few bucks.

Whether it’s reassessing your insurance needs, reducing fuel consumption or simply putting off that new vehicle purchase for another year, here are 10 good ways to save money behind the wheel.

1. Drive your car longer. The easiest way to save money on your vehicle is to simply drive it longer, and with the current economic climate, more Americans have been doing exactly that. In 2005, a survey by AutoPacific of 32,000 consumers found that 46 percent of respondents would not be shopping for a new vehicle in the next four years. This year, that number has risen to 59 percent.

Many consumers typically replace a vehicle every three to five years but today’s vehicles are built to last longer, and some manufacturers offer up to 10-year warranties. According to Edmunds.com, the average monthly payment on a new vehicle is $479. Considering your existing car is trouble-free, saving that $479 per month means an annual savings of $5,748 by postponing the purchase of a new vehicle.

2. Reassess your insurance needs. Adjusting the insurance you’re carrying can dramatically reduce the amount of insurance premiums you pay. According to Bob Sullivan at MSNBC.com’s The Red Tape Chronicles, raising the deductible from $200 to $1,000 on a comprehensive insurance policy will save an average of 40 percent or $100 per year on the comprehensive portion. Those with older cars may want to consider dropping their comprehensive and collision coverage also. Consumer Reports recommends dropping the coverage if the annual auto insurance premiums are 10 percent or more of the book value of the vehicle.

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10 Ways to Be Liked in Your Job Interview

Posted by freddysetiawan on August 25, 2009

No matter your resume and talents, if you mess up a job interview you won’t get that position. In today’s tough economy you need every possible edge. As authors of the new book, “I Hate People! Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What you Want Out of Your Job,” we see it as a simple equation: You want to be liked — not hated.

Here are 10 simple things to do that will dramatically increase your chances: from wearing the right expression, to knowing what not to say, to never ever breaking a sweat.

1. Don’t be a “smiley face.”

Excessive smiling in a job interview is seen for what it is — nervousness and a lack of confidence. A smiley-face person exudes phoniness, which will quickly be picked up by the interviewer. Instead be thoughtful and pleasant. Smile when there’s something to smile about. Do a practice run in front of a mirror or friend.

2. Don’t be a small-talker.

Your job is to be knowledgeable about the company for which you’re interviewing. Random facts about last night’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars” or your favorite blog will not get you the job. Never feel you have to fill an interview with small talk. Find ways to talk about serious subjects related to the industry or company. Pockets of silence are better than padding an interview with random babble.

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Fact Check: Health overhaul myths taking root

Posted by freddysetiawan on August 18, 2009

The judgment is harsh in a new poll that finds Americans worried about the government taking over health insurance, cutting off treatment to the elderly and giving coverage to illegal immigrants. Harsh, but not based on facts.

President Barack Obama’s lack of a detailed plan for overhauling health care is letting critics fill in the blanks in the public’s mind. In reality, Washington is not working on “death panels” or nationalization of health care.

To be sure, presenting Congress and the country with the nuts and bolts of a revamped system of health insurance is no guarantee of success for a president — just ask Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Their famous flop was demonized, too. After all, the devil does lurk in details.

It can also lurk in generalities, it seems.

Obama is promoting his changes in something of a vacuum, laying out principles, goals and broad avenues, some of which he’s open to amending. As lawmakers sweat the nitty gritty, he’s doing a lot of listening, and he’s getting an earful.

A new NBC News poll suggests some of the myths and partial truths about the plans under consideration are taking hold.

Most respondents said the effort is likely to lead to a “government takeover of the health care system” and to public insurance for illegal immigrants. Half said it will probably result in taxpayers paying for abortions and nearly that many expected the government will end up with the power to decide when treatment should stop for old people.

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9 Simple Things Women Want

Posted by freddysetiawan on August 4, 2009

Besides the meaning of life and the ingredients of hot dogs, many a man has questioned, “What exactly do women want?” We’re not playing coy here, we know we’re complex creatures. And, true, we operate on a different wavelength than men.

But women aren’t exactly the great mystery that men often make us out to be. The proof? We polled the YourTango staff and compiled a list of 9 simple things women want. Note: you won’t find diamond rings or other fancy things anywhere on this list. While many women really do want luxury goods from men, when you break it down they are just physical representations of some of the points on this list. We promise.

1. Respect. Show us through your actions that you respect our opinions, careers, interests, friends, bodies, and minds. You don’t have to agree with all that we say or do, but try to honor our opinions as valuable contributions. Follow the golden rule and treat us as you would like to be treated: Be honest, fair, kind, and considerate.

2. Romance. It’s another night on the couch with takeout and TiVo? Just because we’re staying in doesn’t mean the evening can’t be romantic. Light a few candles and see where the night leads. Treat us like your girlfriend, even after we become your wife. Date nights, physical affection in the car, kissing like when we first started dating — all of the things that made us fall in love with you don’t have to stop just because now there are bills to pay, a house to be cleaned, and kids to be bathed. Bring home flowers for no reason. We’re not talking $100 bouquets of roses here. Even the $10 bouquets from the supermarket are enough to make us smile.

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10 Ways to Make Yourself Unfireable

Posted by freddysetiawan on July 28, 2009

Phew. You survived the culling. Or maybe your company has managed to avoid a mass layoff. Either way, you’re one of the lucky ones.

Unlike so many of your friends and family, you won’t have to deal with the unemployment office or cancel your cable—yet.

But instead of sitting smugly at your desk, you should be thinking about what you can do (right now!) to make yourself absolutely indispensable.

Having a job is not a civil right. Everyone is vulnerable to cutbacks. Now is not the time for complacency.

The good news is, there are lots of steps you can take to help safeguard your position. And who knows? You may even end up with a promotion!

If you want to be the last person they’d think of letting go, follow our ten tips.

1. Save Your Company Money

Do you have an idea for how your company can cut costs? Pitch it!

Whether it’s moving towards soft copy to save on printer paper, or a killer idea to streamline your supply chain, now is the time to show management you understand the importance of the bottom line.

Even if they don’t adopt your brilliant plan, they’ll respect your eye for savings and appreciate your effort.

2. Be Positive

No one wants to work with a “Negative Nancy.” Ever. And especially not now. Bad news abounds, and frankly, everyone is really tired of it.

So instead of complaining about the state of the economy, rising gas prices or your mother-in-law, focus on the positive. Share on-the-job success stories. Be optimistic about your company, and focus on steps you can take to have a positive impact on its future.

Share good news (when you come across it). Make jokes where appropriate. Smile.

Things can’t be that bad for you. You still have a job, remember?

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How to Have Healthier Air in Your Home

Posted by freddysetiawan on July 21, 2009

How to have healthier air in your home.
Open windows, be careful with cleaners and check housewares.

Good ventilation is probably the single most important step you can take toward making your home healthier, experts say. For the most part, the air you breathe while you’re at home isn’t nearly as clean as the air you breathe while you’re outside (even if the outdoor air is fairly smoggy).

Even if you don’t notice any ill effects right now, it’s a good idea to try to clean up the air in your home, says Robert Phalen, founder of the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at UC Irvine. Chronic exposure to allergens may lead to sensitivities over time.

We asked a number of doctors, researchers and building consultants to tell us about possible home air hazards and how some of them can be eliminated — maximizing effectiveness and minimizing expense.

What we’re breathing

Carbon monoxide: You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. At lower exposures, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, and is easily mistaken for the flu. At higher exposures, it can kill you within minutes. To be safe, make sure all your gas appliances (furnace, stove, water heater, etc.) and fireplace are working properly. If you have a space heater, make sure it’s vented to the outdoors. As an extra precaution, install a carbon monoxide detector. And never keep the motor running in a car or truck inside your attached garage, even if the garage door is open.

Radon: Like carbon monoxide, radon is colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly. Unlike carbon monoxide, it takes a while to do you in. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, the EPA estimates, and the second-leading cause, behind smoking, of all lung cancer cases in the country. Formed naturally from the radioactive decay of uranium, the gas often seeps into basements through cracks in walls and floors — and from there it makes its way upstairs. “In general, it’s not much of a problem in California,” says Dr. Jonathan Samet, professor of preventive medicine and director of the Institute for Global Health at USC. “But nationally it’s recommended to have houses checked, and that’s a reasonable thing to do.” In fact, you can get a kit and test your house yourself. If you find radon in dangerous levels, hire a professional who can determine the best treatment.

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