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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the best threads and debates from the forums.
It's been a fiery week on UKBF, making it pretty hard to find threads that haven't descended into a ruckus. Here are my favourite, non-passive aggressive (well...maybe) posts from the last seven days:
DariusCool, General Business
“Does anyone else find themselves reacting to every problem in their business like it’s a crisis?” Darius asks. And if you do, how do you go about improving?
JEREMY HAWKE: Darius, it would have to be a threat to life or something major for me to start flapping around! This place could blow up, but if it blew up when nobody was here I wouldn’t worry too much. I think it comes with experience - people who have been in business a long time have seen it all before.
MikeJ: Can you remember what you were panicking about last month? Last year? No, me neither. There are really very few things in life to truly worry about.
DavidWH: A lesson I learnt very quickly, and as a new business is quite difficult to do: 1. Say no! If it's not worth your time and effort taking on the job, don't do it.2. Sh*t happens. Things will go wrong - don't beat yourself up about it. Sit down and figure out why it went wrong, and how to stop it going wrong in future.
Ashley_Price, Employment & HR
Ashley presents this hypothetical situation:
John is the subject of a disciplinary. He’s interviewed by the HR person, and there’s someone taking notes to turn into minutes later on. In the follow up meeting, John complains that the minutes are inaccurate and what he’s said has been twisted.
What’s the process here? Would the meeting and minutes be taken again?
Cyndy has this one covered...
Newchodge: It’s a very common situation. No-one, even the best short-hand taker (and there are few of them around these days), can take verbatim notes: they record their impression of what is said. […] The next issue is that, unless the employee has taken copious notes, they will be correcting from memory. It is impossible to take decent notes while fully participating in a meeting, which is why note takers are used. Then you have the problem of the employee knowing what they meant to say, but it is very possible that, in the stress of the meeting they didn't say what they meant.
TimMcG, Employment & HR
Tim is on a working-from-home contract, which states that he’ll need to go into the office a number of times to attend meetings, around once a month. Since he handed his notice in, the company are insisting he goes in every day, making a two and a half hour commute each way.
Tim thinks they’re just doing this to persuade him to leave without serving his notice period, so they won’t have to pay his salary.
Gecko001: It looks like they have changed your base place of work. Was it confirmed in writing?
Alan: Tell them that you consider every day to mean a permanent change, and that no consultation has taken place. You will continue to perform your normal duties from your contracted permanent place of work until the consultations have taken place. They will, of course, go mad and probably sack you. In this case, you then seek out an unfair dismissal claim, which will cost them more than paying your notice. A double win for you!
Newchodge: Put in writing to them that, as you have not changed your base and there is no work requirement for you to be in the office every day, you will continue to work to your contract, ie from home, until the expiry of your notice period. Address this to your manager's manager, as well as your direct manager. Email it tonight.
jibbajabba, General Business
jibbajabba’s ecommerce business is running low on funds, and he’s struggling to afford his designer. He’s thinking about offering her a stake in the business for two reasons: firstly, for cash flow and secondly, to increase her interest and investment in the business.
Does anyone else think this is a good idea?
Ryedale: We get asked this a lot and it's always a straight no, regardless of how good the business may potentially be. Future profits don't pay staff wages and overheads. People often get very offended by it!
Lloyd Williams: I’d never accept it. Would you work for an employer for free on the promise that one day if they ‘make it’ you’ll get a lot of money? Would you do so knowing that the vast majority of businesses don’t make it past two to five years?
Deanpunchard: I think making a person who has one skill a shareholder could be risky, and not a great deal for either side. They might not want to become a shareholder, or simply want cash to pay for food. From your point of view, you'll be tied to this one designer. What if trends change and their style is no longer what you want? What if they become ill and can't produce the work, but are still entitled to the dividend?
Last but not least, if you’ve had it with January and you’re ready to hunker down for the weekend, check out a list of movies the UKBF crowd have recently watched. The reviews aren’t all positive, but I’d vouch for documentary The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (yes, that’s the antivirus guy) and Lost Boys – always a classic!
Have a great weekend!
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