Who’s got it made?

Notable inbetweeners are successful due to the boundless energy and commitment to doing what they love.  You can find all the secrets in the world by just following the advice of so many who say:

  • Love what you do, be passionate about it

  • Expect failure, it is a great motivator to want to leave it behind except the knowledge earned

  • They care less about what others think than what they are thinking about

  • They are not always the biggest house hold names

  • They are committed to seeing it through

  • They are tenacious, work hard, take criticism less because they know what they want to do

The ones I want to highlight were born between 1960 and 1065.  They fell into being an Inbetweener by birth, by accident, my karma, by fate … whatever you want to call it.  Here are some of them that you may already know:

tdy_lauer_rowling_150413.today-vid-canonical-featured-desktop

JoanneJoRowling, OBE FRSL[2] (/ˈrlɪŋ/; born 31 July 1965),[1] pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies.[3] They have become the best-selling book series in history[4]and been the basis for a series of films which is the second highest-grossing film series in history.[5] Rowling had overall approval on the scripts[6] and maintained creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.[7]

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty Internationalwhen she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.[8]The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until Rowling finished the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1997. There were six sequels, the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written four books for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction novels The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014) and Career of Evil (2015).[9]

Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. She is the United Kingdom’s best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238m.[10] The 2008Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling‘s fortune at £560 million, ranking her as the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom.[11] Forbes ranked Rowling as the 48th most powerful celebrity of 2007,[12] and Time magazine named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.[13] In October 2010, Rowling was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors.[14] She has supported charities including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos(formerly the Children’s High Level Group), and in politics supports the Labour Party and Better Together.

Rowling has said that her teenage years were unhappy.[21] Her home life was complicated by her mother’s illness and a strained relationship with her father, with whom she is not on speaking terms.[21] Rowling later said that she based the character of Hermione Granger on herself when she was eleven.[37] Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as “not exceptional” but “one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English”.[21] Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth, owned a turquoise Ford Anglia which she says inspired a flying version that appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.[38] At this time, she listened to the Smiths and the Clash.[39] Rowling took A-levels in English, French and German, achieving two As and a B[27] and was Head Girl.[21]

In 1982, Rowling took the entrance exams for Oxford University but was not accepted[21] and read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter.[40] Martin Sorrell, a French professor at Exeter, remembers “a quietly competent student, with a denim jacket and dark hair, who, in academic terms, gave the appearance of doing what was necessary”.[21] Rowling recalls doing little work, preferring to listen to the Smiths and read Dickens and Tolkien.[21] After a year of study in Paris,Rowling graduated from Exeter in 1986[21] and moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.[41] In 1988, Rowling wrote a short essay about her time studying Classics entitled “What was the Name of that Nymph Again? or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled”; it was published by the University of Exeter’s journal Pegasus.[42]

An advert in The Guardian[27] led Rowling to move to Porto in Portugal to teach English as a foreign language.[8][36] She taught at night, and began writing in the day while listening to Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concerto.[21] After 18 months in Porto, she met Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes in a bar, and found they shared an interest in Jane Austen.[27] They married on 16 October 1992 and their child, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (named after Jessica Mitford), was born on 27 July 1993 in Portugal.[27] Rowling had previously suffered a miscarriage.[27] The couple separated on 17 November 1993.[27][46] Biographers have suggested that Rowlingsuffered domestic abuse during her marriage, although the full extent is unknown.[27][47] In December 1993, Rowling and her then-infant daughter moved to be near Rowling‘s sister in Edinburgh, Scotland,[26] with three chapters of what would become Harry Potter in her suitcase.[21]

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as a failure.[48] Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating and allowing her to focus on writing.[48] During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide.[49] Her illness inspired the characters known as Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book.[50] Rowling signed up for welfare benefits, describing her economic status as being “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.”[21][48]

Rowling was left in despair after her estranged husband arrived in Scotland, seeking both her and her daughter.[27] She obtained an order of restraint and Arantes returned to Portugal, with Rowling filing for divorce in August 1994.[27] She began a teacher training course in August 1995 at the Moray House School of Education, atEdinburgh University,[51] after completing her first novel while living on state benefits.[52] She wrote in many cafés, especially Nicolson’s Café (owned by her brother-in-law, Roger Moore),[53][54] and the Elephant House;[55] wherever she could get Jessica to fall asleep.[26][56] In a 2001 BBC interview, Rowling denied the rumour that she wrote in local cafés to escape from her unheated flat, pointing out that it had heating. One of the reasons she wrote in cafés was that taking her baby out for a walk was the best way to make her fall asleep.

  • James J. Collins (born 1965), US bioengineer, pioneered synthetic biology and systems biology

Massimo Pigliucci (born 1964), Italian-US plant ecological and evolutionary geneticist. Winner of the Dobzhansky Prize

 

A cheater’s paradise

This blog was originally written on my aCOMMENTary blog November 24, 2016.  

A cheater’s paradise

 

Policing employees’ performance is one thing that most companies do well. However, being the corporate watchdog is quite a different conundrum. At what point do company code of ethics cross over into personal behavior at work. In some areas it is natural for organizations to provide guidelines for its employees behaviors at work, while quite a hotbed of varying opinions when it comes to what employees do on their own time.I broached the subject when posting on my main blog TheOptioneerJM where I began a discussion on how whistle blowers are treated within organizations. What bothered me to the core is how an organization reacts to a whistle blower says a ton about their culture. Meaning, you can have policies, guidelines, codes of ethics and beyond, but they become meaningless when managers or employees take it a step too far.In my example, with anonymity caveats all over the place, it appeared that an employee who blew the whistle on one manager’s harassing behavior, to only end up being pegged a “trouble maker” by immediate management. Or being subject of bullying by colleagues, promoted, endorsed, supported, investigated, documented with a black mark on personal profile within a company and doomed career opportunities.

A safe haven

I caught a short segment on Dr. OZ with Megyn Kelly earlier in the week and it resounded with me because of the train of thought I exuded by helping this individual get the story out. My indignity at the person’s poor treatment by their company was what got my keys clicking and clacking.

To Megyn’s question to anyone paying attention: is your company providing a safe haven for its employees?  When it comes to any form of harassment, it becomes a great deal more complicated when every form of bullying or social expression requires an encyclopedia or book og guidelines. But the question is direct and clear: how do you treat your employees? This is a loud commentary on how safe is your work environment for its employees?

Ethics and codes

I haven’t been party to formulating a corporate code of conduct or ethical guide, I should add. However, I’ve certainly signed off many times in my career.  I opinionate and conclude that even the best intentions go haywire.

Beliefs and values

Most organizations are intricate in detail on how employees conduct themselves on site, off hours and online seem to be muddled. Yet the core responsibility, in my opinion, lies with a company providing a safe environment to which they owe employees who work for them.

The subject matters are varied and how companies react are the most telling by whether poor treatment, controversial subjects become viral social commentaries, opinions and sharing.

Fine lines merge

What happens when employees’ behavior crosses between what they do while at work and what they do with their own private lives? It is becoming a challenge I’m sure, to determine when an employee’s corporate responsibility stops and starts now that it has become easier to express oneself through social means, blogging and posting. What a mess?

Affairs, cheating, harassment

What is the difference? Companies do protect their employees to a great extent on sexual harassment. However, there are other areas that cross personal values and beliefs that seem to be grey. 

Bullying

In the workplace, having a mean boss has been around for years. Think Scrooge’s treatment of his dedicated long-term employee, Bob Cratchit. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

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Bob Cratchit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim as depicted in the 1870s by Fred Barnard

First appearanceA Christmas Carol 1843Created by Charles Dickens

Robert “Bob” Cratchit is a fictional character in the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol. The abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge, Cratchit has come to symbolize poor working conditions, especially long working hours.[1]

According to a comment by his wife, Cratchit works for 15 shillings a week at a rate of three pence (“thruppence”) an hour for 60 hours per week. Until the decimalization of the British Pound in 1971, one shilling was twelve pence. Thus, fifteen shillings is 180 pence. It would take 60 hours to earn 180 at a rate of three pence per hour.[2] In terms of 2015 purchasing power, this would be approximately £63.00[3] or about $94 US per week.

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Imagine the outcry if Cratchit were to find an empathetic media outlet to tell his story today: without a doubt, to me anyhow, it would create a storm of viral fuel, diagnosed, discussed, dissected and opinionated for sure. (Remember public outcry over an employee’s challenge to her company CEO’s treatment of her? On MEDIUM).

Yet, the bullying part of Scrooge’s treatment of Cratchit is more accepted than most of us would be willing to admit.

Perhaps there IS a fine line between harassment and bullying after all. Remove “sexual” it becomes more normalized and less controversial today. Why is that? 

Work affairs and cheating 

Is an area that is vague and a cesspool that most companies stay far removed from. It is tempting to try to police employees conduct outside the work place and many do so with guidelines, policies and disciplinary measures when it comes to those who struggle with addiction, blast their boss or company in their private time through self-expression on social media.

That may be because the company’s intent is to protect its reputation, brand and shareholder value, which can deteriorate the financial health of the organization.  Or most would demonstrate that they find it a risk.

But what about the company’s responsibility for providing a safe working environment for its employees?  Definitely, there are growing best practices on Emergency Response, and even rehearsals in real time on a terrorist threat. That is a physical example of providing a safe workplace. But what about emotional well being?

Emotional safety

Most allow staff to honor their religious beliefs in most places, by allowing the wearing of turbans or hijab as demonstrative of their faith. That is, unless it is a police department or situation where policies adapt to interpretation of safety. 

For instance, in Canada, there have been stories where RCMP were originally prevented from wearing a turban instead of the traditional uniform that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are identified by. Another instance, was when then Prime Minister of Canada became embroiled in controversy when he tried to mandate that women remove their hijab during Canadian citizenship swearing in ceremonies.

For every seed of controversy remains a grain of belief in these scenarios.

So how many religions, ethical guidelines, or values say it is okay to cheat on your spouse? We know there are bigamy societies that allow it (reference this week’s story on young Canadian girls being migrated to the US to become young brides).

Yet, if you ask most reasonable people, who hold themselves accountable for their own behavior, place the blame on their own shoulders if they were to lapse to poor judgement, that agree that cheating on your spouse is simply not okay.

Unless you’ve been the victim of such affairs, it is difficult to relate to the destruction that it can cause. Yet on the balance beam of right and wrong, it leans far over to the wrong. Very few people would agree that it is permissible and allowed under the sanctimony of marriage vows. And that is not a religious statement. It is a value statement.

Both my now husband and myself were subjects of spouses who cheated on us with someone they work with. We both would agree how emotionally destructive that it was to all involved.  In both situations, it was handled differently by the employers where the matter happened.

Gender is not specific here. It is caused and can happen to either gender of spouse: husband or wife. Yet the downward spiral that it causes does spill over to the work environment, destroys families, splits apart children who, if given the choice, would not have to be forced to make a choice between either parent. 

It can cause a tailspin of gossip and distract a great many people. Yet it is something that few companies want to approach: should cheaters at work get an automatic pass? But what about creating a safe, value-based, environment for work?

I suppose it won’t be forced into discussion until a strong journalist, with quality beliefs and convictions that the behavior is wrong, writes or talks about it on the media. 

Granted, we are not stuck in the 50s where home means mom stays at home to make the bacon while dad goes to work to bring home the bacon. The roles have blurred and merged. 

I just don’t believe that allowing an atmosphere of cheating should be continued. Like Megyn said so well: it is your company’s responsibility to provide you with an encouraging atmosphere (bully and harassment free) and value driven culture (where cheating is added to the behavior that is not condoned or ignored).  But, most of all, safe.

What do you think? 

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ABOUT THE HIJAB (Source: Arabs in America)

Women > Veiling > What is the Hijab and Why do Women Wear it?

Hijab is referred to by various names, some of the most common of which are a veil or a headscarf. Most Muslims who wear the covering call it a hijab (حجاب), an Arabic word meaning “cover.” However, there are various forms of hijab that are referred to by different names. While hijab is commonly associated with women, Muslim men also sometimes wear a head covering as a means of showing modesty. Additionally, Christian and Jewish women in some traditions wear a headscarf as a cultural practice or commitment to modesty or piety.

Find out more about the History of the Hijab.

What are the various kind of hijab?

Image by Kalashe

Hijab ( حجاب): The first type of hijab that is most commonly worn by women in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear. This form of hijab is most commonly referred to as hijab.

Shayla: The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf that is wrapped loosely around the head and tucked or pinned at the shoulders. Like the hijab and al-amira, this form of hijab covers the head but often leaves the neck and face clear.

Khimar ( خمار): The khimar is a long, cape-like scarf that is wrapped around the head and hangs to the middle of the back. This type of hijab covers the head, neck, and shoulders, but leaves the face clear.

Chador ( تشادر): The chador is a long cloak that covers a woman’s entire body. Like the khimar, the chador wraps around the head, but instead of hanging just to the middle of back, the chador drapes to a woman’s feet.

Niqāb ( نقاب): The niqab is a face-covering that covers the mouth and nose, but leaves the eyes clear. It is worn with an accompanying khimar or other form of head scarf.

Burqa ( برقع ): The burqa covers the entire face and body, leaving a small mesh screen through which the woman can see through.

Why do women wear hijab?

Muslim women choose to wear the hijab or other coverings for a variety of reasons. Some women wear the hijab because they believe that God has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. For these women, wearing hijab is a personal choice that is made after puberty and is intended to reflect one’s personal devotion to God. In many cases, the wearing of a headscarf is often accompanied by the wearing of loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing, also referred to as hijab.

While some Muslim women do not perceive the hijab to be obligatory to their faith, other Muslim women wear the hijab as a means of visibly expressing their Muslim identity (Haddad, et al, 2006). In the United States, particularly since 9/11, the hijab is perceived to be synonymous with Islam. Some Muslim women choose to appropriate this stereotype and wear the hijab to declare their Islamic identity and provide witness of their faith. Unfortunately this association has also occasionally resulted in the violent assaults of Muslim women wearing hijab.

While most Muslim women wear the hijab for religious reasons, there are other Arab or Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab as an expression of their cultural identity. By wearing the hijab, Muslim women hope to communicate their political and social alliance with their country of origin and challenge the prejudice of Western discourses towards the Arabic-speaking world (Zayzafoon, 2005). In many cases, the wearing of the hijab is also used to challenge Western feminist discourses which present hijab-wearing women as oppressed or silenced.

 The writer of this article is neither naming nor alluding to the guilt of any particular organization, company or corporation. It is solely an opinion and discussion launched by writing.  It is not an endorsement of any traits or expression of acceptance about the subject reflected upon herein.

A struggle won is a triumph

A struggle won is a triumph

Like most of us at the tail end of Baby Boomers while being drowned out by Millennials, we’re trying to get ahead.  Achieve success, notoriety or acclaim.  Subsidize our career choices with our inner voices.  To help others, to help ourselves.  To exhaust our demons by writing and exhuming scars that life has left on our brains.

Confidence or competence

A struggling battle between what we want to express and be appreciated for our words.  So many of us write to right the struggles we have fought, the wars we have lost, the lessons we have learned.

Gratitude is a pitiful compensation

We appreciate the acknowledgement by others who are in chained to the common goal:  of being paid for our words.  What a steep mountain we all climb.  

An investment of our spirit

To rattle the consciousness among the crowded noise.  Who really embraces our words?  Often many.  A quiet whisper from the din of others trying to accomplish the same outcome:  to be paid for casting our soul out to the masses.  Wondering who will hear us?

Pushing water uphill

Like trying to have a bucket big enough to catch a waterfall.  We’re not journalists or authors.  Yet our yearning to be among the best.  Clambering for a like to encourage us to write more.

To find meaning

Or mean something to someone in our musings.  Not a book author or a magazine pen, we scrawl and scrape our hearts out.  Wishing for a pittance of coin.

Thank you among the many

Who have wandered to this blog and scratched a like or a follow from the many options at our disposal.  You champion encouragement.  Give meaning to this scribe.

Gratitude is richness

It doesn’t cost a thing.   Keeping spirits attuned to the marvel of comfort that appreciation  is free.  If it is the only thing you are renowned for, it is the best we can offer.  It goes without notice when many would rather rant and rave.  

Quieten the ego

For the ego has no place in the sanctuary of sharing knowledge, helping others be better than they’d dream.  We can rise above the corruption, violence, pornography of so many empty souls.

Listen to the music

There is poetry for our souls.  We are who we pay attention to.  We celebrate art over admiration.  The beauty is there for us to grasp and hold on to.  That is our compensation for staying within our strong morals and relevant treasures.

stand-out