Pitfalls of Business Travel

first_imgModel car on mapThese and many other expressions are used in the circles in which we travel, whether it is retail or not, whether we are young or old, new to the management ranks or a C-level executive. Everyone should understand what these expressions mean. But living up to those expectations, is entirely something else.This article is intended for the loss prevention professional, whether you are a single unit manager, district or regional level, or corporate executive. Regardless of whether you have two years experience, or 32, this is a subject we all need to think about.EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by a senior loss prevention executive in one of the top 100 retailers in the United States. Because of the nature of the topic, getting corporate approval to publish this article under his or her name would be impossible. However, we believe the topic is important to the LP industry and, therefore, have chosen to publish this article anonymously- Sponsor – Issues of PerceptionIn our first experience in management, no matter where we started, we quickly encounter hypocrisy and issues of perception. Not that we are running for political office, but we might as well be.Excessive drinking, rich foods, and who knows what else. This can be life on the road when there is nothing better to do except work…and that can be done tomorrow or the next day, not tonight.One of our primary priorities in loss prevention is to identify employees who are doing things dishonestly or unethically, bring the behavior to light, and, in some cases, see that the employee is terminated. Then, how often do we leave work and engage in behaviors that make the employee we fired earlier that day look like a choirboy?Essentially, we are role model by day and hypocrite by night.Ask yourself this question. Have you ever read the newspaper headlines about a sports hero who does something stupid, says the wrong thing, or goes to the wrong place, damaging his career, and we mutter under our breath, “That idiot.” In fact, we may engage in similar behavior, not get caught or identified, and be completely oblivious to our own conduct…and the hypocrisy rolls on.The First-Time ManagerNow that I have sufficiently and unfairly lumped all good LP professionals in with the bad, let’s start from the beginning and set a course for behavior awareness and modification.The loss prevention executive most frequently starts his career in a single unit with a five- to six-day work week, basic store hours, a few nights here and there, a couple of overnight surveillances, and that’s about it. But soon, here comes the company traveler with news from far away places. This guy is an investigator, district or regional director, or from headquarters. He has a company credit card, a daily allocation for meals, and complete freedom to come and go as he pleases. To the store-level executive, he is “the man”—a real player.The store guy, from hereon referred to as Joey, soon starts to emulate him, talk like him, act like him, and treat him as a role model. The next thing you know they are having a beer after work, talking about life on the road, and all the stuff that has very little to do with loss prevention or the company that they work for.Soon, Joey starts imagining himself in that role. He figures a couple of good inventory results, the right connections, a good presentation or two, a handful of quality employee interviews, and the resume is complete. Time for a spin in the company car.So our guy lands the job. He is promoted in the organization, or maybe to a new company. Armed with nothing other than a briefcase and a questionable sense for prioritization, he begins his multistore career—and here is where the real story beginsLessons of the RoadThe first thing that he realizes is that it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It can be a lonely place on the road. But he has a solution for that, he calls his wife, girlfriend, or significant other 27 times on his first day. But that starts to wear off once they have exhausted topics that range from what they ate for lunch to who was on Oprah.The next thing he discovers is that nobody is monitoring him, and he does, in fact, have the freedom that he anticipated. But is that freedom a good thing? It differs from the structured life of a single-unit manager. When are the meetings? Who to have lunch with? Conference calls? These things happen on the road, but far less frequently.He notices that his boss calls once or twice a week, checking on mostly surface issues. It soon becomes apparent that he is responsible for his own actions and that he will have to establish his own disciplines. However, he is not at that point yet. He is still searching, exploring, and learning.One of the first things he discovers is extra sleep. Most of his stores open at 10:00 a.m. He used to report for work to his single unit at 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. How else do you use those two extra hours, but for sleep?Then he learns the timing issues. Always plan and execute early checkout of the hotel. You want no checkout receipts with a 9:30 a.m. time on them. No breakfast receipts like that either. He finds that he can take advantage of the free breakfast to avoid the receipt issue entirely as well as save his allowed meal money for dinner. It is kind of like Rachel Ray’sBest Eats in Town for $40 a Day.He also learns that his boss rarely calls him on the cell or at the hotel in the early morning hours. Why? Who knows? It just doesn’t happen.All of this thought, planning, and behavior to get a couple of extra hours sleep and avoid sending emails, answering voice mails, prepping for the day, and setting priorities. Why? Because nobody told him any differentlyThe Work DayJoey arrives at his first location promptly at 10:30 a.m. Nobody notices. Nobody says anything. His boss doesn’t know. All is good. The plan works to perfection.Joey soon considers that an equal amount of planning for the end of the day should work as well, if not better. Depending on where the corporate office is located, or where his boss is headquartered, East or West Coast, dictates how long the working day will last.If Joey is based in the West with his boss in the East, Joey will be hard to find or track by cell after 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. This aspect of the home office work ethic develops due to the lack of phone calls or emails requiring an immediate response in the late afternoon. This turns into a habit that causes him to become increasingly less productive as he is left to his own devices. He wants to be managed. He wants some structure. But he just doesn’t know it yet.Some managers inadvertently foster this behavior because they are fearful of being labeled a “micro-manager.” So they steer clear of conducting the required and needed check ups, task assignments, and other management interaction that is part of their supervisory role that ensures the person works a full day. The lack of direction further encourages Joey’s behavior.Ready for the NightNow that he has managed a typically under-productive business day, it is time to get focused on his social calendar, which continues to grow in importance. You see, Joey has learned to prioritize what is important.Occasionally these “social get-togethers” will involve a fellow LP staff member, sometimes the local district sales manager, or even store associates are in play. Joey is looking for some company to alleviate the loneliness, and any port in the storm will do. The wife is 500 miles away and suspects nothing. Excessive drinking, rich foods, and who know what else are in the cards. This can be life on the road when there is nothing better to do except work—and that can be done tomorrow or the next day, not tonight.So, a late night of foolishness develops, full of comments that may come back to haunt him, behaviors that will tarnish his reputation and can not be easily corrected, not to mention the potential damage to his physical well being.This night is not an isolated incident either. It more than likely becomes a chain of behavior that folds one day over the next, week in, week out, becoming a habit that puts his health, family, and career in jeopardy.Taking ResponsibilityNow, before you think that this article is transitioning to a warm-and-fuzzy self-help piece focusing on nutrition and exercise, it is not. We need to save Joey from himself, and we cannot get there with that as a focus. The focus needs to be on us—the managers and executives responsible for the Joeys in our organization.We need to help salvage his career before it ends all too quickly. And it will end for one of a variety of reasons. It may be because the abuse is detected by an inquiry of the travel expenses or investigative surveillance by the managers who failed Joey. Sometimes, Joey himself may recognize the abusive behavior and without any will power or ability to change, he is forced to take a dramatic step. He quits, saying the travel is getting to him. What was probably getting to him is the financial trouble for the unreimbursed bar bills and other extravagances. Or his wife forces a change because he inadvertently communicates how much fun he is having away from her and the kids. If that’s the case, Joey can’t confess to the abuse to his boss, so he takes the safer path and quits, takes a lesser job, and rationalizes the reduction in travel as an improvement in the quality of life.Maybe that is the case, but it didn’t have to be that way. The loss prevention professional on the road needs coaching on how to travel, how to function away from home and office, and what he or she will encounter and how to deal with it. They need planning skills to help them manage both their business and personal life.They need tips on how to deal with the spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend, and how to be a good partner and parent who must travel often. For example, if you constantly mention how much you hate the travel or hate being away from them, they will commiserate with you and that is not helpful. Calling from a restaurant at 11:30 p.m. is a bad idea no matter how you put it—“The flight was late,” “Traffic was terrible,” “Bad weather.” It becomes just another excuse, and it wears on them. You see, they, too, are lonely, and they don’t need to hear it.On the other hand, if you catch a sporting event on the road or enjoy a great dinner, downplay it. No need to lie, just emphasize how you can’t wait to get home, because, hopefully, that is the truth.It is, however, essential to mention the importance of what you are doing, because your family needs to know that you believe in what you are doing. You are working for both your future and the collective benefit of your family. But don’t over do it. It is not necessary to call multiple times day. And gifts, such as flowers for the wife or knickknacks for the kids, are okay once in a great while, but they are expensive and unnecessary. They are perceived as you are expecting or hoping for forgiveness, and you can not keep it up over time. Once you stop bringing home a gift, they will think something is definitely wrongTraining Young ManagersI said above that those of us in management and executive positions need to be responsible for helping young professionals manage their work life on the road. How do we do that?In researching this article, I hoped to find training materials or other articles where others who are much smarter than me have compiled all the guidance necessary to help us give our people the direction they need. I found none. Perhaps you have suggestions. However we come up with the information, the loss prevention industry needs to have answers for this situation.I’ll throw out a few suggestions to start. Hopefully, you will respond with more ideas.To begin with, senior executives need to set an example. Limit alcohol consumption. Don’t dismiss erratic or unprofessional behavior as an isolated incident, and certainly don’t instigate unprofessional behavior yourself. Ensure that you treat your staff members in a business-like way, even in social settings.Dedicate time at your local and regional meetings to discuss travel and expenses and the importance of responsibility and good judgment.Develop procedures for monitoring mileage logs and post-travel expense statements. More importantly, communicate that travel and expenses are monitored for abuses as a standard rule. If travelers know they are monitored, they will develop good spending and behavior habits.  Provide alternative suggestions for promoting healthy, positive behaviors on the road. Good eating and exercise suggestions are available to help travelers maintain their physical and mental health   (see “Fitness Balance at Home and on the Road”).Living up to PerceptionThis article was not about being good at the job. Most organizations spend a lot of time, energy, and resources making sure our people are good at what they do. But there are far too many Joeys in our business, and we need to stop the trend. We need to direct them better, monitor them more closely, guide them to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen those who came before them, never assuming that they will get it on their own.They need to understand that perception is important. After all, the loss prevention industry stands for integrity in the workplace. We need to provide our people with the tools to live up to that perception, not only to those we associate with in the business world, but also those who rely on us at home, those who look up to us as Mom or Dad, and, maybe most importantly, those we look at in the mirror. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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Employee and Accomplice Charged with Embezzling about $110K from Department Store

first_imgTwo women were charged with felony embezzlement after they told police they had worked together to steal as much as $110,000 from a James City County department store.Jessica Chenise Bartlett, 41 of York, and Tamniqua Juavonne Fields, 36 of James City, were charged with felony embezzlement and conspiring to commit larceny, according to filings in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.On November 1, both women were interviewed by James City County investigators and admitted in separate interviews they had worked together to steal merchandise from the Belk store at the WindsorMeade Marketplace in James City County, according to the court documents.- Sponsor – Fields told police she had stolen about $30,000 worth of merchandise and Bartlett said she had worked with Fields to take about $80,000 worth of merchandise since November 1, 2018, the filings said. Both women told police they had worked out a scheme where… The Virginia Gazette Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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To get to the cloud faster, finish virtualizing your datacenter

first_imgThis blog was shared by Kathy Browning:Kathy is an Alliance Marketing Manager at Intel. She has 30 years experience working in the high tech industry holding a variety of roles in both Information Technology and Marketing. She is passionate about the advances in technology that enable both consumers and enterprises to achieve more value in their lives and their business. Currently she manages relationships with software providers to deliver innovative solutions in security, manageability, networking, and storage that are transforming today’s data centers. These days, you don’t need to be a large enterprise to receive the benefits of the cloud. As virtualization increasingly goes mainstream, more small and medium businesses are virtualizing their servers to receive the benefits of greater compute agility, streamlined operations management, energy efficiency, and higher platform performance.Once you’ve virtualized your servers, it’s easy to start dreaming about moving to a private cloud, with its dedicated pool of dynamic computing resources and the agility of IT as a Service.But not so fast. If a private cloud is your goal, then the best way to get there is by virtualizing the rest of your infrastructure — storage and networking. Identifying and building the right virtualized foundation for a private cloud is critical, and building upon Intel hardware and technology with virtualization software solutions from companies like VMware builds an excellent infrastructure for gaining new levels of efficiency, control, agility, and security through virtualization.Your virtual infrastructure strategy should include:Network virtualization:10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) adapters, virtual switches, and VLANs working together to create “big pipe” unified networking. And not just bigger pipe, but richer, smarter pipe that can be dynamically provisioned and scaled for all kinds of network traffic, including transport of block-based storage, while maintaining virtual machine (VM) isolation on the same physical networking hardware.Storage virtualization:A fully virtualized infrastructure requires a high performance cluster file system that allows virtualization to scale beyond the boundaries of a single system.  This virtualized system needs to provide multiple VMs with shared access to a consolidated pool of clustered storage to improve storage resource utilization and flexibility.Hardware enabled security:The move to cloud solutions requires protection from new threats while ensuring compliance requirements are met.  Intel® Trusted Execution Technology  (Intel® TXT) ensures that key server platform components, such as hypervisors and the BIOS, have not been modified and have launched into verified “known good states.” By working with the SW ecosystem we are able to take this a step further and provide innovative policy management, migration control, security reporting, and reporting and compliance use models that help address nagging limitations to existing and emerging virtualization and cloud deployments.Private clouds evolve from virtualized infrastructures, and if you want to grab the benefits of a private cloud, you need to finish virtualizing your datacenter.We’ll be talking about these topics in-depth in the Intel sessions and at the Intel booth, #1131 at VMworld August 26-30 in San Francisco. We hope you will join us!last_img read more

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Probable line-ups: Roma v Napoli

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Roma could give Mert Cetin his first start as they host Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico, while doubts remain on the visiting front pair. It kicks off at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview. There is only one point separating the two sides going into the weekend, with Napoli drawing 2-2 in the controversial game against Atalanta and Roma putting four past Udinese. Federico Fazio is suspended due to his red card in Udine, he joins the lengthy list of absentees from the squad, which include the injured Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, Nikola Kalinic, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Davide Zappacosta. It means Mert Cetin could be in with a chance of making his full debut for the Giallorossi at the centre of defence. Gianluca Mancini will continue to deputise in central midfield. Edin Dzeko will lead the line, with Justin Kluivert, Javier Pastore and Nicolo Zaniolo expected to be playing just behind the Bosnian. Napoli meanwhile will be without coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was sent off in the draw against La Dea on Wednesday.  Right-back Kevin Malcuit is out for six months following knee surgery, midfielder Allan is also out for four weeks with a sprained knee. The good news is that former defender Kostas Manolas has returned to face his former club, whilst Mario Rui is also expected to return. Elseid Hysaj is struggling with a fratured sternum. Piotr Zielinski is expected to replace Allan in midfield, with Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens set to play up front, with Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon on the wings. Mertens has a great record against Roma, scoring five goals from his last five games. However, there are mixed reports on who will lead the line this afternoon, as Hirving Lozano is also in with a shout. Roma: Pau Lopez; Spinazzola, Cetin, Smalling, Kolarov; Veretout, Mancini; Kluivert, Pastore, Zaniolo; Dzeko Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Callejon, Zielinski, Fabian Ruiz, Insigne; Milik, Mertens Ref: Rocchilast_img read more

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10 months agoHasenhuttl warns Southampton over Lemina future

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Hasenhuttl warns Southampton over Lemina futureby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl insists he doesn’t want to lose Mario Lemina.Lemina has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-German ahead of the January market.But Hasenhuttl insisted: “Lemina is a very important player for us and, though he’s not 100 per cent fit, I need him.”Meanwhile the Austrian is still worried about getting his message across. “Speaking in English in front of my players is getting better and better every day, but I want to improve this,” he admitted. last_img read more

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Photo: Someone Sprayed #BringBackBruce On Tennessee’s Famous Rock

first_imgTennessee rock spray painted with "Bring Back Bruce."The Rock is one of the major landmarks at the University of Tennessee. According to the UT Athletics website, for decades, students have painted the rock with messages ranging from “birth announcements to memorials, break-up messages to marriage proposals, protests of war to messages of peace, celebration of Vol victories to expressions of, shall we say, disappointment.”Apparently , at least one Tennessee student decided to use The Rock as a personal billboard to advocate the return of former men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl enjoyed a successful six-year tenure in Knoxville from 2006-11, before being fired for numerous NCAA infractions. He is currently the head coach of Auburn University. The Vols are in the market for a new head coach after Donnie Tyndall was fired this week for…NCAA violations. Our amateur artist feels Pearl’s track record (at least the positive parts of it) make him the perfect replacement for Tyndall.#BringBackBruce on the rock @coachbrucepearl #VFL pic.twitter.com/QhYzgObwxb— Brandon Carpenter (@bcarp49) March 28, 2015last_img read more

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Judge to decide if Nazi troll storm is protected speech

first_imgMISSOULA, Mont. – Attorneys for a neo-Nazi website publisher and a Montana woman asked a judge Tuesday to decide whether the white nationalist had a First Amendment right to unleash a “troll storm” of anti-Semitic messages and threats against the Jewish woman’s family.U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch heard arguments in Missoula on whether to dismiss a lawsuit by Tanya Gersh, a real-estate agent from the mountain resort community of Whitefish, against The Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin.Lynch didn’t indicate how soon he would rule, said Marc Randazza, one of Anglin’s attorneys.“It was clear that he’s been thinking very deeply about the constitutional issues,” Randazza said in a text message Tuesday.Lynch previously ruled against Anglin’s argument to dismiss Gersh’s claims of emotional distress, intimidation and invasion of privacy because Anglin is “not a citizen of any state” and has been living abroad for years.But the judge wanted to hear from attorneys on both sides in the courtroom before he ruled on another key argument in Anglin’s motion to dismiss — that the neo-Nazi publisher was engaged in political speech protected under the First Amendment.Gersh sued Anglin last year after he published a post in 2016 calling for an “old fashioned troll storm” with the personal information of Gersh and others whom Anglin accused of “extorting” the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.Gersh said she agreed to help Spencer’s mother, Sherry, sell property she owns in Whitefish. She accused Gersh of threatening and harassing her into agreeing to sell the property.Gersh said in her lawsuit that her family received hundreds of harassing messages from Anglin’s followers, including one that was just a recording of gun shots. Another message for her 12-year-old son told him to look inside an oven for a free video game console, a reference to a method that Nazis used to kill Jews during the Holocaust.Anglin argues through his attorney that he was only inviting his readers to protest Gersh’s actions. He also argues that he is not liable for his followers’ actions and that the personal information he published was publicly available.The messages Gersh received were “mean-spirited, nasty, brutish and uncalled for,” but also political hyperbole and not a true threat, Anglin’s attorneys Randazza and Jay Wolman wrote in a court document that lays out their argument.“If we are to reject speech because it comes from an unorthodox group, we do violence to the very underpinnings of our notions of liberty,” Randazza and Wolman wrote.Gersh, who is being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in response that the First Amendment’s free-speech protections do not include a co-ordinated attack through private communications meant to cause substantial emotional harm.Anglin wasn’t speaking on any broad public issues, Gersh attorneys David Dinielli and John Morrison wrote. Rather, he directed his followers to terrorize Gersh personally through private means of communication.“Severe emotional distress was not only the foreseeable consequence of (Anglin’s) troll storm but its very end, and (Anglin) cannot wash his hands of it,” the attorneys wrote.In a statement released Tuesday, Dinielli said he was encouraged that the magistrate is “examining the claims of our client with such care,” and she is eager for the chance to prove her claims to a jury.last_img read more

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Ticket service data breach disrupts music venues

first_imgPROVIDENCE, R.I. – Concert ticketing service Ticketfly says it’s working to get its system back online after a data breach leaked users’ personal information and disrupted services at live music venues.The San Francisco firm’s parent company, Eventbrite, said Sunday it’s working with outside experts to investigate the hack.It hasn’t disclosed the details to customers, but a website that tracks data breaches says the leak affected more than 26 million user accounts.The “Have I Been Pwned?” (POHNED) website also said Sunday that stolen data included email addresses, names, phone numbers and physical addresses.The breach left nightclubs and other venues from Santa Cruz, California, to Providence, Rhode Island, scrambling for alternatives to sell tickets for weekend shows.Eventbrite bought rival Ticketfly for $200 million last year from music service Pandora.last_img read more

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Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones Infowars

first_imgLONDON – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his “Infowars” show, as many other social media platforms have done, saying he did not break any rules.Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify took down over the past week material published by Jones, reflecting more aggressive enforcement of their hate speech policies after rising online backlash and raising pressure on Twitter to do the same.Jones’ Facebook account has also been suspended for 30 days but he still has a “verified” Twitter account. A separate Twitter account for “Infowars” is also still running.“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” Dorsey said in a series of tweets late Tuesday . “We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does.”Dorsey said Twitter did not want to take “one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”He said he wanted the company to avoid succumbing to outside pressure but instead impartially enforce straightforward principles “regardless of political viewpoints.” He also linked to a blog post Tuesday by the company’s vice-president for trust and safety, Del Harvey, outlining the company’s policies.“Twitter is reflective of real conversations happening in the world and that sometimes includes perspectives that may be offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted,” she said. “While we welcome everyone to express themselves on our service, we prohibit targeted behaviour that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others.”Jones, who has 858,000 followers on Twitter, has built up his profile while promulgating conspiracy theories, including the claim that the 9-11 terror attacks were carried out by the government. He is perhaps most notorious for claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting, which left 26 children and adults dead, was a hoax and that the surviving relatives are paid actors. Family members of some of the victims are suing Jones for defamation.Dorsey said that it’s up to journalists to “document, validate, and refute” rumours and sensationalized issues spread by accounts like Jones’s so “people can form their own opinions.”Twitter is taking other steps besides account deletions to combat misuse in its battle to rein in hate and abuse even as it tries to stay true to its roots as a bastion of free expression. Dorsey acknowledged last year that the company hasn’t done enough to curb such abuse and protect users.Jones says his shows, which are broadcast on radio and online platforms and had been available on YouTube, reached at least 70 million people a week. It’s unclear how big his audience is now after the latest bans.last_img read more

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