Monthly Archives: November 2014


2 Corinthians 9:11


The American Thanksgiving holiday is rich in godly tradition. Of course, most people have heard of the original Thanksgiving, where the pilgrims gave thanks to God and the Indians for helping them survive their first winter on the New World. Many early presidents of the United States had celebrations commemorating the original event. However, it was on the midst of the U.S. Civil War, in 1863, that President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring Thanksgiving an official holiday.

The original proclamation was actually written by William H. Seward, the Secretary of State. President Lincoln expressed similar sentiments when he called for a national day of prayer that same year. Here's an excerpt from that proclamation:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our own hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us".

These are profound words that are even more true today than when they were first written. Use this holiday season to humble yourself and remember the God who's blessed you on so many ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reference Attribution:   Excerpt from Andrew Wommack's book "Every day with Jesus"

Marie & Family November 2014


Anyone who works or has a job completes his/her work in some aspect as a 'customer service' representative. No matter if you work in tech service, retail, managerial, corporate, administrative, small business or large business, your dealings with co-workers, bosses, outside companies or businesses, emails, phone calls, or in person - you are incorporating 'customer service.

What it boils down to - is how people treat other people. Good manners and communication skills go a long way in giving and getting good service. There are some ways to ensure that you have a positive business exchange with your 'customers', whether it's in person, over the phone or over the internet.

The old saying, 'you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar' is very true. It means: more can be accomplished by being pleasant, than by being disagreeable. This is key in business and at work. We have our individual tasks to accomplish and some of the info we need to accomplish those tasks are in the hands of others whom we depend on to supply us with that info.

Having a good attitude and pleasant manner accomplishes more speedy retrieval of what you need to get your job done. Any bad day you may be having can reflected negatively back to the "customer" or someone you are depending on to complete your tasks. If you have a history of annoying or frustrating incidents, it can create a stereotyped picture of you that isn't warranted.

When you place or receive a phone call, say good morning, afternoon, or evening to the person by name if you know it. Sometimes you can even ask where they are calling from and make a pleasant remark about the weather there. A one or two-liner. You don't need to chat. In person, you can remark how busy it is, etc.

Remember, this is a live person, who works, has loved ones like you do and is trying to do their job by helping you or receiving info from you. Pleasantness goes a long way in creating harmony. A chip on the shoulder or unreasonable expectations creates walls.

Your business contact may not have the answers you want or be able to produce what you want in a timely manner. It's not productive to vent on that person and/or imply they are not doing their job. Find out the details why the info is not available, thank them, and incorporate that delay reason into your task. If you have the time, you can try to find another way to secure it or ask your manager or co-workers for input.

If your contact efficiently helps you and you're happily satisfied, mention that you would like to speak to his/her supervisor to give good feedback about them. If you've never done this, you will be surprised how appreciative and happy workers are to hear this. Many times, too, the supervisor will enthusiastically thank you for the kind words and some may even tell you that it's rare that someone takes the time to compliment them. They are use to complaints, which are more numerous than praise. And you have a happy customer who will help you again next time.

Customer service is not always easy; sometimes it is downright hard. By following the adage, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you ' will make your transactions more satisfying for everyone.

Incorporate 'customer service' in your business and work transactions. You will find it makes a positive effect on others and your own outlook.

Marie Coppola © Revised November 2014



You've sailed through the questions you were asked during the interveiw.   You have relaxed somewhat and now it is your turn to ask the interviewer some questions that are important to you about this job and the organization.

Near the completion of your potential job interview, the interviewer may ask you if you have any questions.  Try to ask one or even a few questions. Otherwise, it may seem that you don't have a high interest in the company or in that particular job offering.  If you are not asked anything, you may just ask him or her if you may ask some questions about the job or company.  Make sure your question has not already been discussed or you can find the answer in any booklets that were handed to you in Human Resources.  Do not ask questions where the answer is obvious or readily available.

In many instances, a job applicant already knows the benefits or information pertaining to the company through company pamphlets or annual reports. Annual reports are a great resource to know what a company does, where it does it and how, along with their financial information.

Rule of thumb: never ask about salary and benefit issues until those subjects are raised by the employer. Remember, this is an interview to see if you have the qualifications and can be a possible fit for the job; it's not a hiring negotiation.

Questions you might ask at a job interview:

Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
What would be the top priority of the person who accepts this job?
What are the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities of this job?
How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? And by whom? How often?
Can you describe the company's management style?
Can you discuss the company's corporate culture and values?
What is the management philosophy of the organization or department?
What is the organization's policy on transfers to other divisions or other offices?
Are lateral or rotational job moves available?
Does the organization support ongoing training and education for employees to stay current in their fields?
What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future? The biggest threat?
Why did you come to work here? What keeps you here?
How is this department perceived within the organization?
Is there a formal process for advancement within the organization?

Marie Coppola Revised November 2014



Be prepared with answers to these common questions.


The day of the interview is here and you are nervous!   That can be to your benefit  because you will feel alert and on your toes to present your best self to the employer.

Employers often use a combination of traditional and behavioral interview questions, and you need to be prepared with answers that will help you most  to look your best.

Don't memorize the answers to these questions; you don't want to sound 'canned', but by all means, look them over enough and practice what you might say so that you can give prompt and positive answers to them.

The most common questions to traditional jobs are:

Tell me about yourself.
Why did you leave your last job?
What do you see yourself doing five years from now? Ten years from now?
What are your long-range career objectives?
Why did you choose this career?
How well do you work with people? Do you prefer working alone or in teams?
How would a good friend describe you?
What would your last boss say about your work performance?
Why should I hire you?
What makes you qualified for this position?
What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
What's the most recent book you've read?
What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
Describe the most rewarding experience of your career thus far.
Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
What can you tell us about our company?
What do you know about our competitors?
What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
Are you willing to travel for the job?

Remember, the more you are prepared - just like in oral presentations - the more relaxed and confident you will feel on the interview.

Marie Coppola Revised November 2018


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

Technology has brought major changes to our workplace, home and social life. Work production is speeded up with emails, faxes, phone mail and software programs. Faxes are coming in while we are answering emails and being left brief phone messages. We are multi-tasking and at the same time, the decreasing workforce has doubled up our job tasks that two or more used to do.

At home on our PCs, we reconcile our checkbooks, pay bills on-line, email our daily business and social contacts, and even send greetings by e-cards, We shop online, pay with PayPal and track it all online. We verify our financial statements, even glance over the daily news, make doctor's appointments and check out the doctors' ratings, as well as link in to Map Quest for directions on how to get there - all on-line.

Many of us spend social time on Facebook connecting with old friends or classmates or making new 'friends', and post pictures of our mates and kids. Some people have 500 or 600 friends they 'connect' with. When we decide to take some extra courses or pursue education, we can register, take classes and take tests all on the computer.

And a great number of us even have jobs online - writers, eBayers, researchers or those who 'work from home'. You can look for a new job by answering want ads online, sending in your resume online and checking emails to see if anyone responded.

Our contacts have increased, but our communication has dwindled. Even companies are almost all phone-automated and suggest you contact them through their Human contact has decreased in many of our lives.

Yet, it appears people are interfacing more. Everyone seems to have a cell phone or iPod or iPhone hanging out of their ears. Even while they are driving. And when they are not actually talking, they are texting, communicating by typing brief, abbreviated messages or checking their Blackberries for brief messages.

But what are we saying to one another? Are we really communicating? Or are they fly-by encounters?

A brief message on phone mail, or a heavily abbreviated texted message, or an email message isn't giving the tone, warmth, or inflection of your voice or body. Read Facebook or Twitter messages - there's a limit to the amount of words you can have on there. Can you really communicate your all thoughts, personality or feelings to 500 or 600 people with a limited message that all 500 or 600 can read at the same time? Can an email hug someone and give a warm fuzzy to someone who is to be congratulated? Can a left message on phone mail give you comfort and support if you've lost someone? And can you feel a smile and enjoy a happy visit with someone on a cell phone?

We are replacing needed emotions and closeness human encounters with machines. Limited and abbreviated conversations cannot replace face-to-face contact or spending time with a human being. Have you given thought to what impact these forms of communication have on our interpersonal skills today and how they change our relationships?

Many teens or young adults spend additional time playing video games. When they text messages or email someone on My Space, many feel they are "communicating." Although that may be true, they may not be connecting. There is a huge difference. Connecting is not just going out on the internet and typing a few words and putting your pictures out there. That's quick, hip and fast. Emails are similar. You get one and instantly return a reply just as quickly. You get right to the point and feel that you have "communicated". How many of them do you remember any that 'made a memory?

When was the last time you received a handwritten note, card or letter from someone? They are quickly becoming extinct. Even greeting card sending has declined with e-card use. A hand-written note is a personal reflection from someone expressly centered on you. There is a specialness in having someone care enough to sit down and compose a note or letter and mail it to you. Have you ever tried to 'save' special messages from texting wrapped up in a bow in your drawer?   Even businesses today realize the personal touch of notes and letters and are incorporating them more in their marketing. Are their 'business birthday cards' sent to you the only ones on your mantel?

Many schools today are not even teaching cursive handwriting and the new generations are losing the individuality of their handwriting - they all print. The same. And they are not even printing out letters and cards - they are texting instead.

In our family, work and social life, we seem to be losing social skills more and more. We need the personal contact, pleasant intimate talks, notes or letters, in person visits, planned dates, and social happenings to open up the natural flow of communication and feel close.  We need to talk and listen to one another and take the time to cultivate these get-togethers. Machines, computers and cell phones are fine for quick messages. To be close and stay close to one another and make and keep friends, we must bond in person, and give of our time and energies to communicate love and caring. This is best done In words, feelings, and human touch.   And face to face.   Put down the cellphone and go hug someone.

Marie Coppola © Revised November 2014

  •  Of the 22,114 deaths (up from 13,000  in 2006) relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2012, 16,007 (72%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,524 (30%) involved benzodiazepines.6 (Some deaths include more than one type of drug.)

Prescription drugs can help sufferers of medical problems by alleviating their symptoms of chronic pain. But recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has come out and advised that addiction to prescription painkillers has become somewhat of an undisclosed epidemic -- and it kills thousands of Americans each year.

This alarming news which include morphine and codeine has actually tripled form 1999 to 2006 with over 13,000 deaths in 2006.

Deaths from overdoses use to occur from illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine but now prescription painkillers have taken the lead. There are as many reported deaths in country areas as there are in cities. Over 100,000 Americans a year are taken to emergency rooms with overdose issues.

Americans are abusing painkillers and they are not hard to obtain. As Americans get more sedentary and have obesity problems, they are experiencing more back pain and damage to their joints and are in chronic pain. They seek out something to dull the pain and turn to painkillers. Doctors are prescribing relief from pain in the form of pain pills to about five percent of Americans in a months' time. Use of pain pills can cause a feeling of well being and patients on them tend to abuse them and depend on even after the original pain they were taking them for - has disappeared. Patients mistakenly feel that because a doctor has prescribed these pills, that they are 'safe' to take and don't realize the danger when they increase the dosages on their own. When the prescription refill expires, users go to other or new doctors for new prescriptions, or ask friends or family members to share theirs or go on the internet to find them or can even find them on the street. Although some states have databases which track who takes what drugs, they do not yet share that information with other states. People will cross state lines to get the drugs they can't get in their own state.

Problems begin when a person in pain does not find relief in the prescribed amount. They take extra pills to overcome that pain and become psychologically dependent or addicted to the higher amount. In the prescribed amount, the pills are safe to take, but higher doses can cause a person to stop breathing. An even bigger problem to one's health and can be fatal to the user is when they combine this higher dosages with other drugs they may be taking or taking them with alcohol - both of which increase the risk of overdose and death.

Doctors are advising that persons with chronic pain combine an anti-inflammatory drug and/or muscle relaxant and other methods such as patches or injections. The focus should be on being functional without increase in dosages and pain management awareness that they may always have some level of pain.
Marie Coppola   December 2014