Up to Snuff #65: Three

Up to Snuff #65: Three
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The woman at the career office said, “I saw something so beautiful and it was a three.”

“Three,” she said, “could be many things she came to realize.” The initial impression reminded her of the delicacy of a PHD degree’s framing or the helm of an advanced degree or curriculum or a book title or a career choice. The three “style” provided excitement, depth and richness to a helm. After a while the exact writing of her initial impression was lost to her, all that she remembered was this delightful three and came to formulate all the ways in which it could be done or recreated in her own context.

The following represents a list of possible “three” or triple formations in a helm design that may be used to guide a writing, curriculum or degree choice or book research or title or career title. The “Triple Formation of a Helm Design” can represent juxtaposition or perspective for example. A Three design may actually get somewhere unique as if looking at distinct aspects and relationships will give you greater definition. Perhaps you have the benefit from a large number, juxtaposition and a small number that takes only a few aspects, as if advanced knowledge requires that you only “take an aspect.” An aspect and some relationships may be ample provision with which to build and craft a major work, for example, don’t try to take the ocean.

Often when a really great “Triple Formation in a Helm Design” arises one may consider applying it to a PHD degree design. For example when writing an APA Research Proposal or an essay sometimes those things can be expanded upon in later research or formal studies, even PHD studies. What is really special and can be delightful is once a three is transferred to a PHD it can then become the title of one’s career overall. The writer of the three may go on to do research, even for his or her whole life under that helm and design curriculum under that umbrella or with that same three.

Three balls are often juggled and one researcher pointed out that very seldom can people remember 5 items, only up to 4; the mind cannot go in too many directions at once. For example, if you were watching fish in a pond, 3 of them and suddenly many fish joined, you could still likely point out your initial 3 fish. Even if you were watching 4 fish, you might struggle, but could likely still point out your initial 4 fish after all the rest of the fish joined. But 5 fish is nearly impossible. Three may not at once seem significant but it represents a distinct and memorable good frame.

When you get deep into research and all of a sudden your three may acquire incredible depth, richness and originality. You may represent a small group of people in the world looking at that specific area. You may then become an authority on a subject in a field and receive grants, fellowships, speaking invitations and professorship. You may use your three to make significant advancements in the world.

If you write a major helm that has three variables or aspects, each aspect can become a chapter or its own book. When looking at the acceleration of knowledge three may be a number representational of advancement. Whether or not one is immediately enchanted with a three or not they may place it in their back pocket in the event they are guided to advance themselves in knowledge or searching for a way and a how. One may use three’s as if a “pocket game,” for scholars. For many, a three may be a PHD’s dress rehearsal.

A one when used in a helm may be naïve and require further development. A one may be so broad you don’t make a point that is precise enough or evidence based enough via research. A one may need specification, or narrowness or aspects. A one may be too general and inappropriate for a research based PHD. A Two when used in a helm may require further precision and honing in on subject matter. A two may require greater dimensionality or also greater development for a research based PHD.

What may also be nice when crafting a three, for use in one’s career, may be to survey pre-existing course helms, in the department in which you wish to teach. A savvy researcher may wish to become part of a family of classes-blend in- and whenever possible have something fresh to offer. Three’s generally turn into classes.

Three’s require cleanliness, maturity and to be academic. Three’s are a nice preface to formal research and inferential writing often associated to later advanced studies and PHD’s.

Where can you use a “Triple Formation in a Helm Design?”
1. PHD Degree Design
2. Advanced Degree
3. Curriculum Design or class
4. Book Research
5. Book title
6. Career Choice
7. An Essay
8. Research Proposal
9. A journalism article
10. Teaching Assignment

How can “Triple Formations in a Helm Design” be structured?
1. Subject, Place, Time Period
2. Perspective 1, Perspective 2, Perspective 3
3. From the World, Nation, and Citizens
4. Art, Culture, Ideas
5. People, Subject, Time Period eg. African Sculpture in 2018
6. Three ideas from the streets of Japan, 1, 2, 3
7. Major Helm 1,2,3, and Variable 1, variable2, variable 3
8. Literature, Poetry and Early Writing Experimentation
9. The Achievement of Quality, Problem Solving and Ethics in the Workplace
10. Subject 1, Subject 2, Juxtaposition

Rents have doubled in the last 3-6 years in Washtenaw County

Rents have doubled in the last 3-6 years in Washtenaw County

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Landlords have been known to come in and buy new properties and want higher and higher rents to increase their profits.  It happened in New York City where there was less ownership and a severely unbalanced economy where the public’s paycheck or where the median income was about $40,000 and the rents on the cheap end were $1600 and all the way sky high up to even $10,000 per month if you rented a pent house.

The point is the economy starts to unbalance when all the greed streams in via rentals and student exploitation and all of a sudden there is a marginalized population that doesn’t make it over the bar who has to either move or becomes homeless.   Washtenaw County  just experienced rapid rent growth in Ypsilanti where a  woman may have rented a $500-$600 apartment 6 years ago and now is faced with lows that are in the thousands-rents have doubled.    One land lady sold her building and right away the new landlord wanted to raise the rents  over and over and never stopped wanting more for the building.

I am appealing to Washtenaw County Leadership, we need to set up an “Office of Fee Inquiry” that sets prices that are fair and in keeping with the economy.  There are now not  affordable rents for students in Ypsilanti. Students have to double up and triple up to afford an apartment.  There are also extremely high rents in Ann Arbor around the University of Michigan.

It is predicted that rents will ruin this county making it unaffordable or unappealing to study and an unbalanced economy may make the poor even poorer.   Most student jobs only pay $8-$10 an hour.  If you look on craigslist at rents and at employment you will see a dramatic difference between low wages and high rents which are incompatible.  Wages didn’t go up, rents doubled. We have a problem with the economy.  In a city like Ypsilanti where rents really should be $300, $400, $500, $600ish-things are $1000, $1050, $1300, $1650.  The average student cannot work full time and even if he did work full time would earn ~$1280 at $8.00 per hour which would suggest he could afford perhaps a $250 or $300 rent. The current housing situation is not realistic.

What happened in New York after rents skyrocketed should really be a lesson for us all.  We need a place that will cap and price rents so that greed does not take over and before things like homelessness start to really become a problem.  We need to place caps and laws on landlords not to ruin our economy.  Washtenaw County is getting ruined.

 

 

 

Invisible President: Leadership Notes and On Distinguishing Yourself as a Leader

Leadership Notes and On Distinguishing Yourself as a Leader

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Achievement of Quality

Problem Solving

Ethics

Human Resources, Team Building/Builder,

Branding, Cultural Branding

Organizational Epistemology

Cleanliness/Hygiene Distinction

Claim to Fame

Technical and Business Writing

Project Management

Big Idea, Big Information

Humanitarianism

Direction/Vision

Health, culture, education

Building path to prosperity, Office of Rivus and Gloria (building distribution channels, franchises, business consulting, restaurant and store supplier, public relations and promotional activity, touring, performance network)

Social Companies (joint ownership with governance, exiting lopsided capitalistic models)

Living Business Models

New Era:  Equanimity, Social, Humanitarian, Merit & Notoriety, Mastership/end of predatory, hierarchal society, classism, capitalism

Planning

Lead back to love, speak and write in positive

Framing and reframing, scaffolding

Penmanship

Research Methodology

Survey Technology

Bias

Creativity

Idea Development

Writing

History, Historical Development

Tops and Bottoms President

Statistics

Well Read, Building a personal library

Setting the tone, Leading by Example, Bars, Creating an environment

Glazing

Notch and Notch

Architectural Planner

A social “net” below to catch those who may be falling

Social System

Promoting Fitness

Teaching Environment, whole people or whole staff eg penmanship

Beauty

Building Wealth

Technology

Training for mistakes, problems and emergencies

Exemplary Training

Research about work

Research about burden

Collecting sadness, pain and suffering for transformation

Creating opportunities

Merit and notoriety

Time Schedules

Benefit Systems

Logistics

Fulfillment

Linguistics and Languages

Questions

Quepine (Questions, Proverbs and News)

Media

Cultural Offerings

ADVANCED PROBLEM SOLVING, ETHICS AND THE ACHIEVEMENT OF QUALITY

Problem Solving Techniques as Applied to the Workplace:  Discussion of Proposal to Key Decision Makers

Case Studies Highlighting 10 Ways to Improve Quality of Performance, Products, Services and Workplace Climate

Case Study Analysis to Generate a List of Ethics Necessities and Strategies:  Looking at Examples of What is Ethics, Where and How is it needed?

Bias and Scholarship

Funnel System Streamlining, Using Frequent QC in Early Employment Trainings

Universal, National, Community, Organizational and Professional Standards Compilation

Achievement of Quality as an Educational, Workplace and National Goal, 3 Perspectives

National Goals Research and Development

Indicators, Catalysts, Synonyms, Aspects, Examples, Technical, Ideals, and Forms of Quality

Professionalism as Catalyst to Quality, Definition of a Professional

Ideals as Indicative of Quality, Humanitarianism as an Ideal

Ideals as Indicative of Quality, Social as an Ideal:  Sociology, Social Company, Social System, Social Work

SAFTEE Questionnaire,Benchmark of  Health

Blank Slating The Perfected Human

Eg. 3  General research into QA & QC

Eg.4 Historical look at Quality and examples

Eg.5  Specific trainings

Eg.6 The making of machinery as it relates to quality (make everything you need to make paper)

Eg.7 Uncertainty, Error and Confidence by Anthony Carpi

Eg.8  Perfected Humans

Eg.9  Precision of body hands and movement

Eg. 10 Spiritual Optimality (martial arts)

Eg. 11 Word processing, cutting, straight lines, eyes vision, writing & speech

Eg. 12 Strength and Endurance Training

Eg. 13 All workers need to be engineers

Eg. 14 All workers need to be healthy

Eg. 15 Know how things are made

Eg. 16 All your workers need to be fit

Eg. 17 whole nation needs to be able to “organism”

Eg. 18 All good programmers

Eg. 19 Figure out the ideal method for all tasks

Eg. 20 to prototype, to match, to have a bar, samples

Eg. 21 Measurements

Eg. 22 Use of Technology

Eg. 23 Trials, testing

Eg. 24 Training methods & Management Training

Eg. 25 Quality of Condition

Eg. 26 Quality of life of Workers

Eg. 27 Teaching environment

Eg. 28 Cleaning

Eg. 29 McDonald’s

Eg. 30 Streamlining

Eg. 31 Franchises

Security, Protection, Defense, Military & Plan to Eliminate Crime

Natural Resources

Electricity

Transportation

Media System

Teaching

Educational System

Raising children

Meetings Design

Design and build a happy life for all citizens

Design a thriving nation

Implement good behavior

Make your people aesthetically pleasing

Literary Network (inclusive of libraries, book stores, online, reading cities)

Credential System

Design & build

Manufacturing

Legal Scaffolding, theory of divine order of being

Creativity

Architectural guidance (fitness, creativity, claim to fame, education)

Basic Human Account & Birthright Package

Equivalent Wage

Development of Creative Sector and Industrial Strengths

Beautification

Leadership pedagogy

Fear Training

Housing issues,mortgage and architectural financial issues

A network of professional organizations and non profit or  social organizations that support the social system

 

good for people with disabilities, good for the elderly, good for children, good for diversity, good for internationalism,

good for businesses to thrive, good for nature, good housing prices, low cost foods, low cost of living, low rents for students,

good schools, good roads, no pollution and great culinary

 

Developing natural areas like sledding hills, forests, pilgrimages, areas for walking, cycling lanes, places for animals to live, diverse tree population, ice skating places, winter wonderlandish, life with water ways for boating and swimming, places for exercise, tracks for running and walking buddies, interesting rocks and geological, helicopter docks for getting up to remote places and back, clean and fresh air, cedar chips and fragrant places, eucalyptus gardens, natural springs, beaches, State Parks, Buffalo Parks, Bird Watching, flowers, perennials and annuals, topiary shrubs, bonsai gardens, painting gardens, Falun Gong in the Park every non raining AM and PM, Amphibians, public or community fire pits, boat launches and public restrooms, everyday environmental scientists with magnifying glasses, outdoor sporting areas, stores and plans eg Home Depot plans for outdoor houses like teepees and huts and the great outdoors supplies in general, outdoor places for prayers and spirituality, vistas, panoramas and panorama services

 

“Curesdatabase” & “Office of Humiliation” Healthcare Center, Research connected directly to healthcare where illnesses without cures go directly to research, register illnesses and require cures, fight epidemics and humiliating STDS, end disability with advanced technological cures

Office of Opportunities

Office of Pain & Suffering ( handle auto accidents instead of insurance)

Office of Burdens and Suffering

Food Supply, Grocery Store Circuit

Diplomacy

Diplomat Magazine (Leadership Photos and reportage by Government)

Labs, practicums,” Intellicade,” Book of Schools of Knowledge, hubs and dynamic databases

Future Thinkers

Longevity and long term living or eternal life, adjusting life expectancy

Office of Fee Inquiry that adjust all prices, rents and balances economy

Steering Committee

Population studies, Office of layers (age groups and addressing their distinct needs), Office of Needs and Necessities

Office of Rights and Responsibilities (right to a land and right to housing)

Government required work units, working on behalf of the whole

Work conditions, employment, work research, doings and undoings, work hub

Serwagi Sani-mental health sanitariums (Sani as achievement of mental health)

Subsidization of wages and offset

Cultural Development

“MYW”-Make Your World as a University, “MOAU”-Making of a Universe as University

Library credentialed degrees/university

Mushroom School with grants and dissemination oriented education

Song Books

Mastership and advanced studies

Financial System

Internationalism, globalization, International Affairs, partnerships, diplomacy

 

Outline/extract from forthcoming book on Leadership Training and Platform by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

 

 

 

Invisible President: Thinking about the Quality of Life in the State of Michigan

Invisible President :  Thinking About the Quality of  Life in the State of Michigan

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

There are many considerations to think about when developing one’s State.  A good way to develop businesses for one’s State and to make it more appealing for the long haul are looking at things that make it good for people with disabilities, good for the elderly, good for children, good for diversity, good for internationalism, good for businesses to thrive, good for nature, good housing prices, low cost foods, low cost of living, low rents for students, good schools, good roads, no pollution and great culinary.

Size of one’s house can be an interesting consideration to keep energy costs low and lawn care easy and property taxes low or make it easy to pay off while you’re young.  Michigan has a good selection of houses in a variety of sizes from baby houses to luxury estates.  When thinking of what one will always be able to afford at different stages in one’s life it may be interesting to gauge the stability of your job over time, the consistency and strength of one’s income, and look realistically at one’s belongings to be able to accommodate one’s present and future belongings within a space, plus one’s family, extended family and grandchildren.  It may be more appealing to acquire a 10 year mortgage and plan for easier spending in older more fragile years.  Wouldn’t it be great if we curbed property taxes on the elderly so people can really have peace when they are aging and stay in their homes.

Michigan is a really appealing place to retire and build one’s life for the long term for many reasons.  It’s a great Christmas State with 4 distinct seasons. There are many beaches and lots of water in general in the state.  There are also  places to enjoy nature as well as many nature reserves and State Parks for camping in nature or near the beach.  Many persons in Michigan enjoy a primary residence and vacation house on one of Michigan’s variety of rivers and lakes.   Many people get older spending all summer on one of Michigan’s lake’s fishing.  Even if you don’t have a lake house, you can launch a boat or tow a boat to a public beach. There are tons of places to exercise and keep fit do yoga or martial arts or nice gyms that keep Michigan’s population healthy.  Many persons in Michigan will install pools or Jacuzzis. Michigan has a variety of lakes each with their own claim to fame, some have islands, some have certain kinds of fish that appeal to a community, some have beaches and walk ways, marinas and it goes on and on.  We can always dig more lakes!

After traveling in my younger days, I really hope that we can keep Michigan “cheap,” with a low cost of living to make it easier for students to study and in the end have a smarter population.  If we have cheap housing or even a ghetto, we should place a good school there where students can live cheaply.

I hope that we can have inexpensive access to foods as well as international foods that bring a lot culture and cache.  Some countries I studied in overseas the cost of living was so high as a student I could barely wash my clothes or cut my hair etc.  Let’s keep it cheap, cheap, and cheap.  We need more monies for advanced studies like PHD’s and to build scholars cities with lots of books and book fairs.    I hope we can collect even books from out local writers which are many (including me).

I hope that we can be hospitable to internationalism and really fight all racism and keep it out of the State and make this a safe haven.  I think what we really need is more monies for education plus to seed the State with more opportunities for merit and notoriety and both can be business ideas for people engaged in MBA’s.  For example someone could run an award like the Pulitzer or Nobel Prize.

There are good programs for low income, including subsidies for people with disabilities, however we could use a better “net” to catch someone who may be falling and cannot pay a variety of things.  Right now in Michigan the “net” is not good enough to catch one before foreclosure and eliminate that as an option or to catch one before homelessness and eliminate that as an option.  People also have problems paying off credit cards, paying household bills and  having their general needs met.  We need places for free clothes, free food, free resources or necessities-those are good businesses to start-we need a free world.    I once went to Salvation Army when I was short on my rent and they help in court not before the relationship is ruined and terminal, there is almost nothing that will help you in the event you cannot pay rent in Michigan and there should be.  We need to build up our “net” in Michigan, so when we are falling there is something there to catch us.

I think the overarching idea is not to just build a bank account, but to build one’s community or to build one’s State and family.  Churches should know I think there are USDA Grants to start food pantries and feed low income persons, young people, students, parents or people with disabilities, or unemployed.  Perhaps that’s a viable business a minister or community could engage in?  Perhaps an MBA coming out of school could start a Food Pantry?

I think what is missing from Michigan is development of the creative sector.  There are a lot of students in art schools and I wonder what is the full capacity of the creative sector to absorb our graduates?   What would be good is to direct more artists to architecture schools like Lawrence Tech and to Skilled Trades for more industrial craft skills or to natural resources or to manufacturing or to development of the sector.  You may have thought about painting but how about erect a sky scraper?  We could use an “eclectic gallery district,” more museums, family entertainment, more theaters, more music venues, more community art centers-a bigger and more vibrant creative sector.   We need to build skills not only as curators but as exhibition designers.  I think the key is perhaps to think outside the box and really think creatively about community needs, industrial strengths and how to build things up in and out of galleries-how to liberate and how to become a community builder.

I would like to see art that goes with the State or extends its cultural offerings.  It would be really great to see all the houses lit up for the holidays and people really decorating their porches  every holiday and also planting shrubs, grass, trees and flowers.  There are flowers you can plant that will come back year after year and really hearty flowers that stagger their blooms.  At Meijer’s you can pick up seeds for even $2 and have something growing.

I would love it if Michigan were known for great beaches, great camping, fire places in and out, cider mills, great music, great cities and schools ranked #1 and even Christmas.  Eastern Michigan University for example has a really fantastic music program.  Some people have gotten into ancient instruments like clavichords and harpsichords and kind of live an ancient life style of the Middle Ages.  EMU has great voice instructors and a community music school as well.

What I think is needed are salary subsidies for industries that may be physically demanding or high skill low pay like manufacturing or skilled trades.  We need more pensions and in general  “governmental salary subsidies,” to offset wages for teachers and other fields like the non- profit sector etc.  We can’t always expect our businesses revolving capital to be the equivalent of our salary necessity.

We need to coach our youth on how to save and build wealth and be a stashaholic for older days while they are young.  Young people need to build up 401K’s and pensions, once you’re old it’s too late.  You need to stash throughout your youth before you get sick, disabled or suffer from old age.  It’s nice to keep an emergency fund or even to start family trusts to cover and smooth some of the bumps of life.  It’s really great to stash for children in life insurance policies etc. to build wealth and plan on inheritance.

In general Michigan’s real estate is affordable and diverse.  I think we could use more architects to tear down some older properties and old ghettos and rebuild nice areas.  I found “over building” and adding onto houses or developing properties or lands to be nice and viable.  Add a pool, add some tile work, add an out building-value the property, make it historic even, make it creative, add a dance studio that is maybe just an empty room can be high lux.

I find when your building to think about your education, educating your children, your creativity, and your fitness.  You can build a track around your property line.  You  can install for $20,000-$30,000 a pool, you can put in tennis courts or buy a boat and a cheap boat you can get are kayaks or canoes that fit on cars or in garages?  It’s not hard to live really, really good and even cheap.  Find boat launches or memberships at marinas figure out how to tap into our nature for a beautiful life.

It’s nice to collect cookbooks and build your library.  Buy Amazon gift cards for children, students and everyone to buy books are nice way to give during back to school or for the holidays.  Also planning around the calendar: nice sporting events and tail gating or in house versions with appetizers, big holidays, vacations, retreats, rent a cottage, birthdays, dinner parties, time alone, teaching time, reading- time start a box of books to take to the cottage, nature walks, camping, BBQ’s, family reunions, Mexican Fiestas, Christmas parties, cocktail parties, kids sleep overs, cocoa parties, disco nights, fire side sing alongs, full moon parties, caroling, pilgrimages, spiritual times, fasting, keep track of old friends, trip with a friend, cruise, renew vows, anniversaries, traditions, go out to favorite restaurants every year same time, pool parties, parks, plays and favorite theaters, concerts, playing music with friends, recitals, annual performances, playing games or cards, scrabble night,  kiddie cocktail hour, read poems with writer friends, exhibitions, private film screenings, non profit events, Oktoberfest etc.

Michigan is great! Getting older in Michigan is fantastic.  Also hats off to our neighbors that we utilize like Chicago, Ohio and Canada.  Love Michigan, build Michigan, have a good life.

 

 

 

 

 

Art and Design

Art & Design

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Scenario 1

Traveling with a sewing machine and a tool box of art supplies and paints.  Extension cord from the house to sew outside.  Planning a “taller” pronounced “tie-yare,” or independent enterprise in an undeveloped pueblo.  Climbing in the mountains, getting floral dressed, walking in a dry river bed.

Dying cloth with coffees and teas and traveling one hour by bus to get dyes and bolts of fabric.  Getting a large car size amount of fabric delivered from a distributor in the city to make a large amount clothes.

Having dying parties with made up garments then hand painting them.  Memorizing songs, dancing with bells around the ankles (a musician).

Scenario 2

The “art house.”  Dying textiles on the balcony, making up braided hats, making up hand dyed clothes with a seamstress, then photographing people dressed in the clothing, and reserving sets around town.  Making drawings, large photo prints, postcards, which culminate in the full moon bazaar or events in tune with the full moon. Printing on the postcards the upcoming dates of the full moon. Collecting instruments, hiring models, drawing mostly self-portraits, a dress rack of clothes, shopping for fabrics in old jobbers, back drops and an obsession for color photography, making homemade lip balms while maintaining a corporate job in the stock market. Walking to work to stay in shape and playing castanet rhythms on the way.  Studying flamenco.

Scenario 3

Off to school of Art and Design. A collection of research photos.  A taste for photos with white borders.  Sketch books. Silk screen fabric prints for garments, silk screen paper prints for art. Silk screen fabric prints for art too.  Embellishment.  Fashion illustrations.  Making up garments, taking pictures.  Small mini drawings, making printed boxes to put things in, making shoes, making boots, printing techniques, visiting silks in the fabric district.  Collecting sole prints and deconstructing them into new combined textile patterns.

Scenario 4

A pedestal to draw still life’s or a variety of daily objects.  A stage to draw costumed models.  A stage for prosperous zeros.  Collecting and sampling the entire environment in drawings.  Nibs for the garden paintings.  A drawing board and horse in the house for portraiture.  The home office with 5 stations.

 

 

 

 

Up to Snuff #44: Letters and Memos

Up to Snuff #44:  Letters and Memos

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

According to Kennedy’s, “Technical and Professional Writing,” a memo records “an opinion, an action, a plan or a train of events.” (Kennedy, pg. 361) Memos are said to be for insiders and include in their basic initiation To, From, Date and Subject stacked up, skip two lines a purpose statement, then background information, then summary or answer, reference to another memo or correspondence, then develop pertinent details, conclusion, typists initials, enclosures.  (Kennedy, Pg. 365)

A letter, in contrast to a memo, generally “solves problems with or for outsiders.” (Kennedy, 361) When letters arrive to insider’s examples may include things like “congratulatory letters, recommendation letters, letters of promotion, disciplinary letters, and letters of resignation or dismissal.” (Kennedy, 361)

What should be included in a business letter are at top senders name and address centered with name bold, skip 3 lines, date, skip 3 lines, recipients name title & address, skip one line, salutation recipient and colon, skip one line, pertinent information ~3 paragraphs or more, complimentary close, skip 4 lines to printed name with senders signature above.  (Kennedy, Pg. 363, Figure 10.1)  The basic structure of letters and memo’s is absolute and includes an introduction, a body and a conclusion.  (Kennedy, Pg. 364)

I have held jobs were letter writing was a constant and regular event.  The most common things in this particular job with an art center that I worked on were emails or thank you letters to donors.  The letters usually contained about 3 paragraphs in which to cite the gift and give thanks while acknowledging how the gift would be applied.  Then in the second paragraph to warm the donor with a personal connection and in the final closing paragraph to invite the donor to enjoy the many offerings by highlighting current and upcoming events at the arts center. Then close the letter and sometimes add an ink or personal note to further warm the donor.  It was imperative to use things like templates connected to the database, csv files and mail merge plus professionally sealing letters with a plastic water and sponge gadget and thinking about the reader’s first glance. Even the choice of seasonal stamp mattered and often beautified or even revolutionized the letters.

The recipients of a memo may be internal “insiders” within a company or organization and the recipients of a letter tend to be external or “outsiders.”  An inside memo may have a more casual format than a letter which may be contractual or even of  legal quality, more formal and considerably more restrained.

Kennedy, George E. & Tracy T. Montgomery, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall

 

 

 

Invisible President: An Analysis of Unpaid Labor in Washtenaw County and Unpaid Labor in General

An Analysis of Unpaid Labor in Washtenaw County and Unpaid Labor in General

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A student wishing to build their resume with volunteer work or humanitarian service may elect as an option, an unpaid position.  Unpaid positions can be extremely valuable for professional development and even status greater than an employee.  What can ultimately happen to a student or anyone signing on to an unpaid position is the assignment to themselves of a zero wage which may elicit disrespect from peers or other paid workers. There is a case where a volunteer at a theater working alongside paid workers was called a “slave,” which is true of a theater in Ann Arbor. In this case the volunteers felt prestige for service work and the employees felt superiority as wage earners.

Some businesses may have the majority of their work force unpaid and be completely reliant on unpaid labor. Even when working unpaid, “thank you’s” may be hard to come by.  People will in fact look down on you when you are working without a wage.  Will you even get a reference from an unpaid position?  Will they even remember your name? Should there be a record of your employment and a reference required? Should references always be required for every position?

In some instances disrespect extends to consultants and employees who use “two voices” for management and unpaid workers. 

Many managers show a “lack of interest in paying” their employees. Payment for some managers is not their priority and barely on their radar.  A paid worker may represent a threat and upset the hierarchy?  The lower you are, the higher they feel, the less you receive, the more sushi for them.

Unpaid labor also becomes cumbersome in discussions of salary history with potential employers who may view them as a low-pay or even an unpaid equivalent.  Unpaid labor is still further cumbersome in the presence of rampant racism and historical slavery.  There is no requirement that an internship, for example be unpaid, the good ones tend to pay.

How do positions come to be unpaid? Unpaid positions may represent a kind of theft.

Just because they didn’t pay, doesn’t mean they still don’t owe. There are several options including:  the department of labor, invoicing, collections agencies or starting your own collections agency, put it on their credit report and give them a rating, harassing phone calls, threatening letters, a lawyer, a blog, government, report to news/press, racism registries with state and local government or your own, setting up your own law firm, arbitration and binding contracts, speaking in legal terms and citing infractions, public letters, out of business strategies, replacing business in your community, researching legal cases on Linux and the internet, keeping a journal, or calling the police to report theft, filing a police report or opening an “Office of Pain and Suffering” that will replace your money.

A brief sampling of Washtenaw County produced a variety of unpaid positions such as internships, docents, board members, student groups, volunteer work, student jobs, independent fundraising, starting your own business, advocacy work, consulting,  film festivals, art festivals, fashion studios, start-ups, non-profits, family businesses, searches on student employment websites and we may also include minimum wage labor as labor that is barely paid or not equivalent.

What generally happens in some cases is one person has paid themself and neglected to pay the rest of the staff, sometimes pursuing interns or volunteers.  Other times in the cases of university faculty and staff, all receive departmental budgets and often neglect to spread their budget across all employees. Unpaid labor presents a “larger piece of the pie” for someone else and perhaps overall savings or profit for the department or company.

Very often it is a failure of management to identify proper funding channels or to value others as they do themselves.  The management may reach as high as the American government that may not have considered the trials of non-profits who fill the variety of holes in the American social system when planning their budgets.  Very seldom will the national or local governments be inclusive of local businesses that serve their communities in their budgets and should.

The downfall of a community with an abundance of unpaid labor is that it indicates something about that community.  It may present evidence of poor leadership, inadequate business skills, racism, and misappropriation of funds and may even be a huge crack in the wall.  Internships may save a company money and may appear to be a win-win situation but other factors may show that accepting a low wage for your work may create devaluation of mankind and in the workplace, presenting long term obstacles.

Some people are too self-centered to be good managers and employees may find that their portion of the payroll exists in managements personal accounts.  Ego, sexism, racism, ignorance may perpetuate a belief in someone’s mind that he/she has a value that others do not hold or a need that others are not worthy.

What should be brought into policy and law is an equivalent wage.  For example it may be necessary if you have been offered a job to tally the various tasks to see if your hourly wage is adequate to cover the amount of responsibility.  Perhaps America has devalued its people and disrupted work by electing a minimum wage, not to fall below as opposed to an equivalent wage to match.  It can be terrifying to receive a minimum wage that is not in keeping with the economy.  After a while, the people start to spill out into the street, when the economies go long term unbalanced.

Possible solutions government needs to take could be a thorough analysis of businesses under their umbrella to see which of those need government support or to possibly pay all wages from the government to stabilize business and society. The Federal Reserve doesn’t represent a small budget but an arbitrary budget that should also match the budgetary needs of  the country-not what is often said by officials that there is not enough in the budget or the budget is running out-a fallacy.

It may be necessary to institute an “Office of Fee Inquiry” that sets wages, prices, rents etc. to create a unilateral approach to employment etc. and balance the economy.  Very often subtle changes, even new landlords upset the local economy and may create social problems.  Long term neglect of employees also creates social problems.  People make economic decisions all the time unmonitored and uncaring of their impact on a community. Where in that chain can be inserted supervision? Someone may move to Ann Arbor from New York, get into rentals and gauge an aggregating increase in rents and destroy the town.

How does money get into the proper hands, how do budgets get properly allocated, how do we start to make this area inhospitable to racism? At universities students can often be added to payroll or placed into a budget somewhere.  The necessary caring doesn’t exist for enough management to show concern for their constituencies lives. Perhaps a gravitation away from hierarchal business strategies can be replaced with social models.  There are many things that could be solutions to the problems created by unpaid labor.

It is strange, it is as if shoes exist for an  unpaid job.  What was it like for example, to work in the south after slavery? Employers who do not pay adequately become stigmatized as well as position histories.

Watch out, for example for poorly planned positions and vacuous position titles which may indicate a workplace where management is ill equipped and uncaring.  Positions such as “intern” or “office assistant,” may represent jobs bearing poor designation  or “unspecified labor” and offered for a lower wage.  Positions should have titles, be well crafted, and with equivalent wage.

We as a people need to reexamine our current business models and address schools of business to plan new strategies. Hierarchal business models are obsolete. We must be entering a new era, where it’s time for caring and time for sharing of wealth.

 

 

Feminist Theory Class Essay #2

In Susan Moller Okin’s essay, “Toward a Humanist Justice,” she makes a case for gendered division of labor as a vehicle for oppression of women. In this essay, I wish to agree with Okin that gendered division of labor has a basis in the suffering that many women experience, however distinct male and female species require appropriate roles. I wish to address the vulnerability of women and arrive at principles of justice to map out a clear platform. Justice for women may not be achieved with a purely egalitarian direction.

Okin highlighted several issues in regards to appropriate roles for men and women including: the disappearance of social differentiation, division of labor resulting in injustice, paid and unpaid work, primary parental roles and sex role expectations. All of the above issues are significant but may be remedied with social and cultural change.

Alternatives that may be catalyst for the alleviation of women’s oppression are: self-supporting income, land allocation, rights and responsibilities, presence of children in the workplace, an independent place for children, education, flexible work hours and signing on and off and various protections.

Toward a Humanist Justice in theory sounds attractive, with common mantras like “equal work, for equal pay,” but may not be the solution. The solution may lay deep in culture and government. The solution may be birthright income or even the independence of children who can be free to have their own income and parts of town.

Okin argues for a shared parental responsibility which is common sense. Okin argues to protect the vulnerable and to increase justice for women. A humanist platform is meaningful and may have deeper resonance when juxtaposed with terms such as “humanitarianism.” Okin may have been looking for neutralization of gender roles, however a humanist root aligned with “humanitarianism” may include public service or community or “social” as a paradigm.

References

Cudd, Ann E. & Andresen, Robin O., Feminist Theory:  A Philosophical Anthology, Blackwell Publishing, 2005

Eastern Michigan University, Philosophy Department, Feminist Theory with Professor Higgins, spring term 2015

Crisis and Conflict

It’s interesting, recently when I began looking at the Leadership Program at Norwich University and what they included in the curriculum. Things like security, defense, research methodology, handling crime, strategic. I have been keeping notes for a few years what I think good leadership involves. I believe that every crisis is an opportunity for greatness. It’s the climb up that has lots of rewards and crisis involves innovation and technologies.

Fosters Continuous Improvement and Innovation

I like to promote a teaching environment where people are encouraged to share their skills. I think programs like tuition reimbursement can also be effective tools in enhancing employee skills. I prefer utilizing analysis of work in conjunction with work. Teaching can be offered as a benefit and impact salaries or offset take home.

Innovation is something I relate to my design background. At Central Saint Martins “research and development” was promoted to me and I thought deeply about formulas such as r+d=original design or r+d=i or innovation. How to achieve innovation is interesting. I utilize what are called “development sessions.” One may continuously write until they achieve new knowledge via development.