What’s in a Name? Yuppies, Dinks or Dewks?

Copyright (c) 2008 Wendy Tendys

For some reason or other, we coin generational phrases to put people in their place. Or, is it to define subcultures of certain patterns of behaviour?

Mobileers were a community of early two-way radio users. According to Wikipedia, the Mobileers popularized the technology that birthed the mobile phone.

Permanent installations in vehicles gave way to the portable Bag Phones, equipped with a cigarette lighter plug. You wouldn’t recognize the huge clunky piece of equipment these phones were, compared to the dinky pocket size we carry today. But I am getting ahead of myself.

In the early 1960′s there was a youth movement that evolved into the Hippies. Again according to Wikipedia, ‘Hippies originally were Beatniks’, or the black people. These people were black by nature, not by the colour of their skin. Even their clothes were black. They were losers. Their message was, “Danger is fun”.

Hippies were a group of people who moved into the Haight-Ashbury San Francisco area. Psychedelic rock, the sexual revolution, cultural diversity and drugs like cannabis and LSD, in order to explore alternative states of consciousness, became the hallmark of the Hippies. Flower Power symbolized their cry of “Make love not war”, as they handed out flowers to passersby.

They were the frontier group of the ‘Wild West’ of our modern culture. Their far reaching effects included health food, music festivals, through contemporary sexual concepts (free love) and the use of drugs.

Many were eco-friendly and the forerunners of the Greeny Movement. They were also pioneers of the cyberspace revolution.

Today every school kid has a mobile phone, though I often wonder who pays the bills. But when mobile phones were relatively unheard of, there rose a group of Male Yuppies – Young Urban Mobile Professionals.

They had a particular stance that went with the title, as did most subgroups. One hand raised to the ear; Their other hand protectively placed on their briefcase; Head cocked to one side; Eyes glazed over as they stared at the distant horizon; A noncommittal grimace on the face.

Of course they were seen to eat at all the Yuppy restaurants and naturally drove a Yuppy car. They were the symbol of all the young affluent professionals of the day. Where are the woman in this equation.

Evolution comes in many forms. However, I wonder if that is always the case. I peresonally believe they were the result of a group of very clever marketing gurus.

Either way, the Yuppy generation took over from the Baby Boomers – suburban, couple of kids, mortgage and the backbone of the community. That is after the Baby Boomers had dried out and come off the Grass, introduced through the Hippy stage.

Let’s not knock the Baby Boomers though. The Baby Boomers produced many a Lord Mayor or politician.

Strictly speaking the Baby Boomers may have been too long a period to be classically described as a ‘generation’. The baby boom lasted over a post-war period of 18 years.

Why we have to put a name to every generation is totally beyond me? I could never work out just where I belonged, even though I contributed to the Baby Boomer period.

In Russia the Baby Boomers were called the Sputnick Generation, from the Russians race in space. How the two became connected is totally beyond me?

It was the rise of the contraceptive pill that heralded in the end of the Baby Boomer period.

Double Employed With Kids – DEWKS – was the next prominent phase. Have a child, six weeks later dump the baby in the Creche/Child Care Centre and back to competing with your partner as to who brings home the most income.

The Yuppies become Yappies – Frustrated Yuppies having to deal with a couple of screaming kids, now that spanking children (corporal punishment) was being outlawed.

Sadly this was followed by the predictable KOOPF – Kids Of One Parent Families.

Next came the DINKS – Double Income No Kids. It became fashionable not to have kids. Why not, if you could no longer discipline them?

Dinks was more widely used than the usual generational term. There were Gay and Lesbian Dinks and a midget wrestler, Claude Giroux, took the stage name, Dink. The water had become decidedly muddied. No longer could you assume the person was with their husband or wife. It had become ‘partner’.

According to some experts, if the trend of Dinks continued, intelligent professionals would become another ‘dinosaur’. Extinct, due to the lack of DINKS not having children and reproducing themselves.

However, gays and lesbians, in same sex relationships, also contributed to the downturn in population growth.

Supposedly the DEWKS and DINKS are the privileged ones who have ‘Disposable Incomes’. That which the economists say gauges the state of the economy.

Let me ask you this though, does anyone have income that can be ‘disposed of’, like polystyrene containers, paper tissues and disposable plastic bags? That of course is before bio-degradable became fashionable.

Somewhere in the middle of all this we have the term Nerd. The original stereotypical Nerd was ‘white males with glasses and braces’, according to Wikipedia. You wouldn’t get away with such a term today, in our new found non-gender consciousness.

Nerd, or Nurd, was originally known as ‘knurd’, which is drunk spelled backwards. A nerd was a person who studied, as opposed to one who partied.

With the maturing advent of Cyber Space, the term Nerd has gained respectability. It is the Nerds of our world who drive Cyber Space.

Charles J. Sykes said, “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

Then of course we always have the Trendys, who set the pace for the next generation. The feeding grounds of the latest fashion gurus and their high paid advertising junkies.

So we keep creating new terms, putting each generation into a neat little box. We also like to do the ‘crab trick’ – don’t let anyone get out of the box. Pull them back if it looks like they are escaping.

If you live long enough, chances are you will be around for quite a few of the names, in the cultural evolution. Or is it all plain rebellion to the established mores – status quo?

I want to add one more name to the list. Most of us only dream of being a Wyna. Better than being a Luza. If you have difficulty picking up what I am saying (writing) try speaking those two names out loud.

The world is full of Luzas, but in every generation there is a minority of Wynas, about 2%. Only those who dream big become a Wyna. What did the song say, ‘Climb every mountain, ford every stream…’?

Right now there is a generation of people who are chasing after a ‘Seachange’. When they go on holiday they yearn for cooling sea breezes. Some coastal communities have been classed officially as a Seachange area.

It was even reported that one such city was attempting to restrict the numbers of visitors that flooded it during holiday periods and stretched the amenities beyond their limit. Will they create a boarder around the city and produce passports? Another Berlin wall?

Wyna says there are children in Vanuatu and other geographically isolated areas, who are financially underpriviledged. Without help they will never have the opportunity to go to high school, because they live in a cashless society.

Together we can help them. We can make them Wynas.

——

YouMe Support Foundation is offering a unique, world first raffle of a South Pacific resort, Seachange Lodge. YouMe Support Foundation, in partnership with winaresort.com, provides non-repayable higher-education grants for geographically isolated and financially underprivileged children. Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys P.O. Box 5101, Port Vila, Vanuatu Email: admin@youmesupport.org

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Dangers In Recording Collection Calls

INTRODUCTION

We are often asked if abusive debt collectors should be recorded. The short answer is “No”. The longer answer is that it normally is not a good idea.

There is a lot of information on the internet about recording calls. We wrote this article to help give you our perspective so you can have more information to make the right choice on whether or not to record calls when dealing with an abusive debt collector.

REASON ONE – AVOID PROSECUTION IN A FOREIGN STATE FOR ILLEGAL RECORDING OF CALLS

Basically there are two types of states – “One Party” states and “Two Party” states.

One party states say that as long as one party to the call consents to the recording, then it is legal to record.

Two party states require that both parties to the call must consent to the recording.

We are often asked about Alabama consumers (or other one party state residents) recording conversations in a one party state. Alabama is a one party state but you can still be prosecuted. Confused?

We used to tell one party state residents that as long as they were on the call (that is don’t ever record a call you are not a party to) then they were fine. Here’s why our advice is to not record calls even if you are in a one party state.

In a two party state, both parties have to agree to the recording. This is why you often hear “This call may be recorded” when you call certain companies.

Some of these two party states take the position that even though it may be legal for you in Alabama (or other one party states) to record the call, it violates the law of their state and so they will prosecute you in their state. Also keep in mind that often times we cannot tell where a debt collector is calling from or where our call is going to as the larger collection agencies may route calls through different offices and you can’t tell this through caller id. The collection agency letter may say its from a one party state but when you call the phone may actually be answered in a two party state.

So here is how this can work against you. An abusive debt collector keeps calling. You secretly record the phone call. You catch the abusive call on tape and now it seems everything is in place to sue this abusive debt collection agency. You file suit and your lawyer sends over the recording. Instead of the collection agency offering you money, your lawyer gets a nasty letter informing him that you have violated the laws of the state of, say, Florida and the district attorney where the collector is located (and employs lots of people) is looking at opening a criminal prosecution against you in Florida. The unstated but clear message is if you drop the civil case you will not be prosecuted. (This is almost universally forbidden to blackmail someone like this but we are talking about realities here, not a fantasy world).

So, what do you do? Move forward and hire a lawyer in Florida (or California or wherever) to defend you? Or do you drop the suit and hope you won’t be prosecuted?

This relatively new approach by two party states is the primary reason we tell consumers not to record phone calls. If you don’t record phone calls, you don’t have to worry about being prosecuted somewhere else.

[Please note - this does not apply to voicemail messages. The debt collector knew he or she was leaving a recorded message - that's the whole point of a voice mail! So there is no issue with consent as the collector consented by leaving the message.]

But, if you can’t record then how can you prove your case? This leads us to the second reason not to record….

REASON TWO – IT IS NOT NECESSARY AS LONG AS YOU CAREFULLY DOCUMENT THE CALLS

Many consumers believe that if they do not have the abusive debt collector on tape, then there is no case. Some debt collectors and their defense lawyers act the same way – as if there is no proof if there is no recording. This is simply not true.

You are qualified to testify to what the debt collector said to you. The best practice is to make notes as you are on the phone. You can do this on your computer or on a notebook or on a collection log. The basic idea is to track who called, when, from what company, from what number, and what did the caller tell you?

Immediately after hanging up the phone, review your notes and see what changes are needed to make them as accurate as possible. Did you abbreviate some words? Make a note what the words mean. If there is anything unclear, make it clear right after you hang up the phone. Note the time and date of the call and who called you.

Here is why some consumers believe recordings are essential – because the debt collector will not put in its notes that it used profanity or threatened you with jail time for not paying a bill. Our response? Big deal.

Of course the debt collector will not record entries into the collection notes that will open the debt collector up to a lawsuit or expose the individual collector to being terminated. Showing the collector’s notes are unreliable is usually a simple process.

So it comes down to your testimony versus the debt collector’s testimony. The collector will say he has no memory of threatening you or cursing at you. The collector will claim to have a perfect memory of the call with you. Of course the next question we ask is “Tell us about the call right before the one with my client.” No memory. Or the call ten people after our client was called. These collectors have dozens of calls in a day and yet they claim they can remember what they told you six months ago? Not likely.

The reason you can remember is you have had just a few collection calls and because you carefully and faithfully note all the calls you get in your computer, notebook, or other collection log.

If you are a credible and believable person, then who needs a recording? In our judgment a recording is just not that important for most cases.

BUT IF YOU DO RECORD, HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS

If despite our advice you are determined to go ahead and record, then here are some suggestions.

First, make sure that your recording device is working properly. If you are going to take a chance recording, make sure you get something out of it. Test out your recording device with a friend who is agreeable to you doing this.

Second, tell the debt collector at the beginning of the conversation that you are going to record the call. Tell the collector if he or she keeps talking you are going to assume they agree to be recorded. If they won’t agree, then end the call.

Third, do not act any different on the recording. Once you have permission from the debt collector, then proceed with the conversation as if nothing is different. This also means do not try to trick or trap the debt collector. We’ll discuss this in another article but the main purpose of talking to a debt collector is to gain information.

Fourth, as soon as the call is over mention on the recording the time and date of the call if you did not do so at the beginning of the call.

Fifth, transfer the recorded call to digital media as soon as possible. Get it on your computer or somewhere safe. You don’t want to go through all the effort to get a recording and then the recording is lost or misplaced.

CONCLUSION

We hope that this information will help you make the right decision in dealing with abusive debt collectors. Whatever decision you make on calls with abusive debt collectors, remember you have rights and the better you document the abuses of debt collectors, the greater likelihood that you can stop them from ever abusing you again. We wish you the best of success in dealing with your collectors.

——

John G. Watts is a well known consumer lawyer who has litigated dozens of cases against abusive debt collectors.
HIs firm website is at http://www.alabamaconsumer.com
Fill out the contact information form for a free report on Making Collectors Pay For Illegal Voicemails, Making Collectors Pay For Contacting Your Neighbors, and Five Secrets Debt Buyers Don’t Want You To Know When They Sue You.

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Benefits of Speaking Spanish

What is the importance of learning Spanish today? According to figures released by the United States Census Bureau in 2008, 45.5 million U.S. residents claim Hispanic ancestry. 34 million Americans aged 5 and over speak Spanish at home. And Hispanics are the fastest-growing “minority” group in the United States; in some states, they can’t really be considered a minority at all.

But what does this mean to you? If you’re not Hispanic yourself, and your town doesn’t have a large Hispanic population, why learn Spanish? The reason is that you will be amazed how many job opportunities exist for people in America who can speak and understand English and Spanish. Some American companies may require you to speak and understand Spanish; but if your job does not require you to be bilingual in Spanish, it may give you better job security and even a pay rise in the near future, since you will be considered a bigger company asset because you have become so versatile. In circumstances where an English-speaking person is required, you can do the job because English is your native language, but in situations requiring a Spanish speaker, you can fill that slot too. The importance of learning Spanish, in many cases, equals your ability to be a team player in today’s economy.

The American economy is also becoming more global and the need to do business in languages like Spanish cannot be underestimated. Twenty years ago, the average Mom-and-Pop shoe store was only likely to sell shoes to people within its own community. Today that same store probably has a website, possibly an online catalog, and a toll-free number for phone orders. The customer service representative who answers that telephone needs to be comfortable speaking to a much more diverse customer base than would have been required a few decades ago. In short, that person needs to speak Spanish and the importance of learning Spanish has never been greater.

“But I don’t have time to go back to school to learn Spanish!” you may be thinking. There’s no reason you have to. There are many wonderful programs you can download to your computer or access via CD or DVD. Audio-based Spanish learning programs are the best, which combines the type of dialogues you may remember from your school days that include effective computer-based games that teach grammar, build vocabulary, and are just plain fun to learn with. But whatever program you choose, make sure that it’s delivered in some kind of audio (versus written) format. You need to hear native speakers pronounce the words so you can learn to pronounce them correctly too. The importance of learning Spanish is moot if Spanish speakers can’t understand you.

It would be misleading to tell you that learning a new language requires no effort at all. No reputable learning system would make that claim! But never before in history has the importance of learning Spanish been greater, and with today’s technology, it’s not the arduous chore it used to be. So give it a try. Your career and your bank account will thank you for it!

——

Gerrit founded http://www.listenhear.info/
Discover more secret ways to learn Spanish fast? Visit the Rocket Spanish site and grab your 6 day Free Spanish language lessons now.

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The Top Five Characteristics of a Top-Notch Wellness Clinic

Going to a wellness clinic to tend to your health and wellbeing is definitely a sound decision. More people should be this conscious about the state of their mind and body, especially considering how lazy and unhealthy our way of life has become. This isn?t to say, though, that all wellness clinics offer exemplary service. You have to be discerning when it comes to choosing the right institution for you.

Need tips on what to look out for? Here are five key factors that will help ensure that you get your money?s worth:

1. A pleasant staff.
The wellness clinic you walk into may have the best technology or the most comfortable ambience, but if it doesn?t have a pleasant staff, then none of the other stuff matters. You need people who will tend to your health and wellbeing with kid gloves and bright smiles. If they are dead-eyed or, at worst, downright rude to you, then how will that help you in your journey to wellness? Insist on being treated well. Go somewhere where the staff puts you at ease.

2. Hygienic surroundings.
This is pretty much common sense. If you?re going to a place that can address your health and wellbeing properly, then anywhere remotely unhygienic should be crossed off your list. There is no such thing as a reputable wellness clinic that isn?t 100% clean and sterilized. You can?t go to a place for certain aesthetic or medical treatments and not be properly assured that it is absolutely spotless. Remember: the second you see a dustball or an unwashed tray, make a run for it!

3. Personalized service.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to people?s health and wellbeing. If you want your wellness attended to properly, then you have to undergo programs that are highly customized and personalized, the kind of programs that are absolutely tailor-fit for your unique needs. Don?t opt for a wellness clinic that will just charge you for treatments you don?t even need. Make sure that if you sign up for something, that service was especially chosen for you based on test results and clinical observations.

4. Clinically-approved treatments.
No matter what some celebrities or some magazines tell you, most alternative treatments to health conditions do not work. If you really want to attend to your health and wellbeing effectively, then you should opt for services that have been clinically proven to work. Anything other than that could very well be a waste of your time and money. When looking for a wellness clinic, avoid the ones that promise ?all natural? treatments and have no medically sound services to offer whatsoever. Go instead for places that have seals of approval from doctors and hospitals.

5. Licensed doctors.
A wellness clinic is called that way for a reason. It is a place where you can get treatments beneficial to your health and wellbeing from a roster of licensed professionals, including doctors. If nobody in the place is properly licensed, then the fact that it?s called a clinic is incredibly deceptive, and you should avoid it at all costs. When shopping around for the right clinic, make sure that you spot licenses and degrees on the walls. If not, ask for the staff members? credentials. You have to make sure that the people tending to you know what they?re doing and are licensed to practice.

When it comes to your health and wellbeing, you should insist on only the best. Don?t go for the wellness clinic with the lighter price tag or the closer location if it means compromising on the quality of its services. If there?s one place where you have to be as discerning as possible, it?s definitely this type of clinic. Good luck on your search!


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Making Your Dreams Come to Life: A Primer on Creativity

Some of the most successful people in the world are also the most creative. Whether they are CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations or the hottest faces in Hollywood, most of these people really know how to harness their creativity and use it to their advantage. If you want to get ahead in your career or personal life, a little creativity will definitely work its magic for your cause. You can certainly make your dreams come to life if you harness your mind power and think outside of the usual conventions.

To help you along in this, here are a few ways to ignite that creative spark in you:

1. Get outside the house.
It may be tempting to just hole yourself up at home with your wi-fi and cable TV, but if you want to get great ideas, you won?t find them in your comfort zone. Get out of the house once in a while. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Have a picnic in the park with your friends or kids. By exposing yourself to stimuli other than the ones in your home, you can use your mind power more often and be inspired enough to make your dreams come true.

2. Spend more time with children.
If you have your own kids or have nieces and nephews nearby, why not spend more time with them? Children are hands-down the most creative people you will ever meet, and you could definitely learn a thing or two from them if you hang out with them long enough. These kids really know how to harness their mind power and think up of ways to make their wildest dreams come true. Follow their example and make your dreams come true, too!

3. Write.
You may not consider yourself a writer, but doing a little writing and note-taking can actually do a lot for your creative juices. Write down your observations, scribble ideas for stories, write whatever is on your mind! In fact, why not try automatic writing? Just write down the first things that pop into your head. The results may surprise you; it?s really amazing what a little mind power can do! And who knows?maybe somewhere in your many notes is the secret to making your dreams come true!

4. Go to museums.
This one?s a no-brainer. If you want to get your creative juices flowing, no place is more appropriate than a museum. It doesn?t matter what kind of museum it is, whether it houses paintings or artifacts of the natural world. Just exposing yourself to these exhibits and learning new things is enough to fuel your mind power. A lot of successful people got to where they are now because they were thoroughly inspired by something or someone. Why not get a little more inspiration yourself so you can be heartened to make your dreams come to life?

5. Draw.
You don?t have to be an actual visual artist to draw something great. Just buy a simple sketchbook and a few pencils and see where your imagination takes you. You can do it on your free time, or when you?re on the bus to work?anytime you feel like doing something fun and productive without tiring yourself too much. You?ll be amazed how well your mind power will work once you put a pencil to paper. Just keep at it and you may just draw the exact scenario that will allow you to make your dreams come to life!

You should definitely try out one or more of the above suggestions if you want to give your creativity a boost. There?s really no harm in doing things you don?t normally do; in fact, the more you bring yourself out of your usual environment, the better! The world is full of possibilities, and it would be such a shame if you decided to limit yourself to what you?re already familiar with. What good will that do for your mind power, right? So, go on and make your dreams come to fruition with the above suggestions. It will surely give you the push you need to succeed further in your life!


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