Federal Agency Spent $31,000 on Ben Carson's Office Furniture'

Officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development reportedly spent $31,000 on office furniture for Secretary Ben Carson even as the White House sought to cut his agency's spending.

The purchased covered a hardwood table and a set of chairs, according to procurement records


by the

New York Times


In a statement to the


, Housing and Urban Development spokesman Raffi Williams said Mr Carson was unaware of the table being purchased but did not intend to return it.

A senior official in the housing agency had filed a complaint alleging she was punished after telling her superiors there were legal limits on how much could be spent on office furniture,

according to




Before Mr Trump tapped him to run the housing agency, Mr Carson had no significant government experience. He rose to fame as a surgeon before launching an unsuccessful presidential campaign, during which he ran as a Republican.

He faced criticism earlier last year for suggesting government-funded housing should not be too accommodating, warning against providing "a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: 'I'll just stay here. They will take care of me.'"

Spending habits have already led to the ouster of one Trump cabinet official, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who stepped down amid revelations that he had flown on taxpayer-funded private charter planes.

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1-2-3 Office Furniture Tips and Advice
If you have decided to open up a new office then you may want to think about purchasing the best office furniture to suit yours and your companies needs. Purchasing office furniture is quite a hard task, as you will have to consider the people you are buying it for. Sometimes you may get into hard times just thinking about what to buy yourself, let alone that of your colleagues. I believe that if you know what you are looking for, then the task becomes much a simpler process. You should get to know the people that you are working with and carefully pick up there likes and dislike, this way you cannot go wrong.A few simple facts to keep into mind when purchasing office furniture is comfort levels, as you and your staff will be using these for most of the day, infact for most of the week you will want to obtain furniture that can give you and your employees that little bit of extra comfort. Basically you will have to shop around and find furniture that is not too comfortable, but that is also not too uncomfortable, because both have there downsides. If you get furniture that is too comfortable it may put the employees off of working as they will be too relaxed, and if you get it not so comfortable they will probably start complaining.A new range that has hit the market at a tremendous rate are the ergonomic furniture parts, these are not only comfortable but will also help in reducing injuries and strains among yourself and your staff. You can get a wide variety of different ergonomic equipment which include but are not limited to keyboards, a mouse and all other parts of computer accessories, as-well as chairs and desks.All of this being said it may sound quite costly but you should always remember that the price can be quite deceiving on some items, as you may find it elsewhere if you shop around at a much lower reduced rate. So to sum up you should get the most suitable furniture for the environment you are in, not too comfortable and not too uncomfortable but always remember to take style and vision into account. Especially if you have an open plan office because you will need to look like a professional company if you are getting clients visiting on a regular basis.
The Growing Business of Active Shooter Countermeasures
"911. What's your emergency?" "There's someone with a gun at the main entrance to the mall."--FEMA Institute Emergency Management course on the "Active Shooter" Trending News Google Cloud Outage Missing Connecticut Mom Virginia Beach Shooting Protester Interrupts Harris Our domestic battlefield is evolving as America comes to terms with shooting tragedies like those in Orlando, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, and the drumbeat of far-reaching threats from abroad. Police negotiators who try to talk assailants into freeing hostages, or your hope of survival by taking refuge under desks or in bathroom stalls seem like ancient history, while the 2,500-year old classic "The Art of War" feels like the future. U.S. Joint Base Andrews in chaos over active shooter drill The Internet is full of governmental advice on how to handle active shooters, and now private industry is also queuing up with programs and products such as ballistic office furniture and trauma kits for when invaders burst through the door."We're not in Kansas anymore," said Jim Satterfield, president of Firestorm, a company that advertises itself as "America's Crisis Coach."All of this will alter the way you eye your fellow employees, the way your employer scrutinizes you and --perhaps -- even the way you look at yourself. Here are some changes that you'll see:Spying is a dirty word, even though cameras in malls, at traffic lights and on your own computer could be watching your every move. But as the number of shootings has escalated, with 20 active shooter incidents in each of the past two years, so has spying on employees, which now seems less reprehensible and more like the new reality.This is particularly true because most shooters bear a familiar face. They aren't foreign-inspired terrorists, but instead disgruntled employees, unhappy clients or contractors, or just people with bad attitudes about to go over the edge. That means they can be identified."Eighty percent of the time if someone has ill-intent, someone else knows about it, and with social media you can identify the threat," said Satterfield. San Bernardino shooting survivor describes chaos To the extent that an employer owns the social media of its company, including employee contact with the public, Firestorm provides "predictive intelligence" and data-mining that can analyze social posts to identify potential problems. Circumstances like the loss of a personal relationship, legal action, humiliation and rejection could be "the triggers for someone on the path to violence," said Satterfield. Equally important is "humint": short for human intelligence. Is someone making threats or simply acting strange? "Most people don't say something because they don't want to be a tattletale," Satterfield said. "The other problem is they don't know where to report something. You have to have anonymous reporting by texting."Because of legal risks to the company, this monitoring should be done by a third party or behind an "informational firewall," Firestorm's literature suggested.This may sound like Big Brother -- and your co-workers -- are watching you. But Satterfield said the goal of companies shouldn't be to fire employees who seem ready to explode. In fact, doing so could set him or her off on a rampage. At best, it only passes the problem along to the next company, such as the on-air shooting of two TV journalists in Roanoke, Virginia, by a former fellow staffer who had a troubled employment history."Problems don't go away," said Satterfield, who remembered the case of a diary found in a break room. The threatening pages were copied and then the diary was returned. A middle-aged woman picked it up, was given counseling and still works at the company. It confirms that anyone of any age has to be taken seriously, since at least six active shooters have been women.Arming employees is seen as another solution by some security firms. Companies like Shield Solution provide training programs for "selected employees" and teachers ever since the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy. According to its website, "It ... offers the best protection should an armed intruder invade your school." Missouri teachers resorting to firearms training to protect kids Some educators feel this is mission impossible. "We would be asking ... educators to make a swift transition from teacher to SWAT member," said G.A. Buie, a Kansas principal.But the idea is gaining traction. In Ohio, more than 600 teachers have applied for training, and it's under consideration in Alabama, California, New Jersey and Oregon. So does it really help to give workers, even those who are trained, a Glock? Allowing guns in an office or school can be a bad idea, said Firestorm, because guns can seldom be hidden for long, especially from children.Conversely, Israel, which has experienced ongoing terrorist attacks, encourages its citizens to carry concealed weapons, thwarting many terrorist incidents. Massad Ayoub, a firearms expert who tracks gun violence, noted that mass killers frequently target sites they know are gun-free, such as a Christmas party, bar or house of worship.But Ayoub also pointed out the drawbacks: not enough practice in using a firearm, the fact that some killers now wear body armor and the possibility of being shot by the police if they arrive on scene while your gun is still drawn. Most shooters, particularly under stress, are inaccurate. Even police hit their target only 18 percent of the time, a study of the New York Police Department showed.Attacking a shooter is considered the last resort after running and hiding. But firms like Guardian Defense, which offers "Active Shooter Training" for businesses, noted that 60 percent of all incidents end prior to police arrival. In many instances, the shooter commits suicide, but in others, such as the pistol-wielding killer on a Long Island, N.Y., train, bystanders take down the assailant. Lessons in self-defense A new mentality is forming among security defense firms. With women being taught to fight back against a rapist, some companies advocate the strategy of Jeff Cooper, a World War II marine and firearms expert who penned the "Principles of Self Defense." Cooper advocated "aggressiveness, speed, ruthlessness and surprise." Don't allow your enemy to intimidate you with fear, do what he or she doesn't expect -- such as throwing a chair through a window for a distraction, seize whatever is available and attack without mercy.Forget everything your parents and teachers told you, Cooper said in his book. "Once a fight starts, there are absolutely no considerations other than winning." An FBI video presents a similar scenario.When hiding, bear in mind that most office furniture offers little protection. Ballistic Furniture Systems, a company formed by its CEO Jerry Isquith after the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, offers new or retrofitted furniture with material that will stop a pistol shot. But its highest level of protection -- to stop military rounds -- usually fits only under office paneling. When running away is an option -- unless you're a school teacher -- remember that you have no obligation to help others, said Guardian Defense. That's also echoed by the FBI: "Encourage others to leave with you, but don't let them slow you down."Healing comes after the fact, if at all. Companies are inventing products to care for the wounded because emergency responders may be delayed by the shooter or by threats of explosives. The true "first responders" are likely to be employees, teachers, parents or even fast-food workers who are "already on the scene when the crisis begins," said Strategos International, which provides safety and tactical training to schools, churches and corporations. Sales of counterfeit tourniquets prompts safety alert iACT, which sells "responder bags" that include control wrap to stop bleeding, a respirator, an airway opener and a video on how to use them, said a person can easily "bleed out" in four minutes, and studies show that it could take 40 minutes to an hour for professional help to arrive.After all active shooter incidents, law enforcement and firms like Firestorm do a "hot wash" to assess what went wrong and what could have been done better. Some of it helps, but it also aids the potential active shooter, who's watching it all through the media.So the battle is an ongoing equation -- with the graph of casualties trending ever higher.
Volatile Trade, Inventories Boost U.S. Growth to 3.2 Percent in First Quarter
WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) - - U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, but the burst in growth was driven by a smaller trade deficit and the largest accumulation of unsold merchandise since 2015, temporary boosters that are seen weighing on the economy later this year.The surge in growth reported by the Commerce Department on Friday put to rest fears of a recession, that were stoked by a brief inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve in March. But it also exaggerates the health of the economy as consumer and business spending slowed sharply, and investment in homebuilding contracted for a fifth straight quarter.Gross domestic product increased at a 3.2 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the government said in its advance GDP report. Growth was also driven by increased investment in roads by local and state governments."The gain in first-quarter GDP would seem to make a mockery of claims that the U.S. economy is slowing as the fiscal stimulus fades," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. "Looking beyond the headline number, however, there are plenty of causes for concern." The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the October-December period. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast GDP increasing at a 2.0 percent rate in the first three months of the year. The economy will mark 10 years of expansion in July, the longest on record.President Donald Trump cheered the economy's performance in the first quarter. "This is far above expectations or projections," Trump tweeted.The White House has sought to boost growth through an array of policies, including a $1.5 trillion (£1.2 trillion) tax cut package passed in December 2017. Economists believe the fiscal stimulus, which also included more government spending, peaked in the third quarter.They expect GDP to slow this year, with annual growth forecast around 2.5 percent, below the Trump's administration's 3 percent target. The economy missed the growth target in 2018.Excluding trade, inventories and government spending, the economy grew at only a 1.3 percent rate in the first quarter, the slowest since the second quarter of 2013. This measure of domestic demand increased at a 2.6 percent pace in the October-December quarter.A gauge of inflation tracked by the Federal Reserve increased at a 1.3 percent rate last quarter. Fed policymakers are likely to shrug off the last quarter's growth spurt and focus on the weak domestic demand and inflation when they meet next week.The U.S. central bank recently suspended its three-year monetary policy tightening campaign, dropping forecasts for any interest rate increases this year. The Fed raised borrowing costs four times in 2018."The Fed will focus on the composition of growth, which points to a slowing trend amid softening inflation," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM in New York. "This data reinforces the prudent pause the Fed is engaged in." The dollar dropped against a basket of currencies as investors fretted over the weak details of the GDP report. U.S. Treasury prices rose, while stocks on Wall Street were mixed.Exports surged and imports declined in the first quarter, leading to a small deficit that added 1.03 percentage points to GDP after being neutral in the fourth quarter. Trade tensions between the United States and China have caused wild swings in the trade deficit, with exporters and importers trying to stay ahead of the tariff fight between the two economic giants.The standoff has also had an impact on inventories, which increased at a $128.4 billion rate in the first quarter, the strongest pace since the second quarter of 2015. Inventories increased at a $96.8 billion pace in the October-December quarter. Part of the inventory build was because of weak demand, especially in the automotive sector, which is expected to weigh on future production at factories.Inventories contributed 0.65 percentage point to first-quarter GDP after adding one-tenth of a percentage point in the October-December period.Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, slowed to a 1.2 percent rate from the fourth quarter's 2.5 percent rate. The moderation in spending reflected a decline in motor vehicle purchases and other goods, likely related to a 35-day shutdown of the federal government. There was also a slowdown in spending on services.The government said the shutdown had subtracted three-tenths of a percentage point from GDP last quarter. Retail sales have since rebounded strongly, pointing to some acceleration in consumption in the second quarter."Momentum in consumer spending picked up toward the end of the first quarter, which augurs well for a better consumption outcome in the second quarter," said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. "Even so ... we continue to expect GDP growth to step down to a 2.25 percent pace in second quarter." Business spending on equipment braked sharply, rising at only at a 0.2 percent rate, the slowest since the third quarter of 2016. Spending was held down by weak outlays on agricultural machinery and office furniture. Investment in structures contracted for a third straight quarter.Residential construction fell at a 2.8 percent rate, marking the fifth straight quarterly decline. Government investment rebounded at a 2.4 percent rate, driven by spending at state and local governments. Federal government spending was flat.
Cheap Movers Los Angeles to Create Your Relocation Function Tension Free
Relocating your house or office without having incurring hefty losses or damages is quite a hard process. Getting the assist of your reputed shifting business to assist you with this particular upheaval task is really a great decision. They provide a wide range of providers ranging from packing, transporting, unpacking as well as arranging them within your new vacation spot spot.Essentially their charges apply depending on the solutions rendered. There are lots of cheap movers in Los Angeles who will help your relocating job a peaceful experience. Los Angeles Office Movers offer their services on flat prices or on hourly prices dependent upon your preferences. You are able to choose from any one of these two prior to finalising the agreement. You may easily discover information about lots of movers on the internet, and asked them for that cost rates. You can run a comparison with a few or 4 rates before determining around the company that greatest fits your requirementsChoosing cheap movers Los Angeles will not suggest that you simply must compromise on support high quality provided by them.There is fairly a number of moving service providers, who provide the finest services at very reasonable prices. This can be done mostly to establish themselves within this area and produce an identification and popularity for them to survive in this aggressive globe. Once you find a good relocating company that are dedicated to consumer fulfillment, you'll be able to unwind and let them efficiently deal with your relocation.The cheap movers Los Angeles companies also take treatment of packing your furnishings and home appliances with utmost treatment. They understand just how much your valuable belongings and possessions imply for you.They even dismantle and pack business office furniture, sofa sets and the computer systems. The unique and special packing material employed by them offers complete safety from damages and losses. The plastic material employed for wrapping assures that your belongings usually do not get soiled in the course of the transit.Los Angeles Office Movers even perform following business office hours or on weekends in order that your company will not get interrupted in the course of the transition time period. A few of them even offer fantastic deals and discounts. Like for instance should you refer their organization to a person you know, they offer excellent savings on your own assignment.It is usually better to employ a neighborhood mover, because they know the ins and outs of the area and neighbourhoods better. Before finalising the mover get an estimate, ensure talk about every thing about it. Also verify if they are any concealed charges. You would not want them to help keep pestering you for more funds right after the job is finished. If you are happy with their task, you are able to always tip the helpers.Los Angeles office movers usually retain the services of properly educated specialists who will handle every little thing from packing to arranging your belongings inside your vacation spot position. Also make sure that your possessions are insured for damages that can be brought on during the transportation. You could also consider assist from nearby genuine estate agents for information on greatest movers within your locality. The typically assist their clients with all the relocation jobs.Learn more about Los Angeles Office Movers. Stop by my internet site in which you'll find out all about LA Movers and what it might do available for you.
Office Furniture Suppliers in Dubai
Fureuro is a one of the online furniture suppliers in Dubai, UAE. It is a one of the leading company for furniture manufacturing . The modern office furniture available online. Picking the correct furniture can hugy affect your workplace, worker maintenance, enlistment and resolve. Gone are the days when office furniture must be flat and utilitarian.office furniture suppliers in dubai Nowadays it is conceivable to make some truly intriguing, one of a kind and fun situations with the decision of creative, multi-utilitarian and brilliantly shaded furniture available today.·RELATED QUESTIONWho are the best modern furniture suppliers?Who are the best modern furniture suppliers?It depends on who is buying, and how much.As you see, I work in the furniture field since - errr, forever - so I am quite into the distribution business as well.And one of the main issues of the furniture business regarding distribution is that nowadays it is an enormous mess.With the development of online distribution, as for Amazon, along with the fact that it has happened during the Big Recession, most of the furniture companies around the world have experienced severe problems.The reasons are many: but the main issue is that to fully understand what you are buuying, you need to try the items you want to buy. You need to sit on them, examine how they are made, understand the coverings available and the finishings.And this is hardly possible on a computer screen.Add to this situation the fact that most of the fiurniture you buy needs some complicate assembly and installation, and you end up with a very tricky situation where the quality and the design of the piece you want to buy plays just a little part in the whole equation.And also, the distribution model has changed, and is changing constantly. The latest innovations come from the big groups. From Amazon, which is developing its own line of furniture, and has launched some models recevtly, and IKEA, which is offering a lease option to the public.So, in a situation like this, the consumer is left rightfully wondering what the best option would be - and I can say only one thing:There is no magic formula in buying furniture: each buyer has his own preferences.I have known people who would merrily buy everything online without skipping a beat, even the most costly pieces, and others which would require to try personally even the fabric of a single pillow - so, as you can see, there is no universal way to buy furniture.If you are a professional retailer, the situation changes drastically.In this case, there is only one way to buy furniture professionally - and it is, if you want to avoid surprises, to go straight to the source of the items. That is, to the place where they are presented and made available.And I am talking about the furniture fairs.Before the internet, before the computers, furniture was made and sold through furniture fairs, and natworks of brick and mortar stores in the different nations. But to meet the source of supply, for economic reasons, the best bet was to visit a trade fair.The best ones are the usual suspects: Milan Salone del Mobile, Cologne IMM Cologne, Paris Maison & Objet, London 100% Design - just to stay in Europe (but Milan is the most important fair in the world, design-wise).If you are living in the USA, I would mention also the ICFF in New York and the famous High Point Market exhibition.But for the majority of the world market, and not just for the most select styles (which play a smallish part of the whiole market), you have to turn East.That is, to China.The Chinese fairs are sort of amazing, and growing steadily year by year, both for affluence and the quality of the products. And one of them actually is picking up speed amazingly, which is CIFF.The China International Furniture Fairis one of the most established in the business, and is organized twice a year, in March and in September, respectively in Guangzhou and in Shanghai.The next edition of the CIFF will is scheduled for March 18-21, 2019 in Guangzhou - the city is what Westerners used to call Canton. The 43rd edition of CIFF will take place at in Hongqiao district of Guangzhou over two phases, a solution which is necessary to accommodate the whole field of the furniture business: the 1st, from 18 to 21 March 2019, is dedicated to home furnishings, outdoor and leisure furniture, home décor and home textiles; the 2nd, from 28 to 31 March, will instead be focused in office furniture, hotel furnishings, accessories, metal furniture, and furnishings for public spaces and reception areas. It will also sport a space dedicated to materials and machinery for the furniture industry.The results of the fair are very clear. CIFF Guangzhou had an enormous success, with a 36% more affluence of the past edition, and will host over 4,100 exhibitors in the premises of the fair, extending over 760,000 square metres, around 50% more than the last edition.The quality of the products have improved substantially. Most of the recent Chinese furniture production is stylishly made and offers a very good quality, up on a par with comparable Western furniture of the same level and niche. Forget your preconceptions about flimsy products and dangerous materials - it is not going to happen anymore.And apart from the quality of the products and strategic alliances that the Fair has secured, the same participating companies are proceeding at the fastest pace to serve their customers worldwide, many of them offering a nononsense complete service to manage easily the import/export practices from China to everywhere esle in the world.So, if you are a professional furniture retailer, visiting CIFF would be a smart idea. More, CIFF is held concurrently to another very good furniture fair, which is Furniture China, so you could visit both (and well, there are many of the bigger companies which exhibit in both fairs.As a note to my readers, I mostly write about high-end and luxury objects, like watches, furniture and design: so if you are interested in those fields, be sure to check my other answers and follow me. And a nice upvote is always welcome!I am writing professionally on behalf of the company detailed in the link above. If you are a Facebook or Instagram user and like watches, please "like" The Watchonomicon. You will find links on articles, and other interesting stuff there - together with some special offers on very special watches for sale.If you think my answers are worthwhile, please nominate them here: Publish This: Quora's Publishing Nominations Blog
New Holtzman Headquarters in Old Mart : Convention Center Work Brings Relocation of Office Furniture
In a relocation move necessitated by expansion plans for the Los Angeles Convention Center, Holtzman Office Furniture Co. has established new headquarters and a showroom at 2155 E. 7th St.After 30 years at its previous downtown location at 1417 S. Figueroa St., Holtzman now occupies the historic Peck & Hills Furniture Co. building, a 60-year-old landmark that was Los Angeles' first furniture mart.The relocation was not by choice, said Steven Silbert, Holtzman's president. "But we simply had to find a new site, and the easiest solution was to relocate to a new building nearby or an existing building that would allow for showroom space." When asked why they chose to remain downtown, senior executive and owner Harold Silbert said, "We've been downtown for so long, that we wanted to maintain our identity as a downtown firm with our distributors, dealers, designers and retail patrons."By continuing here and renovating and modernizing this historic building, we feel our presence will also contribute to the upgrading of the entire area." The Silberts searched and negotiated for more than a year before obtaining the old Peck & Hills Furniture Co., making Holtzman's new 265,000-square-foot facility one of largest office furniture outlets in the nation. The renovation architect was William A. Walden.The owners regard their business as a one-stop shopping establishment. The firm carries 400 lines of furniture and accessories that are available for sale or lease or loan out to customers, and provides space planning and interior design, repair and refinishing services and has its own fleet of delivery trucks."It's a family operation," said Harold Silbert, whose daughters Susan and Nancy have been instrumental in building a major profit outlet for Holtzman--the rental of furniture to studios to be used in television and movie scenes, such as "Dynasty," "L.A. Law," "Dallas," "Simon & Simon," "Matlock" and "Beverly Hills Cop" I & II.
Want to Build a World-class Workforce? Here's How to Attract Top Talent
When the Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016, the rest of the NBA took a major collective gasp. The strongest team in professional basketball, dominant NBA champions in 2015 and a win away from repeating in 2016, got a lot stronger by adding one of the five best players in the game. After the signing, the other 29 teams in the league dejectedly asked themselves, "How can we possibly compete with the Golden State Warriors?"Businesses across America looking at corporate juggernauts like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon face a similar challenge in the arms race for top talent. A strong job market, a generation of candidates interested in more than just a steady job and a paycheck, and competitors flushed with seemingly limitless resources willing to do whatever it takes to land whoever they want forces companies to work harder and smarter than ever to attract the best of the best.How can you take on the big boys and build a world-class workforce? Follow these simple steps and you will be able tocompete with any company out there.Understand Your AudienceWhen the Warriors were devising a strategy to try to persuade Durant to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and spurn attractive offers from competitors like the Boston Celtics, they closely studied his personal makeup and values. Identifying that Durant greatly valued leaving a legacy as a winner and playing a style of basketball he considered enjoyable, the Warriors made a hard sell around their unique ability to provide him with the opportunity to win multiple championships while playing in a highly-enjoyable, passing-oriented, free-flowing system.As the American workforce becomes increasingly less gray, companies need to hone in on the audience of greatest importance to them: millennials. According to aBrookings study, millennials will make up as much as 75 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2025. Millennials cite Google, Apple and Facebook as the most desirable companies to work for, so clearly the Golden State Warriors of the business world have figured out the right formula.Company Culture CountsAHarvard Business Review studytitled "Why People Quit Their Jobs" cited the oldest (and most obvious to many of us) reason in the books: they don't like their boss. A separateGallup surveyfound that half of those polled left their jobs primarily "to get away from their manager." In my career, I have witnessed bad managers chase talented employees away from companies that, on paper, appeared to be desirable to work for.I have also witnessed bad employees disrupt a positive work environment and threaten to undermine an otherwise sterling corporate culture. One bad apple can truly spoil the bunch, so it is critical for a business's intent on attracting top talent to ensure that every member of the organization is a team player capable of living up to the vision, mission and values of the company and able to mesh well with others.Also Read: What is the shrewdest business move you have ever seen?Millennials in particular prize companies that possess values they admire and offer both an environment and work that they enjoy. The Brookings study on millennial preferences found that 63 percent of millennials want their employer to contribute to social or ethical causes they felt were important, compared to roughly half of older Gen Xers and Boomers who felt similarly. And almost two-thirds of millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they don't.Beyond building a team comprised fully of high-quality people, companies can establish a fun and desirable culture by catering to the intrinsic needs of their employees. In-office amenities like ping pong and foosball tables or arcade machines can help employees de-stress and work more productively and happily. Throwing happy hours and other social events also serves as a way to make employees feel more comfortable at work and with those they work with, and offers a platform to help employees develop friendships with one another.Offer Unique PerksAmong the most attractive aspects of working for companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are the employee benefits beyond traditional offerings like healthcare and retirement plans. When I was student body president in junior high school, I learned firsthand how impactful free food can be to winning the support of your constituents, a lesson I carried me with as president of the Business Scholars Society in college (we had free food at every event).At the end of the day, if people love food and free things, what is better than free food? Stock your kitchen, offer snacks (we have a popcorn machine) and bring in or take your team out for free meals. We have found company barbecues to be especially impactful. Everyone on the team gets to socialize in a fun, relaxed setting and enjoys free food. Fortunately, one of our interns this summer was the founder of his high school grilling club.Just like free food, mandatory time off and vacation stipends will be extremely well-received.Adobe goes as far as shutting its offices downfor two weeks a year - one week in December and a week over the summer, whileAirbnb provides employees a $2,000 travel stipend. If your business can't afford such generous benefits, offer what you can. Allowing employees to leave early or work from home on days that they would like to (and when it isn't otherwise disruptive) is an easy way to build goodwill.Even when benefits apply to limited audiences within the organization, they can be impactful company-wide if they position the employer as thoughtful, sensitive and caring. Clearly, no company has a monopoly on creativity or thoughtfulness and smaller companies should be better able to implement creative benefits than large corporations, as they are not as stymied by internal politics and bureaucratic hurdles.Optimize Your OfficeCompanies of all sizes across all industries with greatly varying budgets have prioritized investing in their employees' health by furnishing their workplaces with ergonomic office chairs, desks and workstations.The study of one's efficiency and health in their working environment, ergonomics, has exploded in popularity and application over the last quarter century, and organizations are dedicating far greater focus toward ergonomics today than ever before. Providing ergonomic office furniture to your workforce is a fail-safe way to ensure that your employees are more efficient and comfortable when working.As the founder and chairman of an office furniture company, I have seen the impact firsthand, with clients of all sizes across a wide variety of industries. By providing lumbar support, ergonomic chairs specifically target posture to increase worker health and productivity. A misconception is that companies need thousands of dollars to buy Aeron chairs, as they are the most in-demand office chairs ever created and offered in the marketplace.But we have created a business model that allows us to sell refurbished Herman Miller Aeron chairs at roughly half off of retail pricing. Companies can and should seek similar high-end ergonomic options for products such as sit-to-stand desks that are not as expensive as the highest-priced offerings, but equally as effective. Sit-to-stand desks are especially popular among millennials, as they not only improve the health of your back but help you burn calories throughout the day and counteract lethargy.Beyond ensuring that your employees are seated in ergonomic furniture, optimize your office by focusing on its aesthetics. People prefer uplifting, positive environments to atmospheres that are drab, dull and depressing, so incorporate fun colors, interactive and/or chalkboard walls, natural greenspaces and fun decor. While they have receivedsome backlashof late, open plan offices have been and remain popular. They can enhance communication between management and staff, while propelling increased collaboration between employees across different departments.Focus on the FamilyAccording to a recentNational Journal-Allstate Heartland Monitor Poll, relative to baby boomers, millennials place a greater value on work-life balance and spending quality time with friends and family. In fact, over 80 perfect of the millennials surveyed consider having a good balance between work and life and enjoying enough quality time with family necessary for a good life. Just as the Warriors identified and catered to Kevin Durant's values, it is imperative for all companies to listen and adapt to the needs of the group most important to the composition of its workforce.Many millennials are young parents and many plan on having children in the near future. Recognizing the importance of catering to familial needs, companies are increasingly offering free childcare in the office or reimbursements for outside childcare expenses in addition to generous maternity and paternity leave options.Also Read:6 things to do to get started on selling to businessesWhile providing a year of paid leave and delving into female fertility may be territory many businesses simply cannot enter, all employers should provide an accommodative environment that allows its employees to live a healthy, balanced life, without having to trade off having a family for building a successful career. Millennials appreciate those who genuinely care about their wellbeing as people (not merely as workers) and companies that are truly caring, kind and compassionate can show their love in many different ways.Upon signing Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors had the best record in the NBA and steamrolled their way through playoffs to win the championship. They are in a great position to win again this year and for the foreseeable future. But that has not stopped teams around the league from competing. The Boston Celtics fell short in their efforts to land Durant and their efforts to advance to the NBA Finals, but have spent the offseason positioning themselves to take on Golden State. You will inevitably lose talent you desire to Google and to other large blue-chip companies, but you can and should compete every step of the way. And if you do, you will find your company looking like the Celtics, which isn't a bad thing, even if you are a Laker fan.-Adam Mendler is CEOof The Veloz Groupandfounder of Beverly Hills Chairs,Custom Tobaccoand Veloz Solutions.The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launchedBusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.The post Want to build a world-class workforce? Here's how to attract top talent appeared first on e27.
Tips for Buying Second Hand Office Furniture
If you're looking for second hand office furniture, there are several places that you can find some good deals. Knowing what you're buying is important, no matter where you find it, since you need to be able to determine whether it's still functional or if it has been worn out by the previous users. Let's look at some places to find good deals.The first place is local auction houses. Many auction houses sell liquidation furniture from businesses that have either upgraded their office equipment, or maybe gone out of business. These auctions often have excellent deals on furniture that's almost as good as new.Sometimes it might even be new. After the dot-com bubble burst in the late 1990's, many of the companies that went out of business were liquidated through these auctions, and a lot of their office furniture had never even been unpacked!Another good place to find deals on used office furniture is on eBay. You can find almost anything on eBay, and office furniture is no different. It can be a little trickier, since you'll have to deal with shipping and the fact that you can't inspect it in person if it's not being sold locally, but as long as you do your due diligence before buying you should be happy with the results.Another website much like eBay is Craigslist. And it has the advantage of most of the stuff offered on it is being sold locally, so you'll be able to inspect the good before you buy them and you won't get stuck with a big shipping charge.You can also keep an eye out for office furniture sales in your local classified section. Sometimes when companies are moving to a new location, or upgrading their existing offices, they will refurnish them. They often have clearance sales for the stuff they're replacing, and these generally get advertised in the local newspapers.These sales can be particularly good places to find deals as they near the end of the sale. The selection may not be as good, but they're usually highly motivated to sell whatever's left so they don't have to move it again. You can pick up stuff for a steal at this point.Buying second hand office furniture can be a big money saver, and it's usually every bit as good as what you would buy new. Why not let someone else pay the depreciation and buy your next desk or office chair used?
Auctions: for Old Seafaring Dogs
TWO traditional fancies top the bill in the London salerooms: pet art at Bonhams, Monday (11am) and marine art at Sotheby's, Wednesday (11am), which coincide with Cruft's and the Boat Show. The former has terriers ratting and dachshunds begging, at prices from the low hundreds; the latter has ships at sea, ranging from the same to about pounds 40,000 for a Montague Dawson, the ever-popular ships' portraitist.Bonhams relaunches its carpet sales on Wednesday (11am) with Oriental and European affordables: a carefully selected reflection of market trends aimed at home-furnishers and collectors.Pick of the rest: Christie's (South Kensington) first foray into the stamp market: affordable collections (from low hundreds) Thursday (2pm). Also Thursday: ceramics (10.30am), pictures (10.30am), costume and textiles (2pm). Tuesday: silver and plate (2pm). Wednesday: carpets, decorative objects and furniture (10.30am). Sotheby's has a wine sale rich in claret and port, Wednesday (10.30am) and another of its down-market, highly polished Colonnade sales - English and Continental furniture and decorations, Friday (10.30am). Phillips has British and Victorian paintings Tuesday (11am) and European ceramics Wednesday (11am).COUNTRYWIDEChester: Phillips North West golf memorabilia sale, Friday (10am), is likely to be the liveliest of the week, with the Japanese bidding with renewed vigour. Besides traditional golf gear such as clubs, there will be 'golf-related' items: ceramics, gramophone records, photographs, medals, metalware, cards, ephemera, books and art - proof that golf is the most potent theme in the art market.Manchester: No-reserve Post Office returns, from vases to videos, Thursday (10am). Artingstall and Hind, 39 Cobden Street, Pendleton, Salford (061 736 5682).Retford: Fine furniture, including mirrors, garden furniture and statuary, Monday (10.30am). Henry Spencer, 20 The Square (0777 708633).Malmesbury: Computers, copiers, printers, peripherals, office furniture, heaters, projection equipment, DIY and garden tools, Tuesday (10.30am). Hilditch and Co, Gloucester Road Trading Estate (0666 822577).Torquay: Artworks, collectables, ceramics, glass, furniture, Tuesday and Wednesday (9.30am). Bearne's, Avenue Road (0803 296277).Southampton: Office furniture and equipment in receivership, Tuesday (11am). Edward Symmons and partners, Surety House, Old Redbridge Road (0703 779778).Lichfield: Silver, jewellery, ceramics, Wednesday (11am), furniture, pictures, books, artworks, Thursday (11am). Wintertons, Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley (0543 263256).Bannockburn: MoD goods stored at various depots will be auctioned at the King Robert Hotel, Thursday (9.30am). Harrison and Hetherington (0228 26292).Exeter: Computers and peripherals at Lord Haldon Hotel, Dunchideok, tomorrow (11am). South West Computer Auctions (0934 642437).Wilmslow: Ceramics, glass, silver, pictures, furniture, Friday (10.30am) at the Rugby Club. John Maxwell (061 439 5182).Southampton: Liquidation sale of the 31ft Nantucket clipper ketch Ariel and a 17ft Solent dory, plus softwoods, hardwoods, doors and contents of two engineering workshops. Millbank Auctioneers, 72 Millbank Street, Northam. Viewing details: 0703 228179.Hove: Patek Philippe and other classic watches, jewellery and silver, porcelain, metalware, Thursday (2pm). Clocks, barometers, pictures, Friday (10.30am), at Palmeira Auction Rooms, 38 Holland Road. Graves Son and Pilcher (0273 735266).Guildford: Collection of Corgi toys, Wednesday (11am) at the Civic Hall, London Road. Vectis Model Auctions (0983 292272).FAIRSChelsea Harbour: Marine Art and Decorative Antiques, The Marquee, Lots Road, London SW10, today (11am-7pm) and tomorrow (11am-6pm). Entry (inc. catalogue) pounds 5. Harvey Management Services (071-624 5173).Piccadilly: World of Drawings and Watercolours, Park Lane Hotel, Wednesday-Sunday (11am-8pm, 7pm last two days). Entry (inc. catalogue) pounds 6. World of Watercolours (071-603 0165).Kensington: West London Antiques Fair at the Town Hall, today and tomorrow (11am-6pm). Entry (inc. catalogue) pounds 4.Birmingham: Lapada Fair at NEC, Wednesday-Sunday (11am-9pm, 11am-6pm last two days). Entry pounds 5, Wed pounds 6 (021 780 4141).Countrywide: 'Antiques Trade Gazette' (071-930 4957); 'Government Auction News' (071-734 8290/4; hotline: 0891 887700).
JONESTOWN SURVIVORS: Where They Are 40 Years Later
OAKLAND, Calif. - Jonestown was the highlight of Mike Touchette's life - for a time.The 21-year-old Indiana native felt pride pioneering in the distant jungle of Guyana, South America. As a self-taught bulldozer operator, he worked alongside other Peoples Temple members in the humid heat, his blade carving roads and sites for wooden buildings with metal roofs. More than 900 people lived in the agricultural mission, with its dining pavilion, tidy cottages, school, medical facilities and rows of crops."We built a community out of nothing in four years," recalled Touchette, now a 65-year-old grandfather who has worked for a Miami hydraulics company for nearly 30 years. "Being in Jonestown before Jim got there was the best thing in my life."Jim was the Rev. Jim Jones - charismatic, volatile and ultimately evil. It was he who dreamed up Jonestown, he who willed it into being, and he who brought it down: first, with the assassination of U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan and four others by temple members on a nearby airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978, then with the mass murders and suicides of hundreds, a horror that remains nearly unimaginable 40 years later.But some lived. Dozens of members in Guyana slipped out of Jonestown or happened to be away that day. Plunged into a new world, those raised in the temple or who joined as teens lost the only life they knew: church, jobs, housing - and most of all, family and friends.Over four decades, as they have built new lives, they have struggled with grief and the feeling that they were pariahs. Some have come to acknowledge that they helped enable Jim Jones to seize control over people drawn to his interracial church, socialist preaching and religious hucksterism.With their lives, the story of Jonestown continues, even now.Jordan Vilchez's parents were Berkeley progressives in the 1960s - her father African-American, her mother Scotch-Irish. They divorced when Jordan was six.When a friend invited her family to Peoples Temple's wine country church, they were impressed by the integrated community. And when her 23-year-old sister joined, Jordan went to live with her at age 12."The temple really became my family," she said.Devotion to its ideals bolstered her self-worth. At 16, she was put on the Planning Commission where the meetings were a strange mix of church business, sex talk - and adulation for Jones. "What we were calling the cause really was Jim," she said.Instead of finishing high school, Vilchez moved to San Francisco, where she lived in the church. Then, after a 1977 New West magazine expose of temple disciplinary beatings and other abuses, she was sent to Jonestown.Gruelling field work was not to her liking. Neither were the White Nights where everyone stayed up, armed with machetes to fight enemies who never arrived.Vilchez was dispatched to the Guyanese capital of Georgetown to raise money. On Nov. 18 she was at the temple house when a fanatical Jones aide received a dire radio message from Jonestown. The murders and suicides were unfolding, 150 miles away."She gives us the order that we were supposed to kill ourselves," Vilchez recalled.Within minutes, the aide and her three children lay dead in a bloody bathroom, their throats slit.For years, Vilchez was ashamed of the part she played in an idealistic group that imploded so terribly. "Everyone participated in it and because of that, it went as far as it did," she said.Vilchez worked as office manager at a private crime lab for 20 years and now, at 61, sells her artwork.This past year, she returned to long-overgrown Jonestown. Where the machine shop once stood, there was only rusty equipment. And she could only sense the site of the pavilion, the once-vibrant centre of Jonestown life where so many died - including her two sisters and two nephews."When I left at 21, I left a part of myself there," she said. "I was going back to retrieve that young person and also to say goodbye."Though he waved and smiled at Peoples Temple services, seemingly enraptured like the rest, Stephan Gandhi Jones says he always had his doubts."This is really crazy," he recalls thinking.But Stephan was the biological son of Jim and Marceline Jones. And the temple was his life - first in Indiana, later in California."So much was attractive and unique that we turned a blind eye on what was wrong," he said, including his father's sexual excesses, drug abuse and rants.As a San Francisco high school student, he was dispatched to help build Jonestown. It would become a little town where people of all ages and colours raised food and children.Stephan helped erect a basketball court and form a team. In the days before Ryan's fact-finding mission to the settlement, the players were in Georgetown for a tourney with the Guyana national teams.Rebelling, they refused Jones' order to come back. Stephan believed he was too cowardly to follow through with the oft-threatened "revolutionary suicide."But after temple gunmen killed the congressman, three newsmen and a church defector on the Port Kaituma airstrip, Jones ordered a poisoned grape-flavoured drink administered to children first. That way no one else would want to live.Stephan Jones and some other team members believe they might have changed history if they were there. "The reality was we were folks who could be counted on to stand up," he said. "There is no way we would be shooting at the airstrip. That's what triggered it."He went through years of nightmares, mourning and shame. To cope, he says he abused drugs and exercised obsessively. "I focused my rage on Dad and his circle, rather than deal with me," he said.More than 300 Jonestown victims were children. Now, Stephan Jones is father of three daughters, ages 16, 25 and 29, and works in the office furniture installation business.He says his daughters have seen him gnash his teeth when he talks about his father, but they also have heard him speak lovingly of the man who taught him compassion and other virtues."People ask, 'How can you ever be proud of your father"' he said. "I just have to love him and forgive him."Eugene Smith recalls how his mother, a churchgoing African-American, bought into Jim Jones' dream after they attended a service in Fresno. She gave her house to the Peoples Temple and they moved to San Francisco.He was 18 and running a temple construction crew when the church sanctioned his marriage to a talented 16-year-old singer, Ollie Wideman. After Ollie became pregnant, she was sent to Jonestown; Eugene remained behind.When Smith reunited with his mother and wife in Jonestown, Ollie was 8 1/2 months pregnant.The reunion with Jones was not as joyous. Jones berated three other new arrivals for misbehaviour on the trip; they were beaten and forced to work 24 hours straight."He made a promise - once we get to Jonestown there is no corporal punishment," Smith said. "In an hour, that promise was broken."Life became more tolerable after the couple's baby, Martin Luther Smith, was born. Ollie worked in the nursery, and Eugene felled trees. But he said his discontent festered.When he was ordered to Georgetown to help with supply shipments, Smith said he concocted an escape plan: Ollie and other temple singers and dancers, he believed, would soon be sent to Georgetown to perform, and the family would flee to the U.S. Embassy.But the entertainers stayed in Jonestown to entertain Ryan. And Smith's wife, son and mother died."All I could do is weep," he said.After more than 22 years at California's transportation department, Smith retired in 2015. He's 61 now. He's never remarried, and Martin Luther Smith was his only child.When John Cobb was born in 1960 in a black section of Indianapolis, his mother and older siblings already were temple members. But in 1973, John's oldest brother and a sister, along with six other California college students, quit the church and became its enemies. When the prodigals visited, the Cobbs kept it secret from Jones.John was attending a San Francisco high school when he was allowed to join his best friends in Jonestown. There, as part of Jones' personal security detail, Cobb saw the once captivating minister strung out on drugs, afraid to venture anywhere for fear of his legal problems."If anything, we felt pity for him," he said, "and it grew into a dislike, maybe hate."He too was a member of the basketball team. His biggest regrets revolve around the team's refusal to return to Jonestown. "I believe 100% that not everyone would have been dead," he said.Cobb lost 11 relatives that day, including his mother, youngest brother and four sisters.Now 58, he owns a modular office furniture business in the East Bay and is married with a daughter. 29. One day, when she was in high school, she came home and told her parents that her religion class had discussed Peoples Temple; only then did her father share the story of how his family was nearly wiped out.She wept.The Joneses adopted a black baby in Indiana in 1960, and Jim gave the 10-week-old infant his own name. "Little Jimmy" became part of their "Rainbow Family" of white, black, Korean-American and Native American children.In California, he was steeped in temple life. Those who broke rules were disciplined. At first it was spanking of children. Then it was boxing matches for adults."To me, the ends justified the means," he said. "We were trying to build a new world, a progressive socialist organization."The church provided free drug rehabilitation, medical care, food. It marched for four jailed Fresno newsmen. When Jim Sr., a local Democratic Party darling, met with future first lady Rosalynn Carter, Jim Jr. proudly went along.After the temple exodus to Guyana, he was given a public relations post in Georgetown - and was part of the basketball team.He was summoned to the temple radio room. In code, his father told him everyone was going to die in "revolutionary suicide.""I argued with my Dad," he said. "I said there must be another way."Jim Jr. would lose 15 immediate relatives in Jonestown, including his pregnant wife, Yvette Muldrow.In the aftermath, he built a new life. He remarried three decades ago, and he and his wife, Erin, raised three sons. He converted to Catholicism and registered Republican. He built a long career in health care, while weathering his own serious health problems.Of course, even if he wanted to forget Jonestown, his name was an ever-present reminder.He has taken a lead role in a 40th Jonestown anniversary memorial to be held Sunday at Oakland's Evergreen Cemetery, where remains of unclaimed and unidentified victims are buried. Four granite slabs are etched with names of the 918 people who died in Guyana- including James Warren Jones, which deeply offends some whose relatives perished."Like everyone else, he died there," his son said. "I'm not saying he didn't cause it, create it. He did."
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