Click inside for the weekly business rail, with advice on politics at work, a BBB warning about bed bugs and more. Or check out these links:
Tip of the Week
“In today’s super-charged political climate,” according to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of The Power of Positive Confrontation, “it’s easy to say something that insults your boss, customer or co-worker. People have strong opinions when it comes to politics. Political discussions can quickly and easily escalate into arguments, sometimes heated ones.”
Yet, Pachter acknowledges, it’s hard to avoid discussions as we are being bombarded with political ads day and night. But if you think of the consequences of discussing the following questions, you may not ask them.
1. “Who are you going to vote for?" Do not ask this question! You may get an answer you did not expect or want. Your opinion of that person can be altered, often negatively, if he or she is not voting for your candidate.
2. “Who do you think won the debate?” You and your colleague may have very different opinions about who answered the questions effectively or who looked good behind the podium. Arguing the points will usually not resolve them. If a colleague keeps pushing his/her opinion, you can say, “Let’s agree to disagree.”
3. “How can you possibly vote for … ?”Asking this question is not just commenting on the person’s choice, it is putting the person down. Discussions can quickly become ugly after that.
4. “Don’t you think the candidate’s stance on … is outrageous?” Using strong negative language to discuss an issue can become fighting words to people.
Others may ask these questions of you to draw you into a political discussion. Remember you don’t have to answer every question asked of you. Quickly excuse yourself or change the topic. You can also be assertive and politely tell the person, “I’m uncomfortable discussing this at work. Let’s get back to business.”
For more tips from Pachter, go to www.pachter.com.
According to a recent survey by the Pest Management Association, 95 percent of exterminators had encountered a bed bug infestation in the previous year - compared with only 25 percent of respondents 10 years before. While homes are the most common place for infestations, bedbugs also invade hotels, movie theaters, clothing stores and offices. In the past 12 months the BBB has received 8,761 inquires from consumers about pest control companies.
"When you discover an infestation in your home or business, you want to act quickly and get a professional in there fast," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau. "Despite the urgency of the problem, you still need to do your research and make sure you are enlisting the help of a qualified and trustworthy pest control specialist.”
For more information on hiring home maintenance professionals, visit www.bbb.org.
Here are the safest cities in the U.S., according to a report from Forbes:
1. Plano, Texas
2. Portland, Ore.
3. Honolulu, Hawaii
4. San Jose, Calif.
5. Omaha, Neb.
6. New York City
7. Santa Ana, Calif.
8. Anaheim, Calif.
9. San Diego
10. Glendale, Ariz.
Number to Know
10: Percent that September sales of existing homes were up over August’s numbers, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Sony Walkman will still be sold in the U.S. – for now – but the company is halting sales of the cassette player in Japan.
GateHouse News Service