Software calls. I have a new custom job with special needs. Drop everything and get the info. I jump in feet first to tackle the project in the shortest period of time. Normal work gets set aside for a while as this could be a great long-term client. It is a pool chemical company of more than a modest size so it could provide regular freelance work. I never turn down opportunities for moonlighting. A little extra money coming my way is a glorious thing. I have a wish list of purchases and it will take some time to work through it. Getting this additional work will help over time. I have been hired to design sales recording software. While this type exists in cyberspace, you can’t always customize it for your company’s processes and particular needs.

Every company must have inventory software as well as sales and expenses. This helps prepare it for tax time. It is much easier to pull together the numbers from the automatic reports. If you do things manually, you find yourself short on time. This is a new world, my friends. Nothing should be done the old fashioned way. It makes absolutely no sense. So I start working using some existing prototypes and reworking their parameters a bit. It should be complicated or take too long. It is basic data input work.

I finish the project and present it to the department manager. I expect accolades but he isn’t pleased. He wants me to have categories for sales so the clerks can select from an existing list. It would include pool liners, pool covers, pool accessories like attachable trays, pool hoses, pool vacuums, pool cleaning tools, pool chemicals for above ground models (their major product) of the traditional and non-toxic type. He wanted a subcategory for pool shocks you know, the additives that bring a green pool back to balance. I will include it for sure in the data entry categories. I asked him: why make things complicated. Isn’t a pool shock just a chemical. Why not just include it there? He smirked. You just don’t know the business. He corrected me and explained.

This was a unique product that was in high demand. The company wanted to track sales so they would know if they needed to pump up production. I agreed and proceeded to modify the software—one roadblock over turned. But there was another. The department head also had a boss and he was pretty savvy about programming. He knew I could create two versions for PCs and Macs. Different areas of the data entry department used one or the other. I had assumed they used PCs and the software did not work on the Macs. I had a bit of additional work coming. I had to work day and night to meet the pool chemical company’s deadline. I prevailed and the roadblock disappeared. The software was great on both types of computers, perhaps a little easier on the Macs. But it worked beautifully and they knew it. They breathed a sigh of relief, along with me.

I have my daily routines like everyone else. We all come up with plans that suit our schedule. It is not that I am a rigid or regimented person; rather, it is a practical way to organize my day. These days are fairly similar and I often go through the motions almost by rote. I would like to spice things up and change up the mix. While most of my time is spent at work, I want another dimension to my existence and so I go to the gym near the office. I try to do it on a regular basis to be consistent about fitness and health.

Exercise and nutrition are the keys to success in this regard. There is no better remedy for what ails you such as chronic fatigue. When you feel a burn out coming on caused by your work load, all you have to do is workout. It gets the blood circulating and the mind humming. Do it as often as you like. Experts recommend at least three times a week for one hour. Everyone should set their own hours in the early morning or after work as they see fit. Some people who they call “morning people” love to pump iron at 6:00 am. Not me. I prefer the late afternoon before dinner. After dinner, it gets too late to get my body moving. My body rebels and reminds me that it is getting to be time for bed. Maybe a little reading or watching TV, but that’s all.

I love my gym routine which starts with a good long run on the treadmill. I then try out various toning machines and the rowing machine if it is available. The elliptical is an alternative after which I use a variety of stretch straps and balls. I follow it all with a round of good stretching while the muscles are warm and pliable. Then I hit the hot tub. A half hour in the swirling hot water makes me feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the evening. I can socialize or just go home according to my mood. Most days my mood is ecstatic after enjoying the hot tub. My gym has the best one. It has these marvelous spray jets that soothe aching muscles and pound the body with active warm water.

If you happen to have a long and vigorous workout, the tub is the answer to your prayers. Most days, other people join me and you can hear all the oohs and aahs in unison. The gym keeps the tub sparking clean and in tip top working order. It is the highlight of my visit. I don’t know what I would do without it. Others like a steam bath or a dip in the indoor pool. My preference is clear. Just point me to the hot tub and I rush in. I take a big fluffy towel for the exit and then head for the locker room. My glorious workout is done.

Women and men may be equals in the workplace, but they do have different tricks of the trade. Women are more attentive to their appearance and to ways of staying young in a competitive male-dominating world. This includes keeping their skin moisturized so it doesn’t dry out and sow wrinkles. Studies show that attractive people advance faster in their careers and are more admired by colleagues. While it doesn’t seem fair it all, it is a reality of life. Women have to be more poised and confident than men and they have to be verbal and great communicators. Learning new vocabulary is a great trick of the trade for most jobs. It shows off one’s education and training. Volunteering for extra work has always been a plus for women in spite of the fact that many get lower pay. Eventually they catch up if they play their cards right. So how you dress, look, act, and speak are keys to moving ahead. Getting along with the men in your company group also goes without saying.

Since this blog is about tips, let me impart one that helps moisturize my skin. It is a humidifier. If you keep it on at home through the night you will be ageless. Moisture in the air is better than the most expensive face cream, although you certainly can use both. Humidifier also help you breathe better and enjoy a more peaceful and restful night. This, too, keeps you looking fresh and young. It is all about taking care of yourself. This includes a good diet and plenty of exercise. These are hardly tips since everyone knows it, but few do more than go through the motions. Good nutrition will keep you svelte and attractive. Remember the rule about good looking people advancing. It all takes time to attend to these personal needs but they pay off in the long run. Finding the best humidifier can be a breeze by looking at reviews on line.

Women are learning how to compete better in the workplace and they are getting more savvy all the time. They are learning to speak men’s language and to even like talking about sports. They will join the guys for a beer at the local tavern and be one of the gang. The dividing line is breaking down everywhere and women and managing men without difficulty. It has been a learning process that you can shortcut now by knowing the tips and tricks. Women are no longer petty and gossipy at work which is a big turn off. They are not defiant and argumentative. They know how to compromise but accept winning when it is their due. They can take credit without angering jealous colleagues. They can arbitrate problems and come up with solutions. They have gained the respect they have long deserved and are true equals with their male counterparts. But it still doesn’t hurt to wear makeup, nice clothing, and keep your skin moist.

lThere is an expression “the things we do for love.” It means that we compromise sometimes to make someone else happy or that we go out of our way for someone we love. It makes us feel better about ourselves and it certainly makes the other joyous. It is like a gesture of emotion that solidifies a relationship and shows warmth, empathy, and compassion. Almost anything qualified for this category. You might go on a vacation to a place you don’t like for love. You might go to see a movie you despise or eat in a restaurant not of your liking. You might play tennis but hate it, but your boyfriend loves it. You might let him wear the most atrocious shirt because it is his choice. Oh, the things we do for love we mumble under our breath. We cooperate and are good sports.

One example of something I did for love was to deal with my new boyfriend’s allergy to my cat. I was sad to find out that this was a problem. I wasn’t about to get rid of it. I couldn’t go that far and he didn’t expect me to. He would have felt guilty. But there is the problem of cat hair all over my apartment that sets off a barrage of terrible sneezing. I don’t want him to avoid coming over and it doesn’t help to put the cat outside. The pet hair still lingers everywhere. I had a dilemma on my hands that begged for a solution. The obvious answer was to purchase a good vacuum cleaner and do a bit of house cleaning. Vacuuming is a great way to deal with allergies as it will scoop up those nasty allergens in a flash. But you have to have a vacuum designed for people with allergies to make sure that it cleans efficiently enough. A person with allergies know this kind of cleaning is a way of life.

When my boyfriend used to come over, it was a major trauma for him. I gave him allergy pills but they took too long to work. He would forget to take them on his own at home an hour before visiting me. The vacuum cleaner was the far better answer. He praised my ingenuity. Most people ignore their pet hair and feel it goes with the territory of owning an animal. At best they will use a brush on the pet and dispose of the residual hair. Things are reaching a state of normalcy now that I am vacuuming with abandon. I probably do it more than I really need to but I don’t want the cat to cost me a relationship. My boyfriend actually adores the cat who is super cuddly with him. We have a kind of truce going on thanks to the vacuum. No one wants to get rid of a beloved pet. It is not one of the things you do for love, or love will disappear. There would be too much resentment.

There is a specialist for everything high tech these days. It is a booming career. The digital world is compartmentalized. Because people are ignorant of how computers operate for the most part, there is a need for professional help. People make a good living fixing things because the average person is often at sea. They don’t even try to learn as they assume it is beyond their scope. I know guys who charge $50 an hour or more as personal consultants to repair a computer that isn’t even broken. A few keystrokes and the problem is solved. Most of the time it isn’t anything critical and you probably can fix it yourself. I guess most companies have a tech support department and we have to keep these employees busy for the staff. Given the number of computers in a large-size companies, they make their rounds. I supposed they get annoyed if they are constantly called to resolve non-issues. But the user doesn’t really know if anything is wrong or not. So let’s let these fellows keep their jobs. They can install and upgrade new software and add memory to your computer to keep it humming along.

Some techs do complain about nonsense calls even though they are required to show up. The worst is the case of a guy who called for tech support on an emergency basis because of the keys on the keyboard was stuck. It turned out that food was caught under the key and the tech cleaned the keyboard using a small air compressor. We all should own one. It keeps debris off the keyboard and you don’t have to beg for tech support for no reason at all. You can buy these compressors at any office supply company. You can share it with your colleagues and show them how it works. It is rather magical. The other tip to share is not to eat your lunch over your computer and you won’t have a problem.

While air compressors are large industrial machines such as the sixty gallon two-stage model, the computer cleaning kind is a different animal and comes in a small can. It is an aerosol duster in effect. I suppose you could use an industrial version, but this works so well for stuck keys that you needn’t resort to other measures. I can’t see lugging around a two -foot size contraption around the office. Then there is the kind of air compressor to inflate tires. So get yourself the right stuff and keep your keys functioning. There is nothing more annoying to a fast typist than keys that stick. There is no need to ask for a new keyboard when there is a ready solution. I keep my spray can in my desk and it is ready to use in seconds. Don’t be surprised at the cold spray that comes out. That is expected. Read the precautions on the can as there may be things to know before you begin your cleaning operation.