Tag Archives: Tampa Florida

Workplace atmosphere matters, even in sports

Sport Shorts

HR wisdom flowing out of my car radio this morning via a sports talk station in Tampa.

Lovie Smith, new coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was asked what he expected his relationship with his new colleague, General Manager Jason Ligt would be like. “I expect it to be great. You could tell from the very first interview that we saw eye to eye, and had great energy.”

Grant Balfour, free agent pitcher and an MLB all-star closer for the Oakland A’s signs a 2 year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, acknowledging that he turned down more money to return to the Rays. “To be back here in Tampa Bay with the Rays, and play for Joe Madden, I couldn’t say no to that.”

Teamwork. Shared mission. Chemistry. Workplace (ok, clubhouse) of preference.

These things matter, even in the multi-million dollars palaces of sports stars. It surely matters to those who work in our organizations.

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An #HRPuckhead does #Tipmas

What the hell is #TIPMAS?

It was the night before #Tipmas when I got tagged in a Facebook post by that bon vivant raconteur of HR and hockey – my fellow #HRPuckhead Dwane Lay.

He was in Tampa, and looking for trouble.  I agreed to help him in the search.  We crafted our plan and decided that we would meet at Hattrick’s Tavern, which is essentially a sport bar for hockey junkies – especially Tampa Bay Lightning fans.  We had a great time, drank some local Florida brewed beer, dined and received some excellent service from our server Mary Beth.

But I also got to do something else that was very cool thanks to the generosity and creativity of Red Book Connect, who invited me to be part of their #TIPMAS campaign.   They sent me a $50 American Express gift card and asked that I do one thing: find someone at a restaurant who did an outstanding job providing great service and share the gift card with them.

I gave my card to Mary Beth at Hattrick’s, and wished her a very merry #TIPMAS, thanking for doing an outstanding job.  She told me I had made her night and gave me a hug.  It was awesome.

Want to know more about #TIPMAS?


Red Book Connect is encouraging acts of kindness to the hard working servers in the restaurant industry, and we’re calling it #Tipmas. During the 12 Days of #Tipmas, from December 9 through 21, we are encouraging our team and everyone we know to be generous with their servers and to urge everyone you know to do the same.

We hope you’ll share and spread the word to help us ignite the #Tipmas movement!

Day 1: #SecretServer – Secretly ask for a manager to tell them that your server has done a fantastic job. (Dec 9)

Day 2: #SharingIsCaring – Share the story of the excellent service you received online and tag it with #Tipmas (Dec 10)

Day 3: #HolidayHero – If you know your server will be working the holiday leave them a Holiday Card from your family. (Dec 11)

Day 4: #LetterToServer – write your server a letter showing your thanks and leave it at the restaurant. Remember, it’s not just about generously tipping! (Dec 12)

Day 5: #MilkAndCookies – If you go out tonight, order dessert. And leave dessert for your server (i.e. candy bar, candy cane, etc.)

Day 6: #ElfOnTheShelf – If you’re out tonight, and you notice another server working hard, besides your own, mention them to the manager as well! Spread the love!

Day 7: #FastBreak – When you visit, buy your server a meal they can quickly eat on their break, such as an appetizer. Those shifts are long, and every little pick-me-up helps.

Day 8: #WarmFuzzies – “Like” or “Follow” the restaurant on Facebook/Twitter then share your warm fuzzies about your server on the restaurant’s Facebook/Twitter pages.

Day 9: #ShareTheLove – Recommend the restaurant and the server to your family and friends through a Facebook Recommendation.

Day 10: TBA!

There are more great stories on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Follow us to read them all! You can also read some on our blog!


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Go to Arby’s instead

Don’t sweat the sauce-packet dynamics

Time out from HR.

If you have never heard of him, I’d like to introduce you to the King of comedy crime writers, Tim Dorsey.   According to his bio, Dorsey was a reporter and editor at the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of numerous books featuring the OCD and ADD and Florida trivia obsessed serial killer Serge A. Storms. Dorsey lives in Tampa, and is hysterical.

Here is a small sample from his 2009 book Nuclear Jellyfish:

“…..Anyhoo, where was I?  Weirdness.  Florida has such a rarefied per capita concentration that CNN might as well be the local news.   Some guy shoots a Wendy’s manager over their three sauce-packet limit; alligator attacks naked guy on crack doing backstrokes in retention culvery; driver falls out of car at forty-five miles an hour opening door to spit; smuggler makes it through airport securitywith monkey under his hat.  And if something does happen in another state, it’s just a matter of time for the Florida shoe to drop.  You say some criminal Rhodes scholar stole Crystal Gayle‘s tour bus in Tennessee?  Gee, where on earth might he head next?

Today’s Tip:  A three sauce-packet limit is wrong.  But pulling a gun is just as wrong.  Go to Arby’s instead. They understand packet dynamics.”

Dorsey books make Christmas gifts for your demented, comedic serial killer loving friends and family.

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Being an HR Superhero

It's not easy to be a superhero
Image by Esparta via Flickr

HR Tampa Annual Event is next week

What dos it take to be an HR Superhero?  It takes a lot more than super powers.

It takes:

  • a big heart
  • a wise head
  • an open mind
  • the patience of Job
  • professional knowledge
  • some great partners and professional colleagues

You can find all of that in one place next Wednesday right here in Tampa, Florida by attending the HR Tampa Expo. The event  themed as “Being an HR Superhero” will take place at the beautiful A La Carte Pavilion on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.   Walkup registration opens at 7:30 am.  Online sales are already closed.  Admission is $75 for HR Tampa members, and $125 for non-members who wish to attend.  4.5 HRCI credits are available, including 1.5 strategic credits and 3 general credits.

HR Tampa Expo

No matter how big or small, employees contact the human resources department when they have problems.  While some are routine questions that can be handled without any difficulty, other situations require a human resources representative to resolve a company’s everyday employment emergencies.  By understanding the employment laws that impact our decisions and implementing ways to enhance our employees’ interactions with each other, human resources personnel can effectively improve a company’s operations and become true Superheroes to the people we support on a daily basis.

Schedule of Events

The Opening Speaker for the HR Tampa Expo will be Linda DiBona Keane, President, MAPEX, Inc., and her topic is “Change Reactions: Relationship Building: Align Rather Than Bridge the Generations”.  Other speakers and sessions will include:

  • David Pearson, Attorney, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP, “Employee Benefits – Health Care and the Other Developments That Affect You”
  • Michael VanDervort, Labor Relations Strategist, Human Race Horses “Social Media Tools for HR”
  • Ignacio Garcia, Attorney, Ogletree, Deakins, LLP, “Accommodations Galore”
  • Mike Temkin, VP, Strategic Planning & Development, Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications, “Making Retention a Long-Term Objective…Not a Short-Term Reaction”

The Closing Speaker will  John R. Stoker, President of Light Storm Consulting, speaking on the topic of “How Do You Ruin Everything by Being You?“

It promises to be a great day. Won’t you join us?

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Talent Synch, Cheezhead, and Jobing Tampa Bay, ala Carte!

Working with Jobing

I am going to be a panel member and leading a breakout session at the Tanpa Bay Jobing Recruitment Symposium tomorrow.   Before that, I will be having breakfast with keynote speaker Susan Burns of  Talent Synchronicity.   I will be doing some tweeting from the event.  You can use the hashtag #RSTB to follow along.   Here is the entire list of speakers, including  Joel Cheesman. now a Senior Vice President at Jobing.

I will also be doing the South Florida Recruitment Symposium event for Jobing on April 6 in Fort Lauderdale.

Social Media is the Message and the Medium

What will we be talking about?    Just the usual, which is my favorite topic for this year: 

why social media is important to HR professionals


how t0 put social media tools to work

Here is how Jobing says the same thing:

With over 350 million active users on Facebook and Twitter growing exponentially, social media and its power as a recruiting tool has become too large to ignore. Although creating a recruitment strategy that incorporates these new tools can seem like a daunting task, we’ve compiled the most experienced professionalsin social media to ensure that you succeed in this process. Integrating Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms into your recruitment process can seem overwhelming.

Join fellow Tampa Bay industry leaders at the Social Networking for Today’s Tampa Bay Employment Marketers Recruitment Symposium to learn:

  • How-to Use Social Media to build relationships and recruit top talent
  • The importance of online employment marketing and branding to your recruitment strategies
  • How to monitor and manage online conversations
  • Current recruitment and employment marketing trends in Tampa Bay

In Tampa Bay’s competitive recruitment world, any advantage could mean the difference between finding a perfect candidate in a timely fashion and spending months sifting through unqualified resumes. You can’t afford to miss this local and cost effective opportunity to learn from local professionals, leaders and experts in your community about social networking and how to make it a successful and measurable tool to find great local talent.

Here is the agenda for the Tampa Bay Jobing event.  

The Recruitment Symposium event offers you the educational opportunities you’d find at a national recruiting conference right in your own hometown. The event brings you together in an intimate environment with the most recognized local recruitment leaders, industry experts and national speakers for a truly unique learning and networking experience.

8:00   Registration Opens
8:45   Welcome
9:00   Social Networking Strategies for Today’s Local Employment Marketers || Joel Cheesman, Jobing
10:15  Coffee Break and Snacks
10:30  How to Socialize Your Talent Strategy || Brett Farmiloe, Jobing
11:45  Networking Lunch
1:00  Social Recruiting: How Local Companies Are Using Social Media
2:00   Round the Table – Answering Your Social Networking Questions
3:00   Coffee Break and Snacks
3:15   Keynote: Harnessing the True Power of Social Recruiting || Susan Burns,Chief Talent Strategist, Talent Synchronicity
4:30   Closing Remarks
The Recruitment Symposium by Jobing will be held at the A La Carte Event Pavilion.

A La Carte Event Pavilion
4050 Dana Shores Drive
Tampa, FL 33634

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Would your company miss you if you took 6 weeks off for fun?

Depeche Mode

Social Fresh Wrap-up

I volunteered to work at Social Fresh Tampa yesterday with a great bunch of volunteers.  It was a great conference covering a variety of topics including corporate blogging, WOMM marketing, and a number of other topics relevant and useful to businesses, as well as those working in social media.  The next event they are doing will be held in Portland on March 29th.  If you live out that way, you should check it out.   There is also a Social Fresh community on Ning if you want to interact with some of the Social Fresh attendees.

I spent a work day at Social Fresh.  I didn’t have to take a vacation day, even though this wasn’t an HR conference.   I am lucky that I have a job that permits some flexibility for attending these types of events since they relate to what I do on a daily basis.   Other people who work in different situations have an entirely perspective on work schedule.

Time Away from Work

I had a pair of interesting discussions regarding time away from work yesterday.

The first one is just a fun idea, and it makes me wish I could do something like it this.  One of my volunteer colleagues at Social Fresh told us how she is going to take six weeks off work this summer to go on a six week cross-country trip following the bands playing on the 2010 Vans WARPED Tour.

While I wouldn’t be dying to see Agent Orange, Angry Samoans, or Assorted Jelly Beans, it would be great to be able to get six consecutive weeks off to go do something for pure enjoyment. I’m pretty sure I can’t do this without suffering from a debilitating illness.   It is difficult for me to imagine how I would step away from my job duties for that great a duration without causing problems for my employer.

Is there something wrong with that picture, or is it just the way the world works?

The second story is even better.   The story goes like this.  This guy works in a western state in the medical field.   In December, he packs up all his belongings and moves across country to the East Coast.  Before he leaves, he makes arrangements with co-workers to cover his shifts, which involves getting coverage for 3 24 hour shifts a week.  It is now February, and he is still employed out west, receiving health care coverage, although not getting any type of paycheck.

Ten weeks off of work – without taking vacation, or a leave of absence, or FMLA.  It’s brilliant, and it may be that this is only possible due to the nature of his work schedule and his professional skills.    It is cool that my friend is able to take advantage of this situation, but I have to ask:

  • Where the hell is his supervisor?  They should at least be inquiring about the potential overtime costs being incurred.
  • Where the hell is HR?  Most places I have worked would have called this a resignation a long time ago.

The most important question for me though is:

  • How much longer can he pull this off?

These two discussions make me realize that I have a very conventional view of the way I work as it relates to pursuing life goals or special events.  I can’t take 6 weeks off and fly down to raft the Amazon.  I am not sure that I would spend the six weeks that way if I could get it, but I never even contemplate this type of activity.  It doesn’t fit into the world view that I have accepted as part of my work life, 5 days or more week, and two days off – most weeks, but not always.   Three weeks of annual vacation, which I normaly would not take at one time, because I have to hoard those precious days for when I “need” them.

I am thinking there is something wrong with this view.  Other people are clearly more clever and innovative than me about the way they approach time off from work.  I am jealous.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on the norms of the workplace and time off.

Should HR people be thinking about alternative arrangements?

Is this a benefit that would add value to your recruiting?

Could your company even begin to contemplate quirky work schedules?

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Social Media and Marketing at Social Fresh Tampa

Social Fresh comes to Tampa

From Drop Box

I will be attending Social Fresh Tampa on Monday, February 8th at the Doubletree Hotel Tampa Westshore.

Social Fresh is a social media conference for marketers. Social Fresh Tampa will be the second event of 2010 for the group.  Since Tampa is a marketing hot bed, this conference will focus on delivering fresh social media and marketing content with more than 30 speakers.

Social Fresh Tampa Speakers

Social Fresh flagship events typically offer 30-35 speakers split between two rooms of content, stand alone featured speakers and panels.  Here is the list of presenters for Social Fresh Tampa.

Social Fresh Tampa Speakers from jason keath on Vimeo.

Brash, Brilliant, Ballsy – Cougars and their Boy Toys


Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Heard on Sports Talk Radio

I just got home from my Saturday  morning coffee run.   For the record, I got a 20 oz. coffee with cream at Hess Express for $1.92, rather than Starbucks.   While driving over to the store, I was listening to WDAE here in Tampa and happened to hear a radio spot for a web site called Cougar Life.

It became clear pretty quickly this was not an ad for any type of nature conservancy or hunting program.   Nothing like that.   It was a commercial for a dating site here guys could sign up to get connected with the hottest single moms and divorcees.

And not old gray haired geezers like me, this is for the young dude hankering for someone with some experience, or for that for experienced divorcee or hot single mom who just can’t get enough.

What is Cougar Life?

According to their web site, Cougar Life is the premier online dating service that pairs women in their prime with younger men and ends the double standard!

This would presumably be the double standard where old guys like me get our choice of all the hot young babes out there waiting for us to pick them out of the  crowd and invite them to hit the town with us.  For the record, I’m married –  but everybody knows this is how the single half of my age demographic obviously gets to live!

Let’s take a look at some more information from the Cougar Life site.

What is a Cougar?

Cougars are Women in their PRIME: independent, sexy and wildly successful. They enjoy men that are youthful, fit with the same zest for life. Cougars are classy, confident women that already possess many of the finer things in life — but now want the young, hot guy to go with it.

What is a Cub?

To snare a true Cougar a man needs to be youthful, fit, unintimidated and of course sexually driven! These men can range from athletes to intellectuals, and from technologists to entrepreneurs and all points in between; they can come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is the desire to possess a sexually charged older woman.

Are you sold yet?  Apparently a lot of people already are.  According to founder Claudia Openkelder, the site launched in February 2009 and has over 200,000 members.  There are even specialized city sites for potetial cougars and boy toys.

From Drop Box

What do you think?   Does this site help end an unfair double standard?  Is it just another way to make money by exploiting perceived social and sexual stereotypes?

Are “Cougars” really women in their prime who are just seeking happiness and fulfillment, or is this just another stereotyped expectation created by media and marketers that people somehow have to live up to?

Whether you are a cougar, a boy toy, or just a married geezer like me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Making an impression: That first 30 seconds can last a lifetime!

Love Parade 2007 in Essen
Image via Wikipedia

A Bad Example

Let me tell you about an experience that I had earlier this week.  Then let me tell me about the lessons from this experience that could be applied to your next job interview.

I stop almost every morning at to buy coffee at a Hess station in Tampa.  Earlier this week, I made my usual stop at around 6:45 AM.  As I entered the store,I walked in behind a 40-something blonde woman who was attired in clothing more befitting a college girl from about 5 years ago. (tight jeans, midriff top, high heels, multi tattoos, etc.)  Normally, I don’t pay that much attention to stuff like that, but while I was getting my coffee, she was complaining to the cashier about something, and well,she was loud.  So she caught my attention.

At 6:55, we wind up in line together, me standing in front of her with my coffee, her behind me holding three large sized cans of Miller Icehouse beer. A woman was paying for milk with change, and Blondie starts yelling  “Hey, today, already!” followed very quickly by “retards!”.

I turned around and gave her the evil eye. I get back  “What, you got something to say?”

I responded..”No, it’s not realy worth saying anything about. You speak for yourself.”

I don’t think she got it. When last seen, she was pounding one of the beers behind the wheel of a pick-up, a dopey little yappy dog sitting in her lap.

Don’t be that woman

How does a rude woman angry over not getting to drink a beer as soon as possible first thing in the morning  apply to a job interview?

  1. She made a bad first impression.
  2. She demonstrated she was high maintenance at the outset of our encounter.
  3. She demonstrated inappropriate behavior.
  4. She was wearing inappropriate attire.

Obviously, you shouldn’t do these things in an interview setting.  However, that information is not the true lesson to be learned here.   On Friday, I was visiting a local business that I have a relationship with and this very same woman walked into the shop, dressed in considerably more conservative attire than she had been wearing in our last encounter.  She was interested in applying for a job.  The store manager gave her an application and she left, promising to return it on Monday.

She obviously did not remember me.  I remembered her though.

I made sure to share the story of the experience above with the manager who would be interviewing her.

The lesson here:

  • When making an impression, you never know which one is going to make a difference.  Think about the impressions you are making every day!
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How effective is your message?

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 6:  Congratulatory messa...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Think your plan through

This morning I heard an advertisement on WDAE 620 am in Tampa.  It is a major sports talk station here in central Florida, and generates a lot of revenue for Clear Channel.   The sound spot I heard was for a local restaurant chain.  In the ad, one of the hosts of  the radio show explained how to get to a web site to make reservations for your holiday event.   It went something like this:

“Go to the web site. Click on the menu and it will take you to the reservation page.   Click on group events and then fill out the form and we will get back to you in a couple of days!”

This set of instructions struck as being way too complex for a radio host to be giving in a drive time radio show.   The restaurant should have invested a few bucks for a radio button that they could place on their main page.  The customers could click on the big button with the holiday colors and click right through to the appropriate page.   And the radio host could have said: 

“Just go to our web site and click on the big holiday themed radio button for reservations!”

Keep Your Messages Simple

Applying a little thought to this process in advance would have:

  1. given the message in the ad a cleaner delivery.
  2. made the message in the ad comprehensible, since listeners would only have to remember the web address, not a complex series of instructions that they can’t write down while driving.
  3. delivered better overall results and maximized the ROI.

These same lessons apply to recruiting and career web sites.  I’m just sayin…

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