Tag Archive: Internet


Obama’s Nightmare!

mcdonnell_christie2_doomsday_604x341Just mere hours ago two republican representatives won their governor races. This is an exciting time for the Republican Party since their landslide loss in the general elections. This means that Obama will have a harder time passing his agenda based on the politics.

With this the only election before 2010 the media was excited about this ‘local’ election. I watched wall to wall coverage on Fox News and CNN as they delved in on the issues and messages within the wins. It is a horrible time to be President because of the myriad challenges Obama faces. He has failed to deliver on stimulating the economy and what is being stimulated aren’t jobs, jobs, jobs which the people really need.

Today, Obama is looking back wondering what went going wrong. Is the honeymoon all over?

If you noticed, liberals and moderate democrats have been distancing themselves and the President from the democratic candidates – which is only politics. However, Obama campaigned especially for the former Governor – Corzine. So to say Obama’s role was absent should not accepted as an argument.

It is interesting to see how future elections will go since the two democrats who affiliated themselves with Obama lost. It is an exciting time for politics and we just can’t wait for 2010 to come.

Interpretation of this win

People are upset with Obama. He ran a campaign saying he was different and he was about to change Washington. The truth is this is all political talk and he has failed to change it. He has pushed forward legislation which increases spending at a time which governments should be cutting back. As this goes on, more jobs are being lost, more homes in foreclosures and people are struggling. These wins are intended to send a signal to Obama that hey it’s not all democratic country yet. Weeks ago there was a report saying that republican numbers are dying. Well we saw what happened. Republicans are on the rise and are back on track.

PALIN CABINET

Will we see more republican representative elected in 2010? Or will be see democrats retaining their seats?

Time will tell. The fact is if Obama continues on this road of high spending, higher taxes, he will not see a double term. Was he ever thinking of one?

For many people who have visited or have heard of Jamaica, some of their thoughts are positive while others are negative. Jamaica is a wonderful paradise when you get to appreciate all the interesting scenes and places the island has to offer. However, just like many other countries around the world, we all have our issues. The USA has to deal with a recession; Cubans have to face living in a communist state. Well, Jamaicans face a plethora of issues that our previous leaders and present ones have all failed to correct. Not only do we face a recession like most countries but we encounter high levels of criminality daily, corruption in the public sector including politicians, average literacy rate, low productivity, high unemployment, the acceptance of illegal activities, a dying media that is in need of high journalistic standards and the list goes on.

As you may know Africans from the West Cost of Africa were shipped against their will to the Caribbean region. History reminds us that the most rebellious of the tribes came to Jamaica. This is one theory that is used to interpret our high crime levels over the years which continues today. Although politicians played a major role in the distribution of guns early on they have either failed to correct our crime situation or cannot right the issue of crime.

Jamaica is recognized as a third world country and it would appear that everything we do reminds us that we are in fact a developing country. Journalists in Jamaica are trained by a local media school at the University of the West Indies (UWI) called Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC). In a recent column in the Jamaica Gleaner Carolyn Cooper who heads the department of Literary and Cultural Studies at UWI recently stated that the University of the West Indies is the only ‘real, real’ university here in Jamaica. For those who may not understand what she alluded to, she means the University of the West Indies is the only local institution that should be regarded at a ‘university’ bearing in mind we have many.

With a high crime rate like ours the newscasts are filled with stories reporting criminal activities. Moreover television newscasts go beyond the call of duty to record and report the bloody images not only in print but those aired on television. In recent times there have been attempts to have news agencies in Jamaica become more vigilant in how they report stories surrounding the topic of crime and violence since children, families and adults are all exposed.

For the past week in Jamaica there is an interesting discussion on whether a newscast on television went overboard in showing graphic images of a Rastafarian man chopping a cab driver for $20.00 (Jamaican) equivalent to $0.23 cents (American) and $0.24 cent (Canadian). The incident is not only shown once but is repeated more than three times in the news item. Although the presenter warned viewers of the graphic images in the story they should have shown more responsibility, compassion and journalistic character.

With the levels of crime and violence in Jamaica, some Jamaicans would appreciate if newscasts ignore some of the heinous incidents that happen daily. Personally, I do not know how comforting or ideal this would be but journalists would not agree with that position. Journalists should report on what is important to the society. This is not the first time this news agency has shown graphic images of incidents not fit for airplay. They are creating a bad name for themselves while degrading journalistic standards. I do agree that these incidents do happen (a clip slips through the cracks) but when it becomes a trend, viewers will stop taking you seriously. The media in Jamaica does not only suffer from low standards of journalism but we are out of control in airing outrageous  lyrics on the airwaves. That is a whole other issue for another piece.

Jamaicans and Snitching

What is also startling in this story is how Jamaicans respond to violent incidents. In this video you can hear a woman shouting the man’s name “Bobby”. However, if you look carefully you will notice that people are not shocked or moved by what is taking place. No one rushes to call the police or 911, 811 or 119 here in Jamaica. They are going about their business as usual. Even moments after this incident takes place, eyewitnesses claimed they did not see anything. This is the reality Jamaicans live in. If they speak out about violent acts, they will be hunted down like hawks and killed for sharing information. It is not surprising that with a police station 15 feet away they were not aware of this incident till hours after. It is so sad living here.

Personal Note

I contemplated for long placing that horrific video on this blog. I thought about it and I am placing the video below. This video contains graphic images of a man chopping an innocent cab driver. After receiving multiple chop wounds the cab driver later drives his car to a nearby hospital where he was admitted in critical conditions. The driver is still alive today with the Rastafarian in police custody who was found with a bald head. This video grossed me out completely and has the ability to make you cringe in your seat. Just by looking at the screen shot below tells how graphic this gets.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

The 12th staging of the IAAF World Championship is currently on the go in Berlin, Germany. Thousands of athletes have travelled to the city to prove they are still the best and the competition is on. Track and Field has been given a boost because of Jamaicans like Usain Bolt. He continues to break records and show us what humans can do over the 100m. Yesterday he clocked a new world record of 9.58secs over the 100m. The track and field world stood still (the entire Jamaica) and watched as their local and international hero smashed his world record once again.

Usain Bolt has done tremendous work for the area of track and field. Jamaica is known for their activities in many areas of sports like athletics, soccer, netball, etc. The amazing runs by Bolt and others on the Jamaican team have marketed the sport to the point where young kids are seeing sports as a viable field. Prior to Beijing’s Olympic success, track and field was dominated by Americans. Now, the sport is dominated 100% by Jamaicans who have now risen to the top of their games. Many are seeing this rise in athletics of the Jamaicans to the success of the drug testing in the sport. Jamaican athletes are blessed with an amazing talent and coaches who have honed their talent in grooming top athletes for the world stage.

Is the run by Bolt humane? He makes it look so easy and the exciting thing about it is that he is absolutely a clean athlete. As a Jamaican I am extremely proud of my country again because of the successes of Usain Bolt and other athletes on the world stage. They have done extremely well and their efforts must be rewarded. Many athletes around the world

The scintillating run by Usain Bolt to stop the clock at 9.58secs is simply mind boggling. How can he go so fast? How much faster can he go? We sit and wait for the next championship and see what Bolt has in store. The Bolts of Lightening will strike yet again.

Learning to Swim

I have always wanted to learn how to swim and if it’s something to be disappointed about in my life it’s that. I was always told by my father that he would teach me but it never materialised. I would go to the beach or the pool and just splash around or just watch other people swim around. I have been so busy that attending swimming lessons is so far fetched that taking the lessons was not apart of the plan. We all see those divers, swimmers and synchronised swimmers do what they do best and we watch in awe but we are most times concerned about competition than anything else. Swimming is beautiful to watch but it can be hard taking lessons so far in life. After a while you think how relevant learning how to swim will be. This was clearly one of my fears and now….

All that changed on my vacation to Portland. I was taught to swim by my best friend in the world who is a good swimmer. Although I had a few lessons I would admit I improved a lot on trying to swim. I didn’t know it was so hard though; although swimmers will tell you its so easy. I would recommend that persons learning to swim take away from their minds all the images they have seen because learning to swim entails more than what we see on television or have seen people do.

My first lesson was about getting used to the water. That entailed submerging and staying under the water for some time. It was shocking at first but I got used to it and was comfortable. I was excited to learn because swimming is a vital tool that you may never know when you will need it and it stays with you a lifetime. I’ve always wanted to learn because it’s so much fun and the many comments I have received on how I have the ideal swimmer’s body – tall, broad shoulders, slim. One thing though, never become fearful of the water, feel free and relax; think the water is your best friend.

In my time and before me unless you lived near a beach or river and went to the beach regularly then you would learn to swim. Now, schools are building their curriculums and activities including swimming. Children in schools today are so exposed to different activities like this that which will benefit them in their lifetime. My second class and some parts of the first lesson were dedicated on the movements of the feet.

One tip however that cannot be over emphasized is that you should clear your mind of what you have observed on swimming because it can hinder your growth and learning how to swim. I wanted to learn so fast that before I got the movements of the feet right I wanted to use my arms. In regards to swimming you can swim without using the hands.

You do not have to take my tips above because I can’t swim well myself. Well, now I have conquered one of my fears and I am on the journey to swim well IF I continue my lessons. Conquering your fears can be traumatic and can hinder personal growth at times. I was so afraid of swimming that it took a lot to get over the idea of learning to swim. The first time I walked in the pool was nerve-racking. The first time I submerged myself was horrible, the force of the water caused me to stand up right away. After the lessons I am even more comfortable to go under and go head down in the water.

Changes

So the last day of the vacation I decided to go swimming in the morning. With the aid of the inflatable raft I began to hold on, submerged my head and worked my feet. I was moving in no time. Shortly after I could swim without the raft and now I am using my hands. I am so happy I can help myself to swim in the water. This was clearly one of my fears and now…. I can swim!!!! Yeah, rock on dude!!!