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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 22, 2010 / 14 Tishrei, 5771

The Office

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The office is a kind of second family for those of us who work in one, with just as wide a range of characters.

One day the office can resemble a scene out of Dilbert ("I don't suffer from stress; I'm a carrier") or from "Mad Men." ("You are the product. You feeling something. That's what sells.") Or any scenario in between, depending on which characters are doing what at the time. The plot varies. Sometimes it thickens, sometimes it thins. Depending on the day, you may find yourself in a cardboard drama like "Executive Suite" or a slapstick comedy like "The Front Page."

Every office needs a full cast of characters, admirable and un-. Roles change, moods and role models vary. Today's goof-off can be tomorrow's hero. And vice-versa. There are those who observe the proper boundaries and those who transgress them. The troublemakers and the healers. Those who smooth the way and those who set stumbling blocks for others. Those who don't fit through no fault of their own, and those who refuse to fit for good reason. There are the talented and those who only think they are, the competent and the not so.

Strangely enough, or maybe not so strangely, the most talented may be the least temperamental. People, being people, will surprise you.

For viewing a variety of human types in action -- or inaction -- it's hard to beat an office, that combination of business operation and social menagerie. Doubtless there have been reams of studies, psychological and sociological, about how organizations operate or don't, but nothing offers a better perspective on office life than being part of one. But being part of an office may also distort perspective. Or just eliminate it. How expect the figures in a picture to see beyond the frame?

Offices -- whether private or public, military or civil, church or state, educational or correctional -- have some things in common. For instance: how well each office works depends on the workers. Personnel is policy. Find the right people and policy may not need to be spelled out; it just flows.

But finding the right people isn't easy. To repeat a Reaganism, mistakes will be made. The wrong people have an unfortunate tendency to do wrong things. But when the right fit is made, it's beautiful. Work gets done, people get along, even grow fond of one another. Office politics withers, supplanted by trust. And things get done. For the most efficient force in the world remains good will. Accept no substitutes.

People make all the difference. As at least one airline has discovered. JetBlue made a brilliant decision not long ago when it started hiring retired New York police officers and firefighters as flight attendants -- just the kind of folks accustomed to operating under the stress that airline travel has become.

To quote one of the airline's managers, "NYPD and FDNY are almost brands themselves, and it fits well with us." The retirees seem to like it, too. As one fireman turned air steward put it: "This is not as stressful as running into a burning building where smoke is down to the floor and you are trying to find people."

One long-time flight attendant for JetBlue made less welcome news not long ago. The way he told it, he'd finally cracked after having to deal with one insufferable passenger too many. One of those people who are always in too big a hurry ignored instructions and got up to fetch a bag from the overhead before the aircraft had come to a complete stop -- and then mouthed off when told to sit back down.

That did it. The steward picked up the intercom, let loose with some choice words, activated the emergency chute, grabbed a couple of bottles of beer on his way out, and took a flying leap out of the airplane -- and probably out of his line of work. He's now been suspended, and faces charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

The steward's story evoked a wave of sympathy for him throughout the country. Who hasn't seen how bores and boors act on planes? The poor guy must have been sore provoked; who could blame him for cracking at last?

But last I'd heard, no passenger was able to verify the errant steward's account of these events. And -- uh oh -- there was talk of his angling for a role on a reality TV show.

This much remains clear: Without self-restraint in a society -- on an airplane, in the office, at home or work -- things fall apart. When manners fail, so does everything else.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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