Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Buy These Cars!

The Right Car for Teens

Your teenage son wants a souped-up foreign sports car. You want him to have a sluggish American tank. Is there anything in the middle? Okay, for one arguable reason or another, the kid is getting his own car. Because you can't hold his hand (or his steering wheel) forever, and you are weary of being the household hauler, the best parental protection you can give him now is heavy-gauge metal and a lot of it. You've done enough in giving him the right to drive, you don't have to give him the right to have an early funeral. Here are some general car-selecting no-nos that might help keep the kid out of traffic court, jail, hospitals, and the mortuary:
Do not give him a super-charged, turbo-charged, "Super Zoom" anything. Drivers, every one of them, in hot, high-performance cars automatically catch "Fast Foot Fever;" an incurable ailment that often leads to premature loss of license at a minimum – life, at the ultimate.
Do not give him a "roller." High center of gravity vehicles like SUV’s, especially the small ones, are not an intelligent choice for new drivers who have little experience with the limits of vehicle stability. One bad over-correction because of too little judgment or too much machismo, can easily make the high vehicle topple and roll, leading to tragic consequences.
Don't get him a mini-car. New drivers should have a lot of metal around them. If he doesn't want, or you don't want to give him the family barge, today's mid- and full-size cars offer a lot of crash energy-absorbing metal for your money.
Don't buy him an older car. Give him the best chance to drive and survive with a car that's less than five years old. Most of these will have the newest built-in safety equipment including the two absolute mandatory items -- airbags and ABS brakes.

No More Work Stress

Why did you quit your last job -- assuming you left voluntarily? the No. 1 reason why people quit is excessive stress. Yet employers seem unaware of this, or in denial: When asked why they thought employees were leaving, most HR managers gave insufficient pay and lack of career development, including promotions, as the main reasons.On top of the usual stressors -- ever-higher productivity targets, only 24 hours in a day, and the struggle to carve out some kind of life outside of work -- economic uncertainty adds "the fear of layoffs and feelings of powerlessness. If You're Overwhelmed By it All,Try These Four Stress-Fighting Tactics:

Make a long-term to-do list. Think about all the small, incremental things you can do to build career success over the course of a year, or five years -- take someone out for a networking lunch now and then, work on picking up a new skill, put in a little extra time helping the boss solve a knotty problem. Making a list of these, and doing something on the list when you feel "stuck" in your regular job, will help you feel you're getting somewhere and not just spinning your wheels. That sense of accomplishment is a powerful stress reducer.

Several times a day, just chill. From taking a deep breath, to stretching, to going over your schedule to cross off non-essential commitments, we each have things we know we can do to ease our stress level. Get in the habit of taking a few minutes several times a day to consciously manage stress. Take a short walk. Call a loved one on the phone. Check out a web site that makes you laugh. It sounds simple but, over time, you'll probably find you're less exhausted.

Fight perfectionism. Many successful people suffer from a neurosis I call "A-student syndrome," which makes them feel they have to be perfect at everything. This is a dandy way to stress yourself out even more than your job, or your life, actually requires.

Mark necessities on your calendar in ink, not pencil. Sure, we all know people who seem to fit in a weekly massage, get a haircut every six weeks without fail, and somehow make time for volunteer work and book clubs. Never mind those people. Instead, ask: What are the things that you know are non-negotiable to you over the course of a year? From dental exams to your annual vacation, commit to the really necessary stuff as soon as possible. By holding these times as 'sacred' in your calendar. You'll carry a calming sense that there is a baseline of self-care in place no matter how chaotic things get in the meantime

So next time you feel super stressed at work, just take a deep breath,remember you could be unemployed, and that its ok not to be perfect - Nothing is the end of the world and you'll be fine- well... at least stress free!