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Wackiest Excuses for Being Late to Work
Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Some people wake up each morning before the alarm rings, glad to see the glowing sun and excited to start the day. They arrive to work whistling and are hard at work before most people even arrive. These rare creatures, also known as "morning people," are incomprehensible to those of you whose morning routines are exercises in panic and frustration.

A lot more people belong in that latter group than you might have guessed. Fifteen percent of workers admit to arriving late at least once a week, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey.

Why are so many of us running late?

You might be surprised that the snooze button is not the primary culprit of tardiness. Thirty-two percent of workers attribute their late arrivals to traffic gridlock. Seventeen percent claim a lack of sleep is the reason, and 7 percent have trouble arriving on time because they need to get their children ready for school or day care. Other issues, like forgetting something at home or not feeling well, are also popular.

Fortunately for late arrivers, 43 percent of hiring managers won't count tardiness against you as long as you meet deadlines and turn in good work. Of course, some managers feel differently and will hand you a pink slip if you're late several times within a year.

Use your imagination

More than 27 percent of hiring managers say they are skeptical of employees' excuses for showing up late. It turns out their doubt is warranted: 24 percent of all employees decide to make up a fake excuse rather than tell the truth.

What does this mean to you?

If you're sitting in a traffic jam watching the minutes tick away and you've decided honesty isn't the best policy for you, think of a believable and acceptable reason you're walking in late. After all, if you were a hiring manager who heard any of these 10 real-life excuses for being late, you'd be suspicious, too.

1. While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog.

2. Someone stole all my daffodils.

3. I had to go audition for American Idol.

4. My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn't drive to work.

5. My route to work was shut down by a presidential motorcade.

6. I have transient amnesia and couldn't remember my job.

7. I was indicted for securities fraud this morning.

8. The line was too long at Starbucks.

9. I was trying to get my gun back from the police.

10. I didn't have money for gas because all of the pawnshops were closed.

Be a crowd-pleaser

When it comes to punctuality, your best bet is to take cues from your company's culture. If everyone is diligently working when you drag yourself through the door each morning, then you probably stand out. However, if everyone filters in at their own pace between 8:45 and 9:15, then an occasional late arrival will probably go unnoticed.

Habitual lateness, on the other hand, will help neither your career prospects nor your workplace relationships. For one thing, your boss and co-workers are relying on you to be at work when you're scheduled to arrive; you don't want to disappoint them. Also, just because nobody confronts you about your tardiness, that doesn't mean no one's watching the clock and forming an opinion about you or your work ethic. These judgments can damage you when it comes to performance reviews and promotions. Don't let a few extra minutes of sleep cost you your reputation – or worse, your job.

June 24, 2008 | 7:16 AM Comments  {num} comments

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UN declares fair presidential vote impossible
Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS - Outraged at the turmoil in Zimbabwe, the U.N. Security Council declared that a fair presidential vote is impossible because of the "campaign of violence" waged by President Robert Mugabe's government.

The 15-nation council Monday unanimously said it "condemns the campaign of violence against the political opposition ahead of the second round of presidential elections," which has resulted in the killing of scores of opposition activists and other Zimbabweans.

The move came after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the vote — reportedly fearing for his safety — and police raided his Harare headquarters, hustling away dozens of his supporters.

Tsvangirai was fleeing soldiers when he took refuge at the Dutch Embassy in Harare, Senegal's president said, offering some of the first details on the latest twist in the southern African's country's political crisis.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade made the comment in a statement released late Monday about his attempts to mediate in the Zimbabwean crisis.

Tsvangirai said he planned to leave the embassy Tuesday or Wednesday after receiving assurances from the regime that he will not be harmed.

Recent bloodshed widely blamed on supporters of Mugabe has killed dozens of opposition activists and other Zimbabweans.

The non-binding presidential statement was the council's first formal action on Zimbabwe's political and humanitarian crises. Council members also agreed that the violence and restrictions on opposition activists imposed by the Mugabe government "have made it impossible for a free and fair election to take place" on Friday.

The 84-year-old Mugabe and United Nations Zimbabwean Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku pledged to press ahead with Friday's vote, despite the international criticism and the lack of opposition.

Tsvangirai said the election was rigged and his supporters face too much violence for him to keep running. He won the first round of voting on March 29, but lacked an outright majority against Mugabe.

"There has been too much violence, too much intimidation," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told a brief news conference, and a runoff "would only deepen divisions within the country and produce a result that cannot be credible."

Ban said he was working with South Africa and the African Union to find a solution. Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the U.N., told reporters that it should be left up to the Zimbabweans to decide whether to delay Friday's voting or to revert to the earlier result and consider Tsvangirai the interim president.

Most of the council's negotiations were conducted privately. Members met openly for less than a half-hour to get an update on what is happening from U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe.

He said ample evidence shows Mugabe's government is waging a "widespread campaign of retaliation and threat" and spreading "fear, hostility and attacks" against its opponents.

Mugabe's government is no longer capable of holding a legitimate election, Pascoe told the council, and Mugabe's plan to push ahead with a runoff Friday "would only increase divisions and produce discredited results."

Already, tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have been uprooted from their homes and 85 people have died in election violence, human rights groups say. Tsvangirai has repeatedly been detained by police and contended with warnings of a state-sponsored assassination plot. His top deputy was arrested on treason charges that carry the death penalty.

The U.S., Britain, France and other Western powers tried but failed to include language asserting that Tsvangirai should be considered the legitimate president, until another fair election can be held.

They faced opposition mainly from South Africa and China, Zimbabwe's biggest trading partners, and from Russia, which had previously opposed discussions on Zimbabwe. The all-day discussions on the various drafts extended into the evening.


June 24, 2008 | 5:35 AM Comments  {num} comments

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What should a guy do if the woman he’s seen a couple of times says, “I only see you as a friend”?
Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

My guess: You're probably acting like a WUSSY with her, and she doesn't feel any ATTRACTION for you.

She's probably hanging in there, hoping that some kind of feelings will develop for you, but it's not working.

Look, when a woman says, "I only like you as a friend," or "I've been hurt so I want to take this slow," or "I like you so much, I don't want to lose you as a friend," or any of the million variations of these things, it USUALLY means that you're not doing the things it takes to create ATTRACTION.

She doesn't FEEL IT for you. And if she doesn't FEEL IT, then there ARE NO shortcuts, my man.

Stop being such a "nice" guy and start doing the things you're learning from me to spark some CHEMISTRY!

June 24, 2008 | 3:16 AM Comments  {num} comments

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What should a guy do when he likes a girl, but he thinks he’s on the verge of slipping into the “Wuss” category in her mind?
Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Try this: Don't talk to her for a few days.

Then call her up and say, "What are you doing RIGHT NOW? I think you should come over and hang out with me."

Call on a Saturday or Sunday around noon.

If she comes over, immediately LEAVE after she arrives.

Go have a cup of tea, do some window shopping and DON'T cling to her, look at her too much or act like you are feeling attracted to her. Lean back. Tease her a lot. Tell her how she's screwing up her chances with you, etc.

Finally, once you get back to your place, proceed with The Kiss Test, and you'll be fine from there.

You need to relax. And don't get so hung up on this one girl.

We guys always want the one we can't have... and it's a problem. Stay on track improving yourself, meeting other women, etc. That's the way.

June 24, 2008 | 3:10 AM Comments  {num} comments

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Sound agriculture policies can save Kenyans the agony of begging
Related to country: Kenya

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Publication Date: 6/16/2008

The reports that over 100,000 people in Baringo District are now depending on wild fruits and tubers for their survival, due to famine, are particularly worrying.

The situation is also bad in other arid and semi-arid districts of Samburu, Turkana, Marakwet and West Pokot, whose residents depend on cattle due to harsh climatic conditions not favourable for farming.

People in these areas normally receive little rainfall between March and April, but this year, the region has experienced a prolonged drought.

As a matter of fact, however, failure by the Government to come up with a practical and workable rational food policy in Asals is to blame for the frequent food shortages.

The truth of the matter is that Kenya has many experts in agriculture, but these experts have failed to come up with long-term solutions to food shortages.

It is because of this that when serious famine strikes, the Government runs to the international community for support.

But when will we utilise the resources we have to contain the situation so that the international community can also to run to us for help?

Our country has diverse climatic conditions. Some areas receive plenty of rainfall almost all the year round, while other areas get little or no rainfall.

A country like Egypt has climatic conditions that are worse than ours, and yet it has turned many of its areas into giant food producers through investment in irrigation.

Irrigation schemes have proved that they can transform the lives of many Kenyans in areas such as Sigor Wei Wei scheme in West Pokot District.

Having been started in 1987, following an agreement between the Kenya Government and Italian development cooperation, the project has made a significant contribution to employment and income generation in the area.

The project benefits are also being shared with the pastoral communities bordering the area, who have access to crop residue that caters for their livestock.

The lives of the Pokots in the project area have been transformed with crop harvest of twice a year.

A thriving and rapidly expanding market has developed at Sigor. Before the start of the project, the population of the area was roughly 40,000, but now the population stands at 200,000.

For the sustainability of the project, the community has also played a key role in the conservation of the environment and especially the water catchment areas.

This project has demonstrated to the Government that more investments need to be directed to irrigated agriculture.

This is the only way to eradicate the frequent food shortages.

Replication of the Sigor project has been carried out by Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) in the Arror Irrigation Scheme in Marakwet District.

Many people in Turkana and other areas have depended on relief food for a long time since there have been no meaningful harvests due to the poor rainfall in the area.

Surely, Kenya’s population of 34 million people is still small. We can afford to do without relief if the right policies are formulated and implemented.

Kenyans in the Asal areas need irrigation schemes, if the serious food shortage that has continued to hit them has to be solved once and for all.

June 16, 2008 | 5:35 AM Comments  {num} comments

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