Opening a Dollar Store Includes the Threat of Customers Shoplifting -

This is part 2 of a 2 part series on shoplifting. In this article we will examine some of the more common techniques used to shoplift. Do everything possible to protect yourself and your business when opening a dollar store. Don’t delay in preparing. In fact everything possible should be done prior to actually opening for business.

There are a number of ways that customers can and will shoplift. In fact the variety of techniques used is limited only by the creativity of the shoplifter. In many cases the method used depends on the size of the item being taken. Smaller items are either grabbed and then pocketed or placed into a bag, backpack or purse. There is also the method of knocking a number of items off the shelf, seemingly by accident, and then bagging items while replacing them. Often many of these items will end up in a pocket, including in hooded sweatshirt with the pockets in the front for both hands, or in larger purses.

Another method is making use of shopping bags from your store. These previously used shopping bags are used to carry items out without being stopped. This works well since most people just assume that the person has purchased the items that are contained inside the bags. Unless you have a security system with tagging and monitors at the exits, and the security alarms are then triggered, no one is the wiser when this method is used. This technique can be used with completely lifted merchandise. It can also be used when purchased items are combined with items that have not been paid for. In other words, a few unpaid for items are slipped in with the items that are paid for. Opening a dollar store means being vigilant to these commonly used methods and then putting protection in-place.

Another technique is when a customer comes in to your store. Next the customer picks up two items. One they open and place in a store bag. They then take both items to customer service or your cashiers and request an exchange without receipt, for a supposed defective item. They then walk out not only with a receipt but with the item. There are even more complex methods but they usually involve several different people and are not as common. Shoplifting on a small scale is usually done by a single person and involves the more common pocket and leave techniques.

Security tags will not always protect your items. Dressing rooms and out of the way places are perfect for people to open and remove the security tags from inside the items. They then simply place the items, usually minus the cases, into a bag or pocket.

When opening a dollar store business, become informed. It starts with being aware of the more common methods used. Next eliminate dimly lit, out of the way locations where it can most easily occur. Work with your commercial insurance carrier and the local authorities to gain a better education. Examine every option to reduce shoplifting in your store.

To your dollar store business success!

Are you interested in opening you own dollar store? Check out “A Beginner’s Guide to Opening a Dollar Store at http://www.OpeningADollarStore.com

Bob Hamilton is an entrepreneur, author, writer, business consultant and trainer. http://www.marketingsuccesscenter.com

Safe in the Batters Box?

Runners on second and third. The pitch is low and outside and passes the catcher. The scramble is on and the catcher recovers the ball quickly to find the third base runner half way to home plate. Catcher makes a throw to third as runner retreats only to have the ball bounce off the batters bat which is on his shoulder.

The hundred dollar question here is did the batter commit interference? There are several answers to this daunting question.

First, was the Batter still in the batters box?

The batter is not required to leave the batters box on a passed ball unless a teammate is attempting to steal a base, then the batter is required to move out of the defenses way. So, in part 1 of this play, the batter moved correctly and there is no interference.

Has the Batter moved out of the batters box?

In our scenario his teammate is attempting to steal home plate, but then retreats after the catcher recovers quickly. So, on the retreat is the batter to return to the batters box? No, the batter should stay where the ended up on the initial play of the passed ball and steal attempt.

Did the Batter move to serve an intentional purpose?

If it is obvious, which I believe would be difficult if not impossible to distinguish, that the batter aligned himself to force the defender to work around his position to make the throw to third. It is unlikely that this can be determined, but if so, then yes, it is interference.

Was the Batter responding to instructions from the Umpire?

Particularly in little league where players, bless their hearts, follow instructions from the Umpire without giving it a second thought, Umpires often give instructions as a good intentioned part of the learning process.

Unfortunately, any Umpire giving any instruction removes the player being instructed from any liability or penalty arising from that instruction. During the course of any game, Coaches are to instruct and Umpires are to rule on what the Players do.

If we change our scenario slightly, the runner at third has a good lead, but does not attempt to steal home plate and is walking back to the base with his back to the catcher.

With the Batter still in the batters box, there would be no interference as the Batter is protected by being in the box.

Should the Batter leave the box, then his has committed interference as there was no play at home plate and the Batter had no reason to leave the batters box.

If the Batter following the Umpires instructions, then there is no interference as the Umpire is interfering with the game.

Was the batter intentionally getting in the way of the defender, then yes, it would be interference.

What is most important to remember is that the call on the field is up to the Umpire. They can only call what they witness. To argue what they witness does nothing but waste time and frustration everyone.

What you can argue are the rules and how they are applied to an event the Umpire witnessed.

For a complete call, the Umpire must have taken note that the runner attempted to advance on the passed ball. This is the critical moment of the decision as it results in two significantly different decisions.

Players must also be aware of their responsibilities. In our fist scenario, as the runner made an attempt then the Batter moved correctly. The latter found the Batter at fault.

Mr. Dowdy is the father of 3 and after re-entering competitive baseball with his oldest frustration of finding suitable glove is what lead him to become an Official Distributor for NW Kelley USA Click now for a free catalog or sign up your e-mail for special offers.

You can also visit the Hirsch Group site more news/tips/articles on the subjects of baseball, construction, building codes and more that most will find a quick way to fall asleep. You can even stop by the Hirsch Group Blog for current events

Thanks for reading my article!

Lakeland, Florida Revival Bizzare Revival? Charisma Editor Lee Grady

Charisma editor Lee Grady takes a conservative & cautious look at the Lakeland, Florida Revival.

On May 14, 2008 Charisma’s editor stated “honest questions” & concerns below. Thereafter I give my thoughts and admonition to Grady and Charisma.

Grady: “. . . But as the noise from Lakeland grows louder and its influence spreads, I’m issuing some words of warning. . . “

Davis: “What you call ‘noise’ Lee is the roar of the young lions breaking forth in the earth with the zeal of the Lord. They may not speak, dress, act, or maneuver according to the clever dictates of professional men within Christendom, but they possess faith that works by love which casts out fear and throws caution to the wind. “

Grady: “‘Beware of strange fire. The name of Jesus is being lifted up in the Lakeland revival, and three people came to the altar for salvation the night I attended. Larger numbers have come to the front of the auditorium to find Christ every night since then. “

Davis: “If the name of Jesus is being lifted up in Lakeland, we need not worry. If man’s name is being lifted up, let us beware. The two services I attended in Lakeland, Todd was careful to exalt & uplift Jesus. Should his heart, manner of ministry & focus change the glory will leave. God doesn’t share His anointing with carnal & vain men. When God’s glory leaves, the people will as well. As long as both are present, let us rejoice in the risen Christ. “

Grady: “Yet I fear another message is also being preached subtly in Lakeland-a message that cult-watchers would describe as a spiritual counterfeit. Bentley is one of several charismatic ministers who have emphasized angels in the last several years. “

Davis: “Cult-watchers should not be our concern, as they are not discerning themselves. True discernment begins with awakening to that which is good (Hebrews 5:14), not merely hunting that which is evil (see Romans 16:19). When we are enamored with evil, we ourselves become evil. We become what we behold (see 2Corinthians 3:18). Ultimately we attract & attend to what we ourselves are, as our perception leads to our personal detection & projection. “

Davis: “What a man or minister did several years ago, need not have any bearing upon what they believe or do today. Shall we ask what you did several years ago? A person’s past does not have to dictate their future. As for angelic visitations, these are common throughout Scripture. We should seek God, not angels. Yet should the Lord choose to send an angel to answer our prayers, we should not limit the holy one of Israel. “

Grady: “. . . Paul was adamant that preoccupation with angels can lead to serious deception. “

Davis: “Agreed, heard, understood & acknowledged. “

Grady: “We have no business teaching God’s people to commune with angels or to seek revelations from them. . . . We need to remember that Mormonism was born out of one man’s encounter with a dark angel who claimed to speak for God. “

Grady: “Beware of bizarre manifestations. . . . where do we draw the line between legitimate experience and fanatical excess?”

Davis: “Christ never called ‘we’ His disciples to ‘draw lines’ but to love and lift people. Jesus said let the wheat and tares grow together. The Lord Himself can remove the weeds and pluck up that which He has not planted” (see Matthew 13:30; 15:13). To my knowledge Bentley isn’t teaching ‘God’s people to commune with angels, ‘ neither to seek them. “

Grady: “. . . Paul called for discipline and order . . . In other words, Paul was saying that no one under the influence of the Holy Spirit should act out of control. “

Davis: “The apostle Paul said ‘let all things be done decently and in order’ (1Corinthians 14:40). Before trying to harness, discipline, and order a move of God; first let it flow and ‘be done’ before endeavoring to structure and order it. Grady and Charisma can write about revival, but until they can birth and do revival they should not criticize, nor seek to contain it. “

Davis: “People under the influence of the Holy Spirit respond in innumerable fashions. Since where the Holy Spirit there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17), people can respond to God freely and don’t need Grady’s permission to do so. “

Grady: “In many recent charismatic revivals, ministers have allowed people to behave like epileptics on stage. . . such behavior feeds carnality and grieves the Spirit. “

Davis: “What feeds carnality and grieves the Spirit is the arrogance of men like Grady who fight a move of the Spirit rather than supporting and birthing one. Casting out demons and healing the sick is not always pretty to the professional eye. “

Grady: “. . . emotional euphoria doesn’t guarantee a heart change. . . . When we put bizarre behavior on the platform we imply that it is normative. “

Davis: “Being a Christian critic and unbelieving believer doesn’t produce a heart change either. A heart of unbelief breeds evil and causes people to depart from the living God (see Hebrews 3:12). “

Grady: “Beware of hype and exaggeration. “

Davis: “Beware of embracing an evil heart of unbelief and becoming a Pharisee who knows the Scripture, but not the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Grady: “The church is in a backslidden state and our nation has rebelled against God. “

Davis: “Perhaps you and Charisma magazine are as well. Yet if you will rend your hearts and go hard after God with humble desperation, the Lord of life will revive you with the power of the resurrection. “

Grady: “In our longing for a holy visitation, however, we must be careful not to call the first faint breeze of the Spirit a full-fledged revival. If we do that, we are setting people up for disappointment. . . . “

Davis: “Instead of trying to label and name a revival, call out for it in prayer in your own life. I find no disappointment in revival, only in those who try to deny and restrict it. “

Grady: “Some of the language used during the Lakeland Revival has created an almost sideshow atmosphere. People are invited to “Come and get some. ” Miracles are supposedly “popping like popcorn. ” Organizers tout it as the greatest revival in history. “

Davis: “According to your faith, be it unto you (Matthew 9:29). Better to go to God’s show than Hollywood’s. Better to get ‘some’ of God’s glory than dead religion. If Charisma and Grady don’t like ‘some’ than let them change the name of their magazine to Jesus instead of promoting their ‘some’ and new ‘someone’ on the cover every month. “

Grady: “Let’s stay humble and broken before the Lord . . . . miracles and crowds alone don’t guarantee a revival. . . . It was the few disciples who followed Jesus after Calvary who ushered in a true revival-one that was bathed in the fear of God, confirmed by signs and wonders, tempered by persecution and evidenced by thousands of conversions, new churches and the transformation of society. We should expect nothing less. “

Davis: “Thanks for providing the persecution Lee. We’re almost there! Now, please teach us humility and brokenness. Perhaps you can match the commitment of Mormons to go overseas for 2 years to birth a true revival of your own. Until you can win as many souls, birth as many churches, and transform societies be quick to hear and slow to speak. As Jesus said the fruit speaks for itself (see Matthew 7:20). I pray we all keep our hearts and eyes on Jesus. Beware of trying to steady the ark or seeking to straighten the flow of God’s Spirit lest you be swiftly judged (1Samuel 6:6-7; Micah 2:7). If this revival is of men, it will cease and be brought to not (Acts 5:38). If however it is of God, it shall continue unhindered full force with signs and wonders as God confirms His holy Word with power (see Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4).

Paul F. Davis an international minister & author of “God vs. Religion”; “Supernatural Fire”; & “Waves of God”

See Paul’s books at http://paulfdavis.com/booksvideos.htm

Paul F. Davis is a worldwide minister who moves in the miraculous to touch and transform humanity.

Paul has a unique ability to hear the voice of God, naturally bring forth the supernatural in a playful and heartfelt fashion, unlock and simply explain divine mysteries, impart life changing revelation, and usher in powerful manifestation bringing heaven to earth.

Among Paul’s other books are: United States of Arrogance; Poems that Propel the Planet; Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery 101; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; A New Earth – Christian alternative to Oprah’s; and many more!

Paul’s compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul’s Dream-Maker Ministries builds dreams, transcends limitations, & reconciles nations.

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

Checks Unlimited Offer Codes

When it’s time to place a check order, the worst and most expensive method is ordering them through the bank.

  • For better pricing and a wider variety of choices, you should always go through a quality third-party printer like Check Unlimited.
  • With a Checks Unlimited coupon code you can save even more over their already-friendly prices.

About Checks Unlimited

Checks Unlimited was founded in 1986 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They are considered to be the first direct mail check printing company, and by stressing hard work, integrity, and quality products, they have remained at the top of their industry.

  • Initially providing only 13 designs, the company now offers over 70 designs in their personal categories and several more in their business categories. In addition, you can find a ChecksUnlimited offer code for other available merchandise, such checkbook covers, address labels, and many other accessories.

Personal Banking
The code most frequently applied is for personal use. They have over 70 different designs in 11 categories, such as animals, best sellers, cartoon, classics, Disney, eco-friendly, home & garden, inspirations, Land & Sea, and Warner Bros. Most styles are the standard top-perforation style, but they also offer 16 designs that span their categories in a side-tear style.

  • In addition to these styles, they also have 12 different desk sets. These are three-ringed sheets with a side-tear and three vertical perforations on each sheet. Stubs are on the left and remain bound in any three-ring binder.

Business Checks Coupon Code
This company also specializes in a range of services for business. Every type of banking document and accessory a business could need is available for order and a coupon code helps in these times of economic recession. The standard, manual, 3-on-a-page checks are available in 13 professional designs and can be ordered as singles or with duplicates.

  • The downside is that they only fit in 7-ring binders. They can be customized with lettering, a monogram, or a symbol. Voucher-styles for paying invoices with discount calculations can also be purchased but come in only two designs.
  • Products are available for businesses with software designed to take advantage of computer check-printing with a check coupon code.
  • A variety of different business software systems are supported, including Microsoft Money, Quickbooks, Peachtree, Checkmark, Great Plains, Microedge, Simple Media, Simple Money, and Meca Managing Your Money. For each software system, compatible check types can be purchased in up to 12 designs.

Coupon Codes
This is one company that is great about putting out new coupons. Their special offers can save up to 60% off your total order, plus a free gift is available with some. Another example of a great coupon code is the one for two boxes of checkbooks for only $11 with free shipping. Yet another code allows address labels to be added to that offer for only $4 more.

For a particularly large order, free shipping certainly comes in handy, or for professional needs, get 25% off your order of business checks. The best part is that if one Checks Unlimited offer code is invalid, there are many more from which to choose.

How To Make $1000 In 30 Days

There is thousands of people searching for home business or similar terms, like how to make money online and so on. The search results is quite overwhelming and it is hard to believe that it is possible to make this much money with a home business online.

One key factor in order to be successful is to choose only one money making business and stick with it. Most people have problems with this since it is so easy to get sidetracked by other business opportunities online.

The opportunities are there you just have to realize that to be successful you have to be focused and disciplined and make a plan. Like I said stick with one business model and stay away from the hypes that you will find when you are doing research. You will not get the job done if you are reading sales letters all day long. You will not make any money at all if you do not practice and learn how to work with the business model you choose.

You need to be patient and work towards your goals. Set your goals so you can believe it is possible if you do not believe in something it is almost impossible to get the job done. Start by setting your first goal to make $30/day. The goal to keep the dream alive should be more long term but also believable.

When you figure out how to make $30/day and you know exactly how to do this it is easy to duplicate this as many times as you want. Lets say you build a website that generate $10/day all you have to do is build 3 more and you will be making close to a $1000/month.

It might sound difficult to make $1000 in 30 days that is why it is good to break it down. Break down $1000 into 30 days and it will be about $33 a day. It is a big difference and it is your mindset in terms of what you believe that will make you go after the money and get the job done.

Take your home business seriously and take a few hours each week and work with it. When you see graduate progress and keep working on your business model you will be able to make a lot of money on Internet. What is so good about an Internet business is that you can automate almost everything. It will take some time before you are there but it is worth the time to learn this kind of business.

Just imagine working your own hours and to be able to take a week of work whenever you want to. This is the kind of thoughts that keep most home business owners and entrepreneurs going.

One easy way to start a home business website is to use scripts. All you have to do is fill in your affiliate id and some website information and you have a complete website ready to take orders. There is one script that you can use to sell mobile phone ring signals it is working very good since many people want new stuff for there mobile phones. Look at a Demo Here

All On Directory: http://www.all-on.info Dog training, DVD Reviews, Divorce, Single moms, Education, Natural Remedies, American Indians, Perfume, Real Estate, Fly Fishing, Golf Training, Voip, Travel and Adventure

21st Century Leaders – Present Strategic Actions from each Follower

Strategies are of little value if they are not implemented effectively. But implementation is difficult in an already busy schedule.

Unless each follower can see where they fit and what they need to contribute; the chances of a strategy being effectively implemented are low. The key is to explicitly show each follower what they need to do, when and with whom. This may sound impossible, but I will tell you how it can be done.

Firstly let’s consider some of the workplace dynamics that work against implementing a strategy:

  • There is not enough time to do everything that needs to be done
  • Action plans are poorly aligned to strategic plans
  • Leaders are unsure about what is actually happening
  • Followers find it hard to identify exactly when and how they need to contribute to a strategy
  • Important actions are sometimes missed or forgotten, so workflows are interrupted
  • Complete lists of actions are rare, so personal time management is hard
  • Often followers are not aware of the consequences of not doing an action allocated to them
  • Relevant changes are poorly communicated to the people who need to know
  • Followers see telling other people what they are doing as wasted (unproductive) time

To overcome these unhelpful workplace dynamics, we need to do the following:

  • Break strategic plans into a number of related action plans
  • Identify the actions required to complete each action plan
  • Populate each follower’s ToDo list with the actions they need to do for the strategic plan
  • Make responsibility and accountability clear
  • Keep followers informed about relevant changes
  • Automate reporting based on actions completed to minimize unproductive time

Unfortunately the level of training and discipline required to implement the above list of actions is unrealistic and unachievable in real life. However experience in many workplaces has shown that a leader using smart software on web or mobile browsers can create a leadership platform to implement the above list of actions with relative ease.

The key is to let the software execute the boring, but essential, management processes in the background and present relevant information from each person’s perspective. This keeps leaders informed, frees followers to do productive work, and gets strategies implemented in record time.

For more information on TASKey’s Leadership Platform visit

www.taskey.com

How To Develop A Strength Training Program To Run Faster!

Whether you are a sprinter, middle distance, or long distance runner, a properly executed strength training program will be the key to improving your running times.

If you’re a runner, you MUST strength train correctly. Running for distance, being aerobic in nature, will begin to break down good muscle tissue. You need a strength training program that will keep the muscle you have, and ultimately to build more muscle, that will carry over to faster running times.

Here are some tips to help you develop a strength training program exclusively for runners.

1. Emphasize Your Running Muscles

You should train all of your muscles thoroughly in any strength training program. The body works as a unit. Never neglect body parts, or favor other body parts simply because you like to train them. Give all of your muscles attention, but emphasize the ones that pertain to your sport the most. The running muscles, in order of importance are: Buttocks, Thighs, Calves, Shoulders, Chest, Back and Arms. When you design a full-body workout for running, try to work the muscles in this same order.

2. Train With Full-Body Workouts

Unless you’re a bodybuilder, you should train the full body with each workout. A bodybuilder who is trying to gain a lot of muscle would split their routine in order to work more thoroughly on each body part. An athlete should use strength training as a means to improve sports performance. A full body routine properly addresses the needs of an athlete.

3. Train the Tibialis Anterior

The tibialis anterior is the muscle on the front of the shin. By working on this muscle, you keep a balance with the calves ie. the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. You need to keep opposing muscles in balance to maximize performance and minimize injuries. The tibialis anterior should also be developed to minimize shin splints. You can perform a foot flexion exercise to work on the T. A. muscle. If you’re serious about running and don’t have access to a foot flexion machine, I’d suggest you get one.

4. Emphasize Your Buttocks Exercise

If you were asked to name the fastest land animals, you might say a cheetah, or an ostrich. The interesting thing about these animals that run so fast, is that they have skinny legs, but very well developed hinds (buttocks). The same with humans. Any runner, sprinter, middle, or long distance, should emphasize exercises that work on the buttocks area. If you have access to a Reverse Hyperextension machine you can work the area directly, with complete safety. If you don’t have one, a barbell full squat with work just fine.

5. Strength Train More Intensely Than You Run

When you strength train for running, you must strive to perform a set until you can no longer complete another repetition in perfect form. Obviously, you don’t run until you drop. That would be counter-productive, and dangerous. Strength training is completely different and should be treated as such. By strength training a muscle to the point of momentary muscular failure, you set the stage for rapid strength gains in the muscle.

6. Strength Train Slowly To Run Faster

Any strength training exercise should be performed slowly and deliberately. This takes the momentum out of the exercise, and therefore maximizes the amount of muscle fibers that are stimulated. A proper cadence when strength training should be about 2 seconds to lift the weight (when you contract the muscle) and at least 4 seconds to lower the weight (lengthen the muscle).

7. Add Weight or Repetitions Whenever Possible

It is so important for runners to try to add weight to an exercise as often as possible, or keep the weight the same and add repetitions whenever possible. This forces the muscles to adapt by increasing in strength. Runners need to do this because the very nature of frequent long runs catabolizes muscle tissue. Strength training in a progressive fashion will help preserve muscle, and ideally, add more muscle and strength to run faster, longer.

Steve Preston is a Sports Performance Specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He specializes in developing sport-specific strength training programs for athletes. He is available for phone consultations, and clinics. For more information go to http://www.sports-strength.com He has recently developed the Champion Strength Training for Runners DVD program. You can check it out at http://www.sports-strength.com/swimming.html

PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) A Hidden Connection?

According to the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army, 64% of Veterans wounded in combat sustained “blast” injuries (attacks with rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, or vehicle born improvised explosive devices). Many others have sustained blast injuries without obvious outward wounds. As a former Army wife, I cannot name one soldier I know who has not been hit at least a few times at close range by one of these devices.

Blast-related attacks can cause TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) or MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury). According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), “Blast injuries are injuries that result from the complex pressure wave generated by an explosion. . . Air-filled organs such as the ear, lung, and gastrointenstinal tract and organs surrounded by fluid-filled cavities such as the brain and spinal are especially susceptible to primary blast injury (Elsayed, 1997;Mayorga, 1997). The overpressurization wave dissipates quickly, causing the greatest risk of injury to those closest to the explosion. “

Though there is much that is unknown about brain injuries, a study of returning soldiers done at Walter Reed Medical Center in 2003 by the DVBIC identified that 61% of the soldiers who had sustained blast-related attacks, had brain injury. P. Steven Macedo, a neurologist and former doctor at the Veterans Administration (quoted by Ronald Glasser in a March 2007 Washington Post article) estimated that at least one-third of all Veterans who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan likely had sustained brain injury.

With the nearly 2 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that have served in Iraq or Afghanistan to date, that estimate would mean approximately 670,000 returning heroes are suffering from a brain injury. This is far short of the mere 12,274 reported cases of combat-related TBI as of March 2007. Such a drastic discrepancy in numbers would indicate, perhaps, that current military and Veteran’s Administration screening and diagnostic procedures are not adequate.

It is also possible that the majority of our heroes are being diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when they should actually be receiving a diagnosis of TBI, MTBI, or a combination of PTSD and brain injury. Many symptoms of brain injury, mild or otherwise, mirror symptoms of PTSD. Individuals experiencing either injury typically experience one or more of the following: memory loss, difficulty concentrating, shortened attention spans, slower thinking processes, irritability, difficulty sleeping, depression, and impulse control problems. With so many shared symptoms, it is impossible for many, even trained professionals, to determine from which ailment (or both) a soldier is suffering.

It is necessary, however, in order to ensure proper long-term care of our nation’s heroes for medical providers to do the necessary testing in order to determine if brain injury exists. This is paramount because, according to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), brain injury causes and accelerates many diseases including respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and neurological diseases. Without proper initial care, Veterans will not receive follow-up screenings and treatment to prevent or mitigate further harm.

Our family’s personal experience with TBI/MTBI screening through the Veteran’s Administration medical system has not been entirely favorable. My husband sustained more than twelve blasts (a combination of RPG’s and IED’s) while serving in Iraq. His neurological symptoms following one attack fall directly under the diagnostic criteria for brain injury (available on the BIAA’s website at www.biausa.org
) because he had an intermittent loss of consciousness for a period of time following the blast. He received one initial screening at our local VA outpatient clinic followed by one “Second Level Evaluation” at our regional VA hospital. The second evaluation was so unprofessional and seemingly dependent on the clinician’s opinions, that I sought counsel from the BIAA. It was through them that I learned that my husband did, indeed, at the very least have a MTBI and should receive follow-up care and testing under “civilian” care guidelines. However, based on the opinion of the VA clinician, my husband’s mental, behavioral, and physical changes have been attributed only to PTSD.

There are many current military and VA procedures and policies that will have to be adapted and improved in order to properly care for and diagnose our many returning heroes. The current level of care given to soldiers in regards to brain injury is definitely an example of this. If you or a loved one served in Iraq or Afghanistan and have experienced any of the symptoms of TBI or MTBI listed below, please push for a proper, complete diagnosis. Hopefully, if enough Veterans and family members stand up and ask for more, we will make the road ahead easier for our other returning brothers and sisters.

Neurological Symptoms of TBI include: memory loss; concentration or attention problems; slowed learning; and difficulty with planning, reasoning, or judgment.

Emotional and Behavioral Consequences of TBI include: depression, anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, and thoughts of suicide.

Physical Symptoms of TBI include: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, sleep disturbance, quickness to fatigue, lethargy, or other sensory loss.

Glasser, Ronald. “A Shock Wave of Brain Injuries. ” April 8, 2007. Washington Post (View complete text of this revealing article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040601821.html
).

Brannan P. Vines
Proud Wife of an OIF Vet
E-mail: Info@FamilyOfAVet.com

Information and resources for OIF/OEF Families: http://www.FamilyOfAVet.com

Non-Profit Organization Devoted to Supporting Veterans of All Wars AND Their Family Members: http://www.VietnamVeteranWives.org

Use SMART Objectives to Focus Goals, Plans, and Performance

What’s so smart about SMART? Why has this acronym become part of the vocabulary of project planning and performance management?

Objectives that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound) are likely to be achieved. When generic, off-the shelf objectives get the SMART treatment, they emerge as targets that engage focus, action, feedback and learning. These targets assist development of individual work plans, and also provide a guidance system for supervisor-staff performance review discussions.

How Do You Write a SMART Objective Statement?

First, you must decide exactly what you expect to create, and how you will recognize it when it comes to be. Now put it in words: “Our Internet Marketing system produces a minimum of $3500 per month in product sales by 31 July 2009, with a quarterly increase of at least 5% thereafter. ” The Specific, Measurable, and Time-bound aspects are built into one short declaration.

Will it happen? Much depends on whether your objective is aligned with things that really matter to you (and your organization), and whether you can commit the resources to bring it about. In individuals and in organizations, resource distribution often reflects past priorities and requirements. As you develop your SMART objective, step back and compare proposed results with existing commitments in the larger organization or systems you serve. This broader perspective can help you decide if:

  • Your proposed result is consistent with and directly relevant to larger strategic goals and desired outcomes, and
  • Your proposed result has such great pay-off potential that it is worth the resource investment it requires.

    Taking on a new initiative usually means that something else must go. If you discover that current investments are not producing the gains you had hoped for, you know where you can harvest resources for endeavors you believe will be more fruitful.

    Now that your objective embodies the “Alignment” and “Realistic/Relevant” aspects of SMART, you are ready to use it as a target for work plans.

    Using SMART Objectives for Feedback and Learning

    In complex systems, feedback is the process of comparing a target state with current conditions to signal and control the need for adjustment. A thermostat, for example, provides feedback that enables the heating system to maintain its target temperature.

    In teams and organizations, feedback involves regular check-ins to compare anticipated results with current progress. Monitoring progress can be as simple as asking yourself these three questions:

  • Am I doing what I planned?
  • Is my work having the impact I anticipated (producing or moving toward the result targets established by my objectives)?
  • Are changes needed in my plan?

    These common-sense questions are the basis for fruitful self assessment, performance review discussions, and organizational learning about what works to produce desired results.

    Although the questions are straightforward, it may be tough to collect the data that will give you accurate and actionable answers.

    That’s where your SMART objective comes in. A SMART objective includes measures that you can track to gauge progress. In the Internet Marketing objective cited above, the measure of success is monthly sales income. In order to collect this data, you must have a systematic means of logging sales by date and tracking their source. If your current systems cannot do this, change them to provide these data or find another measure of success.

    At their heart, SMART objectives contain the potential to focus attention, work plans, and commitment to performance targets. Because meaningful and practical measures are built in, SMART objectives also enable feedback and learning that can keep you on track to success.

    If you would like to learn more about creating and using SMART objectives to achieve individual, team, or organizational outcomes, visit http://www.consultingtipsandtools.com and the consult, facilitate, or coach sections of http://www.aligned4results.com

    From Susan Berry and Randy Thomas – The “Working Together” Team

    Copyright 2008 Aligned for Results LLC by R. Thomas and S. Berry, All rights reserved.

    You are free to reproduce this article as long as 1) no changes are made, 2) the title, authors’ names, tag line, and the copyright notice are retained without changes, and 3) all links remain intact and active.

  • Ever Thought About Owning a Spy Store?

    Admit it. You love hanging out at your local spy store or looking at spy gadgets and other cool toys online. Right? Yeah.

    Have you ever thought about owning your own spy store? It’s not as crazy as it might sound at first. Sure, a decade or two ago you would have had to rent a storefront, advertise like crazy, carry a lot of inventory. . . but not these days.

    If you’re serious about owning your own spy store you can get started in just a few hours by finding a supplier, setting up an eBay account, and setting up some auctions. You can be a spy store owner tomorrow, if you’re determined. And if it goes well, you can set up an eBay store and even set up your own website.

    If you’re strictly thinking in terms of making money, then setting up a spy store online is probably not your best option. You’re not going to rake in the bucks, especially at first, but over time, as your spy store gains a reputation and you get more repeat customers, you could do quite well.

    The thing is, if you’re primarily interested in the financial end of things, there are probably way easier ways to make money than owning a spy store But if you’re interested in gadgetry, love to talk and hang out with other spy gadget fans, and want to say you own a spy store this could be the business for you.

    So if this is so easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? First off, while setting up your own spy store can be very simple, you do need the dedication to keep the store running, deal with customers, and make a success of your store Second, most people looking to start a business never think of opening a spy store You don’t see lots of business articles talking about the importance of starting your own spy shop, after all.

    But if you’re thinking about starting a business, it’s hard to beat owning your own spy store isn’t it?

    T Rasmussen is a former private investigator, now owns a spy store, and does consulting on crime prevention for small retail businesses.