Archive for August, 2009


Since the development of the internet it would appear that reality television came after. Reality television features unprofessional actors, most times celebrities or created ones to show unscripted reactions in various scenarios. In recent times we have been seeing many newly wed couples deciding to film a reality series to be picked up by the major networks. However, it would appear that the usage of reality television for any couple in Hollywood is a divorce sentence for their marriage. Of course we can list all the victims of reality television these days. The question is, did reality television cost them their marriage or was it for different reasons. Most times children are the biggest cash cows for these series as they are also paid for the gig.

Giuliana & Bill

Giuliana & Bill

I am a huge fan of reality television. I would say I like the productions, not a fan of all the drama but I appreciate the wonderful and creative ideas that they are based off. Two reality television series that I have been following and I will be referring to in this piece are The Real Housewives of Atlanta (not really a fan) and Giuliana and Bill (can be seen on the Style Network). The Real Housewives of Atlanta is filled with drama as the show follows five Atlanta housewives on their lives and friendships with each other. The celebs on the show are always in conflicts and they lead unstable lives financially and emotionally. On the other hand, Giuliana and Bill; this reality show features both Bill Rancic – winner of the first Apprentice and Giuliana from the E Network. The show is about this couple as they lead successful careers and attempts to balance their marriage.

There are hundreds of reality shows on television, some are sane and the others are insane. One would think the sane ones would get stellar reviews and constantly being booked for another season. Hell NO! The insane reality shows, filled with wanna be celebrities, people that live unstable lives, people who you would warn your kids to stay far from are playing huge roles in what network executives are constantly booking for another season. They do this because this is the garbage that society wants. I do not know but I would never sit for hours on end and enjoy a show that shows humans behaving despicably, acting in selfish ways to their neighbours. It alarms me to know that we have reached a stage where this is what we demand daily. I would agree that this is entertaining but networks that run these series for endless hours the show becomes insipid.

The show Real Housewives of Atlanta is depressing and we wonder why we still have certain issues in our society today. When a show can glamorise black people to be irrational thinkers, uneducated, gold diggers and unproductive to society we have a huge problem on our hands. We then wonder why people are hateful of black people; they are because they have not seen anything positive of the black race. They have not seen hardworking, educated people rising to the top (apart from Obama and a few others) and the images we should be portraying of our race are absent. So they have associated with being black all the negative ideas we can think of.

The sane reality shows and images we should be desperate for are all being chopped by business executives because they have a business to run. They cannot fund sane reality shows because it is the unpopular decision to do. After all a business is not charity organization. As a people we should start demanding productive programming. I will agree that there will always be a market for insane material but we should have options. I enjoyed watching Giuliana and Bill because it never had any crazy drama scene where they were fighting each other down and the constant bickering was absent. Whatever your tastes are you can find it. If you want to see adventure, a loving couple, hardworking people who are balancing their lives check it out. I am sure you can find other sane reality television shows to watch where it can be worth your entertaining and leisure time.

The world is now an open space. With cable television comes with advantages and sore disadvantages for any society. Cultures will begin to change and people will act differently because of the diverse influences that will now be present. The cultural values that some societies were proud of will soon go away because there are other new sometimes bad values to adapt. The images and values that these insane shows project into our societies must be challenged by positive role models (which we so lack) and shows that depict what living a stable life looks like; that is reality. There is no way we can continue to accept the negative images of our race and remain silent with it. As young people we need to separate positive entertainment from negative entertainment and break the rising trend of insane reality television.

Love’s Actions!

LoversGazeREX_468x304Love is a feeling you feel when you feel a feeling you feel you had never felt before. If that is love then you shouldn’t be feeling that feeling too often. For many of us, finding love is a dream, that aspiration to meet the one who connects and feels your inner emotions, your ultimate soul mate. Humans need affection, love and companionship which we all seek daily. If love never existed the world would be at war, and many of the unions and offspring would not be here today to continue humanity. Apart from love towards our neighbours, closest friends and families there is a special love we all reserve for the ones closest to our hearts. Finding the person to share private moments with can be a thrill for some, devastating for others and a journey that makes you look crazy.

In the book Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks the main character Theresa Osborne finds a bottle with a love letter in it. As a columnist she publishes the letter in the newspaper and finds out there are other letters out there written by the same gentleman. She admires the writer from reading the love letters and begins a journey to find the man who she thinks will be the perfect match for her.

I am sure you have seen couples together and they have that spark that says they are definitely in love. I am quite sure that many readers of this blog right now might even be in love. Love stories will always be told but there are times you hear of a wild experience of someone in love and make you ponder; is it real love?

So you did what?

For those seeking love it can be a whirlwind, it stirs everything up blinding your next move. Dating partners from your financial class/level will be critical sometimes. A love story is told some time ago where a top level bank executive asked this particular female on a date. They went to a very expensive restaurant in the city and they had a good time. Perfect! If you have to withdraw a huge amount of your savings or investment to get someone’s attention, to prove you care then they are not worth your time. Many times partners find themselves all in a moment. We are on a high to the point where we are no longer in control of our actions because this person may be the hottest on the market, maybe the one with the personality you’ve been looking for or whatever. I do believe in the notion of going all out for the one you love but never to the point where you suffer financially in the future.

So you’ve changed what?

We all know love makes us do some ridiculous things. However, we should always be in a position to distinguish between the feeling of love and infatuation. If loving the person you are chasing means changing your friends – the good ones, changing your outlook on life, being honest and persistent about your own personal goals then you might not be looking in the right place. When you’ve found love in a partner they should never influence you negatively. Many families are at the bitter end of this stick who confess most times that when members of the family get married or begin to date someone they change overnight into different people because of the huge influence their partners hold over them. I vehemently believe in listening to your partner and respecting those decisions but there comes a point when you should be able to think straight and see through things and make the best decision for your life.

So you’re not happy?

It might take you days, weeks, months to figure out that this person who you have been investing your time and effort in is not making you happy. There is no way someone should stay in a relationship when they are unhappy. This state not only affects you personally but it trickles over in your work, and your relationship with others. Life is too short to sit around and have someone in your personal space eat away at your happiness and you enjoying life. For some, this may take years for them to realize that things have not been developing into what they desired it to be. At this moment you need to sit down and figure out what was blinding you, what has changed and what you can do now to make this work.

Love do sometimes makes us do crazy things I tell you. There is someone out there for each person and the quest to find them can be a thrill, can be devastating, and it could last a lifetime. Find someone who shares similar interests, will love you, who is a lover of life and someone who compliments and will compromise. Live life happily ever after and feel the feeling you have never felt before.

I believe in community service. Volunteering is an activity that should be promoted more as social ills exist in our societies and this can reduce the harmful effects of these. Companies invest heavily in community service because they understand the relationship with giving back and the prospects for profitability. In business they practice what is called social responsibility and develop foundations to serve this purpose. Partnerships with other groups (community service oriented) are made to have a larger impact on a particular cause. Some companies however, will find unique ways to make a profit helping a cause. This is called cause-related advertising. For example Apple will say purchase this I-Phone and 5% of sales will go towards cancer research. On the other hand we have advocacy advertising and this is where a company will dedicate advertising to a particular cause with no profit making intentions. Not that you needed to know but now you know.

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Just today in a local Jamaican newspaper LIME (an international telecommunications company) and Beenie Man (an international reggae artist) donated two computers to a city police station here in Kingston, Jamaica. This is wonderful and all these things to have two entities like these give back to society. We may not see the computers at work but surely they will assist the police in crime fighting. Congratulations and kudos to them.

DSC02362

Back in March a group under my leadership and others participated in a community service activity at the Jamaica National Children’s Home. As students we participated in painting a section of the male dorm, manicured their lawn and surroundings, took personal care of the children at the home, assisted with homework and reading, played games, partnered with the National Commercial Bank Foundation and one of the top meal providers to donated food items, provided lunch, gifts etc. We worked hard to get the sponsorships we acquired to make the day a success. We also had the reigning Miss Jamaica Universe giving a talk on the importance of giving back.

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

There is no way I am comparing what we did months ago to what LIME and Beenie Man has done, clearly they are different. There is a point though. These two institutions command millions of monies annually and although we are happy that they donated the two computers it leaves a bad taste to see them only donating two based on the market they command. LIME is a company that offers computers with their product line certainly donating only two just proves where their priority is. If they wanted public relations they got it. I am not sure people are going to look on and say wow let me take my business to LIME. They could have maximized on this opportunity by donating to a few more police stations (at least two) with the same two computers; that would have been a bigger statement and a more news worthy item.

I hope my readers will get the point. I am in no way ungrateful for the effort. From a business point of view the business I am not sure they communicated their core values in this PR. Beenie Man on his own could have donated the two computers, even more so LIME who is in this area of business. Companies want to show they care, they can do things big and they are socially responsible. Although we are in a recession we cannot donate ‘recessionously’- cheaply – do things the proper way.

Feature – Corve DaCosta

This is the second feature for the week someone is including in their blog. Flattered to say the least!

Take a look!

It’s Here

graduate3After attending college/university you expect to land the perfect job or have an internship at a top company using all the skills and the knowledge you have learnt. As graduates we expect the economy to provide constant jobs and the business environment to be healthy for the creation of new businesses. Are our expectations too much? In today’s economy, it is not advantageous for graduates as fewer jobs are left vacant and the vacancies created are as a result of layoffs from companies both huge and small. University/College graduates should therefore prepare themselves for a period of unemployment. How can we all prepare our minds and psyche for the stressing times ahead? This blog will seek to provide tips for recent graduates who are in the market looking for a job.

Be Patient

After leaving school the job market will be very competitive. All the students from all the universities across the world are graduating students who have studied the same area you did. You cannot ignore all the applicants who will be entering the same market from high school and other areas. You must be patient as companies review hundreds of applications and resumes all in a bid to say you are the best candidate. In this time I will advise any applicant to remain calm. Never blame yourself for not finding a job fast enough; you did your part by getting that solid education. That’s a start!

Keep Searching

We all have our favourite companies and dream jobs stuck in the back of our minds. In this economy and with a world wide melt down of countries, there is no way you can limit yourself as to the places you apply. This is the time to expand your scope and apply to various places.

For example, you have graduated with a Marketing Degree. You cannot expect only to work in Marketing Departments and Advertising Agencies. You would have to apply for jobs in Customer Service, Teaching, Management Roles, Sales and Banking etc.

It is critical that as soon as you graduate or even before graduation it is advised that graduates apply for a host of job opportunities. You cannot go wrong in applying as you may never know the company may be looking for you, a candidate in Sales & Marketing but you studied a Finance elective. Never as a graduate limit yourself, this is a huge mistake that people make. Research employment websites, company websites, newspapers, and classifieds for any job posting and never forget to apply.

Be Optimistic

Life goes on; bills are to be paid, your activities etc. Life will become stressful as the months roll on and the need for a job becomes your ultimate goal. It is critical that at this time you remain calm. There is nothing you can do (unless you will be starting a company) about your job prospects once you have applied. At this moment potential employees must remain positive, thinking that better will come in due time. Moments will however arise where you are at your end where job searches are concerned. It is advisable that you remain optimistic and never stress; this may have you developing health complications which you may never want to have.

Network

It is so important that as graduates look for jobs that they rely on the present network they have. This is crucial because the contacts you have within your circle may prove to be beneficial. It will be in your advantage to email or hand copies of your resume (multiple copies) to those in your network. This is good as your friends in the companies will hand deliver your resumes to the Human Resource Department or to hiring Managers. These people are your hands and feet to the managers directly. Ensure that they say a word on your behalf ‘Carol is hardworking and great with the databases’ etc.

But what if you do not have a network? It is advised that you ask around your family and friends and investigate who they know and who they can connect you with in companies. If you are at a disadvantage in having a good network then walking in to companies may be your next move.

Family/Resource Team

It is important that in this time of looking a job in a jobless market that you have a team around you that will keep you positive and one that won’t blame you for not having a job. Starting with family and real friends, rely on them for emotional and financial support and always let them know how important they are while you are in this predicament.

Today, being unemployed is never easy. Being unemployed and actively looking a job is even worse. I hope these tips that were explored will give you insight and assurance that as you look for job, it may be hard but remember there is a rainbow after the storm.

2Land that Job. Yeah!!

Background

I have interests in modeling and the fashion industry. So I am taking my sweet time browsing some blogs which I do daily because of unemployment and stumbles upon this entry. Take a look. I was shocked. The photos are on the modeling site  Model Mayhem which can also be found on my blog roll.

Check it out. Leave a comment.

http://ka-os.blogspot.com/2009/08/lensed_20.html

Salary Packages

1232069670.typepadI need your urgent feedback on this issue. It surrounds the issue of salary packages on an interview. I was interviewed for a position in a firm today and overall it went well. The interviewer was pleasant throughout and I maintained that atmosphere. As per usual, salary expectations are discussed. This is so because the interviewer will get the chance to find out if the company can actually afford this individual among other reasons.

The interviewee is advised to avoid this question by throwing it back to the interviewer in the form of a question. The interviewee is advised to say “I will accept your best offer, seeing that it is an objective one. What will be your offer?”

I took that suggestion and gave the opportunity to the interviewer to make the first offer. This however, can backfire for the interviewee because the management personnel may say “You must provide an offer for this interview to continue!”

What do you do in that situation? Do you potentially hurt your employment opportunity by avoiding the question and still wait on the firm to make the offer? Do you give in and provide a figure?

The risks are great. You may provide a figure that will make you look desperate for a job and you may provide a figure that will make the employer overlook you. What is the best advice for young professionals entering the work force?

Now on Twitter.com

So after many months of trying to avoid Twitter I am officially tweeting. This will be incorporated in my blog here and updates will be provided.

My official twitter page is http://twitter.com/corvedacosta

I can’t wait to start tweeting and sharing with others in this amazing medium.

Obama

Obama


Health care reform is taking on new heights, more town hall meetings and the tension just seems to be rising. For those Republicans, health care reform is a nightmare. They build their ideology on proper financial maintenance and fewer government interventions in citizen’s lives promoting the private sector. The Democrats however, have another thinking on health care reform; they intend to provide public health care while allowing tax payers (Americans) to pay for it through the payment of taxes to the government.

This is causing a huge debate especially at this time when the economy is in a recession and most plans are failing because of lack of funds. This has resulted in all the sides going in a brawl with persons from the left, the right and all independents fighting at it. Most persons have their own plans as it relates to how the President should approach health care reform. Most people will agree that the system needs drastic reform to provide equality in the system.

In recent times angry and supportive voters have been showing up at these town hall meetings to express their feelings on the issue. What is disingenuous about the process is that citizens who disagree with health care reform are being demonized. This is not correct and this does not add any value to the discussion if you’re going to make voters who are genuinely upset or unhappy about such a policy appear to be horrible people. I believe Obama who campaigned on an open policy of respect for all and bipartisanism should take hold of this conversation. But he can’t! His administration is promoting this backlash and they should be ashamed of themselves. If the Obama administration does not accept people who will be disapproving of some of his policies then public administration is a bad area for him.

Town Hall

Town Hall

There are however some things right about this health care reform plan. Certainly there are millions of people in America who are without a health care plan and they should be given the opportunity to have a good health care system. That is a human right I believe. The problem arises now where you will increase taxes to cover these new people and also illegal citizens which is absolutely wrong. Obama is getting flogged and his ratings are taking a beating. Will there be health care reform? We do not know the answer yet but if there is a law to overhaul the system then the government better put all the steps in place to make it work. You would not like what happened to the stimulus package to happen to the health care system where people who are in dire need are not receiving the benefits; or to the cash for clunkers system where government had to pay out more money for the system to work efficiently.

Do we need health care reform? Absolutely and we need it now. Anything you do Obama, do not tax stressed Americans.

Customer Service at its Best!

customer_serviceBusinesses often say customers are the most important aspect of their work. If this is so why is it that some firms do not place much emphasis on Customer Service? Customer service is a key factor in any organization’s operations. The lack of it will make the company go under and if the company appreciates the value of customer service it clearly distinguishes that particular company from the others within the industry. I believe in a few years more companies will understand how critical this aspect of a company is. As customer service moves to the forefront of every organization, companies are going to employ stringent guidelines in hiring employees as the friendliest and most courteous workers will be hired. How are you able to communicate the company’s values to the customer with a smile in the fastest time?

Most fast food outlets attempt to operate efficiently. The operation is all about time. Preparing that meal to the customer at the fastest time; after all it’s fast food. I happen to have been at a particular outlet of KFC in Portland, Jamaica and was stunned and shocked at the level of customer service that this branch has. Most fast food outlets have average customer service but this outlet in particular was just outstanding. Lining the walls of the branch were the various awards and plaques the outlet has received over the period of its existence. I cannot believe the service I was receiving. In a country where most people accept mediocrity and any standard of service it is amazing that this company stands out among the others in setting the right standard of service quality for the others to see. At this particular branch the employees smiled with you each time they communicated, they had a fast serving time and the food was very good. This was genuine among the employees; nothing about the service was fake. I am very meticulous when I walk into any service organization. I observe the employees and just analyze how things are going. It’s just a habit. The employees were laughing and smiling with each other. This shows the kind of atmosphere and work environment that the management has cultivated which makes the service offering to the customer even more appealing.

You know, you might be thinking Oh they were nice to me because they were having a good day or the employee was trying to flirt, or because I was a good customer. I told someone else who would be going to that same branch about the quality of service and low and behold the service was the same. This simply means this is a norm for this branch of KFC and it is most heart warming to be served in such a great way. What is amazing about great customer service is that the customer’s perception of the product or service increases. So even the meal tasted better, and you would like to purchase a meal from this branch all the time simply because of the service they provided. In the end the customer is king and firms should act likewise.

I am sure you have encountered great customer service and some horrible ones. It is true we expect so little of service providers that when they give us mediocre service quality or poor product delivery we say nothing. I am amazed that when we receive great customer service we are so shocked like it was a gift. Companies should begin to understand that customer service alone can make their business succeed even or out of a recession. It should be the norm when companies offer great customer service. We shouldn’t be talking about it, it should come and go. But customer service is never like that; some leaves a bad taste in your mouth, allowing you to think how come people got employed in the first place. As the world opens up and the internet begins to be the place where employees vent, companies will understand how important it is to deliver on customer service to all customers. More websites are being launched where customers can comment on the service quality delivered and websites that will allow customers to rate the business. If companies think customers are entitled to shop or purchase their product or service think again! There are tens and hundreds of other firms just like yours who will offer the same product on a better customer service level. Companies are going to lose out if they continue to allow front line employees to offer insipid customer service. Service comes with a smile and a courteous attitude.

The next time you are offered great customer service spread the word and when you were not served with gratitude spread that bad news and allow the company to suffer. The more we support companies who show no respect and little and low customer service quality the more we are rewarding their bad business. Let us congratulate those who show great service quality and spread the word about companies who offer service beyond the call of duty. Companies like Ritz Carlton and the thousands of others that can be added to this list must be congratulated and rewarded with more business for showing the customer is still king!