Tag Archive: Work


This post will look at two movies, Avatar and Up in the Air.

These are the hottest movies to start the year with. I watched Avatar last week and saw Up in the Air a few nights ago. Two very different movies, totally different budgets, and will receive two different classes of ratings – both rated among the best. I am no movie critic but here is my take on the movies.

Up in the Air

If you were ever to hear the words “You’re fired” who would you want to hear it from? The famous Donald Trump, Ashton Kutcher, your company’s CEO, or your direct manager/supervisor. Imagine a stranger entering your firm to deliver the bad news. The movie Up in the Air directed by James Reitman is about Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) whose duty is to travel across the USA delivering the sad news to employees who have been ‘let go’; by their managers. Interesting job, Isn’t it? Achieving 10 million flier miles just by his job he doesn’t see the importance of relationships and rightfully so, Ryan Bingham has no time to date and cannot devote his attention to anyone because of his busy schedule. Interestingly, he meets Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga). They have a great chemistry, similar job – travelling and falls in love – well Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) does. The movie reveals a damning revelation which ends their relationship. A little secret – Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) took relationships for a joke and the one person (Alex Goran) who he took seriously was playing him for a joke. How this was revealed is sad so that is another reason to watch the movie.

Clooney is great in the movie. I do not particularly like the second half of the movie. It became slow. The first half was fantastic Clooney was at his best and I believe that’s what people/critics will remember – acting was great.

Up in the Air has received awards and nominations including six Golden Globe Nominations – Best Picture, Best Director and Lead Actor for Clooney. The movie will certainly do well this award season – expect some Oscar buzz of course.

Jason Reitmam who directed the movie did an awesome job. The cinematography was good. I liked the first ten minutes of the film – just great on film – not your normal introduction.

However, before I watched the movie I checked out the movie trailer. I must say if George Clooney wasn’t in the movie I wouldn’t have watched it – going by the trailer. However watching the movie now makes perfect sense why that script made the trailer.

Up in the Air deserves a watch for sure. I don’t think I would watch it again – it’s not memorable.

4 out of 5.

Avatar

James Cameron

I watched Titanic and didn’t know the name James Cameron. Dumb! The movie Avatar will make you remember him for his stellar work in this film. You have amazing and awarded directors but this guy will receive all the accolades and deserves them this time around. He has no competition.

Avatar has grossed over $1 Billion already and it is the second highest grossed movie of all time. Titanic is the highest in history and grossed $1.842 billion. In the weeks the movie was released Avatar has done so well already. Will it beat Titanic? Duh!!!

That goes to show how good this film is. Do not read the reviews for the film, well you can. Set a date, you will need almost 3 hours – not as bad as Titanic (in hours) – and enjoy the movie. We always hear about movies with great graphics, this is real graphics – $500 million alone on graphics. From start to finish the movie is captivating. If you’re into politics you will love it, movie haters will love it, move lovers will be addicted to it, bloggers will watch it because they read it here. Lol  The movie is that good.

Watch it also because they film had no sex scene. I sat in my seat and wondered how these people who make out. Well Avatar did film a sex scene and it will be on the DVD. If someone asks you what you did to start the new decade – say you watched Avatar. This is the movie of the decade – it is beyond it’s time.

Avatar will be nominated at all the award shows this year. Expect Oscar buzz and expect the movie to win big and to be a major contender in any category. Can I say Avatar is nominated in the same categories with Up in the Air? Avatar steals the show for me.
Avatar – unrated. Perfection for what it is.

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Listening to newscasts day in and day out makes you immune to the weirdest or ridiculous news stories. One thing I have found interesting all the time are murder cases. I find them so interesting because most times close friends or relatives do not even know that the person was capable of committing such an inhumane act. It is not surprising that these accused however can lead such a double life with those who are closest to them – clueless they could act in such ways.

Accused of killing Annie Le

Accused of killing Annie Le

I find it baffling though that people who lead normal lives – have a job, join the latest social websites, enjoy going out, attend family events, church etc can turn around in a split second and hold an airplane hostage or kill someone and stuff their body in a wall. How gross?

I would not want to know that one of my closest friends killed someone. I would be shocked, saddened, flabbergasted and just confused as to how I didn’t see the complete picture. How could I miss that my friend was able to maim and kill someone? This is the reality that many people face in their lives as their friends are accused and later charged for killing or committing heinous acts of violence. I do not judge people and would not encourage people to do so. I usually am naïve when it comes to putting the whole picture together. I usually wait for the person to show their real colours. I do not have the guts or the ability to see things before they do happen; some of my friends can by the way.

The major stress in all of this is coping with the fact that your friend lied to you all along. The fact that they have kept their double life a secret pains you even more because you do not want to see this person suffer especially in prison where they will end up. This ridiculous situation makes you look stupid because here you are willing to put your life on the line for the person when they are able behind your back ready to kill, rape or abuse someone.

The cases are then dragged through the court system which makes the pain even harder to bear because most friends and relatives are called upon to be apart of the defence. The defence typically proves that the accused lived a normal life and was a great individual with a bright future. Sometimes it is hard to prove your innocence because of the overwhelming case of the prosecution; but the defence’s arguments may be used to lessen the time behind bars or allow you to walk free.

It doesn’t help that people nowadays have crazy turn-ons. Whether it is sexual, visual etc the weirdest thing turns them on making them into addicts. More than ever it appears that being abused – emotionally or physically is a trend. This horrible cycle affects all parties. This encourages the abuser to continue especially when s/he is able to hide their double life’s activities. Revealing it to the world is furthest from their minds and so they do everything to keep it private; whether they are going to be alone or seek ways to entertain their negative ways – online or with a group.

I hope people who are close to these accused men and women will begin to see warning signs from early on to help them get over their issues. We have tendencies to overlook these instances where they mention something crazy, or we witness them doing something which could in the end lead to their own detriment. It is time we take a stand for our friends and relatives and ensure that we do whatever we can to help when we see warning signs glaring in our eyes.

Hell or Paradise

Today is a sad day in Jamaica. We are known internationally for being a violent country and so deserved, yet the 3rd happiest place on earth. How ironic?

Historically, our politicians have embraced criminal activities. In the earlier elections many years ago, politicians seeking power gave citizens located in the ‘government created’ ghettoes guns and ammunitions. These illegal weapons were used to intimidate voters and also to maim and kill the others who tried to oppose the thugs. These thugs headed by dons – leader of the community would secure wins for the political parties. This violence in election periods is still evident today. Because of the wide access to illegal and dangerous weapons vicious acts of violence toward other citizens are committed based on simple disagreements. Disagreements are solved using the guns today. The infiltration of the weapons is affecting society to the point where politicians have begun distancing themselves from these gangs. The process of distancing themselves from the thugs proved hard to accomplish because they are heavily cemented in the system. The thugs are split across political lines, dividing communities by lines and turfs. The criminal gangs that are affiliated to the ruling government would see themselves getting government contracts among other benefits.

One would think that those who assume high moral standing in any society would be constantly speaking out against such heinous acts. The church, non-governmental organizations, political groups etc are so silent it is deafening.

Recently, the USA government has requested that Christopher ‘Dodus’ Coke be extradited to the USA naming Coke one of the world’s most dangerous drug kingpins. How could this man be free in Jamaica?

Today, September 4, 2009 the Jamaica Observer had the headline ‘Dudos holds the key’. I was so shocked to see the headline because you would think conventional wisdom would think that the country would support a criminal doing time behind bars. Instead you have groups led by the government who are silent on this issue, silently condoning his illegal acts. The community Christopher ‘Dudos’ Coke leads is affiliated and only supports the ruling government and they may think it isn’t an issue to comment.

The fact is that these gangs have more powers than the police themselves. The thugs kill whoever opposes their culture/belief and live in freedom because of their ties. Now Dudos is free to roam the streets of Kingston but is wanted in the United States of America. Jamaica has developed a society that condones unlawful behaviour and embraces those committing violent acts in the name of politics.

These are the same reasons the country cannot grow because we have failed to learn from teachable moments. We have developed a culture that suppresses the poor, embrace criminality and ignore people’s fundamental rights based on Christian beliefs. Today is a sad day because this country has not given its youth or anyone anything to be proud of. The two things we have aimed to manage well are tourism and sports – and we have deficiencies there.

I cannot wait to leave this god forsaken country and live in a country that respect people’s rights does not condone criminal activities and support the advancement and development of its own people. Someone, something help this country.

I must end this on a good note. We have a wonderful set of people here who work hard and try to live life above the law, who with all the struggles attempt in getting an education and seek to assist their families to be better off. I travelled to Ocho Rios today and wow the scene is fantastic. Below is one of the photos I took.

Ocho Rios Jamaica

Ocho Rios Jamaica

So You’ve Graduated

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!!

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?

Blackberry Etiquette

Everywhere you go today people are constantly on blackberries, I-phones and all these top gadgets. You just cannot miss them! It is this new craze that is taking on traction in society. No longer is it that holders of blackberries would be corporate employees. Please. Any and everyone today appear to be walking with one, except me of course. I guess the time will come when something else has taken off. In marketing they call us laggards.

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In a bid to be constantly communicating, these gadgets fill this gap. It allows users to be always connected and always accessible. I cannot bear to see blackberry users ignore protocol and disturb the environment. To this end, users of these high gadgets think it is a right to use their phones anytime. It is not a right. There is no way you should be using your phone in a meeting for personal entertainment. I can understand that at some point along the way you will be needed urgently by someone. However, it is the constant deliberate attempt to undermine those leading and other factors. Normally you would think that if you’re going to disturb a meeting hide and do it, secretly. No, users of blackberries must be seen and heard. It is sickening. Until they are in leadership roles and need that attention and feedback in a discussion that they will understand that it is really not cool to be using the phone in certain settings.

Clearly, this distracts you from the real purpose at hand and does not allow you to be productive, contributing to the tasks at hand. I have a friend who has a blackberry and he made the comment that until I have a blackberry then I will understand why users are constantly on them, even becoming distracted. I appreciate technology and the ability to communicate. I do not welcome people disrespecting others in a professional setting with the excuse of a cell-phone. Those that are trying to reach you most times are secondary, they won’t die, the economy won’t crash, and the world will still orbit the sun. Show some respect and know when to be on that cellular technology.

Some tips.

  1. Ensure phone is set to Silent/Vibrate before entering a meeting.
  2. If your phone happens to ring, allow the person to leave a message and record the person’s name and number so you can return their call AFTER the meeting NOT during.
  3. If your phone happens to rings aloud, apologize and tell the person on the line you will get back to them.
  4. Develop a habit of placing phone on silent/vibration. You are going to enter a meeting with others who are sacrificing time, be respectful for their time.

The Quest to find love?

If you live in the world (which we all do), we are bombarded with advertisements surrounding the topic of finding love. Nowadays, people search in various places to find love. More than ever individuals are going online to search for the perfect one. Whether it is on e-harmony or match or MySpace we are desperate for the ultimate one. But how far would you go to find perfect love?

Reality television has highlighted the fact that people go on quests to find the real one and have created these amazing shows some incredible some fall flat but the main aim is to highlight the extreme levels of finding love.

silhouettedcoupleRecently, I saw a promo for a new program showing fabulous plus size girls seeking love. What was interesting is that the person I was watching television was grossed out because the person didn’t want to see fluffy girls seek love in this format on television. I made the point quickly that obese girls need love too. What made it unique was traditionally we only see slim, size zero girls on these reality shows seeking love. It makes it very weird for some people now seeing plus size girls on their quest on main stream media.

How far is too far?

Would you go in a dark room to find love? Would you join a dating site to find love?

A new program to hit the ABC network will have couples move in a house and the dating process would all take place in the dark. However, what happens in the dark would be revealed in the light as the couples would see each other for the first time. Some would be grossed out; I guess the others would like what they see.

I like the fact that people are getting out there to find love. I like the fact that we are finding unique ways to do so. Traditionally, people date by being introduced to friends and date by networking in your own circle. Things and times are changing and people are getting with it. It is no longer weird to date in a dark room, on the job, on the internet or even speed dating. Finding love is now the focus of most people. Individuals want to share their lives with someone special and unique.

To find that unique person, how far would you go? Is finding love on the internet weird for you or we all have come to accept this form of dating?

Share your views!

Education in Jamaica

Recently Education Minister Andrew Holness has made the news on many occasions whether it be grading primary school principals or expressing what he really thinks about the GSAT examination. Andrew Holness has not been forceful in his capacity and also has not led in the right areas as the Minister of Education.

When in opposition Holness served as Opposition Minister of Education which would have given him adequate knowledge of the inefficiencies within the ministry and would have provided him with a working framework to change policies. What have we seen of this Minister? Holness appears in the news blaming everyone else but himself for not leading to eradicating the inequity and changing policies at his ministry. We owe it to the younger generation to develop an education system that is fair and one that will provide them with the best education to make them productive for this rapidly changing world.

Clearly, there are problems with the curriculum of the GSAT examination which must be fixed. Annually, we complain of how stressful the curriculum is, and the many faults the exam has where students at grade six are judged on topics that will be covered at higher levels. Next year around this time we will still be discussing the faults within the examination. Are we seeing a cycle here?

Blaming teachers’ colleges for accepting teachers that are not up to par cannot be accepted. Holness has the power to influence teachers’ colleges to improve on their standards to benefit the education product.

I am frustrated with Holness pushing the blame around highlighting the facts we already know. Holness should stand firm and effect the changes that ought to be made to make our education system improve giving our children the best opportunities. Next year at this time we should be stating that requirements at the teachers’ colleges were improved upon; changes to the curriculum were implemented making the exam relevant for grade six students; the ratio between teacher and students were reduced among other things.

When are we going to get serious and hold Andrew Holness accountable for the shortfalls in the education ministry? After all, he is responsible.

newspapers

New York Times

Washington Post

Jamaica Gleaner

Jamaica Observer

New York Times

Sunday Herald

They all are newspapers but they now have websites publishing their work online. Traditionally, one would wake up and if you work a nine to five job, you may have access to the office newspaper. For others, you might buy the newspaper on the streets to read. In a world where access to news is becoming more popular, are newspapers becoming outdated or can they still be relevant?

With the growing use of news networks both on radio and television, bloggers, and social networks, the news offered by newspapers are outdated. Most times they have to wait hours to print the next publication. By this time, the news has developed into something more than the initial issue. The burden is left up to journalists who should write news stories to still make the issue topical and news breaking.

We live in societies where the young are not interested in reading. But you might say how important are these sectors to the industry? They are important, ask any marketing manager of any firm and they will attest that the young in any market are driving innovativeness.  Where the younger generations are not interested in sitting and turning from page to page to view late news, newspapers must seek to become innovative to make the news accessible to people in ways that are more innovative. It is interesting that users of the internet will prefer to read online articles than skip pages of a newspaper.

Journalists are given the responsibility to inform the general public of what’s happening in the society. There duties are even more important in societies where there is a free market in the media industry. Journalists try to inspire, persuade and change opinions in their work. Through this, newspapers have added features to their package to make it more appealing. Newspaper features include: editorials, opinion pages, and different aspects which are targeted to entertainment and social activities. This adds some relevance to the product.

Newspapers have their relevance in societies to inform and to provide serious journalism. For those who opt not to use the internet surely the newspaper is a definite alternative to source breaking and topical news. However, if newspapers are to remain open for business in the near future they must become more aware of the changes in technology.

They will become outdated if they do not change how they operate business. Newspapers internationally are becoming more than ever like a television network providing current breaking news stories. Newspaper companies should be seeking to have subscribers to their service where breaking news can be emailed and send to blackberries and cell-phones. This will make their service competitive and add relevance to their work. Newspaper companies should now become innovative to remain relevant or become outdated while technologies increase.

Corve DaCosta

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If you happen to be reading this blog you might already know about Twitter, Twittering and Tweets.

There is a new buzz around, it is called Twitter. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and read each other’s updates, known as tweets. This service was made popular by normal everyday users but was plummeted to popularity by celebrities, even politicians. The service allows users to have followers who receive these updates instantaneously. These followers can also update their friends with these tweets, thus making twittering all the fun.

But why would politicians get in on twitter?

In an age where voters are not interested in politics, any way to help in the process cannot be that bad. Politicians in the United States of America on all sides are using Twitter to connect with their constituents. There is no way constituents can keep track of what representatives do while their in office. However, twitter opens the door for politicians to inform, entertain and connect with voters immediately. Clearly, users must be very careful of the information they share on twitter. There is no way it will be cool for politicians to tweet private information that the public isn’t privy to see.  Politicians can also use this tool to break news. If you are a news junkie like me, I am not always tuned into CNN, MSNBC, NBC, FOX etc. If you happen to be in Jamaica, you might be listening Nationwide, RJR or Power 106.

Here are some tips for politicians who decide to use Twitter:

1. Keep it Simple

To help in this aspect tweets are limited to 140 characters so be brief and to the point but with content.

2. Dedicate some tweets for Entertainment

Constituents do not expect you in anyway to be locked in on Parliament/Senate/ or Ministerial duties 24/7. So inform your followers when you are relaxing or even at a social event. Politicians who can show both a hardworking image and an image that you can chill and have fun are always pluses for voters. Keep in mind, not too many tweets about fun though!

3. Never share private information.

4. Be engaging

Reply to questions that are asked. Refer correspondents to sources for more information. This will show that you care.

5. Grow your follower base

This is what assistants are for. Use personal assistants to grow and expand your popularity. In an era where connecting to the youth vote is a must, this is a great tool for any politician who is seeking re-election.