While driving to work…

thTON97T6QDriving down Michigan Avenue on my way to work to pick up my check. Someday I am going to have to sign up for direct deposit. I hate coming into work on my day off, you know, it’s just when I’m not working I don’t even want to smell my job let alone see and enter it.  However, here I am in route. While stopped at a red light I saw the most peculiar sight.  One of those things that will make you do a double look, or in my case a triple look. So I am sitting in my truck listening to my talk radio. When all of a sudden a loud bang along with the ground shaking. It scared me something fierce. I thought someone rear-ended my car that is how loud the bang was and how strong the shaking. I was not the only one feeling the effects; the person in the lane besides looked shocked tremendously. All around me people were getting out their cars to check out the situation.

About three quarters of a mile east from where I was now standing a tree had fallen into traffic. Landing on a several cars and causing a traffic jam. The tree landed in such a way that the only way to get around is by foot. Unless someone removes, there is no was a car or truck could pass. It was crazy. In the distance, I could hear the sound of sirens approaching. Thank God, the emergency responders were rushing to get here. About a half a dozen of other motorist and I ran over to see if anyone need help. Three people were pinned in a minivan, one of those Chrysler town and country. The tree’s trunk had fallen across the hood of the van; the passengers were pinned in but alive, thankfully. Luckily, everyone else seemed to be unharmed. Just some vehicle damage but no one else was hurt.

What a coincidence. There were a tree service crew, from Eddie’s Tree Service, there in their work trucks. I remember seeing their website advertisement on a flyer near my house, www.wilmingtontreecare.com, incidentally I was going to call and schedule them to come out to my house. I have a tree that trunk is split in a “v”. Anyway, one of the guys said that they were on their way to a job. After calling in to let their boss know what happened, he encourage them to stay and help in any way that they could. I watched as they got out their equipment and started to cut that large tree into smaller pieces. Everyone else helped in moving the pieces to the grass along the side of the road.

With the crew hard at work and everyone pitching in, we were able to remove the tree from the road. As well as from that Chrysler Town and Country minivan. Just in time too, for the police and EMS had arrive. They were able to drive right up to the minivan with those people without any problems. The EMS and the fire department worked together to safely extract them from the vehicle and whisk them to the emergency room. While others were treated for their minor injuries right there on the spot.

I just keep thinking if I was a few minutes early I would have been one of those people directly affected by the tree falling. I could have been those people in the minivan. I am so grateful that I was just an innocent bystander than an active participant in that incident. The tree care crew that were there was amazing. Ever so helpful and professional. I will definitely give them a call. After a day like that I think im going to go home, sign up for direct deposit, and change and go see my family. That was a little too close for me, now I need the comfort and love that only family can give.

 

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Time to get lean

thDBBQ78TJIn the world of business its very important to save money wherever possible without cutting down on quality.  For a small business the is crucial, which is made even more important if that small business is a service.  One that depend direct on customers retainer and satisfaction to make its money.  Gone are the days where an employer can offer its employee a vast range of perks.  Such as free coffee, soda, snacks, or maybe a free admission to an amusement park for the employees and their families.  Its nice to think back on the days of employee picnics, brunch, and dinners where the whole family is involved.  Presently there is barley enough extra dollars to give just the employees a nice gift or something during the holidays and for birthdays.

Previously, it seems almost an must for the employer to supple its employee with a cell phone, some kind of tablet, and depending on the industry a BlackBerry, and laptop.  With the company footing the bill.  The cost of everything is increasing and amount of money people are spending is still way less than say around this time twenty years ago.  Even with the economy on the comeback folks are hesitant and distrustful of the economy.  Being previously that at anytime unbeknownst to them it could plummet.  Leaving a person facing foreclosure, job loss, without the money to buy the necessity like food, medicine, or household products.

If a business provides its employees with just a smartphone it cost on average nine hundred dollars per employee each year.  For a small business that is a lot of money.  For a small business owner to have to provide cell phones and service for, just for educational purposes, six employees.  Each year that business will have to spend around five thousand and four hundred dollars.  In ten years, assuming that there is a hiring freeze, that will cost said business owner fifty-four thousand dollars!  That’s crazy!  That’s not including all other expenses derived from running a business.  Now take that same number and put it against one of these large corporations.  That may have an employee count for three hundred, that number per year is roughly two hundred and seventy thousand dollars! Over two million dollars in ten years.  Those numbers really start to add up.

There is always an employee or two that may have something to say about no longer being able to enjoy the perks of a company issued cell phone but this also opens the employee and employer for that matter for flexibility in the work place.  With the increasing use of the virtual employee, an employee that spends most of its week away from the actual office.  The brick and mortar, and just connects online and completes her assignments off campus.  This is not a problem.  It doesn’t matter the size of the business, if its a large company with hundreds of employees or a small mom and pop  with less than a half of dozen employees.

Many people conduct personal business while at work and work while at home. Over the years these boundaries have been blurred.  Which is great for a smoother transition of no longer having company phones, expecting employees to supply their own.  That’s not to say that it will be smooth sailings through and through.  Just that some people will not mind and some will.  Best advice is to explain reasoning behind it, that it is in an effort to keep the business afloat and making money.

Although office morale is important, overspending is not an option for small business owners to stay afloat and compete against larger more lucrative companies. Try looking for creative ways to cut down money and expenses in the work place.  Hopefully employees will be more happy with retaining a job then a smartphone or tablet.

 

On the Rebound

A few years this country when through some very hard times.  Housing prices fell to record lows, folks watched as their retirement funds vanished before their eyes, and the cost of everyday items continued to rises. Some started to refer to that time as the second depression. As the economy started to blunder and fall apart, affecting many Americans from all socioeconomic levels.  As a whole, we started to cut back on spending and “do without” certain services.thZE935P0A

As times seem to keep getting increasing harder and money increasingly less many Americans, who would have never referred their selves as such before, became “do it yourselves”.  Saving money any way possible.  People were seen detailing their own car, women performing foil highlights on their own hair, homeowners performing their own lawn care and tree services.

As the economy, tries to turn itself around economist are reporting an increasing trend in spending. Albeit a small increase, it is an increase nevertheless.  Folks are taking their cars back to their detailers, women are reunited with their stylist and homeowners are ready to outsource their caretaker needs.  Soliciting lawn care and tree service businesses in increasingly numbers.  Springfield Trees of Springfield, MO, a successful and reputable tree service company, have seen an increase in customers over the last year and a half. As well as the majority of the older customer, that took a hit returning. Enjoying the care, experience and expertise a professional brings. This cautious spending true in every city, town, and village across the United States.

The best thing that came out of this dry economy is all the savings and deals created for those consumers ready and able to spend money. There were and in some areas of the country an ability to buy a house for less than two thousand dollars! As amazing AND unbelievable as that sounds. Of course, it should be assumed that a little work would have to be put into it. These cheap houses was not just in certain pocketed area around the country but almost everywhere around the country.   Homes were on the market for record low prices, even if its value was high. As was previously mention it was a buyers’ market without any buyers. Not just homes boasted of deep discounts. Retail shopping was buyers’ game. For those with the cash enjoyed sales, coupons, and clearance at prices not seen in this generation.

Recently it has been noted that consumers are still cautious with spending. After that economic downward spiral with so many people with “secured” jobs became unemployed. It taught everyone, especially the middle class to upper middle class that nothing is promised and anything can happen. Which is reflected in how Americans now spend the money they have worked hard for. Waiting for sales and coupons to augment their spending. Those days of frivolous and carefree spending is now a thing of the past. More surprisingly, it may not change anytime soon. A study was recently done following teenagers out doing some back to school shopping this past summer. Each teen was cautious and tag conscious when it came to buying items. Many left empty handed deciding to wait until summer markdowns to come back and purchase an item.   Alternatively, simply choosing to utilize clothing they already own. The study portrayed what the children of this depression gleaned from parents and family members dealing with a drastically smaller income.