Category Archives: Business

Goodbye to Nabisco & Honey Grahams

Good-bye to NABISCO

Since my toddler days, I can recall my  father, of Italian/American descent enjoying a breakfast tradition of a biscotti and coffee, sitting down at the breakfast table  with Nabisco’s Uneeda Biscuits and a cup of coffee.

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As a schoolgirl, we often had Nabisco’s graham crackers for our own breakfast.  Newly married, and during my pregnancies,  I ate only graham crackers for those nauseous mornings and later  I mixed graham crackers with formula or my own breast milk for my infants.  Graham crackers and milk were a staple for fast school-age breakfasts and included in the lunch bag as a dessert or snack.  As an adult, I reached for graham crackers on those winter-sick cold-virus days when food was not appetizing.   Or as a sneak low-calorie snack during serious dieting,

When I found out recently that Nabisco has already moved some and is planning to move its food operations to Mexico, I felt like I lost my family friend.   Quoting from the internet,

“This sort of thing seems to be a new trend among corporations.   Produce their product overseas where they can reap bigger profits because they use cheaper labor and usually don’t have to deal with unions and I bet there are far less regulations & inspections by government agencies.  Their greed comes at a huge loss for us.”

You can say that again – for me, too.  Along these lines, I have had several occurrences with overseas’ products.  One was with a prescription medicine I take for a chronic issue.  My health provider sent me a generic brand which was made in a country I never heard of.    I checked into it because it caused itching attributed – according to my doctor – from the added green dye color.  I dropped the insurance company and went back to the brand name.   No more itching.

The second incident was a pair of shoes I ordered online – they cost $79.99 and were on sale for $51.99.  They have a sweet button on my toe line   I wore them on vacation and  developed infected burn blisters in that same sweet button design  engraved on my toes.    I investigated and they were made in China and similar to the children’s burn marks from thongs made in China a few years back.  Bad investment.

Also made in China was catnip we purchased for our beloved cat which was packaged in the USA but made in China.  Fortunately for our cat, it was recalled (causing death in cats) before I gave it to him.   I will not buy anything anymore that is made in these unregulated countries – like China & Mexico.

I will not support American companies who are so greedy to take jobs away from Americans which affects our economy negatively and/or sell less regulated products for the same price and lead us down the path to third-world status.

“Mexico offers a certification option, but it doesn’t require it. The US does spot checks – on farms and at the border – but requires no standards certification. The main exporters face standards dictated by third-party auditors demanded by American clients. But some growers, they say, do not have direct relationships with the end client in the US. They sell to brokers, and some are more lax than others. That, Usabiaga says, is where the danger to all looms.”

GOODBYE NABISCO   untitled (96)  NO LONGER ON MY SHELF

Here is an article  from USA Today “Food Safety From Mexican Farm to Costco to your plate.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/1023/Food-safety-From-Mexican-farm-to-Costco-to-your-plate.

PS – Since Donald Trump called Nabisco out on 8/19/15 speech, the  Mexico regulation articles that were on the internet last night are ‘coincidentally not available’ this morning.

Marie Coppola August 2015

 

The Buddy System – For Company’s New Hires

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Part of my job responsibilities was managing the new hire orientation for our department.   I devised a new employee orientation to help newcomers feel more confident  in those first  few confusing weeks, especially to achieve  a smooth transition in a new department.

Human Resources (HR) handled the company orientation involving the basics. The training department schedules the use of the company’s technological systems and software usage.   Our departmental orientation consisted of standards in our groups, interfaces with other departments and  the Buddy System.

The actual work detail is worked out by the department manager who provides on-hands training for the new hire’s responsibilities either by the previous incumbent or another same-function or level employee.   This experienced employee usually ‘sits’ with the new hire at his or her desk and goes over routine matters as well as functions of their new job.   This indoctrination can take place over a matter of hours or in an afternoon’s time.

On that first reporting day, I would go to HR to meet the new employee, welcome him to our department and walk him  them back to his manager.    If the manager had already met the employee and brought him to the department, I would do the following:

1]  Stop by that first day, introduce yourself, wish her luck, and invite her to a department orientation set up for that same week.  Tell her you will pick her up and return her to the workspace – that will help relieve any worry about where and how to get there.   Reserve a conference room for the orientation meeting, whether there is only one or more, to keep distractions at a minimum.

2]  At the orientation, explain the basic functions of the department, and answer any questions that arise.  As an option, offer the new guy or girl the opportunity to participate in the Buddy System.  The Buddy would be one of a group of employees within the department who volunteer to aid the new person in her new position.   Almost all new hires accept the offer.

You will do the ‘matching’  (by function, personality and experience) and introduce them, usually by invitation to have lunch with them.  The Buddy usually keeps close contact with the new hire for about a month; has lunch with him or her several times a week; and answers questions in person or by email or phone whenever the new hire needs it.   New employees usually have concerns over how long it will take to learn the job, if they are doing the job right, and who can they ask if they come to a standstill     The Buddy helps alleviate those concerns.

This system is great and highly recommended.   I  never had to interefere if a new hire relied too much on the Buddy.   Most of the questions asked  are on software issues, company questions or organizational levels. In many instances, the Buddy and new employee ended up being work buddies.

3]   Introduce her or him to the Training Department who will set up training for introduction to PC programs, software, phones, and other office machines.

4]  As administrator of career opportunities, I maintained a specialized department website with links to current projects and/or issues or commonly asked Q&A and an employee orientation link.  If your department has one, show the newcomer how to access it.   I kept all employees up to date on changes in personnel or revisions to procedures in the office, as well as resources and career opportunities, suggestions from them and/or comments on existing policies. This was well received and utilized,  and is an excellent resource for new persons.   Suggest that he keep a notebook of questions.

5]  Follow-up with the new employee at least once a week to make sure that the Buddy and he have connected and it is working. Sometimes job responsibilities keep a Buddy from being available; make adjustments if necessary.    Go over the notebook of questions and either help him or refer him to the right source.

6]  It is the rule of thumb that it takes about 6 months for a new person to feel comfortable and productive in their job.   These suggestions will help him or her feel more confident in learning their new job.

Marie Coppola   © Revised April 2015