3 Tips For a Budget Holiday Road Trip

Looking for budget travel plans for your next long weekend holiday? A road trip might be your best shot!

1. Rented cars is the most economical solution for road trips.

Car rental companies normally offer a variety of ‘holiday car rental’ packages for holiday travelers to select from. These packages have to be affordable for travelers who are on budget and also wants to have a free & easy driving holiday.

Holiday car rental has been appealing to seasoned travelers and lately has attracted younger travelers that want to explore places that are less travelled. Competitive holiday car rental rates help travelers to save money and enable them to go to places less-travelled where ordinary holiday travelers are unable to explore.

With the advent of intra-Asia travel, holiday car rental will continue to grow as it offers the benefit of leisure travel at individual pace. As a result, many rental companies are aggressively marketing their holiday car rental program to meet the discerning needs of travelers. Several rental companies have seen double digit growth and demand continue to increase for this segment of the business.

2. Plan your route wisely. Use Google Map or GPS Navigation.

A traditional way of planning your driving route is to purchase a printed map from a bookstore. Today, it is a lot more convenient to just route your journey on Google Map, then just print out the map with specific driving directions. But for the adventurous travelers, a GPS navigation system is their best choice. And more than often, a GPS Navigator is included in your rented car for just a little extra money.

3. Travel packages for overnight trips – Low cost and safety.

If you are planning an overnight stay, then you should check with your rental company for any travel packages available. Many do offer competitive travel packages to attract budget holiday travelers. Working closely with travel agencies, they are able to offer special rates on hotels, motels and inns, which sometimes also provide occupants with complimentary breakfast.

It is also usually safer to go with the hotels, motels or inns associated with your rental company. Their relationships with your rental company should indicate that they meet a certain quality standard and are more trustworthy.

Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

Women's Boots – All Time Favourite Ultra-Chic Footwear

One of the most popular footwear among women is boots. Boots are usually worn in cold winter months, but now the concept has changed and it is being worn throughout the year. Women’s Boots are usually easily available at all online stores. Shopping for boots at an affordable price is very easy. There are online stores where you would find boots, of your style and size. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose a pair from the wide variety that is available at these online stores.

There are variety of styles and designs available in boots for women. Whether it is a wedge heeled boots or ankle length or knee-high ones each type of boots evoke a different type of fashion statement. Wide calf boots are more popular in middle-aged woman. Leather buckled boots are ideal for the younger generation. You can team up your boots with any kind of outfit. From short skirts to hot pants to denim trousers and leather jackets and short dresses, women’s boots goes well with almost anything. Narrow fit jeans can also be teamed up with your boots if you are going for a party.

Women’s Boots are available in a variety of colours. Colours like black, brown, blue, red, and many more. The heels can vary from the clogged ones to flat and stilettos. Hiking boots and military boots are also very popular among young women. More and more brands are coming up these days with more options and variety from which you can select when you are shopping for your dream pair of stylish and trendy boots. Boots are available in wool, plastic as well as leather.

There is boots of various styles and heels, which you can choose. From -inch heel to 6 inches, you can choose your heel type according to your needs and requirements. The heel improves the posture however; continuous use affects the general health too. According to the present fashion trend, the fur and suede style is simply wonderful. Another very popular style that has caught on is the thigh high boots. Of course, this is not ideal for the working people. However, if you want to make an impression with your gorgeous outfit and boots then it is the perfect choice.

The classy colours and chic styles make women’s boots one of the most popular footwear. If you are choosing these boots then you should go for the ones with a rounded toe. With these kinds of boots it is better that, you opt for leggings since they are so sleek and fitted. Therefore, if you want to stand out in the crowd then you should go for these ultra chic boots.

If you are planning to purchase from online counters then you can choose to go for ones, which has a free shipping policy and the returns policy, which is easy and hassle free. There are many stores where you would find a suitable designer or brand offering your size. Whatever is your need or desires, choose the shoes, which best suits, your budget and style. You are sure to look stunning and very attractive when you are wearing trendy and fashionable boots for women.

Discover Why Cheap Car Rentals Are the Best Option

Spending a great weekend or the year end with your family on a holiday trip is a great idea. Moreover, in order to ensure your non-stop holiday, you always need a car hire service. And what could be greater than to hire the cheap DIY car hire that would give you comfort as well as a hassle-free service. Instead of taking a tour bus or public transport, a car hire turns out to be a great help.

With their easy and simple booking process, you can instantly get your car booked in no time. And the best part is their amicable culture that makes your experience with such services memorable. Whenever we want to hire a car, we always look for the best and economical package that suits our budget and does not burn a hole in the pocket.

Most amazingly, many such car hire services provide numerous options with their efficient services and facilities. Their friendly staff also helps you to get the best value in car hire. Suiting every need, their variety of cars and vehicles gives you ample options and leeway to get what you want. Ranging from budget cars to luxury cars, they present their entire options to give you the best they can.

Be it any climate or place, they help you to get there as comfortably as you want. For harsh seasons, they have the facility of suitable cars to accommodate your luggage and your entire family in a single vehicle. They provide child safety features for your babies. They make your trip pleasant in hot regions with their air conditioned cars. And if you are in the mood to have fun, you can also go for open-top cars.

They also provide you with their skillful and professional drivers. But if you feel no need of driver and want to drive on your own, they also provide such facility for your total convenience. You can drive to any part of Australia by fixing your deal with the most desirable and best car hire service. You can visit their site, browse their cars and prices, look for the conditions with safety and take your quote.

More optimally, you can trace your destination and decide the car and price according to the kilometers. The clear cut information and services allows you to have tension free trip and prevent any such confusion that could incur more payment.

Hence, whether you decide to move to a place for an hour, a day or a week, you can rely on the efficient service of this remarkable brand. Give your family the uninterrupted journey of joy with extraordinary services from the most popular name in the Australia.

You May Be Statistically At Risk For A Payday Loan

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about percentiles. With the presidential election on the horizon, Americans are being flooded with percentages and many are drowning in confusion. Payday loan lenders have been inundated with borrowers who are trying to stay on top of their bills. A deluge of mass media has emerged to cover the politic elections, surfacing statistical claims about economic differences among the American population and submerging any consistent sense of where one fits into the fiscal scheme of things.

These statistics raise questions that come with a lot of political baggage: Am I one of Occupation Wall Street’s 99 %? Am I one of Mitt Romney’s 47% who rely on federal benefits? And, if so, is this a bad thing?

These ‘factual’ numbers, which are meant to act as clear, logical backing for political campaigns, are leaving many Americans mystified, obscuring political agendas behind a silk-screen of percentages.

Let’s face it; politicians employ these statistics, which may or may not be whole truths, to inspire voters to stand up for a cause–their cause. Among the aforementioned percentages, there is one common denominator: they all target or discuss an audience of low income families. In some cases, these statistics are used to draw attention to discrepancies between high and low income families, while others demonize those in the low income demographic as moochers and/or freeloaders.

Yet, another statistic that has not been addressed in the campaigns but that directly relates to low income families is the number of households in this demographic that utilize payday loan services. A PEW survey recently exposed that 72 % of payday loan borrowers have a combined family income of less than $40,000 per year. Clearly, those in lower income demographics are more inclined to borrow these high interest loans, which they are required to pay off at their own expense.

It is easy to comprehend the reasons that those in low income families are more inclined to borrow–utility bills need to be paid, children need to be fed and clothed, cars need to be in working order and fueled up. This becomes even clearer when considering that most payday loans are taken out to accommodate recurrent, necessary life expenses. Evidently, many low income American families are treading water, relying on temporary safety rafts, like payday loan lenders, to stay afloat, and getting closer and closer to a tidal wave of unavoidable debt.

This raises the questions: do the aforementioned political percentages and statistics accurately represent low income families who are relying on payday loans?

To answer the question, statistics rarely speak for themselves. Yes, over 40 % of Americans rely on federal benefits, but it is important to note that this percentage is largely made up of impoverished families, mothers with young children, and senior citizens. Without such services, more people from these demographics would be pushed to rely on payday loans and cash advances, furthering their debt and making them more susceptible to extreme financial circumstances, such as bankruptcy, which ultimately costs tax payers a great deal of money. It is important to note, additionally, that a person must be employed to take out a payday loan, challenging the idea that the low income families and individuals who rely on such services are freeloaders.

In short, not only is the onslaught of political statistics confusing, it is often unreliable, as it only presents a partial picture of the current circumstances of low income American families–a demographic which makes up a significant portion of the American population.

Commercial Real Estate – Listing Tools and Tactics

Attracting new property listings is an ongoing task that requires constant focus for the commercial real estate agent. Whether they are new or old to the industry, prospecting for new listings is (or should be) ongoing. Clear tactics are required if you want to dominate your market and the other real estate agents around you.

Without new listings you cannot generate the commissions and quality of enquiry you require. What I will give you here is a well proven base plan and set of tactics for generating listing opportunity.

Understand this, the more enquiries you generate from the people you know, the better your real estate business. You have to know a lot of people to be successful in the real estate business.

With the advances in technology today you would think that this is prospecting process is easier than ever before, although some people still struggle with it.

So where can you generate the property enquiry that you need? Here is a list that will help you on the way:

  • Old real estate sales and leasing activity over the last few years will give you the names and dates of transactions that will soon potentially come back in the market. That means you should use the old property sales and leasing records from your region as a base of fresh prospecting and cold calling. Most investment property will change hands every 5 to 7 years. It is a cycle that allows you to target properties that have been held for some time by the same owners. They are likely to need your help soon.
  • Business owners may lease or own their premises. Make the call to these people or drop in at their offices to find out what they need and want in the way of property.
  • Walk the streets that contain the good properties and the good businesses. Leave your business card and pick up the business card of all the managers or proprietors.
  • Ask the people you meet in the local businesses about the local properties around them and any changes that they know about. This is a great source of market intelligence. They know the market around them better than you do.
  • Vacant land should always be researched as to the owner and what they are doing about the property. You can put your sign on vacant land if the owner lists their property with you. The more signs you get up the better for your market image and market share.
  • Old property listings that other agents have failed to sell or lease should be monitored in case the listing can be reactivated. As part of this keep a tally on the time on market for the listings. This will tell you when the market is changing with certain listing types.
  • Make cold calls on developers, solicitors, accountants, and architects. They all have an interest in commercial property and will have clients that need help from time to time.
  • Rent rolls and other property managements held by other agents are prime targets for new business. By their very nature, the owners of these properties are investors, and many investors own more than one property.

You and your daily activities are at the center of this prospecting process. Prospecting is hard for some people given that the level of self-discipline required is high. Many salespeople will find something else to do that is easier. Any excuse will do to avoid prospecting. Many salespeople will take the easy prospecting process of dropping flyers and sending generic mail to hundreds of local businesses where they do not follow up. Does this really work? Yes but only to a minor degree and the road to success is slow.

You have to talk to people if you want to fast track your listings and opportunity.

If you take on this challenge and practice your prospecting processes until they are second nature, then you will create better results. As you improve, the more meetings and presentations you can do, and this leads to listings.

It pays to keep a running tally of your calls, meetings, and conversions to listings. This helps you understand when you are getting better at the prospecting process. So who are you going to call? This is the research part of the prospecting model and every day you do a bit more research into the properties and the areas that you are interested in. This also helps you understand what is going on in your area.

New property listings help you build your database. It is the database that will bring you so much market share and qualified enquiry. The bigger and more accurate your database, the more people you can call when some enquiry or opportunity arises. Your database is a very personal thing and should be maintained by you personally. This helps you take ownership of the process.

Stress – How it Affects You and How You Can Treat It

Your life is full of stress! Any arguments? Didn’t think so. Your life is full of pressure, frustration, and stress. Worrying about job security, being overworked, driving in rush hour traffic, arguing with your spouse, even dealing with medical bills – all of these create stress in your life.

According to the American Psychology Association, more than half of all Americans report being concerned about the level of stress in their lives. Most people are feeling over scheduled, overextended, and overworked. By far, the most commonly reported source of stress is the workplace.

Studies suggest that stress is a contributing factor in the development of chronic and degenerative conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. High stress levels at work can lead to job burnout, reduction in productivity, ill health, job dissatisfaction, and absenteeism. As these problems add up over time, you worry more about keeping your job while your boss becomes more dissatisfied, leading to more stress and an ever-growing vicious cycle.

When you experience stress, glands within your body respond by releasing a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone – we’ll call it ACTH for short. When your glands send out a burst of ACTH it is like an alarm system going off within your body. ACTH tells other glands to flood your body with the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones cause your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. They shut down your digestive system and even alter your immune system. When you remove yourself from the stressful situation, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline decrease. As cortisol and adrenaline decrease in your system, your heart rate, blood pressure, digestive system and immune system return to normal.

As you pile one stressful situation on top of another, your body has no time to recover. If you are in a constant state of stress, or experience many stressful situations, your body’s stress response system can disrupt nearly all of your body’s processes. Some of the effects can lead to chronic illness and disease.

Stress affects the digestive system so much that stomachaches and diarrhea become common. The hormones related to stress slow down the release of stomach acid and the process of emptying the stomach. The same hormones stimulate your colon which speeds the passage of its contents – a.k.a diarrhea.

Chronic stress dampens your immune system making you more susceptible to colds and other infections.

Stress affects your nervous system and has been linked to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and dementia. Over time, chronic release of cortisol can even cause damage to several structures in the brain.

Stress affects your cardiovascular system by causing an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Unlike most other diseases that affect Americans, there really isn’t any routine medical treatment for stress. Some doctors prescribe antidepressants. But drugs have a limited ability to alleviate stress.

The most effective way to reduce or relieve stress is through lifestyle habits.

Lifestyle habits such as spinal alignment, exercise, breathing exercises and coping strategies are the most effective ways to reduce stress.

Exercise is a good way to deal with stress because it is a healthy way to relieve your pent-up energy and tension. By getting physically active, you can decrease your levels of anxiety and stress, and elevate your moods. Numerous studies show that people who exercise exhibit a marked improvement in their ability to concentrate, sleep better, suffer fewer illnesses, suffer from pain less, and report a higher quality of life.

One of the consequences of stress is a tendency to unconsciously tense up your muscles, especially in your upper back and shoulder regions. This chronic tension, coupled with poor posture, causes the vertebrae of your spine to become misaligned. Misalignment causes irritation. Irritation causes more tension. More tension causes greater misalignment. And the cycle continues and you continue to get worse. Most people experience a notable improvement in their own stress levels almost immediately after a spinal adjustment. You can reduce your level of stress by visiting your local chiropractor to have a spinal adjustment.

There are two types of nutritional supplements. There are nutritional supplements that help reduce stress and there are nutritional supplements that help the body better cope with the effects of stress. Supplements that help reduce stress belong to a class of herbs that helps the body relax. Herbs such as chamomile, skullcap, valerian, and lavender help to clear your mind and calm intense emotions. Many of these herbs are taken in the form of a hot or warm tea.

Supplements that help the body cope with the physical effects of stress are the B-vitamins and zinc. When you experience stress, your body needs more zinc and more of the Vitamin-B complex. Your health suffers and you are more prone to illness when you don’t have enough of each in your body. Taking a B-complex with zinc in the form of a liquid nutritional supplement will help protect your body from the negative effects of stress.

The final key to treating stress is healthy thinking. Most stress is caused by two factors – dealing with change and feeling out of control. While you can’t predict the changes that will occur in your life, you can – control how you plan each day, – you can positively respond to change, and – you can act with purpose.

The combination of these three positive thinking habits can help remove stress from your life and diminish the effects of stress. These three simple ‘attitude adjustments’ will help you feel more in control and once adopted as a habit, can be quite relaxing.

Don’t let prolonged or repeated episodes of stress lead you to chronic or degenerative disease like diabetes or heart disease. Lifestyle habits such as spinal alignment, exercise, breathing exercises and coping strategies are the most effective ways you can reduce stress and the effects of stress on your body.

How Nicotine Test Helps Employers to Establish Smoke-Free Workplace

Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.

Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:

Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.

Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:

Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.

Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:

A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.

Increased productive hours:

A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.

Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.

Healthy atmosphere:

As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.

Shows professional approach of the business:

A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.

Reduces healthcare costs:

Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2012).

Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.

Tips to Boost Your Commercial Real Estate Career

When you start work in commercial real estate sales or leasing, there is a real temptation to do what everyone else does. That is a real danger in that most salespeople in the industry are not good role models. In fact some agents are really ordinary and they do not share information effectively for new people.

So to improve your chances of being a top agent, you can start to focus on the right things and those things that will build your market share and business. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Find out just who dominates the local property market as a top salesperson in your office and then watch what they do. Review their listings and market share. Drive around their listings and see what makes their listings and marketing different. Do they have more exclusive listings than open listings? How do they market property in this economic environment? What has their sales record been like over the last 12 months? How does their market share compare to other agents?
  • They are likely to have a solid database of local contacts. You will need to start this process for yourself anyway, so ask them what database software they use and if they could show you how they build their prospect list. How do they interact with their clients?
  • They may have been operating in the local property market for some time and this will have bearing on the activities that they undertake every day. They should however still be prospecting to maintain their position as a top agent. Ask if you can sit in on their cold calling time one day to see how they do it and what they say. Perhaps you could replicate their script to words that suit you and your area or property type.
  • Get to know your area really well, and that will mean property owners, business owners, vacant land, property developers, and professionals like solicitors and accountants.
  • Identify the top property locations in your area and inspect the properties for a real understanding of why those areas are favoured. Survey the factors that impact location such as transport, services, amenities, highways, roads, ports, and infrastructure.
  • Get to know the top property owners in the area. Whilst they will be dealing with many agents, you can connect with them now and start to build a level of trust for the time that you will have some property solution that you can offer them.

To rise to the top of your market, you simply need to watch the right people and practice what they do. Build your database from deliberate and directed effort; the property market awaits your involvement.

Do You Know The Pros And Cons Of Hemorrhoid Pillows?

Hemorrhoid pillows are popular amongst sufferers today because the use of these pillows helps to relieve the symptoms of itching and pain associated with some types of this ailment.

There are two main types of hemorrhoid pillows:

1-The doughnut cushion: This type of hemorrhoid cushion is commonly called a doughnut or ring cushion because it has an O-shaped design. There is an opening in the middle of the cushion that enables the sufferer to sit on the cushion without allowing direct contact between the inflamed anal tissues and the surface of the pillow.

These doughnut cushions come in inflatable or solid foam styles but the inflatable types are more commonly used than the solid foam types.

2-The support cushion: This second type of hemorrhoid cushion works more like a conventional pillow. This type of pillow also helps to reduce the frictional pressure on the inflamed anal area.

Unlike the doughnut pillow that has a hole in its center to provide an open space for the bum to hang, the support pillow relieves the friction by providing a very soft surface for the sore anal area to sit on. These support pillows also come in inflatable and solid foam designs.

The choice of the pillow that you would like to use is determined largely by your own personal preference as both types are equally effective.

However, before you decide to make use of these pillows it is advisable you know what you stand to gain or lose by making use of them.

Pros of using hemorrhoid pillows

-The use of these pillows provides you with a simple and easy way of relieving your symptoms; they do not have side effects and you need not worry about the fear of using overdose of ingredients unlike when you use other hemorrhoid medications.

-The effect of these pillows is felt very fast; as soon as you sit down on these pillows you will begin to feel relief immediately.

-Hemorrhoid pillows are inexpensive; most of them cost between ten to twenty dollars.

-Inflatable pillows are portable and they are easy to carry around; once they are deflated you can easily fold them into your bag or pocket.

Cons of using hemorrhoid pillows

-The use of these pillows can only address the symptoms of hemorrhoids superficially; they do not address the actual disease itself. They can only help to lessen the symptoms before the effect of more major treatment sets in.

-It is even possible that if you sit on these pillows for too long they can actually worsen your symptoms. Sitting on these pillows for too long can impede blood flow to the anal area and it can also increase the pressure within the bum area.

-If you have large or prolapsed piles using these pillows might actually worsen your symptoms. So if you have huge very painful or prolapsed piles you should consult your physician before you use them.

Although hemorrhoid pillows are good for quick relief of hemorrhoid symptoms, they can not give total cure of the hemorrhoid symptoms and their use is limited mainly to the mild and moderate forms of the disease; their use is not really advisable in the treatment of the severe and giant-sized forms of piles.