Monday, November 21, 2016

Analysis and Overview of the Poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

In this poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop what literally occurs is that the speaker proposes that some things are essentially intended to be lost and that losing them should not be taken so seriously. She claims that we become accustomed to loss by working with little things like “door keys” or “the hour badly spent” (line 5), so that when considerable losses happen we will be prepared for it. Also, as the poem progresses it shifts to more significant losses.

The theme of the poem addresses that losing love or friendship is truly difficult to cope with.

The speaker can be characterized as old, wise, and full of experiences in life. This can be inferred because she has obviously lived in many different places and has traveled much due to the fact that she’s “lost two cities” and once “owned two rivers, a continent” (lines 13-14). The speaker’s tone towards the subject of loss is detached because she truly understands within her heart how awful loss feels. This tone becomes conceivable at the end of the poem for it ends with the words “like disaster” (line 19).

The poem’s auditory quality is euphonious, harmonious, and pleasant. This effect is produced by words containing long vowels and soft consonants such as “master” and “fluster” and “vaster”. Also, a device that creates the pleasing sound of the poem is rhyme words such as “intent” and “spent”.

The structure of this poem consists of the villanelle form. It comprises of nineteen lines split up into six stanzas. Three lines are in all the stanzas except the last. The last stanza contains four lines. Furthermore, the rhyme scheme is very particular. All the lines in the poem follow only two end rhymes -either “master” or “intent”. The meter of the poem seems to be in a very loose form of iambic pentameter for each line contains either ten or eleven syllables in which every other syllable is stressed.

One observable device is the repetition of materialism visible through “door keys” (line 5) and a “mother’s watch” (line 10) that are lost. Its presence is most notably in the first four stanzas of the poem. This device functions to develop the theme that addresses the unimportance of losing material possessions.

The motif of loss is a perceivable device in this poem that is displayed from top to bottom. Loss is observable through lost time in which “the hour was badly spent” to lost love (line 5). This device produces a sorrowful tone because the speaker is being sarcastic when she says “the art of losing’s not too hard to master” (line 18).

Another observable device is irony. It becomes apparent within the last stanza when the speaker says that “it’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master” (line 18). This is ironic because it’s the opposite of what Bishop feels. Irony functions to characterize Bishop as having a hard time acknowledging the pain of her loss, even to herself. She’s incompetent in coping with true sentimental loss for it “may look like disaster” (line 19).

Diction is another device that is observable. It is visible throughout the entire book. Bishop chooses many words very particularly such as the phrase in lines two and three where she beautifully states that “many things seem filled with the intent/ to be lost that their loss is no disaster”. Diction produces an outstanding effect by making the poem appear very conversational and almost effortless.

A final observable device in this poem is the motif of art, which is utilized as a means of depicting and describing loss. This art of loss is one that is undoubtedly “too hard to master” (line 18) for no matter how practiced we become at the “art of losing”, we will never really be ready for losses, which will always seem “like disaster” (line 19). The motif of art functions as a means of bearing with loss for Bishop, because she compels herself to face her losses by writing them down.

Sources: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

Tags:Analysis and Overview of the Poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

7 Pieces of Technology I Can't Live Without

1. Smartphone

A couple of times I left the house without my phone. I felt crippled for that brief moment I realized my phone was not with me. What if something happened? What if I missed an email, needed to look up data, text someone? What if? Well, I know I’m not the only person who feels if you take away their smartphone for even a few hours, they wouldn’t know what to do with their mind, let alone their fingers.

For years I used a Blackberry Pearl and then the Storm, to push my emails so I was always on top of things and had contact with whomever and able to respond quickly. This was important as a realtor and as a social worker, as I could reply to issues and possibly prevent other problems by being proactive. In addition to texting, pushing emails, and taking pictures, I wanted or needed the ability to access the web at any time I chose.

2. Laptop Computer

PC preferred as it works best with most web based software programs for work and business applications. However I also have a MacBook, just in case the PC went down. Now I have one large 17 inch Dell laptop for my daily computer use, one 12.1 inch Dell laptop for travel, and one 13.3 inch MacBook cause my Dell kept crashing until my husband wiped the hard drive of Windows Vista and install XP for Professionals. Life is good now.

3. Wireless Internet Card

I now have a Droid X. Primarily because I wanted to save the sixty dollars my service provider charged for the separate internet card I used to connect from anywhere on my laptop. I can’t live without the ability to connect my laptop to a wireless connection. Sure there are free Wi-Fi hotspots here and there. The reason I got the Droid X was not only because it’s a cool toy and does more than the Blackberry Storm did, but because it could be its own Wi-Fi hotspot and it’s cheaper than spending 60 bucks a month for a separate air card.

4. Camera on My Smartphone

I use this to send pictures for all sorts of things. From capturing a moment that I want to share on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or for an article I’m writing and I didn’t have my regular camera. I can go to the store and ask my husband if he wanted a something by sending him a photo of it to be sure, instead of going all the way home to find out I purchased the wrong item. I still prefer my stand alone digital camera for vacation and scenic shots, however the Droid X has 8 megapixels.

5. Digital Camera

To record and document family memories, to the use for business in real estate and expressing a well written article, I can’t live without my Panasonic Lumix 10x Optical zoom digital camera. The ability to capture movies is priceless. Now we can take and edit our own photos like professional with free software, and we can create and share our movies to for the world to see. I will always have a digital camera because it usually has more features and zoom capability then any Smart Phone, however my Droid X has a higher megapixel then my now Panasonic DMC-TZ4 with wide lens (which works great for real estate agents). I believe my family would agree, our lives wouldn’t be the same without the memories our digital camera has allowed us to share and keep for years to come.

6. Software and Applications

I can’t live without: MS Word, take all my software off my laptop and leave me with a current version of MS Word and a non-crashing Internet Explorer browser and I could do my work without ever leaving home. Along with an internet connection by phone or wireless connection, where were we before the internet?

7. GPS Navigational System

If I had to drive cross country or just around the city I live in, I don’t think I’d get very far. My idea of fun is not looking at my laptop or a piece of paper; it would have taken so much longer. The GPS in your car or on your phone is best if you have a Droid, which has Google maps which is updated with the most current streets, exits, and routes.

I used the GPS in my car in Hawaii, even though I was born and raised on the island of Oahu, there are still some routes and locations I need to look up. As a home health social worker life was much easier finding patient’s homes by looking at the GPS and hearing the tones to take a turn, then looking down at a piece of paper or a map.

After moving from Hawaii to Orlando, FL – picking my car up in Los Angeles and driving cross country would have been possible, but why bother going without one of the best pieces of affordable technology, since the cell phone.

If I Could Only Have One Toy

If I could only have one piece of technology it currently would be my Droid X Smart Phone. Now, you can get your cell phone, camera, video recorder, voice recorder, GPS voice navigational system, and mini-computer – all in one device, the smart phone is by far my most indispensible piece of technology that I can’t live without!

Tags:7 Pieces of Technology I Can’t Live Without

5 Financial Tips to Help Travelers Prepare for when Danger and Natural Disasters Strike Overseas

The civil unrest in Libya and Egypt and the tsunami in Japan are tragic examples of the unexpected dangers faced when traveling abroad. Whether you are a career expat or taking that long planned trip around the world, when sudden events cause a country to plunge into chaos and instability to the point where the infrastructure of the country, including the banking system is impaired, the financial lives of all those living overseas is impacted.

In Libya and Egypt, not only was the internet shut down periodically, but also cell phone service was sporadic, and in parts of Egypt, banks were closed for several days. Forget trying to access Facebook, Twitter or Skype. How do you conduct banking activities without phone or internet service? Also, if banks are closed for days, ATMs begin to run out of money as customers hoard cash and the central bank and money suppliers can’t make deliveries. It’s not hard to imagine what it is like trying to find a bank or ATM in Sendai, Japan and other areas in Japan that have been literally washed away.

However, in the backdrop of this chaos, life goes on. In other parts of the world it is business as usual. Tuition needs to be paid. Mortgages are due. Financial obligations must be taken care of.

These 5 financial tips can help travelers financially prepare for when danger and catastrophe suddenly strike.

1. Cash is and always will be King – Although most citizens of developed countries depend heavily on credit cards and cash in the form of plastic (ATM/Debit cards), most citizens of emerging, underdeveloped countries are underbanked and don’t always have access to banks. Also, in some cultures it is a negative to be in debt so they are less likely to embrace credit. These countries and their citizens still operate on a primarily cash basis.

Keeping a supply of cash on hand in the local currency as well as a mix of other, readily convertible currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling can help you secure hard to come by necessities such as food, water and personal hygiene items.

2. Keep a bank account outside the host country where you are living. Often when people move to another country they assume they will never again need a bank account in their home country and sever all ties and close all bank accounts. If you lead a global lifestyle and travel frequently, it is probably not a good idea to keep all your money in one country.

Have a bank account in another country that you can either access remotely (via internet or phone, when it becomes available) or enlist someone you trust as a joint account holder or signer on the account so they can access the money for you in an emergency. It does not have to be a large sum of money, just enough to buy a plane ticket and pay for expenses until you can plan your next step.

Also, having a multi-currency account is ideal as having access to more than one currency is beneficial especially once global financial markets start to fluctuate wildly as they often do after widespread civil unrest and a catastrophic event. HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Everbank and Barclays offer multi-currency accounts.

3. Build a toolbox of financial solutions. Having only cash or only credit cards can be a singular solution for a perilous, multi faceted emergency situation. At a minimum your toolbox should include several financial solutions:

Debit/ATM cards

Credit Cards

Pre-Paid Cards – Banks and non-banks are offering pre-paid debit and credit cards. Travelex offers the Cash Passport TM a reloadable travel money card available in various currencies.

Virtual Credit Card Some banks have offered these for years, but due to an increase in fraud and identity theft, they are gaining in popularity. A virtual credit card eliminates the need for having a physical card and is ideal for online transactions.

Don’t forget the less obvious financial solutions like Pay Pal and Western Union. A pay pal account will allow you to send and receive money and make payments online with a valid email address and can be attached to a bank account or credit card. Western Union is available in over 300,000 locations worldwide and you can also send and receive money online and in person.

Also don’t abandon your checkbook because you move overseas. Although becoming obsolete, checks are still recognized as a negotiable instrument. A check drawn on a global bank with branches in several countries might come in handy. True, transaction fees for exchange and clearing might be a bit steep, but an emergency is not the time to haggle over banking fees.

In some cases, even keeping a supply of Gold can be helpful, as in some regions of the world, especially South East Asia and the Middle East, Gold is easily exchanged.

4 . Make sure to fund your exit strategy pre-departure. Before embarking on any trip overseas, your exit strategy should be well funded and thought out in advance. Always have your own financial resources available to execute your exit strategy for leaving your host country. Even if you are working for a company or part of a study abroad program, don’trely solely on your employer, school or government.

Post 9/11, most companies have a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) as part of their corporate policy. Your company’s primary goal will be to execute this plan effectively and monitor daily operations. Use your own financial resources to allow for flexibility to make decisions for you and your family’s well being and security that best suits your needs.

Having travel insurance is essential, but make sure you are also enrolled in a plan with a crisis response company that can provide travel, security, medical and evacuation services, and if necessary repatriation of mortal remains. These organizations are usually staffed with medical and security personnel who have military backgrounds and are experienced in responding to disasters and medical emergencies on a large global scale. Most of these companies offer corporate and indivual plans for travelers, students, retirees and others not attached to a corporation. According to press reports, Global Rescue and On Call International are some of the companies that have provided advice and assistance on evacuating people from Egypt and Japan.

5 . Invest your money wisely. Usually travelers tend to operate on two speeds. Luxury or Budget. Try being extravagant but frugal. Invest in products and services that can help save your life and can provide comfort and access to the outside world. One of the best investments you can make is in technology. A satellite phone is a useful alternative when landlines and cellular service is not available. A two way radio, if permissible in your host country is a good option to have as well. A digital camera is not only for taking vacation photos, it can also be used for snapping pictures of signs in foreign languages to send via text and email in case you are stranded in area you are not familiar with. A portable scanner is useful if you need to upload receipts, pictures and important documents. For securing passwords and other sensitive data, ITunes sells a number of IPhone apps with some offering encryption as added protection.

Tags:5 Financial Tips to Help Travelers Prepare for when Danger and Natural Disasters Strike Overseas

A Day at Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida

Vacationing to Disney World in Orlando, FL is a dream come true for many children and adults. A day at Magic Kingdom can be a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience or a Nightmare on Main Street. The key is proper advance planning. I’ll guide you through a suggested one-day itinerary for Magic Kingdom and provide insider tips on how to experience some extra magic along the way.

Plan Ahead Six Months to One Year

The best Disney vacation tip I can give is to plan ahead. While I do not expect you to follow a minute-by-minute itinerary, I do suggest doing some research to figure out which attractions / characters / rides you absolutely must see and plan your day around those activities.

For meal planning, especially character meals, you will need reservations. Just go online to Disney’s dining reservations or call (407) WDW-DINE to book a reservation at any of the Disney restaurants. Disney accepts reservations up to one year in advance. Trust me, book as early as possible.

There are so many things to see and do that it can be sensory overload for even the most seasoned travelers. Let me start by saying this: There is absolutely no way you can see everything at Magic Kingdom in one day. Once you face this reality, you will be able to enjoy every minute of the time you do have without worrying about all the things you did not get to see. Now let’s see how much we can get done in one day.

Extra Magic Hours

If staying on Disney property, you have the advantage of being able to enter the park early and/or stay late by using Morning Magic Hours or Evening Magic Hours. During these specially designated times, guests of Walt Disney World Resorts can experience extra time in the parks before official park opening and after official park closing.

Use extra magic hours to experience shorter line queues for popular rides or to slow your pace later while much of the crowd clears out of the park. Extra magic hours vary based on day and time of year, so check the Calendar page of the official Magic Kingdom website for your travel time.

Are You Ready? Let’s Go!

Start your day early. Get up early and grab a quick breakfast at your hotel-just something to hold you over for a couple of hours. Arrive at Magic Kingdom about 30 minutes before opening. (If morning magic hours begins at 7:00 a.m., arrive at 6:30). I know this may sound crazy to those of you who are not “morning people,” but trust me, if you want to see as much as you can in one day, this is the way to do it.

As you maneuver through Magic Kingdom, keep in mind the layout of the park. Here is a map of Magic Kingdom to help you. Go ahead and right click the link to open it in another tab. I’ll wait.

Do you see how the park is laid out like a wheel? Cinderella’s Castle is the hub and the different “lands” are spokes in the wheel. Most people enter Magic Kingdom and start out to the right and work their way around the park in a sequential manner (I don’t know why, they just do). We are not going to do that. We are going to be rebels and fight the flow! This should lead to shorter wait times for many of the most popular attractions.

Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland

As soon as you arrive at Magic Kingdom, resist the urge to run to Cinderella’s Castle and go straight to Fantasyland directly behind the castle. Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant right away, as the queue for this ride fills up quickly and lasts all day.

Do not get distracted by the excitement on Main Street U.S.A.-you will have plenty of time for that later. The key is to head toward the back of the park while everyone else is in the front. Start at the back and work your way to the front, and you will experience (relatively) shorter wait times than most visitors.

After Dumbo, explore the rest of Fantasyland and Mickey’s Toontown Fair until your breakfast reservation. In Fantasyland, ride with Cinderella on Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel. Journey to the 100 Acre Wood on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Race Captain Hook to Neverland on The Flight of Peter Pan. Take a spin on the Mad Tea Party.

Magic Kingdom: Mickey’s Toontown Fair

Just to the right of Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown Fair is the place to meet the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Goofy), Disney Princesses, and Disney Fairies. Walk through Mickey and Minnie’s houses, ride Goofy’s kid-friendly roller coaster, and get wet on Donald’s Boat.

Meet and greet times in the Toontown Hall of Fame vary, so check out this Magic Kingdom Live Entertainment website for the latest schedules (click the red Magic Kingdom link at the top of the page). Your children will be thrilled to meet Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Belle and have their picture taken with them. Keep in mind characters may vary.

Magic Kingdom: Main Street U.S.A.

Come back around Cinderella’s Castle to Main Street U.S.A. As its name implies, Main Street U.S.A. is representative of small town America at the turn of the century, dotted with shops, bakeries and an ice cream parlor.

But save your stroll down Main Street to wind down after a long day of rides and attractions. And don’t forget to stop at the Chapeau Hat Shoppe for your personalized mouse ears. For now, let’s get some breakfast.

The Crystal Palace, located across from Cinderella’s Castle offers one of the most popular character meals in Magic Kingdom. Don’t even think about trying to get in without a reservation. This is a fantastic character experience featuring Winnie the Pooh and his friends from the 100 Acre Wood. Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore make their rounds to each table for hugs, photos and autographs. (When booking your reservation, be sure to mention any special occasion you may be celebrating for some extra magic!)

The Crystal Palace buffet features standard breakfast fare such as scrambled eggs, omelets, bacon and sausage, but also has the scrumptious Mickey waffles you can only get at Disney World. The price (at the time of this writing) is $20.99 for adults and $11.99 for children ages 3-9. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, it will use one table service credit for each person.

Magic Kingdom: Bibbidi Bobbibi Boutique

After breakfast, walk over to Cinderella’s Castle and check in for your appointment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Every little girl dreams of being a princess, and at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that dream comes true. Enter a magical boutique where your little princess will be primped and pampered by her very own Fairy Godmother-in-Training.

There are several makeover packages available, from $49.95 to $189.95. The Coach Package includes hair and make-up. The Crown Package includes hair, make-up and nails. The Castle Package includes the Crown Package plus the Imaging Package. This royal treatment includes photos in special holders and a full costume of your choice complete with accessories. (Keep in mind, you can always bring your own princess costume to wear in the park.)

Don’t worry, your little prince won’t be left out! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers a Cool Dudes Package for $7.50 and includes colored hair gel and confetti. (All prices are subject to applicable taxes.)

A PhotoPass photographer is also on hand to capture every moment of the transformation. Of course, you are free to take as many of your own pictures as you like. For more information on PhotoPass, visit Stitch Kingdom’s Definitive Guide to Disney’s PhotoPass.

After the makeovers are complete, head over to City Hall (near the entrance to Magic Kingdom) for a complimentary photo shoot by a PhotoPass photographer.

Magic Kingdom: Adventureland

Ready, rebels? Mosey on over to Adventureland (turn left-not right!-at the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse as you head up Main Street, but before you get to the castle) and take in the sites in this western-themed land.

Ride the Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, or the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Shake hands with Captain Hook or climb the Swiss Family Treehouse. Enjoy an air-conditioned break while taking in the Enchanted Tiki Room show.

Now might be a good time to grab a bite for lunch. Why not head stop in for a burger at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café?

Magic Kingdom: Frontierland

Continuing around to the left, the timing should be just about right to head over to Frontierland in time for the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade. The parade runs between Town Square on Main Street U.S.A. and Frontierland. The crowds won’t be as big in Frontierland than near Cinderella’s Castle, so use this to your advantage.

As soon as the parade ends, get a FastPASS for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then go ride Splash Mountain. Ride multiple times if the lines are not too long. Then switch to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and ride as many times as you can.

Magic Kingdom: Liberty Square

Next as we travel around the Magic Kingdom wheel (to the left, remember?) is Liberty Square. One of my favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom is the Haunted Mansion ride in Liberty Square. To pass the time as you wait in line, check out the names on the headstones. They are sure to give a giggle or two.

Magic Kingdom: Tomorrowland

Now we are going to break all the rules and just cut across the whole park, past Cinderella’s Castle, to Tomorrowland. By now the throng of visitors who entered with you this morning are somewhere between Frontierland and Adventureland, unless, of course, they are still waiting in line to ride Dumbo.

Although Tomorrowland probably changes the most out of all the Magic Kingdom lands, a long-time favorite that remains is Space Mountain. Possibly a little tame to diehard coaster fans, Space Mountain is sure to get a rush out of most riders.

For a respite from the heat, hop into the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor for an interactive comedy show that will have you rolling in the aisles. You may even become part of the show! Older kids and adults will enjoy Stitch’s Great Escape, but smaller children may be frightened. There is also a 40″ minimum height requirement.

Finally, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a blast for guests of all ages. One of the latest additions to Magic Kingdom, this ride puts you right in the middle of the action as you try to stop the evil emperor Zurg. You score points for hitting targets and can compete against your seatmates to see who scores the highest.

Now that you’ve visited all of the lands in Magic Kingdom, take that stroll down Main Street U.S.A. for some shopping. Did you remember to get your mouse ears at the Chapeau Hat Shoppe? Don’t worry, we’ll be back after dinner in case you forgot.

Wilderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon Café

For dinner, book a reservation at the Whispering Canyon Café, one of my favorites for kids. Take the boat from Magic Kingdom to the Wilderness Lodge and enjoy a fun (albeit loud) time.

The menu at Whispering Canyon Café includes typical BBQ fare including ribs, steak, pot roast, and meatloaf. Entrees prices run from $18.99 to $28.99 for adults. Children ages 3-9 enjoy an appetizer, entrée and dessert for just $8.99. They also offer an all-you-can-eat Canyon Skillet for $26.99 per person.

For some extra magic, have your kids ask for ketchup, wear a non-Disney t-shirt (perhaps Universal Studios?), chew some gum, or tell the server their straw is not long enough. Sit back and watch the fun!

Magic Kingdom: SpectroMagic Parade and Wishes Fireworks

After dinner, take the boat back to Magic Kingdom for the SpectroMagic Parade followed by the Wishes Fireworks show. Show times vary, so be sure to check my favorite Magic Kingdom Live Entertainment website mentioned earlier. (Also, the names and/or themes of the parade and fireworks may change periodically.)

By now, you and your group should be thoroughly exhausted. Head back to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep. After all, tomorrow is another day!

Remember, the key to getting the most out of your day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is by planning ahead. Follow my tips and have a magical trip! Then come back and leave me a comment to tell me how much fun you had!

For more Disney travel tips, read Top Ten Websites for Planning a DisneyWorld Vacation, Top Ten Insider Tips for Visiting DisneyWorld, and A Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For other topics from this author, go to Cindy Coulter’s profile page.


Personal experience

Tags:A Day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida

5 Steps for Managers to Deal with Sexual Harassment

Nearly all managers will deal with sexual harassment claims among their employees at some point. Unfortunately many companies fail to train managers in this area until it’s too late. To help alleviate this deficiency I explained some less apparent cases in a previous article. To follow up, listed here are five steps managers can use to deal with sexual harassment claims. Keep in mind these apply better in larger companies with HR representatives. Still, there are points here all managers can use.

#1 – Never make light of sexual harassment claims. It’s not uncommon for people to think a given circumstance could never be considered sexual harassment. But this is subjective and isn’t valid from a victim’s viewpoint. Managers should always listen attentively and ask questions to insure there’s no misunderstanding of events. Not only will this give the information needed, but engaging with an employee in this manner shows both respect and concern; two things victims of sexual harassment need.

Managers should reassure the employee that he’ll work on the issue immediately. Also, tell the employee not to repeat to anyone what was discussed, and inform them the only people to learn of it are those in the company helping to resolve the problem.

# 2 – Document everything. Sexual harassment is a very serious legal accusation and managers will need to keep details within easy access. Managers should write dates, names, conversations, events, and locations. Don’t wait until after an employee leaves the office. Document everything as an employee speaks.

Sexual harassment also requires confidentiality. Don’t show documentation to anyone who doesn’t absolutely have to know. Human resource representatives will need the information as well as a manager’s boss, but that’s about it.

# 3 – Initiate an investigation immediately. Although it can’t be taken lightly, neither should an employee’s claim be taken at face value. There’s nearly always more to a story than what one person says. Claims may be false. On the other hand, it could indicate a major problem exists among employees. Either way, managers have no choice but to pursue the matter wherever it leads.

Managers may learn during the course of an investigation that several employees are victims of sexual harassment and just haven’t said anything. A sexual culture may have developed under the radar. Or, sexual harassment may not be the worse that’s going on and managers might discover sexual assault of one employee against others.

Strictly adhere to company policies. Generally, frontline managers take part but don’t lead investigations of this nature.

# 4 – Hurry deliberately. It’s an oxymoron but still holds true. Even though managers have to deal with sexual harassment right away, they also have to speak with everyone named, whether participants or witnesses. Each interview should have its own documentation and, even though facts become redundant as more employees present their view, document each separately. Some may have to be interviewed more than once as circumstances become known. Communicate with human resources and actively seek their advice.

Managers are hurrying in that they’re addressing the problem right away, but are also advancing deliberately to include anything related.

# 5 – Follow through when the sexual harassment investigation is done. After all is said and done, one or more employees will require discipline. If someone is guilty of sexual harassment they must suffer the consequences. If the claims turn out to be false, then that has to be dealt with as well.

Part of following through a sexual harassment investigation is providing information about counseling. Good employers have pamphlets and contact information for services that help workers deal with issues that sexual harassment creates. Formal training of an entire work team may be necessary to prevent sexual harassment in the future.

For training there are professional resources available. Human resources and training departments can guide managers or even provide sexual harassment training and materials. A serious problem has occurred, but it’s also an opportunity to help employees understand what sexual harassment is. It may even help in their personal lives away from work

These five steps for managers to deal with sexual harassment are general. Always discuss procedure and policy with your own boss and human resources department. Managers are faced with a very sticky situation with sexual harassment and it may even lead to court. But managers who deal with sexual harassment claims thoroughly and in a timely manner will solve the problem.

And with good follow through, can help prevent sexual harassment from happening among their employees again.

Source: Personal experience.

Note: The author is not a lawyer or an expert in sexual harassment legal issues. He is writing from his training and years of experience as a manufacturing supervisor. This article is meant to provide guidance and information only.

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A Response to Jean-Paul Sartre's Statement Stating We Are "Condemned to Be Free"

In the essay “Existentialism” by Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most pioneering philosophers of his time defends his thought process against doubts brought on through misinterpretation by Communists, secular religions, and the common person. It is in this piece that Sartre writes his famous phrase stating that we are “condemned to be free.” He goes on to explain that man is condemned “because he did not create himself” and free “because, once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” While in agreement with most of the statements Sartre makes in his piece I feel that in his statement, “condemned to be free,” he expresses a lack of appreciation of life itself. The phrase infers that Sartre feels that creating mankind is a burden rather than a gift.

The meaning of the statement “Man is condemned to be free” (Sartre, 350) has been discussed for many years. Though only Sartre knows his true intention, there are many plausible ides as to the statement’s meaning. The most debatable aspect of the idea lies within the word “condemned.” The word itself has many different meanings, but in this instance Sartre intends it to mean “To pronounce judgment against; sentence.” ( As stated by Sartre, man is condemned, “because he did not create himself.” The sentence that man must serve is that he must accept at first his nothingness and has no saying in when, or why he is thrust into existence. At the same time man is free because once he has come into being, every choice that there is to make he must make, and is solely responsible for doing so. The freedom that Sartre speaks of is not one of liberty or emancipation, but rather the enormity each decision plays in the formation of mankind. As Sartre states in his piece, “And when we say that a man is responsible for himself, we do not only mean that he is responsible for his own individuality, but that he is responsible for all men.” (Sartre, 346) When it is all pieced together Sartre’s main point that he is trying to convey is that we as mankind are sentenced to the punishment of creating ourselves. This notion can be traced back to the main idea of Existentialism that existence precedes essence. Sartre defines this as, “first of all, man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself. ” (Sartre, 344)

Many of the ideas about Existentialism that Sartre addresses I completely agree with. He provides logical answers to some of the most perplexing questions such as “who are we”? Or, “why are we here”? The theory of Existentialism itself is very deep and there is much to sift through, but I believe that Sartre does make a few key points. For instance, his opinion that mankind is only what it wills itself to be is spot on. “Man is nothing else but what he makes himself”…”Man is at the start a plan which is aware of itself, rather than a patch of moss, a piece of garbage, or a cauliflower; nothing exists prior to this plan; there is nothing in heaven; man will be what he will have planned to be.” (Sartre, 345) People oft refer to a life event as being part of “God’s plan”. This statement is a falsity that is needed by some to cope with traumatic events, or obstacles that occur in their lives. As explained by Sartre, there is no script in heaven that determines what happens to mankind. Every decision made my man wills itself towards its own creation. In accordance with this, man is completely responsible for every decision he makes. Sartre makes another assertion that I believe to be completely true. “There is no genius other than one which is expressed in works of art; the genius of Proust is the sum of Proust’s works”…”A man is involved in life, leaves his impress on it, and outside that there is nothing.” (Sartre, 355) All of the wishes and potential that people strive to live up to are meaningless unless fulfilled. Humans tend to take pride in the efforts that go into even a failed attempt.

Though I do agree with many of Sartre’s assertions, I believe that through his saying that man is, “condemned to be free”, he expresses a lack of appreciation of the gift of life. In his piece, Sartre claims that at the beginning of subjectivity man is immediately at anguish due to his struggle to create himself, and in return, mankind. I disagree with Sartre because I believe that at the beginning of subjectivity man is at wonder of the infinite possibilities. Instead of viewing the task of creating mankind as a burden it should be regarded as a privilege, because as far as we know there is no other life form with the intelligence to create its own being. Sartre’s point is that all humans suffer with the fact of creating mankind, and if they are not, they are hiding from their fear. He then goes to give definition to words such as “forlorn” and “despair”, and then chastises those who find Existentialism too gloomy because they are in fact, scared of its optimism. The optimism that he speaks of is that Existentialism tells you that, yes, life it hard but it can be overcome. I believe this logic to be flawed because we are not all suffering from being “condemned to be free”.

Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay Existentialism successfully defends his thought process against charges brought against it. His use of the phrase, “condemned to be free”, infers that he believes the task of creating humanity as an inconvenience rather than a blessing. Sartre wants the reader to believe that Existentialism is not a pessimistic viewpoint, but contradicts himself by using those words. Some of the points that he brings up throughout his piece could prove useful, but his fundamental argument is flawed.

Existentialism, By Jean-Paul Sartre, Bernard Frechtman, Translated by Bernard Frechtman, Published by Philosophical Library, 1947, ISBN 0802214843, 9780802214843, 92 pages

Tags:A Response to Jean-Paul Sartre’s Statement Stating We Are “Condemned to Be Free”

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