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Freebie Etiquette (Yes, There is Such a Thing!) When you are on the hunt for free stuff, it can be easy to be so blinded by the offers that your manners go flying out the window completely. You may also just not realize that when it comes to taking advantage of freebies there is a general code of conduct that it pays to follow. While you are racking up the free stuff, keep these common courtesy rules in mind so that you are doing your part to keep the hunt for freebies fun and enjoyable. Freebie etiquette rule number one is to remember that there is a face behind every freebie, no matter how distant it may seem. Since so many freebies come from websites and you don?t actually have interaction with a human being while you are getting them, it can be very easy to forget that someone (or very likely, a lot of someones) worked hard to bring you that website and that free deal. If you have a problem with a website or a form while trying to get some free stuff, deal with it as respectfully as you would if you had to approach a customer service rep in person. Leaving foul-mouthed posts on a message board or unloading a barrage of outrage on a customer reply form isn?t the way forward. Someone ? a real person ? will have to help you, and you?ll get a lot further by treating them with respect. Respect is also the name of the game when it comes to rules attached for freebie offers. There are often restrictions in place for taking advantage of free offers, such as the age you have to be to cash in on the offer or how many offers per household can be taken. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around these rules and ?trick? a company into giving you an offer for which you are not really eligible. However, when you try to simply bleed out as many free offers as you can, you?re only making it hard on companies to be able to keep bringing these offers to you. If this freebie isn?t for you, take a back seat and make room for the folks who can take advantage of it. Your time will come. Related to this last rule is the idea of not being too greedy when gobbling up the free stuff. Just because something is free doesn?t mean you should use a ?smash and grab? approach and go for as much as you can get of anything you can get. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who like to get in on the freebies, too, and think about how you would feel if you lost out on something you really wanted because someone came along and took them all. Don?t take more than your share of any free offer, and don?t take things you don?t want or need just because they?re free. Everyone loses when you do that. Last but not least, if you have an opportunity to say thanks for a freebie, grab it. Of course, this can be hard to do when the free offers you are taking advantage of are found on the Internet, but there are still ways. Look for the customer comment field in the request forms you fill out to get your free stuff and leave a quick thank you there. You can also write a thank you on message boards and chat rooms that are associated with the freebie websites. The good will generated by your gratitude will only help convince companies that freebie offers are useful tools for reeling in the customers.

Bring These Important Tips to the Table in a Telecommuting Argument Are you tired of the sound of the alarm clock every morning? Are you equally tired of trying to figure out what to wear every day (ladies) and fighting the rush hour traffic to get to the office in time? How about spending almost your entire paycheck on gas to put in your car to get you to work? There is a way around all of this of course ? telecommuting. When you telecommute to work, you can catch a little bit of extra shut eye and head to work in your pajamas, without even getting in the shower. But aside from the convenience factor, there can be a lot of other good reasons why telecommuting makes sense. If you can put together a convincing enough argument for your employer, you may find yourself going to work in your bedroom slippers before you know it. The first thing you have to keep in mind about your telecommuting argument is that you have to make sure you have plenty of evidence that telecommuting will be beneficial to your employer, not just you. Sure, you would love to be able to see the kids off to school in the morning and take your coffee break in front of your favorite soap operas, but your boss doesn?t care about all of that. Though you don?t have to hide the fact that telecommuting will obviously have its privileges for you from your boss, remember to include plenty of ammunition for benefits to the company as well. What can you bring to the table in terms of telecommuting advantages for your boss? Point your boss to a growing amount of research on the internet that shows that big companies have seen big increases in productivity when they started letting people telecommute and work from the comfort of their homes. Everyone knows that a rested and stress free employee is a productive one, and offices can be filled with more distractions than your home (gossiping employees, phones always ringing). Some companies have seen increases in productivity of over 50%, something that is sure to get your boss?s attention. You can also point out to your boss that absenteeism takes a nosedive when people telecommute. No need to take a fake sick day to get out of going to office when you work from home, and even when people are under the weather, when the office is in the next room, they still tend to get a few things done on a day that would have been a total write off otherwise. Another selling point for your boss may be that everyone else is already doing it. More than half of the companies in the US have employees that telecommute, with great results. Your boss won?t want to let the company fall behind ? and your boss will know that offering what other companies have is important for employee retention. Make sure your boss knows that what you are asking for is not out of the ordinary in any way. Beyond the selling points for your boss, you can be specific about a few benefits to you. Bosses know that gas is major issue for employees ? telecommuting is a way they can let you cut back on that big expense, without feeling under pressure to respond with wage hikes. If you have customers that live near your house, let your boss know it will be easier to meet them face-to-face if you work from home. Last but not least, let your boss know that you believe you can deliver more to the company from the comfort of your home - more work for the same pay is always music to an employer?s ears.

The Job Interview ? How to Handle Getting Around a Negatively Asked Question Many dread that day that they have to go for an interview. Looking professionally dressed, acting professional and displaying the knowledge is all important. Employers and interviewers test you for anything and everything that you can think about--from your likes and dislikes to the actual experiences with this type of work to the facts. Most of these questions you can dodge and answer safely and securely. But how about those negatively asked questions, how could you professionally dodge those questions? Often times a reaction to a negative question is what can make or break the deal. Sometimes employers ask these questions on purpose to see what your reaction might be and to be able to determine first of all your character and second of all, if the negative event in your life is related to a good or bad character. So how can you master these questions and possibly pass the tests? One of the most important factors when getting prepared to dodge difficult questions is to be secure and knowledgeable about any points on your résumé and in your life. If you have a good answer prepared for difficult situations that happened in your life, it will be an ease for you to get around negatively asked questions. Whenever an interviewer asks you a negative question, make sure you stay calm and do not answer hastily. Sometimes it is enough to give a very short answer and it does not necessarily need a complete explanation that might get you stuck. The longer the answer you try to make up, the easier you might stumble over something and then fall hard. When trying to get around a negatively asked question, besides that fact that you need to stay calm and give a short answer, try to get to a different topic. Strike up a conversation about your more positive skills and accomplishments and therefore get around that question that might have bothered you otherwise. In some instances, depending on the content of the question, it might even be best to answer truthfully. What if you were asked about staying home for no obvious reason? At least according to your résumé there is no job, no new degree or similar mentioned. Maybe it was for a sick relative or the birth of a baby? Why not use the truth in these cases as an answer. When answering difficult questions you might have to decide often on the spot how to answer. In any case, it will almost never help you to make up a lie for a negatively asked question. A lie can get you into a situation you cannot get out of, but the truth can never get you in a worth situation than you are in by answering the questions truthfully. If you do not want to answer truthfully because you think it can hurt your image, sometimes it then is better not to answer the questions. Try to divert the attention successfully to another more positive topic such as your achievements, earlier project or similar other experiences that led to a positive result. Keep in mind that the interviewer is testing to see if you are a good fit for the company and they do not exactly know you. They know a few facts about you, but the do not know the whole picture and especially not about the more negative things they might want to find moiré information about. So when going for a an interview and trying to get around a negatively question, make sure to be honest or to not get into details if you do not want to discuss the issue, but mainly make sure that you stay calm, do not get excited about it. A calm confident person can easily answer any and all questions that might be posed to him or her.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.